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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Archive for March, 2010

Down but not out!

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

I’m sitting here writing this having been washed off of the river. It is a shame as it felt as though things were just starting to get going in a very modest way. I was at last starting to see a few more large dark olives and a few more march browns that got me thinking that there might just be enough to get the fish into feeding positions and a little more on the look out.

The weekend was best on Saturday and thankfully the weather held for Sunday. Saturday was a morning casting session with Andy who is really starting to throw some micro loops and put his new rod through it’s paces.

I met up with Ed after lunch and we headed a little further up the river in search of fish. We found some too and even had one take a dry which was a pleasant shock. We focused on the edges or seams of faster water and slacker areas in general. It seemed to work pretty well.

Ed puts a cast into just the right spot

Sunday and we met with the Crediton Fly Fishing Club for our 4th annual casting morning. We held it at the hotel and rather than just rehashing what we did the years before we have tried to constantly evolve things so that it is hopefully interesting and with plenty of content for the members.  On the food front we did the same as last year and included a carvery in the price which is a great time for members to get to know each other and to swap fishing stories over some excellent food.

I went fishing myself in the afternoon with Ray (The Dude) as he was down to have a quick fish on Sunday and Monday. He is moving abroad in the summer and so we have a sort of a leaving the UK tour which means we have to fish as many venues as we can in the UK before he goes and we are just putting the finishing touches to the overseas one too which I am hugely excited about. Anyway, this is the first leg of the tour and to be honest it wasn’t the easiest of conditions but Ray had a few fish including a small sea trout which was great fun. Next leg is Wales in a months time!

One for the Dude!

Before we left to pick up the Chinese I took Ray to one of our new beats as I wanted him to fish a couple of pools that I thought might hold a fish or two. As it is a new beat I have learnt it over the winter but only from walking from the bottom to the top and only in the water. The two pools I wanted to take him to were at the very top and so it involved some off road walking to the pools. Having got to the right spot I led the way and sort of slid down a high bank where I was hoping to land on a large log that was poking out of the water. The only downside of this was the part I wanted to land on was a bit rotten and gave way as I landed on it. I lost balance and it felt like I was going to go head first into the river. I had sort of resigned myself to the fact of a soaking but grabbed hold of a branch of the log that was actually not rotten and stayed dry. I heard shouts from Ray who I think was probably a little saddened I didn’t immerse myself but having not taken a dunking for 3 years I am just about due one!

I had a long chat with my good pal Jim Williams yesterday which I always enjoy. He is a great guy and an excellent instructor and guide and the other string to his bow is web design. He has just completed our new AAPGAI website which is most excellent. Good work fella!

New water.... The Devon School of Fly Fishing- Fly Fishing in Devon- Fly Fishing Tuition and guide

Trout Fishing in Devon

Friday, March 26th, 2010

The season is up and running and fish are being caught. I would love to say that we have had the most perfect of conditions but I think you would know this hasn’t exactly been the case. That having been said it has been great to be out on the river Taw guiding again after what has seemed a really long winter. My guests have had to work for the fish but it has been great showing them different methods and techniques some of which are a little outside of the box but that’s what I love about it . The fish don’t read the books or listen to the experts.

It has been great to see fishermen at the hotel again now the season has started and it has been great to be in the bar hearing fishy chatter!

This time of year I am hoping for some good hatches of Large Dark Olives but it looks and feels that due to the cold winter things have been pushed back a little. As ever, lunchtime has been a hot time to be casting a fly but we have been catching fish as late as 4.30 so even if it is cool stick at it.

The daffodils are also a bit late which backs up the delayed start story but I spoke to a good friend in Cumbria who was saying that Thursday felt as though things were more spring like up there and the fish agreed too.

Mikes first time on a river

Alan has a fish for his birthday!

Rob swings one of my nasty flies!

Peter is back on beat 2 chasing trout

Simon works slack water as the river starts to rise –  Fly Fishing in Devon-Tuition and guiding on the river Taw

Fly Fishing in Devon!

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Fly Fishing in Devon is starting to get going. Cooler temps in both air and water has meant things have sometimes been a little slower than normal to get going but if you work at it there are fish to be caught!

Ian has been a great supporter of our fly fishing school and was down just a few days after the season started to try his luck. We covered some water and I showed him a few spots he had fished before plus a few new ones. First day (weds) was a little slow to get going but he managed to connect with a few fish but the next day, Thursday, has been the pick of the days we have had so far this season and we even had a few look at the dry which was great to see.

First fish from our new water

Large Dark Olive hatches have been pretty light so far but my hope is that more settled weather will see an improvement and more fish starting to look upward.

As is always the case this time of year, lunchtime is a good time to be on the water but so far a lot of fish have been caught between 4pm and 4.30pm so it is worth hanging on just in case!

www.devonschoolofflyfishing.comFly Fishing in Devon- Fly Fishing Guide, Tuition and fly fishing lessons

New Season is here!

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Fly Fishing in Devon commenced on 1st of March for salmon but trout fishing started yesterday. I met with some friends where we chatted,fished and had some fun.

Water temps were low and there wasn’t much hatching apart from the odd Large Dark Olive but it was just great to be back on the water and in the company of friends.

"so what are you tying on?"

Toby had the first nice fish of 10 inches but Mo topped it with a 14 incher which I missed but Mike was on hand to measure it and help pop it back.

Mo fishing a likely spot


Howard throws a heavy nymph into the depths

Mike works up a pool  Fly Fishing in Devon-Fly Fishing Guide and Fly Fishing Lessons and Tuition

Fly Fishing Tuition

Monday, March 8th, 2010

We’re on the final stages of the count down to the start of the trout season in Devon. One more week and I’ll be hitting the water and trying my luck. The salmon season started March 1st and it was good to hear of a fresh fish being caught down the bottom of the Taw.

The more settled weather has meant fly fishers are getting ready for the season and are looking for some casting tips to get their flies just a little further or to get them to land a little more gently and with no drag.

I met with Chris on Friday who wanted to add some distance and learn to spey cast. We had a 1/2 day to do this and we started with the basic overhead cast and then worked up to the double haul from there. If the basics are right (which they were!) then it is simply a case of adding elements to this. As it was a full on casting session I made sure there were plenty of breaks and a chance for us to peak an eye at the river. It is looking really, really sweet. I am off today to try and trim a few more branches to make it look even better still!


Once Chris had mastered the rhythm of the double haul it all slotted into place and after a quick break we headed to the casting pond for some single handed spey work. We looked at the basic roll cast and from there introduced the Forward Spey and worked on a consistant anchor placement. Chris picked this up really quickly and from there went naturally into the Single Spey. We also worked on the Circle Spey too which is a really useful addition.

He is back in a few weeks time and I reckon he will have mastered what we covered and we’ll add the Snake Roll and Double Spey too.  – Fly Fishing in Devon- Fly Fishing Lessons,Tuition and guiding

Devon Fly Fishing 2010

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

The salmon season kicked off yesterday with pretty good water and high hopes of some good fishing. News is already filtering through of a fresh fish being taken at the very bottom of the river and with a big tide I can’t wait to hear how things will play out.

I still have some light bank maintainance to sort out and loaded the truck with various loppers and a bow saw and headed off to the river. There is a section that is really pretty and popular with anglers and I was keen to make sure that there was going to be nothing stopping a fly getting to a good lie.

taw 10

I popped on my waders, unloaded the truck and headed down to the river. It looked really, really good and I am afraid that I made an executive decision. I had a rod in the truck and thought it would be right that I had a cast and a quick go at the pool before commencing the pruning.


I got into the flow a bit too much and decided to have a crack at another 3  pools just for good measure. Having felt I did a good job I popped the rod down and got back to work. Wouldn’t you?!   Fly Fishing in Devon-Fly Fishing Tuition Lessons andGuiding

Fly Fishing School

Monday, March 1st, 2010

March 1st marks the start of salmon fishing on the river Taw. I plan to have a couple of casts and to also prune a few branches as well. Mo gave me a hand last week on one of my favourite trout beats and we were really pleased with the progress. There were a few branches that had more than their fair share of flies in them and so the path to a likely looking spot is now a little clearer. I am one who believes in making it a little easier but not too easy!

I met with Andy on Saturday for some fly casting tuition. We covered plenty and he was throwing a really, really nice line by the time we had finished. As he is a reservoir angler he was looking to add a few yards to his cast which he was doing with ease. The fish better watch out!


The weather has started fine here this morning and my hope is that we have some settled weather, it has been a long winter and I can’t wait to be out on the river again.

I got a nice message from Kevin who I had taught last week…he was slammed by a fish first cast he made with a fly on and I am not sure who was more surprised!

Hello Pete
Just a word to say thank you very much for your kind attention on Saturday last. I did enjoy the whole experience and feel I may have reached the bottom rung of the ladder. 
Heather and I had a great weekend in this wonderful part of Devon.
Thank you also for your patience, I will never forget the look on your face when the on the first cast I let the Rainbow off the hook.
Thank you for arranging our starters that evening it was very very tasty.

Kevin    Fly Fishing in Devon – Fly fishing tuition,lessons and guiding