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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Posts Tagged ‘Fly Fishing in 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

Feeling it…

Monday, August 20th, 2012

The river has been out of sorts again and after tying flies over Saturday I was hitting the Taw on Sunday. As the river still had a tinge of colour and some height, bugs were the choice and my trusty PTNs were the flies of choice. I did pretty well and had some nice fish, infact they were biting really well and I had a good number before I headed back home for lunch.

Emma suggested I hit another river in the afternoon and so I did just that. This one takes a little longer to clear and had just a little morre height than I normally like. My flies were getting down but it didn’t feel right so I made a decision to head off back to the Taw and a different beat. The one I chose is fed by a trib of the Taw and that was still pushing a little and by fishing just off of the flow I hit a few trout.

I walked upstream a little to a spot that I like to guide for daytime sea trout. Just below it is one of my favourite salmon pools. As I was fishing for the trout I kept a eye on the salmon pool as it is a place where they will often show. I realised I was getting that niggling feeling, the water was good it was really humid, it’ll only take a me 10 mins to walk back to the truck and get the salmon gear out and ready. “Sod it”. I did just that and was soon back making a few casts. It felt right.

About 4 casts later the line went tight and I lifted into a salmon. It was a strong fish that I could already tell had been in the river a little. I played the fish just the right side of a little hard as I wanted to make sure it got back.

You have to excuse the photo as I netted the salmon, took a quick snap and made sure it got back quickly.

It’s funny how often your gut tells you something and more often than not it is quite correct!

Fly Fishing Devon – Fly Fishing Tuition, Lessons and Fly Fishing Guide

Fishing with friends

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Spending time on the water with good friends is something I really enjoy. These sorts of days aren’t heavy on fishing, well, not always but are about good company. Sometimes good food, more often than not unhealthy and of course a few fish.

I met someone at the hotel the other day who had been staying and doing some fishing. I’d been washed off the river (again) for a day’s guiding but thought I’d rig up a rod for salmon just in case. I asked David what he had planned and he was heading off home at lunchtime so I asked if he fancied tagging along. He did and we hit where I thought we might have our best chance. When we got to the river we both knew it was against us as the fish would struggle to see our fly but we didn’t care. We had a great few hours that was interspersed with sharing fishing stories. I really enjoyed it.

I also recently met up with Jim for a fish. The weather couldn’t be more different with no clouds and bright sunshine. The river we were fishing still had some height and was pushing a little and Jim opted (correctly so) to fish nymphs. I hadn’t seen much by way of rising fish on the Taw due to the weather but I just wanted to catch a fish on a dry so stuck with it. We strolled up the river together with me fishing any slower spots that might have a chance of a riser. This plan worked and I managed to have a few and missed a few while the nymph reigned supreme. It was a great day I thoroughly enjoyed.

Keep an eye out for Eat, Sleep, Fish next week. We’ll be publishing it then and hope you’ll enjoy it. As ever, if you do, please pass it on to your fishing friends!

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

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 Devon

Friday, July 6th, 2012

We’ve had 2 days of dry weather which has meant the level of the Taw has dropped just a little bit and the colour has dropped a little. The river still being high means it has a push to it and means I have had to look at the river a little more differently than normal. I love to cast a dry fly to a rising trout. I am sure there aren’t many of us who don’t but it isn’t going to be a winning combo right now. The lack of rising fish have proved the point but sometimes in conditions like this casting a larger dry into a slow, sheltered spot can bring up a fish or two but a nymph or better still a couple of nymphs are going to pay bigger dividends so that’s how I’m fishing right now.

Casting off of the main flow and into areas where the trout don’t have to expend too much energy can catch you a few and casting tungsten bead head nymphs are better still. These areas especially under tree cover can also be the domain of a resting sea trout and sometimes you can get lucky if you combine these areas with quiet wading and a good first cast. It has worked pretty well for me recently and again today.

I’m pleased with Issue 7 of Eat, Sleep, Fish and hope if you haven’t seen it yet you’ll enjoy some reading over the weekend!


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

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

Devon Fly Fishing 2012

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

With just under a month until the trout season kicks off here the countdown is now underway. I have been out walking the river beats checking out what needs snipping and trimming. I really enjoy this and love getting into the river for the first time in a while and know that when I am working I’ll be pleased that the low hanging branch that I snipped off will make my clients’ casts a little bit easier.

I’m not one of those who goes in with the chainsaw blazing as cutting things back a little keeps everything looking the right side of natural and also means there are some nice spots for the sea trout to hang out during the day. Keeping on top of things on a yearly basis ensures the start of each season is as I described, just a bit of trimming.

As I mentioned in the last blog I have been doing a little tying. I plan the tying around the order of the hatches so when the season ended I tied some grayling flies but also tied up flies for Large Dark Olives, both dry and nymph, and then Grannom. I have been playing with the emerger stage as this is the bit that interests the trout the most. Next up Mayflies. I have plenty of duns and spinners but again have been thinking about what will trigger the fish to hit the emerging dun. Caddis really starts to get going after the Mays so it has been balloon caddis and bullet heads. Then it is the midges. This is where I am up to and have been tying some tiny size 24s that I am really pleased with. I’ve a few terrestrials to do but having sorted the boxes this morn everything looks in good shape.

Fly Fishing in Devon with the Devon School of Fly Fishing Fly Fishing Tuition, Guiding and Fly Fishing Lessons



Bugs and Mags

Friday, January 27th, 2012

The drop in temperature has meant I have been adding some weight to the nymphs I’ve been fishing. I’ll fish nymphs in a combination of ways and enjoy them all. I was out the other day there was still a tinge of colour in the water so I went for a double bead head and it worked really well. It seems there are a variety of thoughts of the colour of the bead you tie on and the colour used. Orange is my favourite bead colour at the moment and I like using it in the conditions I have just described but have also started to snip off copper/gold beads in favour of orange for faster water working on the basis there is a bit more to catch the trout’s/grayling’s eye. As ever, mine are tied to fit the simple requirements – quick to tie, doesn’t matter if they get lost and they catch fish!

I published #2 of Eat, Sleep, Fish today. I think it looks pretty good and have been bowled over by the help I’ve received and the sheer numbers that have read it. We have all been amazed and really pleased. We’re not trying to be clever or smart, just share our love of fly fishing with other anglers.

A special thanks to Jim for your skills and enthusiasm.

I hope you enjoy it!       Eat, Sleep, Fish

Fly Fishing Devon with the Devon School of Fly fishing –  Fly Fishing Tuition, Guiding and Fly Fishing Lessons in Devon


Fly fishing in Devon

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

The weather is all sort of mixed up still. When we drove up to meet Jim and Ian the other day there were daffodils out in the next village and it was a good 12 degrees and on the river there was a really nice little hatch of Large Dark Olives.

It is often the time of year when some talk about refilling their fly boxes but there are grayling and pike to be caught, along with the small stillwaters that offer a good winter fix of fly fishing.

I have tied a few flies but can’t seem to get into the same groove as this time last year but suspect it has something to do with the lack of snow! Those I’ve tied have been mayflies and a few variations on nymph patterns that worked well last year.

It was good to be out teaching today and to meet up with brothers Alan and Brian. They both like to fish small stillwaters although Alan lives right on the banks of the Teign. He is also off to New Zealand in a few weeks time. Although his trip is business related he has managed to get a few day’s fishing on the North Island.

They are both self taught and wanted some help with their casting. They had done a really good job and it was just a case of refining a few things. This meant we could play with casts for different fishing situations whilst showing them loop control and getting the most from their rods and lines. We also played with some different fly lines so they could see the differences between short headed and long headed lines and how to get the best from them.

We also hopped down to the river to get an idea of what the differences between still and moving water fishing are.

Man, I hate my job!


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