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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Fly Fishing For Grayling

I have been busy tying flies for next season already. It has been a case of retying proved patterns or just tweaking a few just in the interest of research but also that the theory behind them might work. I tie flies that I want to be functional, catch fish and are something I am not going to worry about if they get lost in a tree. I so admire the work of the great fly tyers but it would break my heart to see one of their creations lost, whereas mine I don’t give a second thought to if they go. I always say to guests I am guiding that I would much prefer they lost a fly going for a tough cast rather than playing safe. We all know the big boy, or girl for that matter, will be in the hardest to reach spot!

I don’t think anything would get between Paul and his fishing and this was certainly the case when I met up with him the other day. I picked him up from his house and as we were on our way to the A303 we, as usual, swapped fishy stories and he happened to mention that he had taken a nasty fall during the trout season and his shoulder was playing him up a bit. I asked him if he were OK and he had fished Kennick a week before and it hadn’t been too bad.

We got to our venue, set up and headed down to the river where I realised I was standing the wrong side of Paul as he was casting left handed. Now, I know which hand Paul casts with as I had taught him as a beginner and I could only stand back in admiration and watch him cast his fly out to a spot we thought might hold a grayling.

It turned out that the shoulder was more sore than he had let on and so he had spent the last week teaching himself to cast left handed. You know what? It worked and really well at that. He was soon into the fish and I don’t think you would have known the fact that left hand wasn’t his dominant one.


Paul thinks about his fishing agreat deal and is like a sponge. After a couple of casts I asked him to lift his rod as the flies drifted over a likely spot. He was straight on to the plan and said ” Ahh, so you want me to induce them”  I can’t remember if it was the case or not but I think it did catch a fish on the first attempt. As soon as Paul had seen it happen he was on to it straight away as he picked off a pod of grayling.

We even had a surpise visitor…


All in all it was a great day and I have massive respect for Paul and I hope the shoulder is sorted soon!

Taw Salmon

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