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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Out of Order

I was due to pop out with Toby for a few Westcountry grayling and was heading over to meet him when the phone went. It turned out that  his car had been broken into and some gear stolen. He was understandably pretty upset and had some stuff to sort out as a result of it.

I always try and look for the best in people but I can’t for the life of me understand what motivates people to feel they are entitled to take other people’s property. They were probably opportunist thieves and possibly had little idea of what they had taken. I know a couple of the rods that were taken had sentimental value and I am sure people who steal don’t think about things like this, or even care. I think that if these sorts of people are caught they should be made to confront their victims just to see what effect their actions have had. It is easy to steal something when you can’t see the rightful owner but how would they feel when they have to look their victims in the eye?

I was half way to the river and didn’t think I’d be of any help to Toby so I went on ahead. It was the first time I had fished this river without him and it felt a little strange.

The weather was a bit murky and the river had a very slight tinge of colour to it but it was perfectly fishable. I rigged up and tied on a dry and nymph duo style and cracked on. I had a couple of small fish nudge the dry pretty quickly but things went quiet for a bit. I worked my way up the river, focussing on the slacker areas of water and the slightly slower flows. The water wasn’t clear enough to stalk the fish so I worked on instinct and the fish started to come.

I picked up fish as I worked my way upstream. I didn’t knock the cover off of the ball or anything but picked up fish here and there. I spoke to Toby to see how things were going and he had found some of his gear down an alleyway so there was even some good news. He even talked about popping along if he could make his old waders waterproof in time.

It was past lunch and I fished up to where I normally get out but thought I’d try for one more and head back, working on the basis that if Toby did turn up it would be a shorter walk for him. I managed to get caught up in a tree in a really overgrown bit so hopped out and got in further upstream. There was a nice gentle curve in the river and I cast my fly upstream.

The dry dipped and I set the hook. I thought I had hooked a big out of season trout that first headed upstream and then down. There wasn’t much I could do with the fish but managed to keep it out of a couple of nasty snags and netted a beautiful grayling. I managed a couple of pics and slipped the fish back.

The weather was on the turn and any fish I caught after this one wouldn’t have done it justice so I snipped my flies off and headed home. I only wish Toby was there to have seen the fish.

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