Gift vouchers are now available for Tuition & Guiding

Testimonial Picture 1
Testimonial Picture 2
Testimonial Picture 3

Pete's Weighty ( Fly Fishing ) Words

Posts Tagged ‘Pete Tyjas’

New Zealand fly fishing and beyond…

Monday, February 9th, 2009

I got back from a couple of weeks serious fly fishing in New Zealand yesterday afternoon. I went with my good buddy Ray who was celebrating a special birthday and the trip was part of the present. I was asked if I would like to accompany him and it didn’t take too long to say yes followed by much excited leaping around the room. I asked him if he would write a report so there will be one along with some photos but needless to say it was a fly fishing trip of a lifetime and something I don’t think I will ever forget. We fished the South Island and despite fishing solidly from 8.30 in the morning until 9.30 at night we felt we had only scratched the surface of the fly fishing opportunities that were there.

We had one amazing day where the planets aligned or the fly fishing gods smiled on us and we just hit fish after fish. We had a guide for this day and although Ray and I never really count numbers the fly fishing guide reckons we hooked 50 for the day. As I mentioned I just think we lucked out but it was a great experience. We took a  fly fishing guide for one other day who took us up to a spring creek where we caught some nice rainbows from a spot where Lord of The Rings was filmed. The weather wasn’t at its best but Al worked hard and did a great job.

We left feeling that we had almost earnt our wings and had caught fish pretty consistently from all of the rivers we had fished. We even visited a couple of big salmon rivers that are not known for trout and had a few there too which was a really nice feeling. I caught 95% of my fish on dries and 90% of them came to my scruffy klink. It seems to come up with the business whereever I go and our guide Barry took a few for himself which I took as a compliment.

Looking back we really covered some water and I have shed a few pounds (some might say weight I can ill afford to lose!) and we fished like men possesed. We managed a 10 mile hike one day but still had the energy to find a another river and fish til dark. This is one of the great things about New Zealand that all water is public access so if you like the look of somewhere you just hit an access point or knock on a farmer’s door.

For me though, being able to stalk fish was the highlight. Nearly all of the fish we caught came this way and I would love to say that we stalked the fish, made the cast to them, played them and got them in but this isn’t always the case. A lot of the fish hold in pools often with cover of some kind and will head for it the moment they realise something is up. I would have days where I hooked 4 or 5 fish and they all came off but I will never forget the takes where the fish slowly rises up and the great big head peeks out of the water and engulfs your fly. It takes nerves of steel not to strike too soon but you better hold on when all has gone to plan.

We managed to fish so many rivers but my favourites were the Mataura, Aparima, Egglington,Rangitata and lastly the Ashburton.

I’ll pop some photos up in a couple of days but I am sure you won’t want to see me grinning like a cheshire cat holding great big trout….do you?

We decided on the name change for the fly fishing school as we felt it encapsulates where we are and what we do and as we were planning on revamping the Scott site we thought it was the right time to do it. The blog name will change as well but keep an eye out for new stuff as it appears.

Thank you so much for all the comments and feed back we recieved for the new site. We are really pleased with it and there will be lots, lots more coming to make it an interesting read. We see it as an ongoing project that we really intend growing on a regular basis so watch out for lots more updates soon.

We are also thrilled with our new base at the Fox and Hounds. Having 5 miles of river to show you along with our other beats means there is plenty to choose from and we have our own private lake in the hotel grounds which allows us to teach newcomers to fly fishing and is also a great location for fly fishing lessons. I will be stocking in the next week or so and there will be a few surprises in there!

There is no need to be a guest of the hotel to join us but if you are travelling down the rooms, food and hospitality are excellent and Nick and Tara are great hosts. It is possible to walk from the hotel to the river and we even have our own little spot in the bar called the “snug” where we will be meeting guests in the morning and having a sit down at the end of the day to swap fishing stories. I don’t think I have ever been so excited about a coming season…….

Not long now…

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

So it isn’t long til we set off in search of bonefish in Mexico and the excitementmeter has just been turned up a few nothces to the “very” setting. The gear is ready and flies are packed. I have decided that I would like to try and fish with a lighter rod on this trip so I plan on doing a fair bit with my ever trusty Scott 6wt. I have used this for just about everything over here and thought it would be nice to add a few more species if I am lucky.

Its funny that I mention luck, I don’t think there is any involved here but my pal Paul is out at the same place this week and has managed a super slam. This is an awesome achievement but a testament to his skills as an angler. If you are wondering what a super slam is it is catching a tarpon, bonefish, snook and permit in one day! Apparently there were also 5 other permit hooked on the week and there are some good sized snook around too. It is really nice to hear these stories but has a small part of you worried that you have missed the perfect week!…It is easy to think that way but with the glass always half full I have taken a view that it is a hot destination and the fishing is amazing. All will soon be revealed! 

Graham is packing something called a spinning rod, he apparently wants to go after cuda with it. I’m sure I will too with a fly but there is a flat right out the front of where we are staying so I plan a few early morning forays too. When we were fishing in Scotland someone remarked “Pete likes to fish a lot doesn’t he?” Too right I do, I always take the view that if I am on a fishing holiday I like to squeeze every little minute out of each day. It doesn’t matter if the fishing sucks at the time there’s no point sulking about it you just have to get on with it and make as much out of it as you possibly can. Life is too short and there are too many fish out there to try and catch!

 See you when I get back!

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.

mark-pike.JPG

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……

toby-sitting.JPG

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!

nigel-casting.JPG

Red and pink….

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

I’ve been busy tying up pink bugs for the upcoming grayling trips. I sort of stumbled on the colouration by my lack of a subtle shade of pink in my fly tying kit. The funny thing was that the grayling loved it. This is a shocking pink the sort of thing that makes you think “naaaaah, no way” but it works and works really well!

As ever with my fly tying it is simplicity more than anything else with a lead wire under body, clear back and 5lb mono as the ribbing. I have tied it as big as a size 8 and a little bit smaller too. Dependent on water height an conditions I’ll throw it under a dry or grease up the end of the leader and watch for the line to dart forward as a fish falls for it.

I don’t know if it is me but it feels pretty cold today. The wind is blowing and it feels miserable. I thought of warmer climes when Nigel phoned this afternoon to book a fly casting lesson and told me about his trip to the Seychelles in December. Sounds like he’ll be having a look for GT’s and wants to throw his fly just a little bit further.

I popped up to London yesterday and was amazed to see snow had fallen. Surrey had a hint of Siberia (OK just a little bit) about it and reminded me of how things are changing globally but also in our tiny little world we call fly fishing. The Russians are coming! I noticed it in London yesterday but also at a trade fair a few months back. It was held in Amsterdam and there was a good smattering of folk from across Europe but I bumped into some Russians too. Hardly surprsingly they spoke very good English (they probably write better English than me too!) and they could cast a bit too. I had a cast with a couple of them and they were pretty good. One of them had just passed his European Fly Casting Exam and the other was interested in coming to see what AAPGAI was all about. Apparently there are not a lot of fly fishermen there at the moment but things are changing as the locals are getting in to sport fishing as opposed to fishing for the pot by whatever means is required. Russia has long been a destination for travelling anglers but as the local economy has continued to grow more are taking it up.

We loaded up my truck and strapped a glass cabinet onto the roof to take up to Howard for the BFFI this weekend. I managed to get it there in one piece and Howard will take it the rest of the way. Sounds like there will be a good group going and please pop by and say Hi if you are there.

Lastly, I didn’t get a chance to fish with Jo on his stretch of the Exe this year but he dropped me a mail today and had 7 salmon this year….excellent work and see you Sunday!

Dare to be different?….

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

It has been a busy few days having just got back from the Tackle and Guns show. We were busy bunnies and had the pleasure of Jeff from Abel over to help on our stand. He was a most welcome addition and fitted in very well with our sense of humour and handled himself very well despite me spending most of the weekend trying to push him in the casting pool. It is so nice to have a company like this behind you and even better that their philosophy to life and fly fishing is the same as ours. It was nice for him to meet a lot of our accounts and a few new ones too. The nice thing is that the industry is getting what we are about in offering a quality product at a fair price.

We have done our best to price our products made in the U.S. as close to the U.S. retail price as possible so that the public are able to buy here and, most importantly, support their local dealers throughout the country. The nice thing is that we know the companies that we use in the U.S. are actually using the products themselves as a very large percentage of them are fishermen themselves. It is nice to know there is some heritage involved and they are not just trading on a faded old name of yesteryear. We were amazed by the support we had for St Croix and it is a brand anglers throughout the UK will be able to get their hands on from a large variety of fishing shops in the very near future.

Jeff leaves today and has seen some of London as he, Bob and Graham called in to one of our dealers but thankfully he got a look at fly fishing in Devon when he visited Wimbleball with Mark last week and is on a small trout stream with Graham in Hertfordshire as I type, just before he leaves for Heathrow. A man after my own heart!

I popped in to see Howard yesterday as we are supporting him at the BFFI the weekend after next and I also was in Crediton and was dying for a tea and hob nob!!. BFFI is also Marks birthday weekend and I am sure we will all be out to mark (quite literally!) the occassion. A lot of the lads from the association will be there too.

I am off for a couple of days as my brother is getting married. Mark is at the helm and taking Helen out for some casting and fishing and then off guiding for some toothy critters on Mon. Bob is doing some spey stuff with Steve and then I have a busy grayling diary coming up; look for some pics and movies too. I promise I’ll be behind the camera!

Many, many congrats to Mat and Georgie at Fly Odyessy on the birth of Thomas. At 9lb 2oz you’re talking a fair sized bonefish!

Just about at the end….

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

It feels like I have been trying to mark the end of the brown trout season for about 3 weeks now. I managed to get out just before the close of the river season down here with a wonderful day up on the Moors followed by a trip onto my beloved Taw. On Sunday the brown trout lakes shut and so Mark and I popped up to Fernworthy to have a go for some trout there and to take some photos for the new website. I rigged up with my typical brown trout lake set up of intermediate line and black tadpole. I was a little shamed by Mark as he carefully tied on a dry. We decided to walk a bit and take in a beautiful day. We worked the bank that was out of the sunlight and came across a few rising fish. Being a gentleman (more like I had the wrong set up!) I offered Mark a shot at them and he efficiently picked out 3 fish. It was tricky fishing as there was limited back cast room. We walked and fished a fair bit but it was really nice to be out there on such a nice day. We also bumped into a few other anglers which was nice.

Yesterday I headed up for some chalkstream fishing. The river season for browns on chalkstreams closes today and I wanted to meet up with Ray to see in the close and to plan our trip to NZ. I say plan, we had a quick sandwich and decided to head for Christchurch where Ray has made contact with a well known guide there and fish around there for 5 days and then head south and fish for that area for 5 days. It is only a 10 day trip so we plan to maximise fishing and come back exhausted…I can’t wait!

The fishing was amazing yesterday. I got into the river and made a few casts with a dry (the usual scruffy klink) and picked up a nice brown. I moved up a bit and fished a “pool” just below a footbridge where I could sight cast to fish. It was nice to see the reaction of the fish to the fly and I watched with interest several refusals. There was a nice hatch of smallish olives in progress and I decided to scale things down a bit and tied a similar, smaller fly with a lighter hackle and watched similar results. This time I popped on a black klinkhammer with silver ribbing in size 20. This time no refusals and they were liking what they saw. Ray had left a message, the fishing had been too good to answer the phone, and when he turned up just over an hour later I had moved just 20 feet. When we broke for lunch I think we had moved about 60 feet or so. Ray had to leave about 2 ish so we headed downstream and worked our way back up. When he left I still had plenty of water to fish so I decided to see if the fish still wanted smaller still and tied on a size 24 klinkhammer I had tied earlier in the year. I was really pleased to see that it did work pretty well despite the lack of hatch at this time. I headed upstream further and I hooked a nice brown of 12 inches. I released it, snipped off my fly and said to myself that it was perfect point to end my river season for browns. Its nice when things like that happen, I didn’t feel the need to carry on for the sake of numbers; it just felt right to stop there. I guess it is now time to think about some grayling now….

We are busy getting ready for the Tackle and Guns show this week. It is a show for the trade to see what will be on offer for the 2009 season. It is always nice to meet up with people in the industry and show each other our latest offerings. We will be taking new rods from Scott including the new A3 and additions to the S4 range including a new 10ft 7wt. We have Jeff from Abel over who will be on our booth with some new goodies. We are also very excited that we have been asked to be the UK distributor of St Croix fly rods. We felt these rods fitted in perfectly with Scott from a pricing view as they don’t really overlap but they also fit in with our view of sourcing products that are built by fishermen for fishermen at a fair price. The rods, as with Scott, are built in the US and come from a company that has a heritage of rod building. I have been using and teaching with one of their rods of late and am really impressed. Jeff is with us for a few days so I am hoping to take him in search of some grayling!

It was sad to hear of the passing of Mel Krieger. I doubt there isn’t an instructor out there who doesn’t own a copy of The Essence of Fly Casting. It is a great book that explains the mechanics of casting in a clear and concise manner. He will be greatly missed.

Weighty or not….

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

I was just tying a few flies ready for the grayling and had knocked up a couple of blue winged olive nymphs. They are nothing really special but as I was tying them I thought of the hatch Champo and I witnessed a little earlier in the year. It was interesting as his dun pattern was completely outfished by my scruffy, I mean really scruffy klink which caught the fish as they were picking off the flies as they emerged. It was probably the case that my fly just caught the hatch at the early stage but it made us laugh anyway. It in turn got me thinking about a similar hatch Ray and I fished through on the Frying Pan a couple of years back. He was actually fishing an unweighted emerger pattern and was happily picking up fish. When I got back I tied up a few and never really got round to using them but the time with Champo brought them back to my mind again. The reason for this is that when I fish nymphs, as a whole, I fish them with a bead head. Nothing clever behind it just that if there are no risers theres a good chance the fish will be sitting down on the bottom waiting for something to happen. All the bead does is get me down to them a bit quicker. What about the time when the hatch is starting to get going though and the fish already aware of the flies ascending to the surface and starting to get interested? A bead head below the dry would work just fine but for real, just sub-surface presentation when we are starting to see them bulge below the surface would an unweighted nymph do a good job? I’ve played with it a bit this year and seems to be a pretty fair bet. I know its not new or revolutionary but how often are you using a weighted nymph compared to unweighted and what is the ratio of weighted nymphs in your fly box? I’d be really interested to know? If you catch a BWO hatch hang an unweighted fly off the back and see what happens. I tie mine in a variety of shades from hares ear to light olive to darker olive with a wire rib. The only thing I add is either a black wing case from a pheasant tail or just some black dubbing. When a nymph is about to emerge the wingcase is a lot darker in colour. Do the fish know? I don’t really know but it is a nice, neat way of finishing things off. As I mentioned before Ray is a huge fan of this and will often fish a really lightly ginked up pheasant tail and he puts it to good effect HERE.

Spookily enough I have jusy got off the phone with Champo and we had just had a discussion about it and we are going to play with unweighted nymphs a bit more next year!

Mark is really getting the hots for fly fishing for pike now the river season is over and has been creeping up to Chew on a regular basis. The man knows more about pike than most of us ever will! Anyway, I thought I’d pop this piccie up of him when we both went a few weeks back. The rain and wind had driven the trout anglers off of the water at lunchtime but there were two idiots that stuck it out… Fair weather fishermen?….Never!

mark-chew.JPG

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

I headed up to guide on the chalk yesterday. I had been watching the weather and use a website that is supposed to give an accurate reading and having watched it throughout the summer I have learnt to do the opposite to what the forecast says. Again this was the case and although the wind was blowing a bit the sky was clear and we even had some fish on dries which was a nice surpise.

Mark and I were going to go to do some fishing tomorrow but it looks like the wind and rain will be against us. That’s me looking out of the window rather than using the website I was telling you about. You never know, if it looks OK tomorrow we might give it a go, we’ll see.

Speaking to Chris today made me think of better weather. He has booked a fly casting lesson with us as he has a friend in the U.S who he meets up with and they go chasing False Albacore. I have been lucky enough to catch some of these members of the tuna family and although I was on a bone fish trip it stole the show for me. Seeing a bait ball explode as they are being savaged by these fish really gets the heart pumping and requires you to keep everything together as you send your fly into the action. If you manage to hook up you better hold on but if you spend too long false casting they have gone! This is the brief Chris gave me that he wants to learn to deliver his fly as quickly and effectively as he can. Sounds like a fun day in prospect and will remind me of warmer climes…I just have to hang in there til December….

We have had some nice messages of late a few of which are below:

Pete,

just wanted to let you know what a great day I had yesterday. Everything from Mark to the teaching and venue was really awesome.

Simon

Hello Pete

please will you say a big thank you to Mark, Graham, Jaqui, Emma and Charlie for making our day so enjoyable. They couldn’t have made it more fun and everyone had a wonderful time.

Thanks again

Annie and Richard

Hi Pete,

once again thanks for a cracking day. I have not enjoyed myself on a days fishing trip in many a year!

Dave

kate.JPG