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Pete's Weighty ( Fly Fishing ) Words

Posts Tagged ‘Devon Fly Fishing Tuition’

A quick sneak out….

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

I think I mentioned that I was supposed to be doing some real work and I sort of pencilled in Monday and a bit of Tuesday to do so. Well, that was the plan but Monday was a bit of a write off. I had just turned the computer on and checked the emails. I had one in from Ray about fly selections for our NZ trip. I didn’t really think too much about it and got to work with the job in hand but I don’t know if you are the same but when you start thinking about other things you just have to stop what you are doing for a bit. To be truthful I was thinking about the flies Ray had mentioned and I thought I better tie a few. I find I do my best tying when I am really in the mood and this was one of those cases. I sat down and tied a couple of dozen nymphs in varying sizes and was overall pretty pleased. I started with the original job and the phone went. It was Jim. I like talking to Jim as we always end up talking about loads and it is always usually about fishing…actually it is nearly always fishing related. He is a bit of a computer whizz too and he is a great person to get some help from. He also makes the best furled leaders around. I spent an enjoyable 25 minutes chatting and sat down again. I think I wrote a sentance and the phone went again. It was Brett, he had phoned to tell me about his tarpon fishing trip. Sounds like he had some monsters. The largest landed was 134lb and jumped one huge fish that the guide reckons pushed 200lbs. It sounds like the fish were brutal and three rods got broken!

I popped the phone down from him and couldn’t stop thinking about the tarpon and fishing holidays….best I tie a few more flies for NZ then. I made myself some late lunch and Mark called up. It was one of those “what are you doing tomorrow” calls. I was looking after Charlie and said I would be taking her in to school. I had one of those lightbulb moments “how about you meet me at home and we drop Charlie off and swing by Exeter canal for a couple of hours. The plan was set.

I didn’t really get a lot done but it was a productive day for other, nicer reasons instead. The fishing wasn’t outstanding yesterday but Mark had a fish, I didn’t. We had a nice lunch at a pub by the water and sat outside. All in all it was very civilised! We even bumped into Paul while we got our day tickets. His wife was at the dentist and he had offered to take her in but I think I know the real reason. He was stocking up on fly tying stuff.


Sometimes it’s an easy choice

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

I had some plans to get paperwork and words for the site sorted for wednesday but I got a call from Toby saying that despite conditions being far from perfect that he had a few pike biting up his way and was planning to go the next day. Did I fancy coming? I like calls like this. You are sitting thinking about the job at hand but something much more interesting comes along and it only means that things get shoved back for a day so it wasn’t a big deal. In the grand scheme I could run around saying “I’m too busy” but I’m never too busy to wet a line.

 It wouldn’t be a pike trip without Mark so he came to mine nice and early and once I had inspected his fare we headed off. By fare I mean what goodies had he brought for the journey. Chocolate covered brazils did the job perfectly and we tucked in. Emma always says she knows when we have been on a good trip by the amount of chocolate wrappers that are on the floor of my truck.

We met up with Toby and he took us to where things had happened for him the day before. The water, as he had said, was far from perfect but it didn’t matter, it was good to be out on what turned out to be a stunning day. Toby had an early pull and I had moved down to where I saw a few small fish moving. I too got an early pull but nothing more. We did a fair bit of walking and just fished likely looking holes. We noticed the wind had shifted a bit and decided to try another venue. This gave Mark and I the chance to have another quick snack. I would reccommend Ripples, they are easy to eat on the move and you don’t get out of the car with a chocolate blanket on your lap. Sadly this makes the close relative of Ripples, Flakes not practicle for these purposes but incidently they do make a good post fish treat.

Toby was a perfect host and really looked after us. The fishing wasn’t stunning but we had a few and it was fun.

On Friday Bob, Mark and myself heading off for our first aid course. Ours had lapsed recently so we went for a 6 hour course and learnt loads. We weren’t the only people there but kept the others amused and Mark had us all laughing with his questions. Bob had been fearing how the two of us would behave and as a whole we were really good boys! Bob has a thing about gadgets and I could see his eyes light up when they showed us how to operate a defibrillator!

Next week…more grayling

Toby relaxing……


Trying so hard to be cool but not really pulling it off….

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Mark and I popped down to the Taw the other day to see if we could watch some salmon make their way upstream. We timed it right and saw a few. The interesting thing was that the flow of water moving under the bridge was too great and it was halting progress. The cool thing was that there was a leat that provided an alternative route and the fish had sussed it out pretty quickly and headed this way. It was still hard work and we saw a few make and a lot not do so. The funny thing was that I started shrieking with excitement every time we saw one. I guess it just got to me to see what dogged determination these fish had and that nothing was going to stop them in achieving what they had set out to do on their long journey. I am sure there is probably a metaphor for life in there somewhere and to some same degree this true for the fish. I popped down again yesterday with Charlie and the pair of us were equally excited but when as a 16 year old it is not really the done thing. If I ever lose this sort of excitedness about fish or fishing it is time to hang up the rod.

I met up with Richard on Thursday who is a newcomer to fly fishing and he took to it just fine. He is one of these guys that you say “stop the rod just a little higher” to and it is done perfectly, he had the line sailing out with no worries at all. The lesson was a gift from his son and I think he will be doing a bit more. He had two pals along watching who do a bit of fishing and they are already planning trips out. He had a few fish and took one home for dinner.  With Richard being a butcher I am hoping to do a bit of bartering with fresh fish against his sausages!

Today, I had a great fly casting lesson with Nigel. I am just a tiny bit jealous of him as he is off to the Seychelles in a couple of weeks, I say a tiny bit as I am off to Mexico the week after! Nigel wanted to add a bit of distance to his casting and to tidy things up a bit. He was soon hauling really sweetly and we added extra stroke length to his cast with drift and also covered a few extra things to make life a whole lot easier on the flats. He had an 8,9 and a brutal 12 weight rod to throw big flies at giant trevally. Hopefully he gets a few. Fingers crossed for you Nigel!

One of the interesting things was that we did the early stuff with yarn on the end of the line but when you are heading out for “real world” fishing that things can be different. I often like to snip the hook off a fly which we did with a clouser to see if the stuff we had covered would work in a real fishing situation. I know Devon is not the Seychelles but with a bit of imagination…. Anyway, I am pleased to say it was the case and Nigel hit the same distances with the fly attached and landed the fly gently on the water. It was really good fun pulling the fly in before recasting as the fish were all over the fly…I must remember a chartruese and white clouser for next weeks lessons!

I plan on spooling up my new reel for Mexico tomorrow. I am using a 6wt for as much as possible but will pack an 8 and 9 wt for heavier wind and permit. Flies are pretty much ready and the excited meter has just been turned up a notch too!


Down time?….nah!

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

The Fly Fair was a blast and it was nice to meet up with friends both old and new. There was a good contingent up from down here and a group from Kennick had hopped in a mini bus and headed up to grab a few bargains. That reminds me, we had a shocker getting up there. I left home at 9.50am and got to Stoke at 4.30. Howard had caught Birmingham later than us and didn’t start setting up until 6.30. We gave him a hand and then shot back to Karl’s where his wife Andrea had prepared dinner and then Toby and I shot back down to give Howard, Hels Bells and Kirsty a hand. They were bushed at 9 so they arranged to get there early next morning to finish. Toby and I hung back to finish our bit and then shot off. Next morning when we got there Howard had been working hard and I reckon this was about as close as it got when they finished just as the doors opened!

It was really great to meet up with Mat from Fly Odyssey he is a top guy who knows his stuff! He also had Mark helping who is salt water fishing mad. I don’t think there are many fishing destinations they haven’t been to between them. It was cool just talking fishing. It turns out they will be down in NZ same time as Ray and I which will be fun.

I got to talk fishing with my mate Richard today as I owed him lunch. I picked him up from home and we headed for Fingle Bridge and the pub down there that sits right on the Teign. As any sensible fisherman would do we first headed for the bridge to see if there was anything sitting there but sadly not. We watched a few caddis flutter up and agreed the river looked just about perfect. It is times like these that despite the closed season you can still appreciate how lucky we are to be able to fish in places like this. I wish I had my camera but I had got it ready for tomorrow. We headed off to the pub, had lunch and talked fishing. Richard is a veteran of Colorado and Montana and we swapped favourite rivers and fishing stories. If you are sitting right next to a trout stream and can’t fish it talking about fishing keeps you going….well almost. I dropped him off and as generous as ever he gave me some vension mince and then handed me some smoked salmon. This was from a salmon he’d had off of the Teign and I really look forward to trying it. Thanks mate!

While we were staying at Karl’s he had been leant a spey casting video from the very early 80′s. It was really interesting to see how much things have changed from a technical perspective. I guess it is always has, and will be a big learning curve. I guess thats why we love it so much!

I have to admit that I have a mild case of “man flu” but I’m off to the chalk tomorrow….

Hot, hot, hot

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

The CLA was awesome. Good weather, good friends and good fun. It was great to see so many people drop in and see us and see friends both old and new. We were blown away by the support for what we are trying to do in fly fishing and people really liked that we are trying to be different rather than following the crowd with brands X,Y and Z. We were paid a really nice compliment by a guy who works for Microsoft and said that what we are doing reminded him of the early days of the company. I guess instead of being computer nerds we are fishing geeks!

We also had some of our new Pro Staff drop by and it was great to have a cast with them and to hang out for some drinks and food at the end of the day. We were so rushed off of our feet on Saturday that Jim and Bob even gave us a hand. It’s sort of like that here, we all muck in. Thanks fellas!

The evenings were real fun as we broke out the rods and talked fishing and had a cast. It was cool that all of the AAPGAI guys met up and had a cast. No one hid away and as all became quiet at the show we all drifted down to the casting area to throw some loops. I am so proud to be part of this organisation and the people in it are such top guys. Mark as ever was out throwing until the early hours but was still up and ready to go after a couple of hours sleep.

It was the first time we camped at the show and it worked really well. Bob’s wife Mel looked after us way beyond the call of duty and the barbie was nearly always lit but she even managed a spag bol for dinner on Sat night. We had a tent parked out back that had a couple of bedrooms. Bob and Mel had one room and Illtyd had the other with me in the cooking area. In our main tent we had Mark, Jax, Karl and Lee with Jim and Tony pitched next to our tent.

The thing that made be laugh the most was that Illtyd would disappear to the Fishing Wales tent to have a few drinks and to converse in his native tongue and then come back in the early hours a little the worse for wear. He managed to do all of this without making a sound or tripping up. I put this down to the fact that he is probably one of the finest sea trouters around and as a result spends most of this time of year in the dark and so has no problems seeing in the dark. Seriously though we are all light weight sea trouters when it comes down to Illtyd! He is coming down for our sea trout course and I am helping and can’t wait to learn from the maestro to see how a professional like him does it!

Mark has thrown up a new blog about some fishing at Chew and some interesting and as ever amusing insights into fly fishing for pike.

I have popped a pic below of some of the lads (Jim,Mark,Jim,Paul,Bob,Brett,Clive) at the end of the day ahead of some serious casting. For me it just sums it all up…a great bunch of blokes!


Man flu….

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

I’m ill. I’m convinced it is the flu but it is probably a cold or a virus of some sort. I have been sitting feeling sorry for myself and haven’t been out fishing or casting. I am hoping it clears before the weekend as we have the CLA Game Fair looming large. We are all really excited about it and and have a large team going and have arranged some big nights with lots of friends who will also be sharing the team W & S tent with us. Mark said to me today that we are a bunch who seem to attract the fly fishing waifs and strays and I kind of like that. It is the sort of company I like and it is the sort of company I keep. We’re mainly there supporting our dealers and so our stand will be a relaxed, casual sort of affair where you will be most welcome to pop in and see us and have a drink or two, talk about fishing and perhaps a cast as well.

Before my horrific illness I mentioned a bit about Saturday and will rewind a bit more to Friday. I was lucky enough to be on the river with Bob as we took David and Caroline out for their first salmon fishing trip with double handed rods. They have both done plenty of trout stuff and picked up the double handed rods with ease aided with Bobs excellent tuition. The beat we fished is stunning and we were able to drive along it, fish the pools and then jump in the truck off to the next pool. With 2 miles of water to choose from we were able to cover some water.

We saw a few salmon moving but sadly didn’t connect. Caroline had a really good pull late on and David had a sea trout come off and landed a rather nice 3 lber. It was a great day and thoroughly enjoyable.

 I am on the river with Richard tomorrow. He is a stillwater angler looking to become a river fly fisherman.


Group Salmon Course with Bob Wellard

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Ever wanted to get to grips with a double handed rod and then put it into practice on the river?

 Bob is hosting a course on 24th and 25th May with fishing on a private beat that he knows very well. He will cover everything you are going to need for your salmon fishing career from casting to the techniques that will make the day on the river all that more enjoyable and hopefully succesful. The casting will take place down on our lakes and then you will make the short trip down to the river where everything you have learnt will be put into practice!

Bob is probably one of the most modest people I have ever met but his skill with a double handed rod (or single handed rod come to think of it!) is legendary. This will be a popular course and one not to be missed. We have priced the course attractively and included is the fishing permit, any tackle you might need and a bbq lunch.

Please contact me by e mail or call on 01566 784000 for more details.

Birthday Grayling

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008


Just in from a most excellent day having taken Joe for a days guided grayling fishing. It was a special occasion as it was his birthday and thankfully there were a few presents waiting in the river for him. The river is still thundering through. It is lower than where I left it a week or so ago but still meaning options are still limited to heavy stuff. The pink nasty was the fly of choice and I think Joe was just a little shocked at how pink it actually was. Don’t forget pink is the new black. It again worked pretty well for us and even a brownie or two thought it looked the part which amused Joe as I think he might have had a few reservations about how something so bright would attract a grayling let alone a trout.

I’d love to say it was easy fishing but it seemed the fish have still not really shoaled up after all the water we have had so it has been a case of one or two fish and move on rather than locating and then systematically picking off a shoal. There had also been some overnight rain and the river was carrying some colour and there was a nasty down stream wind just to spice things up a bit.

Despite this Joe was up to the task and more and the amount of fish he caught speaks volumes on a day when many might have stayed at home.

So here’s to you Joe and a very happy birthday!