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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Posts Tagged ‘Fly-Fishing Devon’

Fly Fishing in Devon 2013

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

I just wanted to wish every one out there in fishing land and beyond and very, very Happy Christmas and all the very best for 2013.

We look forward to seeing you next season!


Soon, soon.

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

It seems like a while since I have had a rod in my hand. I have done a few lessons but fishing has had to take a bit of a back seat. Once again this has been down to timing or planning things around a fishable river.

I have been doing a lot of travelling and it has involved the M25 which whilst stuck in traffic has had my mind drifting away to the river and grayling.

I have tied flies, more than I can ever remember but once again the grayling river is against me. That will change and I can wait but with our daughter, Charlie, home we decided to head out and I thought it might be an idea to look at a few rivers I haven’t seen in a while.

They looked nice, really nice and are now on the list to try and fish in 2013!

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

The End

Monday, October 1st, 2012

I make the same promise every year. It isn’t too hard and it is a nice one to try and stick to but up until now I haven’t stuck too. It’s simple – to fish some more. looing back as the river season is now over I think I have managed it.

This is despite the weather and mainly due to Eat, Sleep, Fish. I’ve been so lucky to fish new and differing water, meet some great people and to catch a few fish. I have been amazed by the genorosity of fellow anglers in showing me their Home Waters.

Like I said at the beginning weather has been a big factor and it affected my guiding work more so than in all the time I have been doing this but what it did do was give us good water for salmon. I can’t think of a time I have had a salmon rod in the truck and felt this might be a good time to swing a fly. It worked a couple of times for me and I really enjoyed my two salmon.

The last day of guiding was due to be bass but the high winds kept us off of the water. I opted to have a last go for salmon and watched a few run through. I really worked the water partly, I guess, because the clock was ticking down but I had a salmon on briefly that seemed like a good time to end the season.

Not being able to work the last day sucked a little but meant my last day of guiding on the 29th ended on a high. I was guiding first time salmon angler Josh for salmon.

When we met over coffee he told me he’d been awaiting the day for 6 months having booked it March and was awake at 3am with excitement. As a guide I’ll never say we’ll have some fish but on the way to the beat I told him I really did feel we were in with a chance as conditions were really good.

We fished a few pools but all was quiet. Heading to one of my favourite pools Josh was soon latched on to a salmon that we returned and headed for lunch. We were both over the moon!

I took Josh to another beat in the afternoon and showed him a way I like to fish the water. He did everything perfectly and salmon number two was on. This time a slightly smaller hen fish. After some photos Josh popped the fish back. It seemed the perfect way to end a season.

Fly Fishing Devon

Distant Sound of Thunder

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Choosing the perfect fishing buddy isn’t always a quick process. You have to go through many things together to see how each of you react and if it will affect either the fishing or the balance of the friendship. It is good to experience the highs as well as the lows just so you know how the land lies.

If you know that they will get all moody if you hook the big one of the day then you need to make a note. It is going to be a long day if it was just after you started fishing. What about if they hook the big one, how will you feel?

A lot of us, I am sure, will take great delight and those I fish with certainly do as do I. For me though the real test is when there is a big one you have both spotted that is begging to be caught and you have both seen it. Perhaps even the most polite would quietly edge themselves in to position and have a go.

I don’t, and the friends I fish with don’t. Partly because these sorts of shots even themselves out over a fishing trip and there is always the banter that will accompany a stuffed cast that put the big one down.

Dude nymphing

I have just come back from an amazing trip to Derbyshire fishing with my fishing buddy Ray (The Dude). We have fished many places together and caught many fish together and he is the perfect company on the river.

The Dude and I generally stay in B & Bs which will do just fine, but for one night we decided to splash out on a swanky hotel that had some nice fishing. The budget didn’t allow for 2 single rooms so we shared. Now I have to admit I snore a little. Just a little but we had been fishing hard for 3 days when we hit the room and I was bushed. The alarm bells started to ring when The Dude got his ear plugs out and I spent a sleepless night worrying about the volume of the snores.

Dude and Dove trout

This might be a tester for many fishing buddies but, like I say, we have fished together a lot and he knew the score. The really interesting thing is that while I was thinking about the river we would be fishing the following day and what flies I might use, I found out is that The Dude is a snorer too but I did as any good fishing buddy would do – I didn’t say a word!

Eat, Sleep, Fish Issue 8 is now out, we hope you enjoy! Fly Fishing in Devon

Near and not so far

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

It is great to head out on a fly fishing adventure but sometimes, when the conditions are far from ideal, planning a fishing trip around the weather and finding some fishable river can be great fun. I was planning in a day with Toby. We were on the phone every few hours planning where we might head to after yet more heavy rain. The plan was hatched to head as high as we possibly could to fish this particular river.

We met a few miles below where we were going to fish and the river was pushing (quite a lot) but there was visibility in the water and I saw a mayfly spinner that I took as a good omen.

We set up our gear and it seemed that nymphs were going to be the only real option but the river where we were fishing is really small and overgrown and my usual 9ft 2wt rod was going to be too long so I used my 8ft 4″ 2wt instead. Toby gallantly offered me first shot and we were both pleased when a trout took my fly first cast.

This pattern continued and by fishing just off of the main flow we were able to have a really good day, when at the start of it we were just pleased to be out on the water.

The Devon School Of Fly Fishing – Fly Fishing Tuition,Lessons and Guiding in Devon

Fly Fishing in Devon

Friday, June 29th, 2012

I’ve tried to keep the blog more related to my fishing adventures and the weather has played a part on my ability to work but also to grab some fishing too. I got out on the 18th June with my good friend Toby. We headed a little further than normal and found the river in good shape with a few rising fish to spice things up a bit. We did the old share the rod routine and I really enjoy this way of fishing and as the fish were coming at pretty regular intervals it worked out well. We both had our first grayling of the season too which was cool.

Today I had the day off and the river was still pushing with some colour too it. I decided to go nymphing for trout and see if I could find some sea trout too. I really like to go for sea trout during the day as it is a little different and good fun. I don’t believe that a rising, colouring river is the only time to catch day time sea trout. I have taken people out during the day specifically to catch them even in the brightest of conditions. Spending a lot of time on the river makes the process a lot easier as I know where the fish hold and if they are in or not. If you know the answer or can work it out then you are in with a shout.

I did have a couple of sea trout. the first was 2lb and the second just a touch smaller. I also lost a smaller one too but I had a great time and would recommend day time sea trout!

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Fly Fishing Devon

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

On the river where I work, other than those late dusk times when I have finished work for the day, it is unusual to come across a pool that is alive with feeding trout. I don’t mean a few risers here and there. I mean a full on fish frenzy with a pool of fish rising like mad. It happens from time to time and happened the other day. The guest I was guiding and I were heading up the river a bit. The reason for this was the river was just dropping back and the fish were holding right off of the main flow and we were finding slower pools were providing the best chance of a fish.

I told him that there always seem to be rising fish in the pool we were heading to and when we got there it was exactly the case. I don’t mean this to sound all prophet like, it just always seems to have a few risers in it. This was also against a background where he had placed a superb cast into where I thought there would be a fish and I was saying “this is so going to be a fish” that proved to be wrong just about every time, but I often say it just so that my guest is primed ready to hit one of our super fast fish. Well, thats my excuse anyway!

So the fish are rising like crazy. It looks like they are on the emerger stage of a real small trickle of olives. We’d been fishing tungsten beaded nymph to get us down a bit but we lightened up to just a copper bead to get us into the strike zone. First cast the dry dipped and we were in. So the set up worked and we looked up towards the head of the pool where it was clear the bigger boys were moving.

These guys were feeding agressively and we had a couple of them on but we were in an enclosed spot with snags a plenty and they knew exactly what the drill was. Wrap the leader on whatever you can find. I don’t think my guest could do any more than he did they were just big bully fish and got the better of us.

I had to admit that my life flashed in front of me when one of the bigger fish headed towards me so I quickly closed my legs and hopped behind my guest as I was terrified that the dry would snag on my legs.

It is for moments like this that I love fly fishing so much. OK a few got away but it was a great feat of fishing and it would have been nice to see them but my guest was thrilled to have done what he did and to see what we did. It was pretty neat!

Fly Fishing in Devon with The Devon School of Fly Fishing Fly Fishing Tuition, Guiding and fly fishing Lessons in Devon

Eat ,Sleep, Fish Issue 6

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Well, I’m pleased to say Issue 6 of ESF is now out. I hope you find the mix of articles interesting and as ever please give us any feedback as we are always looking at ways to make each issue better and better.

So here it is Eat, Sleep, Fish Issue 6


The Devon School of Fly Fishing – Fly Fishing Devon – Fly Fishing Tuition, Guiding and Fly Fishing Lessons

Devon Fly Fishing

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

It has been an interesting time and I have had to fit work around when the river has been fishable. Although I have lost a bunch of days there have been a few opportunities and the fishing has been good when the windows appeared. The river might be fishable for a bit and then more rain on Dartmoor would see the it rise and colour. It is easy to get sucked into the old wives sort of stuff about things being delayed by a number of weeks but nature marches to its own beat and to those not on the river it might look like things might be late. On Friday I saw a few yellow mays and yesterday the mayfly (danicas) got going. I saw a few sail down the river and they were unmolested but it will only take a couple of the days for the fish to get zeroed in on them. At the very worst these are two days late.

I was guiding John. It was one of the windows I was talking about and the river was just about fishable but we had to venture further upstream. In the truck he asked me about hawthorn fly and I said they don’t really feautre that much as the river I guide on is heavily tree lines which stops a lot of the poor flying terrestrial fly from getting blown on to the water. It was a tough morning and although we’d had a few fish we’d worked really hard for them. I had though, noticed a couple of hawthorn float by. After lunch I took John to a pool I really like. There were a couple of fish rising and after they refused the usual suspects I found a couple of hawthorn patterns lurking in the back of the fly box. John went on to catch 6 fish from the pool and it made what was a good day into a really good one.

I was also guiding Brian and a similar thing happened. This time though they were splashy aggressive rises that left us little doubt they were on hawthorn. I’d tied a few more the night before but when Brian covered the fish there were no takes. The fish were hitting the flies upstream of us before I could see them but we changed a few patterns just in case I’d got suckered in to thinking it was hawthorn. We tried quite a few different flies but nothing. I noticed a mating pair of hawthorns that were on the water. Were the fish getting two flies for the price of one? I don’t know but the rises eased a little which made me think we were in with a chance. I tied the hawthorn back on and we were in business. Perhaps there weren’t as many coming down and the fish decided one fly is better than none.

I also have to admit that I had a slight stumble and shipped a little water. I haven’t done that for a few years and knew I was due one. It was the sort that you tell your guiding pals about as it wasn’t a head first, fully submerged fall but thought I should come clean.

So it looks like things are starting to really get going on the mayfly front and we are exactly on track, hopefully, some great fishing!

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

A little bit of perspective

Friday, May 4th, 2012

I’m not really one for believing in Acts of God rather than Acts of Nature. We were on the receiving end of one of those on Sunday when the unusual North Easterly wind lifted the roof off of one of next door’s outbuildings and sent it 100m to crash onto the roof of our house.

I can only describe the sound as though a grenade had been lobbed into the house, it went off and then a large chunk of our roof collapsed. The force of the impact forced open two locked doors in the next room.

My fly tying desk bore the brunt of the impact and certainly made it look more messy than it usually does.

A vice that means a lot to me was ruined and a load of material went with it too. Thankfully the flies I had been tying for the last few days (there were plenty) were in a plastic tub and are still usable and as the weather was going to be bad on Sunday I was due to be back up there tying again.

Thankfully I wasn’t when all of this happened and I don’t really believe in “what ifs” but I’m pleased I decided to cook a fisherman’s breakfast of sausages, egg and bacon instead of hitting the vice.

The structual engineer told us that it was about 1 1/2 tons of corrugated iron and timber frame that hit the house and writing this I am still looking at a great big pile of it. Hopefully it will be sorted soon.

What it did do is make me think about how seriously we can take fishing sometimes when all it is about is getting our fly to the fish without it spooking them. Sure, sometimes using 8X instead of 7X might make a difference but essentially we do this for fun and life is too short to worry if the hackle has been wound round the fly 3 times or 4 times I really don’t think it matters; let the trout decide.

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