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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Fly fishing with friends

I quite like surprises, the nice kind that is. We had one about a month or so ago when my fishing buddy Ray (The Dude) and his long time girlfriend Christina came to stay. Ray and I tried bassing but we both knew in our heart of hearts that the howling wind we had at home was going to be amplified when we got to the coast. It was indeed the case and we made a few casts, pulled a few flies but decided 60mph winds were just a bit much.

I had told Ray about the excellent steak sandwiches that The Hotel had made me during the season were something he should try along with a cup of their coffee. Steak sandwiches weren’t strictly on the menu it was a peri peri version (also excellent) that you would find but poking my head in the kitchen and asking head chef Al nicely has often worked. It did and we both enjoyed them. The chips were pretty good too and it is nice to see that they are not the oven variety.

So we enjoyed those and headed back where the guys told us that they were getting married in a couple of weeks time and wondered if we would be the witnesses. We were so pleased and also touched and there were a couple of thoughts that immediately leapt into my mind. Firstly it would mean that I would need to dress up and I don’t really do smart these days and those last remnants of my smart wardrobe would be more fitting for a Dynasty/ Miami Vice themed party but secondly and more importantly we needed to celebrate this momentous occassion with some fishing. We quickly arranged a date and before we knew we were meeting to wet a line.

As ever I was early and was already fishing when Ray pulled up. “Fish biting?”  The answer was a resounding yes. We were fishing on a chalkstream and the lack of water meant the fish were bunched. A buddy and I had hit one pod and thought it best that we left them after taking what felt just about the right side of being greedy.

The fishing continued on a similar vein throughout the day and a light hatch at lunch gave me a chance to throw on some 24’s that I had tied up that even caught a few fish. We had decided to fish for as long as possible so it meant that we had barbecued burgers for lunch and a tailgate chinese for dinner. I called the Chinese through and picked it up. I have passed any sort of worry of people seeing me wander down a high street in waders ( a favourite pastime of Ray and I) and this was no exception as I couldn’t get parked anywhere near the Take Away. I was really impressed though when I walked into a supermarket and asked for some paper plates and the girl serving pointed me to where they might be without even blinking. We don’t usually go for plates but I though as there were 3 of us and it were a special occassion that we should at least try and do things properly. I think part of this is that I am still shamed by Champo who pulled out a stove and cooked vension steaks at exactly the same spot when we fished a year ago. I’ll always remember that for the food but also as we fished the biggest BWO hatch either of us had ever seen.

We had the chinese lined up on the tailgate of my pickup and it was a vaguely civilised free for all. We talked about the day and fishing in general. The light was going and any warmth had gone. The guys thought about quitting but it was 2 days before Ray got married and I thought it might be cool for him to catch one last fish as a single man. It was a nice landmark. I even bought some new clothes for the wedding.


I was up in Bristol a week or so ago for my fix of sushi. We popped into the Asda ( it might even be called WalMart). It is worth a visit for the price of the petrol but also that you have to go through a drive through to pay. We don’t have one of these in Devon and I still haven’t figured out if it is good idea or not, or what the thinking behind it is but it is amusing to use anyway and I wonder if it is a little touch of America.

The reason I mention this is that when we were in the store I looked at the magazine section there which was pretty extensive and had just about base covered.This included fishing but there wasn’t any fly fishing mags there. Now I know we don’t have many but I thought there might be a chance of one but sadly not. Fly fishing is the centre of my world and a lot of my friends but I guess it just doesn’t register in the minds of Asda. I have been keeping an eye out recently to see if this is the case in other shops too and thankfully there are the odd one poking out but not the “full house” of all 4. I’m hoping that a lot of them are ordered on subsciption and that is the reason. I haven’t paid much attention to this sort of thing in the past and guess it has always been the way but it did strike a chord with me. I wonder what circulation numbers are like these days?…My hope is that they are on the up….

Hopefully fishing with pals on Tues…I’ve been tying like a madman!

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