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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Posts Tagged ‘Fly Fishing Instruction Devon’

Devon Fly Fishing

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

The car temp said 6 deg C as I drove to meet Lewis and Alex. They’d both been fishing in Wales the day before and caught fish but it sounded like they had to grind them out.

I had the day off and Lewis was guiding, so Alex and I were off fishing. The rain started too. Nothing heavy just something to remind you that the bright blue skies from the few days previous had gone.


I took Alex to a place I like to fish. It was further up the river and I thought we might stand a chance. There is nothing like a fish splashing at the dry you have tied on as part of the duo set up in the second pool you fish.

It didn’t stick but we fished on with slightly elevated spirits.


Things remained quiet though so we decided on a change of river and a quick pit stop for food. We ate as we drove and hit the next river.

The fish started to come, but not in the way that makes you think that you have your set up finely tuned enough to fish with the sort of confidence that you get when the trout are really biting.


We were starting to think about getting out as things got cooler still but secretly, I don’t think either of us wanted to, so we didn’t. We shared a rod, talked and caught some fish.

As we worked up the river I thought about a pool I really like to fish. We’d just fished my favourite one, it had been good to us so we hopped out and walked upstream.


There is nothing like being greeted by a rising fish, then another and another. The nymph was snipped off and replaced by a dry. We had to make a couple of changes before we got the pattern right but when we did we caught some of the risers and brought some fish up too. It was a good way to end a good day.


The Devon School of Fly Fishing – Fly Fishing Tuition and Guides – Fly fishing in Devon


Fly Fishing in Devon

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

I’m just in from the river and what a week it has been. I don’t think I have ever seen better mayfly hatches down here in Devon in all the time I have fished and guided here. I have had the pleasure of guiding John for three days and we have watched the fish get really turned on as the hatches have intensified. I usually fish a size 14 during the mayfly here but they wanted big flies. We have been throwing size 10’s and fish of all sizes have been hitting them hard. I have to say that I don’t think I have ever been so excited as we watched a fish hit a natural and then watch John make a cast and the fish hungrily engulfing our offering.




I was just talking sea trouting with a guest and told him about Sunday night. I planned to nick a quick couple of hours just in case and had watched the pool I was going to fish. I saw a really nice fish take to the air. There is nothing like this to make the hear race a little. I walked down to where I was going to fish.  The spot where I get in is a sort of slide down into belly deep water. I did this with what I thought was a pretty good effort and was ready to go. I heard some bleating and turned round and saw that a sheep and lamb were caught on a ledge above the river. With me getting in the sheep had become a little agitated and started running along the ledge. Of course the lamb followed but wasn’t as sure footed and slid down into the water. There was no way it was going to get up so I popped my rod down and managed to grab hold of the lamb. This was no easy task in itself but I managed to point it in the right direction but there was no way it was going to get up the bank unaided. Now, I’m not the strongest of fellas but with some huffing and puffing I got it up and to safety but all the splashing around had put any chance of a fish into the “not happening” catagory. At least I’d felt I’d done a good deed for the day!

Sometimes you just have to roll your sleeves up!

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Being a fly fishing guide and instructor is a dream job, well, as far as I am concerned it is. I think people often think that you get to go fishing every day and you do but as long as you don’t mind holding the fly rod then it’s fine. If you feel that you need to be doing the casting or fishing then it might be some form of torture!

Anyway, I was on the river for a bit today but it was strictly fly fishing related in the sense going out there and catching fish. It was more of a case of preparing more than anything else.

There is a section at the very bottom of Beat 5 that is a really nice spot for migratory fish to hold and have a breather after they have  negotiated the top of Beat 6.                   



David at the top of Beat 6 on Sat

The only downside of this is that there are some nasty fly snagging branches just where you’d like to aim your spey cast and they’ve been bugging me a bit so I decided to give them a little trim with a saw. The saw I have is encased in a cardboard sleeve and being the great handy man I am it hasn’t seen a lot of action recently. I only realised this when I got to the river and took it out. It was a little bit blunt and a bit rusty. Oh well, I decided to wade across the river and have a go. I am glad the guys who were working on the bridge found it amusing as I hacked at the branches with the blunt saw as best I could and in the end did most of it by breaking the branches by hand. Despite everything I am really pleased and there is still some nice shade but enough room to get a cast and a nice drift.

I just hope I can hold a fly rod after all of this!

Fly Fishing in Devon 2009….

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

The season started in earnest on the Taw yesterday. 1st March is the start of the salmon season with fly fishing for trout on the 15th. I wanted to mark the occassion and fished a couple of pools on the Taw and although it felt like I might have been going through the motions it was really nice to be on the river I love so much. I seem to still have the lurgy thing I picked up on my return from NZ and I could only fish for a couple of hours without feeling a litle tired out. I am sure there is a lesson there which is probably along the lines of fishing hard for 2 weeks without either eating or sleeping properly isn’t good for your health. I tell you what though it was worth it!

I didn’t have any interest from a salmon but there is plenty of time, with the weather turning it might bring some water and a few fish with it. I’ll be waiting……

Our team member Graham who is up country was fishing the Avon for a last grayling session with his fishing buddy Robin. I have met Robin a few times now and had the pleasure of having a fish with him in Mexico. The thing I’ll always remember about him is that, like I, on any fishing trip he wants to squeeze the most out of every day that is possible and so it would often be the case that when the flats boats would come in at the end of the day he and I would pop our heads in to see how everyone had done and then grab a rod and shoot off and fish from the beach. the one memorable thing I remember is him snagging a lure (he was plugging for barracuda) on a mooring post but instead of breaking off he stripped down to his pants and swan out and retirieved it. It was a pretty brave feat considering the sand flies and mossies that were around!

Anyway Graham sent me a report that I have popped below…

My last jaunt out grayling fishing had been a dismal affair as it was during the cold snap just before the UK was “snowed in”. Anyhow, the fish were not in the mood, the water was high and coloured and my rod rings kept icing up. So to make up for it I thought I could squeeze one more day before preparing myself for the opening of the trout season.
So it was with high hopes Robin and I drove down to a middle beat on the Wiltshire Avon in conditions that can only be described as virtually the complete opposite of my previous visit. The river was high but falling and the air temperature was a sweltering 12C. I tackled up with a 8ft 8in #4 and put on two gold bead nymphs to start with. Activity was slow but I was getting the odd knock and picking up the occasional small grayling. Somehow I felt a change was needed and so converted to a New Zealand dropper with a knlinkhammer as the dry and a micro tungsten bead ptn on the tail. Immediately catches improved and the size with some of the better fish nudging 1.5lbs. In addition I caught a lovely out of season wild brown that spent more time in the air than under water. There were a few dark olives on the surface but very little were interested. I managed to rise 3 fish and missed every one of them; with style if I may say!


 The wildlife down here is
superb and today I watched 4 buzzards circling above me, saw 2 kingfishers zip along the river and the coup de grace was was watch an egret slow fly upriver. Robin saw a water vole which can only be viewed as encouraging for the future as these little fellows have had a torrid few years.
I noticed a few pike during the day and mentioned this to Robin as he always has a rod in the car for these critters and within one hour he had two on the bank, best 9lbs, and several swirls and rushes to his fly. The recent high water must have flushed these fish into the beat and the keeper was only too pleased to see a couple on the bank .
All in all a good end to the grayling season. Now let’s hope 2009 is a corker for all us trout bums!

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First one of the season!

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

I met up with Mark, a pal from Plymouth for a bit of a pre season warm up. We just played around with some different line and rod combos and tinkered with some speys and as ever talked fishing. We were right beside the river and it was really nice just seeing everything come to life. After the lone large dark olive of yesterday it was nice to see a really healthy hatch get going. I wonder if the guy from yesterday managed to hang in there for todays action!p2200205

Try as we might though we didn’t see a lot of interest from the fish despite having a good walk along the river. We were walking downstream and I suspect this didn’t help our chances a great deal  although this is the first settled, slightly warmer weather we have had of late and it will probably take a little more of this to get them thinking about looking up a bit more. On the chalkstreams hatches of LDO’s have been a feature since Jan and the grayling and a few out of season browns have been paying more attention. I have to admit to having caught a few out of season browns but it has not been a function of targetting them just that they have put spawning behind them and are right back on the food again. All of them have been in great shape and have been fighting fit.


  As you can see from the photo on the left  it looked a wonderful spring day and while I am sitting writing this I can  feel just a tinge of where the sun has caught my face or perhaps this is wishful thinking. It certainly makes you feel a lot better! On this subject it reminded me of a corporate day Mark and I did in January this year. It was for a large company and the idea was that they would split into 3 teams, some of them would do indoor tasks and the others would do outdoor tasks. The outdoor ones consisted of sailing, rafting and fly fishing. As there was a competitive element to things I thought it would be an idea to teach the basic overhead cast with a shoot of line and then have time period to hit selected targets. As I had a load of caps we placed them down and gave each team a set time to hit as many as possible. It seemed to go down pretty well and we got some great feedback from people who had previously thought fly fishing was boring. Anyway we did the day on the 15th of Jan and I can assure you it wasn’t a nice day. There was that nasty persistent  rain and a bit of a breeze too. Thankfully we were wrapped up well but I can say the same for the guy trying rafting who placed one foot on the raft and the other on the pontoon and stood there as the raft drifted away. I didn’t get to see this happen but I did see a completely drenched soul who asked if this was the place for fly fishing. Depsite me assuring him he would get more than just a bit cold he was determined to start but there was no way I was going to teach him in that state! Ieventually took him inside as he at last realised it probably wasn’t a good idea.

It was great to see Mark and as ever he was a gentleman and turned up with my first packet of Hob Nobs for the season!