Gift vouchers are now available for Tuition & Guiding

Testimonial Picture 1
Testimonial Picture 2
Testimonial Picture 3

Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Posts Tagged ‘AAPGAI fly fishing instruction Devon’

Fly Fishing in Devon – Loving it!

Monday, June 20th, 2011

It feels like I have looked up and we are coming to the end of June. It has been a great season so far and it feels like there is lots more to do and fish of all sorts to be caught. One of the things I did promise was to fish a bit more this year but I just haven’t really had the chance yet but I have promised myself I’ll put that right from now on.

Glyn takes a the jacket!

I have been loving the great caddis hatches we have been having  and, as has been the case for most of the season, we are tying on a dry and it is doing the job. I have to admit that I was a little nervous of what the fishing would be like after mayfly but they still appear to be happy to feed, despite a few looking as though they wouldn’t be out of place on the oche of a darts tournament!

David works a nice pool

The rain has been welcome and I did lose a day to a heavy coloured river but it didn’t rise enough to really make the next days unfishable.

It was great to meet up with Glyn and David again and we managed some nice fish on the day. While I was with Glyn, David excitedly told me about the fish that had taken his fly and headed deep and broke him off. It might just have been another sea trout. He did console his lost fish with a really nice 11 incher though. Glyn fished the best I have seen her and her day was made by an otter swimming right past her on the river. She smartly reeled and wandered off to the next pool!

DFP christens my new net

The legend from Portland was back in town and had some unfinished business with the Taw that he put right landing a number of nice fish and giving my brand new net a good working out. Dave from Portland you were on fire!

Murky weather but the fish were still biting for Gavin

Gavin was also back for some trouting. We fished in just about every weather you could imagine but the river stayed just right and the fish were biting. He had a number of really nice fish and a new personal best of 13 inches. We almost got a photo of it but the slippery customer saw a chance and rightly went for it.

A 13incher that was a little camera shy!

My good friend Toby has a new site that has his excellent photos and words that might be of interest. Take a look Here

Fly Fishing in Devon Fly Fishing Tuition, Lessons and Guiding in Devon

Devon Fly Fishing Guide

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

As a fly fishing guide the most important thing for me is that my guests have a great day and that they learn something along the way. Even if it is the tiniest thing it might just be something that helps get a great drag-free drift over a fish and is the thing that makes the fish decide to take. I also feel very strongly that I rarely touch my guest’s rod and if I do it might only be to illustrate a point and you can be sure it won’t be cast into the fishing area! I remember I showed Pam a cast when we were on The Test and a fish took. I was mortified and had the fish in and released before it even knew it was hooked!

Anyway, the other thing I try and be as honest as possible with is size of trout. As a guide it is easy to say the fish is bigger than it actually is but what’s the point? It is much better to be realistic and if it were a 12 incher and I said it were a 14 incher it is not doing the 12 incher the justice it deserves and lets face it, for our rivers a 12 incher is still a great fish.

Our guests have been catching a few nice fish of late. Ian has been a great supporter of our fly fishing school and this time he came back with his fishing buddy Phil. I had seen signs of salmon on one of the beats a few days before with Faure and so decided to have a quick look for them. The guys were doing a great job and throwing their flies expertly into position and it felt a really fishy morning! Phil had a grilse follow the fly right the way in and despite me quickly changing patterns this didn’t bring him out again but he later had a sea trout have a go at the fly. Ian fired off a cast at an 8lb salmon we saw too but it wasn’t to be. We decided to hit the trout as it felt as though the barometric pressure had dropped and it worked out a good plan. Below is a really nice fish Ian caught.


As you can see this was a fine fish, Ian and Phil were excellent anglers and no doubt will be terrorising trout in Devon again next year.

Sadly I didn’t get some photos of Guy and Roger who came down from Hertfordshire to fish with us. They were great and the saying I will remember from Guy was ” I am only 73″ it was agreat attitude and despite them both fishing some pretty nice chalkstreams and doing really well they wanted to leave their comfort zone and try something different so we went trouting and even went out for some sea trout. They were great company and really good fishermen!

I have just got in from a great day with Richard who is another great supporter of our school and has visited many times this year from Hampshire. He has just moved home and as soon as the dust settled he shot off down to us for a spot of fly fishing!

He had fished solo on Saturday and done really well catching plenty of trout and even skated a caddis pattern down stream and got bust by a great big sea trout. Today I wanted to show him some new water so headed up to the Top of Beat 5 and picked up a few fish there and then before we had lunch we headed to Beat 2 as he is fishing alone on Tuesday so I thought it would be good to show him. We headed down and came across a pool with a few fish rising, we couldn’t leave it…would you?! Richard fired out a shot and the dry dipped. I thought it was a peal but saw it was a really nice brown as it took to the air. Despite it knowing all the dirty tricks, Richard expertly got the fish to the net. We covered lots on the day as we decided it would be great to  analyse each fishing situation and how we would approach it to maximise the potential. It worked pretty well!



Fly Fishing in Devon pt2

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Graham wrote an interesting blog regarding the difference between the fly fishing he does back home in the South East and the fly fishing down here in Devon. With fishing generally it is a matter of you sometimes having to adjust your style of fishing to match your location. As he writes below having to alter your strike speed is a perfect example but I always think that if the fundamentals are in place and you have got your fly to your target and the fish has taken then a large part of the job is done.  It is simply a case of fine tuning the last part to make everything click.

Al having a lesson on our trout lake

Al having a lesson on our trout lake

For me fly fishing is about the art of deception and it never fails to amaze me how we tie a fly made from fur and feather that we think a trout might be feeding on, tie it to the end of our leader, cast it to the fish and he thinks it IS food. Sometimes they stick, sometimes they come off. I can honestly say I don’t think I have ever been haunted by a lost fish but ask me at the end of my fishing career and you might just hear a different story.

Anyway, over to you Graham

Richard with one of several he caught on a dry

Richard with one of several he caught on a dry

Being based in the “soft” Southern part of the country it is always interesting to compare and contrast with other parts when the opportunity arises. Last weekend I was able to do that when Pete asked if I wanted to help with a large group he and Mark were looking after and then do a bit of fishing thereafter. Naturally I thought about it, discussed it with my family, relatives, neighbours and friends and after putting it to vote, hesitatingly agreed. So on the Saturday I fished my local water which is the Lea in Herts which is a narrow relatively slow moving chalkstream stocked with predominately browns of circa 2-2.5lbs. The reason for this is we are next to a SSSI and there are quite a few cormorants that particularly enjoy sub 2lb brownies. It is also frequented by many bird twitchers and woe betides us if we were to apply some cormorant preventative measures! We also over winter the fish and some are rather large and wise but in the correct conditions can be caught. We have a mayfly hatch but outside that fly life is sparse and thus, although I am first and foremost a dry fly addict, have to resort to the nymph at times. This was the case on Saturday. Water clarity was pretty good on account of lack of recent precipitation and it was possible to spot some fish. The general approach here is to use very small (#16) lightly leaded grhe or some variant like nymph, cast about 3 feet in front, let it drift down and when just in front lift slightly. This usually prompts a response. If all goes correct a large gob opens, slowly closes and as if in slow motion you raise the rod and we have contact. No lightning reflex action is necessary. This was the case on Saturday and it was a pleasant outing.

Roll-on Sunday and what a difference a few hundred miles can make. Mid afternoon saw Pete and I waving our group of guests goodbye and sped off to the Bray for a few hours. Weather was nice and there was quite a lot of fly-life with grannom showing and some olives. We started off with just a dry klinkhammer and although there was very little surface activity I managed to raise a couple and miss them with style! So we switched to a New Zealand with a small gold bead about 2 feet below. Pete quickly hooked 2 fish and upon giving me the rod I managed to hook several trees in succession – I’m sure they reach out to capture the flies! I eventually caught a small brownie and then lost fish after fish after fish. I give the rod to Pete and he promptly catches a nice one. I get the rod back and promptly lose the two flies and so diplomatically call it a day

Apart from the fact I can’t catch Devon fish to save my life what do I make of this? Well apart from the fact that these Devon fish could dart into and out of a Lea trout’s mouth before he could close it and foliage avoidance is as much a challenge as catching the fish it’s all down to surroundings. The Lea meanders through flattish terrain and the fish are so large they have little in the way of predators and so fishing is more gentle and everything slows down to reflect the surroundings and quarry. Whereas Devon streams are faster chuckling entities with lots of canopy cover and populated with nervous critters who dart away at any unusual movement. The fish have to eke out a life and will engulf and reject a fly as fast as Usain Bolt can sprint. Hence ones approach to Devon has to be quite different to the South and it takes a while to acclimatise (well that’s my excuse anyway!)

What do I prefer? Actually I enjoy both but perhaps not in the same weekend!