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Devon School of Fly Fishing Team blog

Posts Tagged ‘Guided Trout Fishing Devon’

Fly Fishing Devon Rivers

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

I have a day off today and as I sit here in the garden writing, we were really pleased to see that the swallows that nest in our garage arrived this morning. I had seen them while having lunch while working yesterday and Emma had seen a couple pass over yesterday so we knew they were on their way.

Ash with his first Taw trout

On the river the best of the grannom is now over but there are still a few about. I have spent more time fishing the emerger stage of the hatch with my guests and it has worked pretty well. While guiding yesterday I also spotted a yellow mayfly who had jumped the gun a little.

Jason works a run

The big worry is the lack of water. A friend was telling me Sunday that water levels are already comparable to 1976 which, for those that can remember, are low!

It doesn’t seem to have affected the trout fishing too much and we have seen and heard the first round of sea trout on the hotel waters, but a good flush of water wouldn’t go amiss. The most the river has come up since the trout season has started is 1 inch. It looks like the weather is settled for the next few days but it won’t be long before I start rehearsing the steps for a rain dance.

The Devon School of Fly Fishing – Fly Fishing Devon Fly Fishing lessons, tuition and guiding in Devon

The Man in the Hat

Friday, September 11th, 2009

I met up with Nick on Sunday who was heading off on a fishing trip and wanted a few pointers with his casting and then wanted to hit the river and pick up some hints for rivercraft too. The really nice thing though was that he was keen just to have fun. I think we managed that and he caught a few too. This was despite the river still being a little on the murky side after all the rain but it was starting to clear down and we just about hit it right. Being Sunday meant that we were able to sneak a few beef sandwiches as the Hotel has a carvery.



Monday I was meeting up with Lindsay. He had contacted us and wanted to get to grips with fly fishing the rivers of Devon and to go in search of some salty stuff too. We covered some casting on some stillwater and then hit the river. We fished a nice section of the Hotel’s water and he got to grips with the Taw really quickly.


More fish followed and we moved to another beat in the afternoon where we came across some rising fish under some nasty low branches. No worries for Lindsay. He cast the Helios into the right spot and the fish liked our fly selection. It was a great day and we could see the water was coming into really good shape but with settled weather coming we opted for bass on Wednesday.

Tuesday I wasn’t with Lindsay as I had a booked casting session with Hannah for a little help with how to approach the beat she was going to be fishing. Hannah fishes the Frome and was new to spate rivers but when I saw her in the evening the big smile said she had done well! Funnily enough she is fishing The Test next week and I am up guiding up there next week so will no doubt be bumping into her in the Orvis store in Stockbridge! Tuesday afternoon was with Mike, Jenny, Alan, Alec and Roger who were on their second visit down to the Taw and wanted some casting tips and approaches to the water. It was really good fun and they have a great sense of humour and there was plenty of ribbing going on. The casting session was pretty much an open floor with them shouting a cast and me demonstrating it and then breaking it down to show them how it works. I’d then get one of them to come and try it.  I could see they were itching to fish so we did just that!

Wednesday I was back with Lindsay and we did some casting in the morning where we played with distance and really got his double haul going nicely and discussed drift and its impact on the cast. We grabbed a quick lunch and hit the salt. It was great fun and we hit the water early and found fish skulking around. I won’t forget seeing Lindsays face when a really, really nice bass slapped his clouser and headed off to the horizon. I’m not sure who was the most surprised but it was a real treat. Needless to say it was a nice one!

Thursday was a salmon day and we were hopeful as both Hannah and the group I had Tues afternoon had all seen salmon. We covered spey casting with a single hander first and it was really interesting as Lindsay comes from an engineering background and was really interested in the mechanics of the cast and was asking some great questions and we enjoyed talking anchor points!

We had beat 6 and as the water was coming down pretty quickly I though it might be a good spot as we had Bridge Pool by the salmon ladder. Mike, one of the group of 5 I’d had earlier on in the week, had a pull there on Tuesday and Lindsay thought he might have connected but that was the closest we got. By lunch we had bright sunshine and a rapidly falling river. It looked like a trout session in the afternoon and so after a steak sandwich we hit the bootm of Beat 6 and worked our way up.


Today we hit Beat 2 in the morning and did some small stream stuff in the afternoon with lighter lines. The morning was slower as it had been a cold, clear night but Lindsay winkled out a few fish and it was a testament to his skill with a fly rod as it wasn’t easy. The afternoon was a different story and with good numbers of caddis coming off the fish loved our dry. We got hit by something very tasty as the leader just popped when Lindsay struck and whatever was attached shot off. It was a great day!

I’ve named the blog after Lindsay, the man in the hat! Apparently he has Welsh ancestry and it sort of showed as we left for the day!!


So here is to the Man in the Hat!

A few happy fly fishers!

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

It has been a mad few weeks with some great fishing on our rivers. The first sea trout have been caught and we have had over 400 trout from the Hotel’s waters now, smashing  the last few seasons numbers. It would be great if we are lucky enough for this to continue and we are making sure beats are well rested and rotated so that anglers we take on to the water are not tramping through somebody elses footsteps!

Dave from Portland is a glutton for punishment and came back for some more guiding. We headed to Dartmoor and despite this being a completely new sort of fishing for him he took to it like a duck to water.


Max and I met for a day on the chalk.  Here’s what he thought.

Great to see you again. Thanks for a top day on a really magic bit of river – I felt quite privileged.
And I drove home buzzing – its just an endlessly fascinating game, isn’t it? I hope the drive was OK
Speak soon
All best


Malcolm had never held a fly rod before but was a natural and is a great fly fisher in the making.


Tom hadn’t fished a river before and also wanted a little bit of help with his fly casting, not that he needed much, he is one of the most naturally gifted fly casters I have seen.


Fly Fishing in Devon

Monday, April 6th, 2009

I just love this time of year. Everything is coming to life including the fishing. The settled weather has meant that fly hatches have not just been confined to what the book says about lunchtime and the fish have been taking as late as 5 o’clock and beyond. I know this weather is probably going to break at some stage but it’s  just great to be out on the water as a fly fishing guide and as a fisherman too.

The fish are really getting locked onto the grannom on the River Taw and it has been good to see; not to mention exciting!  Already this season I have seen 3 otters, one of which was a cub that sat on a rock and watched us.  He then showed us how he would swim down stream, jump out and show us how clever he was again. This took place just a few feet away and was a real treat. Nick the owner of the hotel was gutted as he hasn’t seen one yet this season!

Walking along the banks of the river you’ll see the primroses and the smell of wild garlic is everywhere. It’s just all these sorts of things that make being on the river such a special place to be.

I saw the first signs of hawthorn fly on Thursday so I’ll be keeping my eyes open for this to get going too.

Below is a photo from a river course we did Sunday, I popped it up as I feel sure there should be a suitable caption for it!

Many thanks to Nick and Tara for looking after 20 hungry fishermen so well.