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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Posts Tagged ‘Fly Fishing Guiding Devon’

Devon Fly Fishing 2010

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

The salmon season kicked off yesterday with pretty good water and high hopes of some good fishing. News is already filtering through of a fresh fish being taken at the very bottom of the river and with a big tide I can’t wait to hear how things will play out.

I still have some light bank maintainance to sort out and loaded the truck with various loppers and a bow saw and headed off to the river. There is a section that is really pretty and popular with anglers and I was keen to make sure that there was going to be nothing stopping a fly getting to a good lie.

taw 10

I popped on my waders, unloaded the truck and headed down to the river. It looked really, really good and I am afraid that I made an executive decision. I had a rod in the truck and thought it would be right that I had a cast and a quick go at the pool before commencing the pruning.


I got into the flow a bit too much and decided to have a crack at another 3  pools just for good measure. Having felt I did a good job I popped the rod down and got back to work. Wouldn’t you?!   Fly Fishing in Devon-Fly Fishing Tuition Lessons andGuiding

Fly Fishing in Devon

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Heinz and Daniel joined us for a day’s fly fishing down here in Devon. They were over from Austria and the first thing I noticed was that Daniel, at 14, spoke perfect English. I was pleased as my Austrian is a little rusty!


Heinz is a very keen fly fisher who likes to fish small streams at home and after talking for just a short time over a coffee I could see we were in for a good day. Daniel had an aim, which he was hoping to make come true, that he would catch a trout on a fly. I was going to do my best to try and make this happen.

Daniel had not really cast a fly rod before but was a natural and was soon casting a nice loop. Clearly taking after his Dad he was keen to hit the river and that was just what we did. I showed him how to wade safely and a few of my favourite river casts and we started.

Sometimes putting a newcomer in front of moving water can be a little intimidating and I had given this some thought. A week previously my good friend Karl had been down for a couple of days where we had fished long and hard for trout and sea trout. Karl is an amazing fisherman and can tempt fish where you think they won’t be or shouldn’t be! He fishes the Welsh Dee a fair bit and likes to fish spider patterns a fair bit. I have played with them a bit and sat and watched him fish a few pools and picked up some great tips. He is also one of the best tyers around and kindly sent me way too many of his favourite patterns. I happened to have some with me so tied them on for Daniel and explained how we would fish the pool in front of us.

It didn’t take long for Daniel’s dream to come true and a small brownie was on the end of the line. We continued fishing this way with Heinz fishing a dry and nymph upstream. I happened to pop downstream to see him as he was playing a lively 11 incher. I offered to take a photo of the fish for him but he cares a lot for them and wanted to get it back quickly. I like that!


The pattern of picking up fish continued and although it wasn’t a fish a cast it was pretty consistent. As we had moved further up to a new pool I changed Heinz’ rig a little making the dropper a little longer and the flash back pheasant tail a little heavier. The reason for this was that the day before I had been guiding Nick over from NZ and we had picked up a small sea trout on a dry and moved a nicer fish on a nymph.

He expertly made a cast into the right spot and moved a fish straight away but sadly missed it. We waited a bit and made another cast and this time the dry dipped and Heinz was attached to an acrobatic sea trout of around 3lb. He had him on for a while but the fish managed to wrap him around a rock and was gone. It was fun though!

Daniel had been going great guns and picked up another few fish and was really liking this fly fishing thing. Looks like I’ll be using spiders a whole lot more!!

The rivers are shot today and I was due to be out with Dave from Portland, a regular at the school, but sadly it wasn’t to be. I was out guiding Mike for some guided sea trout fishing last night and we had to head back at midnight as the river started to rise and colour up. It means I have been able to see a little bit of the Ashes but I’d rather be on the river!

I’ve been playing with a few new parachute patterns now that we are getting blue winged olive and light olive hatches and even the odd sea trout seem to approve.

Lots happening and keep an eye on the Latest News  page of the main website for an update.

This is your last chance….

Friday, March 27th, 2009

It is often said that the back of my truck is a little bit of a mess. I have written before about the sorry state of the interior and I will hold my hands up to that one but the back is, as I see it, an area where everything is carefully filed away for when it will be next used. As I have been both teaching and guiding for both trout and salmon recently I want to make sure I have the appropriate gear ready just in case a client needs something and I don’t have one those “I left it at home moments”

As a result the rods have been stored either on the back seat of the truck broken up or inside the pick up part that is covered by a canopy again broken down. This isn’t one of my smartest moments and thankfully I haven’t come a cropper. What this did do though was make me dig out my rod loft again. The rod loft is an attachment that fits inside the canopy of my truck and allows me to store the rods off of the ground broken down and ready for action.

The Rod Loft

The Rod Loft

 The theory is great, what happens is that the arms have attachments that fit down into the rubber lining of the canopy. The downside is that in the past I have loaded my beloved Scott rods into the attachments and I have driven down the road only to go over a bump and the thing falls out of where I have attached it. There is that horrible moment where you pray that the rods are still in their regulation 4 pieces not 5! Hardly surprisingly the longest I have lasted with this is one day but I am determined to make it work. I epoxied the rubber seals so that they didn’t collapse (they have in the past) and it has held firm for me. I am almost into a week of hard use and it is working fine. I will report back progress in the next month or so.

I popped into Howards today and we got into a dirt kicking contest about who had spent the longest time without cleaning the outside of their car. We are both lucky that our cars are silver and don’t show the dirt up much and I felt pretty confident when I said to him mine was last cleaned in May last year. I was crest fallen to hear he beat me by 3 months.

Many congrats to my pal Jim Williams on passing his latest AAPGAI exam…good on you fella!

Fly Hatches #4

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Whilst writing these I have come to the conclusion that I could have probably put the flies I have written about in slightly better order but it has been nice to just think about a hatch or a fishing situation and write about it rather than having any semblance of proper order. I’ll do my best to try and keep them a bit closer to the calender in future!

So, the next up on the list is the March Brown. This fly is one of our early upwing hatches of the season hence the name. It is a bit of a bruiser in size compared to the Large Dark Olive being about 4mm bigger but still a good 4mm smaller than the daddy of them all the Mayfly. Again like the LDO the March Brown has two tails. rhithrogena1

The nymph likes to cling to stones so when you turn one over you’ll often see them scuttle for cover. A pheasant tailed nymph will usually cover this stage of the fly with a bead head to get you down and an unweighted version fished just subsurface can get interest from the trout. I have hit quite a few hatches of these and I can usually be lucky enough to catch a good one on the Bray. I found a great little March Brown pattern from Simon at Turralls that I have used for a number of years. I usually fish a size 14 but also have them in size 16 as they are a great all rounder for olives too.


    The latin name is again a slightly trickier one to remember but for the record it is Rhithrogena germanica. Getting up close you’ll see the body of the fly is a really dark brown with light rings around the abdomen. If you hit one of these hatches at the right time it can make a really nice start to the fly fishing season with a dry!

I was out on the water yesterday and if it stays dry today we could be in for some fun for the opening of the trout fly fishing season. Interestingly I have noticed that the hatches of Large Dark Olives haven’t been as large as a few weeks back but with some slightly milder weather that we’ll see them get going again.

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