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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

No power….

I was popping up to Kennick yesterday and hopped into my truck and went to start it up and not a lot happened. It seems like I have a flat battery and I’m not sure what caused it. I say that, I think one of two things might have caused it. I popped on the river with Toby on Friday and he had left his stuff on the back seat of my truck. The only downside of this was that he took a while to set up and my truck, as much as I love it, has this annoying little habit of resetting the alarm when it feels like it. This means that if you are poking around inside with the door open and it decides to rearm you will probably set off the alarm. As I said Toby took a little while to set up his gear and I kept having to reset the alarm…perhaps this did it? Or Emma got me a device that you plug into the cigarette lighter which you then plug you IPod into and it selects a clear radio channel allowing you to play your IPod music through your car stereo. It is really cool but I was thinking that leaving it plugged in the whole time might be draining the battery, the device also charges the Ipod so perhaps this has something to do with it too. Either way it meant I had to jump into Emma’s car and try and remember my waterproof stuff along with hat and glasses. Thankfully I did. I am charging the truck battery now so hopefully it will work…I hope it isn’t anything more serious.

I got a sniff of a fresh salmon being caught a little further downstream from us on the Taw. This means they are starting to head our way. I’ll be waiting for them and will hopefully get a shot at one or two. Toby thought he had a pull Friday but it is always hard to know and he would probably prefer I didn’t say that as he much prefers the black or white approach. You either had a fish or you didn’t. I think he is right but early season it does lift your spirits a bit to see or at least think that something might have been paying your offering some attention. In this case it was a Flying C.

The trout season is less than a week away. If the weather is up to it I’ll be hitting the Taw but most likely the Bray. If not I’ll be heading to Colliford for some brown trout fly fishing on Bodmin Moor. I’ll be stringing up the rod with an intermediate line and the ever faithful black tadpole. Small short, jerky strips usually work and we’ll see if this is the case this year.

Paul sent me an email yesterday telling me that fly tying can be potentially bad for your health…more from Paul below.

Fly tying is dangerous! A cautionary tale.


I have great little study. It has windows facing south and east and therefore catches the morning sun.


The L-shaped desk has one arm along the south facing windowsill with computer, filing etc above and below it.


The other arm sits along the west wall of the room and has all my fly-tying equipment permanently out and ready to go. A captain’s chair swivels conveniently between the two.


A few mornings ago- the first decent day in ages- I was happy sitting at the computer part of the desk browsing the internet and Pete’s new website and blog.



Suddenly, my wife cried out in considerable alarm that something was on fire in the house.


I was out of my study like a shot, nose twitching like a rabbit scenting lettuce. I, too, caught a strong whiff of something burning!


Strangely, it seemed to be coming from behind me! I returned to my study to find flames licking up the white card I place behind my vice to improve my view of work in progress!  Having doused the flames, it was clear a 2” hole had been burnt in the card.


The culprit was the magnifier mounted in front of the vice- a perfect combination of a sunny morning and the distance between magnifier and card perfect for focusing the sun on the card.



Happily no serious damage done- but I hate to think what might have happened had we been out or elsewhere in the house with the study door closed.

Thanks Paul!

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