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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Sometimes you’ve just got to go for it

There is that funny feeling you get when you get a report of the river you are about to fish that says “it’s sort of fishable”  The next question is “what do you mean by sort of fishable?” the answer was along the lines that the the clarity was good but the height was bad. Not so bad that the river was over the banks but bad that most would probably give it a miss. I’m not one of those who won’t and nor are my fishing buddies.

When you picture a chalkstream you see an image picture of crystal clear water and a nice even flow with a rising fish every now and again to make it perfect.

When I got there this wasn’t exactly the case. After all the rain we have had there were still flooded fields and the springs had been filled to the maximum and were pumping water back out into the river as quick as they could. The river was up and really pushing. That having been said it was a day’s fishing and nothing was going to get in the way.

Four of us had arranged to fish and special guest was Jim. Jim lives and guides on The Coln in Wiltshire and I wanted to show him the bit of chalkstream I fish.  We jumped in and water that is usually shin deep that was now thigh deep. I hung with Jim for a bit and watched the maestro in action but decided, with some prompting, to grab my rod and have a go myself.  I worked the slacker margins with a couple of heavy bugs and managed to pick up a grayling as The Dude joined me in the river. He’d spotted a slack line the other side of the river and manfully waded across to try his luck. The water got too deep and strong for us to continue so I jumped out and Ray did some pretty cool climbing up a dead tree his side.

Lunch and a chance to warm up!

Lunch and a chance to warm up!

The fishing was pretty tough but we all did ourselves justice. I had a spell where I thought I was going to get into a sensible pod of fish but after a couple in as many casts and one off and then one landed that was it. The rest of the day I picked up odd one and twos but that was about it and think that was the story for everyone.

 I was hoping for a few more for Jim as he has been slamming them on The Coln this year and I really wanted to show him fishing  as good. The light was starting to go and we ‘d decided to end the day in the pub but Jim and I headed in search of just one more. Needless to say he came up trumps.

A bright pink bug in size 8 worked best for me and I think Toby too but Jim fished a more subtle pheasant tail in a 14 and I would have guessed The Dude did the same. It sort of reminded me of a time I was fishing there once and there was a nice lunchtime hatch and the guy I was fishing with and I had a long debate about whether to fish a 16 or 18 Para Adams  to the rising grayling. We bumped into another fisherman at the end of the day and told him how we found the fish didn’t want the 16 but hit the 18 happily. We asked him if he had found the same but he said the big shrimp pattern he’d used had worked just fine.

Darkness but time for just one more!

Darkness but time for just one more!

I’d tried a different brand of burger for lunch and although tasty I thought the meat to roll ratio was just slightly the wrong way round but they were pretty good. All in all it was good fishing, great food and excellent company.

Winter Beard Watch- Gave it a trim on Sunday and took a bit too much off although it is still hanging in there.

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