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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Archive for February, 2014

Anytime soon?

Monday, February 24th, 2014

The daffodils are starting to emerge, the snowdrops are stunning and I saw three large dark olives last week.

I got up this morning and the sky was a little clearer and things feel good.

The countdown to the trout fishing season is just about underway and the rivers are starting to drop. I am probably speaking too soon but it feels like I might even get a go at some grayling this week if things stay as they are.

It is probably a big ask for this to happen but right here, right now I am feeling just the right side of optimistic.

I haven’t cast a fly for grayling since before Christmas and am starting to forget what one looks like. Hopefully this will change soon.


Emma and I were in Stockbridge at the weekend. The Test still had a big push to it and there were were still sandbags in the doorways of the houses. I’m told by Ed in the Orvis store that it didn’t make it in to the shops or houses but it was close.

We walked along the high street of the town. Although I have visited there many times we weren’t in any sort of rush. When I am usually there I am working or fishing so I am usually buying some last minute flies or meeting someone. This time I wasn’t and although the associations with Stockbridge and fishing are closely interwoven I got the chance to see just how closely from the fish shaped door knockers and weather vanes to the guy walking down the High Street talking rather loudly to a friend about the fishing at Chew and Blagdon. It certainly does pack heavy credentials when it comes to talking about it as a fishing town.

So, it feels almost spring like, I am sorting the grayling bugs and I might even get a chance to use them.

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Pete Tyjas

Devon Fly Fishing

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

As has been the case a lot recently the rain has played a big part in fishing plans. I spoke to Toby late yesterday and had the “what do you think?” conversation about going fishing today.

The need to get out, cast a fly and stand in a river was too great. Toby was a little burnt out after coming back from a trade show. His ferry docked at stupid o’clock and he’d made the drive home getting in at 5.30am.

He was up for it despite this but a late in the day hit of the refresh button on the webcam had shown a river that had held its level throughout the day despite all the rain had started to rise. The extra 20cm it had put on was enough for it not to be anything close to being fishable and so we decided to knock it on the head.


 I got up this morning greeted with sun and a feeling that I couldn’t sit in. The urge was too great and having rechecked the webcam I saw the river was falling. My car was packed anyway so I hit the road.

The road by our local dump was flooded. There was a car that had made it through the 2ft of water that had collected in a small dip in the road. The driver had got to the other side but was now standing with the bonnet of the car lifted and was peering inside.

I probably could have driven the 25 yards through it but decided against it. A flooded engine would cut into my fishing time. No, I’ll back up and go the other way.

One thing was for sure. The rain had been heavy during yesterday and into the night. I went through the mentally preparing myself to turn around when I got there  routine but when I first caught sight of the river I knew I’d be able to cast a fly.

Setting up with a super fast sink tip and heavy tube fly I went for it, carefully picking the spots where it was safe to wade and where I thought I could swing my fly.

Paul J called to talk reels. “Guess where I am?” After the expletives from him I finished the call and sent him a picture from my phone so he could see exactly where I was fishing.


I noticed I’d also got a text from JB who had picked his time well and fished the river Sunday.

I don’t usually carry a phone with me when I am fishing but we were waiting for a delivery of some furniture and I had promised the delivery driver I’d give him directions to our house if he got lost. I’d also told him I was sorry I wouldn’t be there. He might even be a salmon angler and would understand.

It was liberating to be out and the day was more about spey casting practice but you know what? I don’t care one bit.

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Pete Tyjas is a fly fishing guide and instructor


Devon Fly Fishing Guide

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

I hit shuffle, turn the volume up and pull away. “I wanna love ya, love and treat ya right” Bob Marley. Perfect start to the day.

I do a bit of singing along until the song ends and I hear the guitar intro of the Specials “Do Nothing”.

The right song can set the tone and as I pull up to meet Graham in the pub car park I make sure I turn the volume down just a little.

We decide to have a coffee and plan on where to do some bank work. We have both been watching water levels on this stretch of water and they are just below the red area on the EA website.

We park up and get a look at the river. It is pushing but it is not as much as we thought. The water is crystal clear.


The plan was to cut some of the riverside pathways and some access points too but we rig up our switch rods with the fastest sink tips we can find and heavy, heavy tube flies.

Graham hasn’t fished here yet so I walk him to the top of the water and we walk down to where there is some fishable water (just about) and it is safe to wade.

I watch quietly as he works his fly mending the line as it comes round to the dangle. I watch a few more casts and make my way downstream to find some similar water. I know he’ll find me when he has fished his way down.

I  put another mend into my drift. “love and treat you right” I sing to myself. No one is in danger of hearing my out of tune vocals above the whoosh of the water.

We eat good pasties, seasoned perfectly, and then get the prunning gear out. I notice Graham’s gear is a lot better quality than mine and he makes short work of the thicker branches like some sort of Edward Scissor Hands. I follow up snipping anything he might have missed or bits where I think a net or fly line might get snagged.

We then decide to do a bit more fishing. Wouldn’t you?

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Pete Tyjas

Being there

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Sometimes the odds can be stacked against you. Not always, but sometimes. I kind of like these odds, the longshot that no one wants to even consider.

As we all know the rivers have been stacked heavily against fishing in our little part of the world. When I have had a chance I’ll check a webcam, speak to a friend and just keep my fingers crossed for somehwere I can wet a line.

Josh in action

Josh in action


The first road trip of the year was to be to Durham for a day and a bit of fishing but the rain came in and the river rose. It is just one of those things that happen this time of year.

JB rolls one

JB rolls one

Some of the rivers opened for salmon on Saturday and so JB, Josh and I decided we wanted to mark the occassion, more by sheer determination not to be beaten by conditions than anything else.

Needless to say the river was high but running pretty clear and we managed to find a couple of pools that were safe to stand in so we could make a few casts.

JB even had a nice trout take his tube fly as it was on the dangle.

It’s a start and it feels good!

Pete Tyjas Devon Fly Fishing Guide