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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Posts Tagged ‘Devon Fly Fishing School’

The End?

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

The Taw has shut for the year now. I could get all teary eyed and reflect on a season that has passed but there is no need, I’d much rather do that in December. There are still bass, pike and grayling to catch. I am having a quick breather before I get going again and there are things like cutting the grass that has got a bit long and trimming the hedges which we knew needed doing. We did the hedges today and I am really pleased that that one has been ticked off.

The other thing is that I have got back is tying a few flies. I haven’t had the time to tie as many as I would have liked and I have relied on a few shop bought patterns and the last few of my “specials” that have lurked at the back of the fly box. I have never carried many patterns as I don’t feel the need and I much prefer to tie one on and make subtle changes rather than going for something completely different. The change up fly will be the same but might be a little smaller, or perhaps even bigger, or just a little darker. Often this will do the job as the river is telling me what is hatching, or not hatching. So the clues are all there.

Geraldine casts for salmon

I have been giving the flies I have been using some thought and in some cases I have tweaked them just a little. I really like this part of fly tying. Sometimes I’ll tie 1/2 dozen identical copies (or as near as I can get) and then sometimes they sort of mutate a bit and I start thinking what if I tie a trailing shuck instead of a normal tail? This can be really good fun to do and  is great when I sit at the vice, look at the flies and think, yup, they look good. It is even nicer when the trout give them the thumbs up. The only downside of this is that when I am experimenting I only tie a few and we all know that the life expectancy of a fly decreases when you only have a few in the box and the trout are biting hard on them. Then there is always that tree that wants to grab them.

I’ll put in a few of the new ones as I am out fishing with a good friend of mine in a few days and I’ll give them a go. It sounds like the good weather we are having is on the turn now but it will be good to be out there. I spoke to Ray (the Dude) who was hot footing it back to Denmark after a trip to Miami and he reminded me that we were wetting a line in Montana this time last year. I think it is OK to get a bit sentimental about that but I tend to let go after a while. Still banging on about a trip like that after a few years means you need to go on a new one and we have one in the planning. That’s the great thing about fly fishing there are so many great adventures you can embark on. Some may be a long way away but some of the best ones can be right on your doorstep.

Paul with a Taw trout

So is it the end? No way. As I said at the beginning there are still a lot of fish to catch if you know where to look and I can’t wait to go after them!

Fly Fishing in Devon The Devon School of Fly Fishing offers Fly Fishing Tuition, Guiding and Fly Fishing Lessons

Fly Fishing School

Monday, March 1st, 2010

March 1st marks the start of salmon fishing on the river Taw. I plan to have a couple of casts and to also prune a few branches as well. Mo gave me a hand last week on one of my favourite trout beats and we were really pleased with the progress. There were a few branches that had more than their fair share of flies in them and so the path to a likely looking spot is now a little clearer. I am one who believes in making it a little easier but not too easy!

I met with Andy on Saturday for some fly casting tuition. We covered plenty and he was throwing a really, really nice line by the time we had finished. As he is a reservoir angler he was looking to add a few yards to his cast which he was doing with ease. The fish better watch out!


The weather has started fine here this morning and my hope is that we have some settled weather, it has been a long winter and I can’t wait to be out on the river again.

I got a nice message from Kevin who I had taught last week…he was slammed by a fish first cast he made with a fly on and I am not sure who was more surprised!

Hello Pete
Just a word to say thank you very much for your kind attention on Saturday last. I did enjoy the whole experience and feel I may have reached the bottom rung of the ladder. 
Heather and I had a great weekend in this wonderful part of Devon.
Thank you also for your patience, I will never forget the look on your face when the on the first cast I let the Rainbow off the hook.
Thank you for arranging our starters that evening it was very very tasty.

Kevin    Fly Fishing in Devon – Fly fishing tuition,lessons and guiding

A day’s fly fishing in Devon

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

I’ve been meaning to write this blog for a bit but for some reason I haven’t got around to it yet.  I guess that the old memory isn’t as good as it used to be!

It was the end of June and I had a realised that despite being on the river every day I hadn’t actually been fishing myself for trout for over a month. I though I’d better do something about it and had a 1/2 day of fly fishing tuition but I was free in the afternoon.

I’d decided to head to a bit of the Taw I hadn’t fished for a bit and rigged up. The water was low and clear and it is always nice to quietly step into the river and see a fish rise. As ever I had the two fly set up of a dry and bead head nymph hung just below. I picked up a few fish and continued to head upstream.


I headed to a spot that I figured might hold some fish as it was a nice run carrying oxygenated water to any fish that might be holding there. I hooked into a small one pretty quickly and then saw what I initially thought was a rock move and have a pop at the little fella as I brought him in. I thought this might have caused the “rock” to shoot off but as I released my fish I watched him resume his position. I was a little surpised to see him hold where he was as it was in 8 inches of water, in an open lie and bright sunshine!

I watched him for a bit and he was just happily sitting there. It didn’t look like he was feeding so I was going to have to get my fly right in front of him and make it worth his while. The first cast was too far to the right and he didn’t even give it the time of day. Next cast was right on the money and I watched the nymph go right over him and the dry slowly slid down. As I lifted I felt my little 2 weight bend over and he was on. The fish headed upstream but I managed to horse him down towards me. We both got a good, close look at each other and seeing him let me know I was attached to a trout and not a sea trout. Seeing me was enough for him to surge downstream and he tried to head for the safety of an undercut bank. Applying as much side pressure as I dared I kept him out and thought he was heading my way when out of the blue the hook hold came loose and he was gone.

I stood silently for a few moments, I would have loved a closer look at him and the chance of a photo but it was not to be. I remembered something I said to a guest the other day that there was no point mourning a lost fish too much as it ends up eating away at you. I know we all have one lost fish story and this might just be my one as it was up there with the biggest fish I have caught from the river Taw but I just reeled in, smiled and headed off home.

Read about a fly fishing away from Devon