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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Wrong sort of leaves?

I hit the river last week looking to catch a few grayling. The weather in Devon hadn’t been great but there was a break forecast in the rain and so I hit the A303. the thing I forgot to mention was that there was a bit of wind due instead.

Wind doesn’t bother me too much, despite fishing a 2wt rod and I had decided to fish a beat that was a little sheltered anyway. You might think it a wise move (perhaps not) but it did turn out to make things just a little more interesting as the wind was doing one of the many jobs it does. One of those at this time of the year is clearing the trees of their leaves.

The lovely flow lines that bring the grayling food and oxygen were also carrying the leaves off. To be honest, it was a little bit of a pain as both my dry and nymph did a pretty good job of clearing the river of leaves. Most of the leaves come off with a brisk false cast but others try and hang around a bit longer and can make an interesting mess of your leader!

I decided to fish the edge of the flow lines and the fish had similar ideas and it appeared they were staying clear of the debris too. I found a spot that was just above a deeper pot that I could see a few grayling in and had some great fun casting a double tungsten beaded nymph just in front of them and then gently lifting the rod when it was in front of them. I’d fish a few casts with one nymph then change it for another mixing the bead colours too. I fished a gold bead and had a couple and orange one and had a couple more and then a fly with a couple of pink beads on and had four fish. With the pink bead the fish didn’t even need the induced move and just hit it. I even had a couple of chub too that I can’t seem to remember catching on this river in all the years I’ve fished there.

After lunch I rigged up a French Leader and fished a couple of small nymphs. It worked well and I had a good number of fish and had on briefly a real hog that came off. It was good fun though and nice to be back up there again.

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