Gift vouchers are now available for Tuition & Guiding

Testimonial Picture 1
Testimonial Picture 2
Testimonial Picture 3

Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Archive for June, 2010

New boots and rivers…

Monday, June 28th, 2010

I sincerely hope that I am known for my generosity, be it on the river or even at the bar but I always try and ensure that I squeeze the last few drops of life out of my fishing gear. It does get a fair battering and it is usually the case that gear gets put into the truck at the end of the day and is left there until it is used the next day. That having been said I have been really good with my waders of late and I have seen the results of hanging them up somewhere dry when I get home after a days guiding. My boots are more of a problem as they never seem to get dry at all but despite this they are probably the most comfortable pair of shoes that I own. I have made them last a while now but the are starting to get just a little too far gone for even me to use. Gravel gets in the gap between the sole and the upper of the boot where it is coming away and the laces are doing their best to hold everything else together. It was about time I put them out to grass and will probably bring them out every now and again just for old times sake so I am now busy breaking in the new pair and they seem to be perfect for the job!

Tough as old boots....

I’m just back from guiding Pam and Alan for 3 days on a chalkstream I hadn’t been on before. It is always exciting to visit a new water and even more so as where we were staying was right on the water and it was even more exciting as Emma was invited along too. The days were long and hot which meant we fished in two sessions. We’d start at 9 and fish until 3 or 4pm and then head back to the house and have something to eat and then head out again and fish the evening until 10pm on one night. The mornings were more productive that we thought but it was easy to detect when the fish started to switch off. Evenings were hardly surprisingly the cream of the fishing where we caught some great caddis hatches. It was great to see the guys throw their balloon caddis and elk and cdc’s to rising fish but just as exciting to twitch the fly over a fish sitting near the bottom and watch him hurtle up and slam the fly!

A nice brown for Alan

Devon School of Fly Fishing- Fly Fishing in Devon Fly Fishing Tuition and Guides in Devon

The names are changed to protect the innocent!

Friday, June 18th, 2010

I was guiding Richard the troutslayer a few days this week. As ever it has been a pleasure to watch him come on huge leaps and bounds from when I first met him last year. For me a lot of the deal of river fishing is being able to effectively read the water and then being able to get your fly to the spot you think is your best shot as efficiently as possible. This is second nature to Richard now and it is a real pleasure to be on the water with him. He, as ever, got amongst some nice fish and we thought at one stage that he was attached to his first sea trout which sadly came adrift but we didn’t really get a look but it is one of those moments when you both think he might be attached to something special by looking at how the tip of the rod behaves when you first strike.

RFH and a nice Taw brown

As an aside, I often mention Richard as the troutslayer but I think we are changing the name as he fears that some might feel he may actually be slaying the trout and not putting them back. He loves them as much as me and each one is carefully returned to fight another day and so from this day on he will be known as Richard From Hampshire or RFH as Emma calls him.

A blowy day on Dartmoor with Mike

I had a day up on Dartmoor with Mike. Mike was down in March to try river fishing for the first time and loved every second of it. He likes to fish bamboo and it was good to christen his rod back then but this time we went for a slightly longer rod to make fishing the pools a little easier and to keep as much line as possible off of the water. Once more he did a great job in testing conditions and as ever the ride over there was great fun as Mike has a great view on life and a wit to match his fishing!

Fly Fishing in Devon The Devon School of Fly Fishing- Fly Fishing Guides and Instruction

Fly Fishing in Devon

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Fly fishing in devon has really been pretty good. Despite some ups and downs with the weather the fish have been pretty happy to give a well presented fly the time of day. Dries are still working really well although a nymph hung below the dry in the deeper pools has picked up an extra fish or two.

The mayfly hatch is now just a small trickle towards the end of the day but you’ll still see me tie on a grey Wulff at the slightest sign of a slashy take at the surface. This has been the case as late as the Sunday just gone and I have still used them to try and drag a sea trout up to take a look.

I had 3 days with Steve last week and it was his first season on moving water. The really nice thing was having plenty of time to go through the casts and approaches to maximise success for him and it was great to net his first wild brown trout. It is great to be a part of landmarks in someone’s fishing career and something I will never tire of!

Steves first wild brown trout

We fished all sorts of places to give him a good chance to experience everything a river could throw at him and to show him how far he had progressed. It is great standing next to someone and see them fire a cast straight into the right spot and a fish leaps on to it and think to your self “my work is done”!!

Fly hits its target first shot

Steve rose to every challenge thrown at him and the trout of Wales and wherever else he ventures better look out!

Fly Fishing in Devon Fly Fishing Guide and Tuition with The Devon School of Fly Fishing

Just about hanging in there!

Monday, June 7th, 2010

It feels and looks like we are just about through the best of the mayfly hatch now. That having been said they are still trickling off and the great thing is that the fish are used to seeing a big fly on the water and even better still aren’t afraid to have a go at it too!

Most of the people I have had out recently have been happy to sacrifice numbers of fish for the chance of bringing a big one up from the depths but I have been trying my best to assess each pool as we approach it and hit it with the appropriate fly which in some cases has been a size 24 midge pattern. It is fun tying on a big fly and seeing it work but it is equally as rewarding showing my guests that just because it is a small fly it doesn’t mean that it won’t work.

I had met Wilfred and Anne-Ruth a few years back and they had managed to track me down to show how they had progressed as fly fishers. They live in Holland which might not be thought about as a fly fishing hot spot but there is a large and loyal bunch who will cast a fly at just about anything and these two guys are in that category.

They had booked a days guiding and we headed off to a small stream. Anne-Ruth was soon catching fish and I took Wilfred upstream to try his luck.

Low, slow water was working but you needed nerves of steel to not strike when you saw a fish come for the dry so after a few we headed up to some faster water where the fish would have less time to inspect the fly and would make a more positive take.

Anne-Ruth works up a pool

I dropped Anne-Ruth off and wanted to take Wilfred up at least 4 pools to try his luck. On the way up though I saw a few fish rising and as ever I find it too hard to leave them so despite a tricky climb into the pool we were in a great position to target the fish.

It looked to us as though the fish were taking ascending nymphs just subsurface so I quickly tied on a pheasant tailed nymph and we were in business.

Wilfred with a beautiful Taw brown

It was a great day and the guys did a great job, Wilfred ended the day with 2 13inch trout which was some achievement!

Fly Fishing in Devon with The Devon School of Fly Fishing Fly Fishing tuition and fly fishing guides

Danica time….

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

It is good to be out on the water in just shirt sleeves again. There have been times where I had wished that I had picked up the heavier fleece rather than the lightweight one to go over my shirt before hitting the river but it feels like those days are behind me. It is great being on the river every day and seeing how things unfold. One of the key features of late have been the emergence of the mayfly.

It is fair to say that we in Devon don’t get the hatches that might be seen on some of the chalkstreams but the last few years there have been enough to get the fish interested in them. Seeing how this hatch develops and how the fish suddenly get locked on to them is really nice to watch and it has been great to tie on a Grey Wulff and throw it at an angry slashy rise and to get the fish to hit it is real fun.

We have had a few days like this and it was nice to have the legend that is Dave from Portland back for another day on the Taw. We were going to head into the moors but the mays were too good to miss. The day started slowly and just got better and better with Dave picking up a number of fish. As we were about to call it a day I noticed a rise that was right up tight to the bank and right underneath a bush. It looked like it was too hard a call but by watching we could see that the fish was picking up newly emerged mayfly duns in a back eddy. The great news about the back eddy was that it meant we could get upstream and make a downstream cast into what was still a tricky spot. I said to Dave to just to go for it and he did just that. All hell broke loose and we had a nice brown in the net!

Last one of the day!

Next day I was guiding Gavin for a couple of days. I was excited to tell him about the mayfly action and we decided to fish a may outright from the off. This worked pretty well and after lunch we headed to our new beat and saw a fish move. Gavin dropped the fly right into the spot and the fish took. I had my suspicions when the fish took off and they were confirmed when I netted a sea trout. It was Gavin’s first sea trout and certainly his first on a Grey Wulff!

Fly Fishing in Devon Fly Fishing tuition and guiding