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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Archive for May, 2010

Devon Fly Fishing Guide

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

It seems like the weather is starting to settle with warmer temps and more stable conditions. I am never one to moan BUT it would cool if things were like the Caribbean and we had a bit of rain overnight just to freshen things up and keep the river at a nice level. That having been said the low water has concentrated fish into areas where you would more expect to find them. The places that have worked best for us have still been tails and bellies of pools rather than faster runs and the weapon of choice has been the dry fly. It has been great to see the larger fish make an appearance at the surface and yesterday was a small landmark as I was guiding Anne who managed to hook and land our first fish of the season on a mayfly pattern.

Mayfly have been coming off for just over a week but the fish are only just starting to take notice of them and seeing and hearing fish taking to the air or making an angry slash at a newly emerged dun is pretty exciting stuff. The other good thing is that fish are starting to feed later into the day now rather than a swift 5 o’clock finish.

There is just a sniff of a few of the larger sea trout on the hotel water which is great news and now the evenings are warmer it is a great time to be on the water!

A well earned Hob Nob break during a casting session for Chris

Mikes first ever fish

Pauls first Taw brownie!

Fly Fishing and Guiding in Devon with the Devon School of Fly Fishing

Dust down those dries!

Monday, May 17th, 2010

It really feels like the fish have started to wake up now. They are where they I would hope to find them and they are starting to look skywards. With the water still very cool and the north easterly wind we have had slacker, slower water where we have concentrated on landing our flies.

Pam covers a pool

There have been some big hatches of black gnats but I haven’t seen much interest from the fish in them and I was nearly caught out thinking this was what the fish were on on Monday. It turned out by watching for a few moments that there was a tiny hatch of olives happening at the same time that the fish were locked on to. A quick change of fly and we were quickly in business.

The pattern that has worked best this week for me is the sparkle dun but also tying on an olive balloon caddis during the early stages of an olive hatch has brought some fish up too.

Alan into a fish

I had the pleasure of seeing Pam and Alan down for 4 days of guiding. I took them to a variety of venues and can barely remember ever tying on a nymph. We really worked on water craft and it was great to see them land their flies in the right spot and bring the desired response from the fish. I am the worst person to ask how many we caught but all I know was it was quite a few!

Followers of the blog will be pleased to hear that Dave from Portland was back for some guiding on Friday! The weather had turned and it was a lot cooler and wetter than the previous days we had enjoyed and I thought that we needed to head for a more sheltered beat to find fish. It is great when these things work out and Dave did Portland proud with his fishing and his ability to polish off one of the hotels famous steak and kidney pies with a side portion of chips for lunch!

Spot the fish!

Fly Fishing in Devon The Devon School of Fly Fishing

The Trout Slayer Returns!

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Richard from Hampshire, or Richard The Trout Slayer as I like to call him, made his first trip down to Devon to cast a fly at a few fish. As I have written in previous posts the season has been a little more testing than the previous few but I have, in a perverse sort of way, enjoyed it.

It has made me really have to think about fly selections and tactics to maximise success for my guests. I guess it might be an easy job when you suggest a cast to a likely spot and a fish takes, which is always nice, but I think a fly fishing guide earns his fee when he can pull a few fish out of the bag on a tough day. I know it isn’t all about numbers but when it’s tough it’s nice for an angler to see that it isn’t them that is doing something wrong,  the fish just sometimes aren’t on. I hope I can help in some small way to  put the odds in their favour a bit more.

The trout slayer!

Having said all this, Richard had plenty of fish and a number coming to the dry too. Generally we are still finding them in slacker, slower stretches of water and just about on the edges of the seams of faster water. It was really nice seeing Richard catching fish on flies he had learnt to tie over the winter and even on a spider pattern from a bird he had shot himself. Excellent work fella!

I met up with Chris who had received a gift voucher from his parents for Christmas. He had not held a fly rod before but took to it with amazing ease. We covered so much in the day and for the second time in the week a novice was double hauling by the end of the day. We also did plenty of fishing and used techniques for approaching a small still water which all worked really well. It was hugely exciting to see one of our rainbows hit a twitched hopper pattern.

First trout for Chris!

Julian has been fishing for a number of years and is an expert sea trout fisherman but wanted to learn to spey cast with a single handed rod. We were happy to help and he now has a number of tricks in his bag. It also gave me a chance to quiz him on a few approaches that he uses. One of the great things about fly fishing is that you never stop learning!

Julian nails another spey!

Josh wanted to catch a trout on a fly so we taught him to cast and he did the rest!

Josh and his first trout Fly fishing in Devon

It’s only May….

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

We’re through the Grannom and most of the Large Dark Olives for the time being but other hatches are starting to occur now but these are just getting going and are more of a trickle right now. From day one of the season there have been plenty of midges on the water but I have not seen signs of fish showing interest in them right now. Last year the fish only seemed to care for them once mayfly were out of the way. It will be interesting to see if this is the case again this season.

Talking of mayfly I was on the river on Sunday and thought I saw a lone one come off. I mentioned this to Dave who was guiding further upstream and he’d seen one too. Looks like these boys are bit early and given that everything seems to be a couple of weeks behind schedule they were jumping the gun by a long way.

We ran our first course of the season over the weekend which, I think, went really well. Having two days meant that we were able to cover everything in depth, from the set ups, casting and approaches to moving water. It was great fun with everyone catching fish in what were  tricky conditions. Hopefully it showed the topics we covered in the course worked in some small way!

The team!

Ira was new to fly fishing and her friends thought she wasn’t going to catch anything. A day and a half with us proved them wrong on both our lake and on the river too!!

First fish for Ira!

I had the pleasure of teaching David and Rachel for the day. They had never held a fly rod before but I was amazed and during the day we covered all aspects of fishing and casting. They were even double hauling at the end of the day which is highly unusual for two novices on a day course. Well done guys!!

Superstars in the making- Rachel and David

If you would like guided fly fishing on private beats or fly fishing tuition on a private trout lake feel free to contact us, we’d be happy to help! Fly Fishing in Devon Fly Fishing Guiding and tuition