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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Archive for October, 2010

Dreaming of Montana

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Emma and I were talking the other day ahead of one of the big rollover lottery days. It’s great having those sort of conversations about what you’d do if you had a huge windfall and how you’d spend it. Clearly, fish was on my agenda and I thought it would be nice to buy a beat here and there for me and my friends to enjoy. I thought it would be nice to also have somewhere abroad and I wasn’t too sure where it would be, but I now know!

It is Missoula in Montana. Of all the places I have been lucky enough to visit in my angling life this is the real deal as far as I am concerned. It has everything; good people, great rivers, a great feel and some damn fine coffee shops! One even had a fly shop attached which meant we could have breakfast, coffee and then do some shopping. It doesn’t get much better than that.

As ever, I was accompanied by Ray (The Dude) who is the best company I could wish for and has been present on all of the very best overseas fishing trips. He knows the town and the fishing, and a childhood friend John lives there and has his own drift boat.

The Dude, John, driftboat and lunch.....perfect!

The thing I loved about Missoula was the sheer variety of fishing that was on the doorstep but despite being Montana’s second biggest town with a population of 75,000 it never felt busy and a 10 minute drive out of town you were in fishing country. We ticked off some of the rivers I’d read about and then dreamt about, The Bitteroot, Blackfoot, Clark Fork and Rock Creek and started a bit further afield on the Big Hole which was a special day for so many reasons that I’ll be writing about in the very near future.

On the way back from the Big Hole we fished the Bitteroot for the first time and I think I can speak on behalf of the Dude when I say we were smitten. We happened to sniff out an excellent fly shop in Hamilton and got talking to Sean the owner who pointed us to some water at the edge of town. If I wasn’t on a fishing holiday I might have felt a little dubious about being sent to the town water but how spot on was Sean? Right on the money! First pool I fished was stuffed with fish and I managed browns, rainbows, cutts and whitefish on a NZ set up. Sean you are the man!

If you are ever in Montana drop by his store you won’t regret it. The nice thing was that he’d just dropped by to check out some things and had the day off. I was even more pleased to hear he was going fishing and we managed to bump into him again as his drift boat came to the parking ramp just as we were starting to hit a spinner fall.

There is loads more to tell you about, which I will in time, but it was great to meet John and to get a couple of days fishing with him and to see the Dude at the helm of the drift boat. Great work matey!

Although trout fishing has stopped here we have grayling and pike to get to work on and I need to dust down my permit flies. One of those would be a great way to finish 2010 and think we might have a few new surprises for you for 2011!

Fly Fishing in Devon with the Devon School of Fly Fishing Fly Fishing tuition, guiding and fly fishing lessons

Fly Fishing in Devon

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Although the river season has ended down in here in Devon we are still busy with fly fishing instruction and I was lucky enough to have a couple of days with David who was a novice starting on a fly fishing career.

Over coffee we discussed how the days would be structured and it is nice to explain how the tackle works in nice comfy chairs before hitting the water. That having been done on the lake it quickly became apparent that David was going to sail through everything. I really like this when it happens as it means we can play with the casts a little showing little tweeks that make David think, as an angler how best to get his fly out to the fish which, at the end of the day, is what it is all about.

We ended the first day with David having something for the chefs to cook for his dinner and with him having started to double haul in earnest and he was keen to try his hand after bass. We hit the estuary and it was beautiful weather with the sea like a mill pond and no wind; perfect for a newcomer. Sadly the fish weren’t showing, David hit the nail on on the head and said there was no better place to practice your casting.

David ties his first fly

After a few hours we headed back for lunch as he had also showed an interest in tying flies. I thought it would be a neat idea for him to tie his own fly and then we would try and catch a fish on it. I showed him how to tie a simple buzzer and he tied 3 of his own and then proceeded to catch fish on them. I showed him how to fish a static buzzer, slowly retrieved and then with a greased up leader. Again he came up with the goods and the fish of the midlands will have something to fear!

I know Davids father in Darwin will be reading and you should be proud.  David- “good on yer!”

Not long after tying the fly David is attached to a fish!

Ending the day we re-capped everything and then finished by nailing the double haul including shooting line into the hauls which was a great achievement. I really enjoyed the tie  and catch aspect and think I’ll be doing more of this with guests over the winter!

I’m still a little jet lagged, but am just back from a fishing trip with my good friend The Dude in Montana. Loads to tell in upcoming blogs so keep watching! Fly Fishing in Devon Fly Fishing tuition, lessons and guiding in Devon