Gift vouchers are now available for Tuition & Guiding

Testimonial Picture 1
Testimonial Picture 2
Testimonial Picture 3

Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Archive for June, 2009

Fly Fishing in Devon

Monday, June 29th, 2009

I have just had a great bunch of lads down for a spot of fly fishing in Devon. They have all fly fished a fair bit and were looking to learn a few new things that might help up the catch rate a little and make their time on the water  all the more enjoyable. We covered all sorts of casting tips and as usually happens, and indeed it did this time, I get a case of verbal overflow!

As an instructor I feed off of the enthusiasm and keeness to learn and I was amazed by how interested the guys were in learning new casts but also how the mechanics work. It was really great and we spent the morning covering just about everything you could think of. The afternoon was split between trout fishing and having a look for salmon too. One of the guys, Dave, had a good pull from a fish and saw a sea trout take to the air and Les saw a good sized sea trout roll.

It was a great day and as they were staying in the hotel I got to keep in touch with their fishing exploits for the other days they were staying. So here’s to you, Dominic, Paul, Les, Dave, Christian and Peter!

The lads!

The lads!

My good pal Dave gave me a hand with the lads and a ladies day we held on Sunday and it was a great pleasure to work with you fella!

The catch board at the Hotel is going great guns with over 470 trout now caught and we have now added four sea trout so we are certainly getting into a few fish.

I have had a day off and it was great to chat with my pal Jim Williams who is a full time guide and instructor in Wiltshire. I really like speaking to him as he is so enthusiastic and a great person to bounce ideas off . I’ll also tell you that he is a great fly fishing instructor, I guess this sounds like an advert but if you are heading to Wiltshire and want some top quality fishing or instruction then he is your man!

For more details or information on fly fishing in Devon please feel free to call 01363 82786

Other fly fishing in Devon blogs here and here

Fly Fishing in Devon

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Living and fly fishing in Devon gives me so many great locations that I can offer my guests and also for myself on my days off!

Having so many miles of private fishing on the Taw to offer guests allows us to offer varied fishing on well rested, fresh beats but I also like taking anglers up on to Dartmoor for some fishing too. I have been up there a bit recently and was up again with Richard yesterday. This was the second time I have met up with him in a couple of weeks and the brief was to show him some fishing that he hasn’t experienced before.

We met up and started off at one of my favourite spots. As has been the case of late things didn’t really get going until about 10.30 but we worked deeper holes with a small dry (size 20, black scruffy klink) and soon the fish were biting.


We covered plenty of miles and after lunch fished another of my favourite spots. I had to apologise to Richard as I let out an expletive when I saw a fish I judged to be around 14inches dart out of a lie and push the 7 inch fish I had spotted for Richard away from his territory. It was that or he was after a spot of lunch!

It was great fun watching Richard expertly land his fly in the pocket of water and see an eager fish take the dry. I took Dave up there last week and his boss is also a fly fisher. He said that he would be quizzed by him the next day about the fishing and said the way he would explain it was by taking his cup of coffee and placing it at the other side of the office and telling his boss that he had to land his fly in the cup. I liked this and thought he is just about right. The other good thing is that Richard did experience something new and did a great job!

Many congratulations to Nick and Tara at the Fox and Hounds for winning another award!

For more details or free advice for fly fishing on the Taw or Dartmoor click HERE

Previous Fly Fishing in Devon Blogs click HERE and HERE

A few happy fly fishers!

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

It has been a mad few weeks with some great fishing on our rivers. The first sea trout have been caught and we have had over 400 trout from the Hotel’s waters now, smashing  the last few seasons numbers. It would be great if we are lucky enough for this to continue and we are making sure beats are well rested and rotated so that anglers we take on to the water are not tramping through somebody elses footsteps!

Dave from Portland is a glutton for punishment and came back for some more guiding. We headed to Dartmoor and despite this being a completely new sort of fishing for him he took to it like a duck to water.


Max and I met for a day on the chalk.  Here’s what he thought.

Great to see you again. Thanks for a top day on a really magic bit of river – I felt quite privileged.
And I drove home buzzing – its just an endlessly fascinating game, isn’t it? I hope the drive was OK
Speak soon
All best


Malcolm had never held a fly rod before but was a natural and is a great fly fisher in the making.


Tom hadn’t fished a river before and also wanted a little bit of help with his fly casting, not that he needed much, he is one of the most naturally gifted fly casters I have seen.


A bit outside the box

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

I was guiding Richard yesterday. Richard is an excellent caster and fisherman and had just come back from a very succesful trip to the U.S. He was after some guiding so to try and match up I decided on a two centre trip. We hit the Bray in the moring and the Taw in the afternoon. We had a few in the morning and headed back to the hotel for lunch. Lunch involved the usual ribbing from the guys who work there about what I was having for lunch as most days I have the prawn cocktail sandwich. I thought I’d shock them and ordered a ham sandwich. This clearly threw the kitchen into disarray but the ham matched the prawn for quality. The thing I do like is that when the chefs know it is me they don’t bother with coleslaw or salad it is nicely piled high with crisps. Perfect food for a hungry fisherman!

So there we have one example of going outside the box, the next was after lunch and the weather had closed in and cooled off a fair bit. Richard had picked up a few fish on the nymph but things looked to be slowing.  I wanted to make it worthwhile for the fish to have a look at our dry so I went big and brassy and tied on a size 10 stimulator. Richard looked at me and laughed as we had been fishing size 16’s and 20’s earlier but was amazed to see it worked pretty well and fish were hitting it greedily. We even saw a fish that made the 12 incher he caught earlier look small as we watched it follow the fly down stream and have a go. This was despite the river carrying some colour so I guess it must have been a good one.

As is always the case, the fish don’t read the books and if you make it worthwhile sometimes that long shot does pay off!

Richard with a Taw brownie

Richard with a Taw brownie

Neils first river fish!

Neil's first river fish!

Trevors first river brownie!

Trevor's first river brownie!

Devon Fly Fishing Guide

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

As a fly fishing guide I do enjoy the challenge of sussing the fish out when conditions aren’t as perfect as we would all like them. I was lucky enough to have Pam and Alan down here for a week and having left perfect conditions in Hampshire we were greeted with something a little less friendly in Devon.

The river on Sunday was unfishable but was coming down fast and although had a tinge of colour was safe to wade and looked like it would just get better. The morning was pretty slow with a few half hearted plucks but after lunch things hotted up and a few mayflies got the fish interested. As the water still had a push to it we worked slacker, slower areas and any indents in the bank. We decided to make it worthwhile for the fish to take a look so fished size 1o stimulators. This might seem a little extreme but there have been some pretty big ones coming off this year. The nice thing was that the plan worked and we had some nice fish to 13 inches.

Later in the week Alan hooked an landed a 14 incher matching our best for the season. We had a great week with plenty of fish and it was a real pleasure to guide them both and to have such a good time!


Fishing Towns

Sunday, June 7th, 2009

There is nothing like wandering into a fishing town. The one I remember the most is Basalt that sits right on the Frying Pan river in Colorado. The Dude and I pulled in for some breakfast and coffee and saw a row of drift boats lined up ready for a day in the water. We popped into the two fly stores there and there were guides busily stocking up on flies and talking their guests through what they were going to be doing on the day. I also remember walking into a restaurant in waders and sitting down at a table without anyone batting an eyelid.

I have just come back from a week of guiding Alan and Pam in Hampshire where we have been fishing a few juicy bits of water. They were based in Stockbridge and I would pick them up each morning. I think Stockbridge qualifies as a fishing town. Well, almost. The two fishing shops open early and there are even a few guides knocking around (me included). The reason is that I am not sure how much of a fishing town it is or not as I am not so sure it is the same once the mayfly have gone. I have been there plenty of times but it does usually coincide with mayfly and there are plenty of anglers around but I am not so sure if this is the case all year round. I will be back later in the year and will let you know.

The fishing itself was really good. The mornings were best with gin clear waters where we stalked and cast our dries to rising fish. The mayfly was OK but not stunning. We fished several different stretches of water and did well on all of them. There is nothing like seeing a fish move towards the fly and take it!

Pam and Alan were new to fly fishing the chalkstreams and are used to casting a fly on spate rivers. You know what? They took to it like they had always done it.