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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Fly Fishing in Devon and beyond!

I recently thought of a good question to ask a buddy when heading off on a fishing trip or having a coffee by the river which was sort of along the lines of where would you fish if you were allowed to go one more time. On giving an answer myself I thought about this and then changed the rules a bit so that I could fish once more on my beloved Taw and then one other place world wide.

This is one of those questions that you probably need to fire the answer from the gut as the more you think about it the more variables come in. Should it be somewhere I have fished or should it be somewhere I would like to fish? Would it be fresh or salt water? There are some places I have fished in the salt and would like to go back to and there are some I would like to visit and fly fish for bonefish, tarpon and perhaps, if I am lucky, a permit. So does this mean we should have a fresh and salt water section?

I think probably not and if pressed I would opt for freshwater as first choice but if I had a saltwater section it would be one right out from left field. Tobago. It will never rank up there with the great destinations but I don’t mind too much. I liked it for what it was and it wasn’t trying to be something it wasn’t. The guide knew what he was doing (he was excellent) and he knew his stuff. The fishing wasn’t pressured and there were plenty of fish. Within a few hundred yards I was fishing a small flat for bones and permit and then hopped into the boat for 2 minutes and we were casting to tarpon. If I only had 1 day this would be ideal as there is a 5 minute trip to the flats and all the fishing I would need for that one last day and I wouldn’t need to waste valuable time travelling…looks like I have spent too much time thinking this through!

So, I have decided my last day will be casting flies to brown trout. There are so many places in the UK I would love to revist like the Wye, Usk, Irfon or the Derbyshire Wye. I haven’t even scratched the chalkstreams but I know the Wylye would come top for me in that category without any serious competition. Then there was a “secret river” I fished in April where I caught 5 fish from 14 to 20 1/2 inches. That is certainly a contender!


Looking further afield I love Colorado and just about every stream I have fished there. Favourites are probably The Frying Pan and The South Platte but The St Vrain just edges it for me. It was a special stream with some of the most beautiful trout I have and will probably ever catch.

It looks like I am coming to the conclusion that the last place I fish will be somewhere I have been before. It might sound boring but what if I choose somewhere that when I get there I don’t like it?

New Zealand has to feature too and casting dry flies at huge rising trout is something I will never forget and a magical day The Dude and I had on The Mataura where we caught our fill of trout and then some more.  I also liked the small streams and just loved the idea that we would drive along a road and see a river come into view and if it looked nice we’d park up and have a cast.

It probably sounds like these are dream destinations but most of these trips are put together by my good friend Ray (The Dude) and we have a simple brief. Maximum fishing time, minimum cost.  He excelled himself on our NZ trip.

Looks like I have wondered off topic a bit but when writing the last paragraph I have come to a final conclusion.  I don’t think I would want to fish anywhere but The Taw for my last day. I love it.


I think I mentioned Gierach the other day and apologies if I did but he talks about fishing anyone’s St Vrain (his home water) and say that when he fishes somewhere new he compares it to The St Vrain. I know what he means and always make a comparison to The Taw in many ways wherever I am fishing. So I guess I’d fish anyone’s Taw.

Taw Salmon

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