Holiday Flies from Stream to Coast

The summer holidays are here and with many anglers planning a day away from the monotony of the beach, Chris Ogborne looks at some of the options and fly patterns for your summer trip.
“We are now entering what the locals here in Cornwall call the  ‘silly season’. For the next eight weeks the population of Devon and Cornwall will be swollen by a massive influx of visitors, all looking for the sunshine and the famous climate that we enjoy.
Most will be heading for the beaches, but not all.  There is a growing band of anglers who are getting the message that we have some fantastic fishing down here, much of which is under-used and available for very little money.  So as well as the swimming gear and wet suits, the thinking angler can squirrel a rod or two into the car boot, in the hope that they can leave the family on the beach and head off to enjoy the kind of peace and quiet that can only be found on our amazing waters.
Our river fishing is top of the list right now. It’s staggering how much quality you can get for no money at all.  The brilliant West Country Angling Passport scheme allows you to sample rivers as diverse as the Tamar, the Dart, the Fowey, the Camel and so many more.
The deal also involves many little-known tributaries of these great rivers and can be as near to ‘wilderness fishing’ that you can find in the UK.  Beats are generous in size and you simply use the voucher system, depending on the river you chose.  Many beats equate to six quid a day, whilst even some of the prime sections are barely £15.  As a great example, the latter sum will buy you a guest day ticket for Bodmin AA where you have upwards of ten miles of the beautiful R Camel at your disposal and many other clubs offer the same kind of deal. You also have affordable fly fishing on the upper Exe and Culm in Devon. Just order your tickets and get directions from and away you go.
For all the rivers, Turrall have some brilliant selections to get you into a fish, from classic dries, to small nymphs and my set of Barbless River flies.  Take a few of my barbless Hi Vis Black Gnats with you and you’ll have a great banker pattern for any river.  Or maybe a few spiders, for those truly wild stretches where casting in the conventional way is all but impossible.
The thin, peaty water flowing off the moors just begs to be fished with upstream nymph, as well the more obvious dry fly. My barbless Skinny Pheasant Tail (below) is my default choice, but you’ll also need patterns like  the Camel Nymph for the deeper pools.
The water may have peat stain but it’s generally crystal clear in high summer so remember to scale down leader diameters.  I reckon that there’s little you can’t do with 5lb.
Then of course there are the countless miles of shoreline where the enterprising angler can find amazing sport with a fly rod, or the rapidly developing  LRF spin and lure gear.
The beaches and the rocky drop offs are home to Bass, Pollack and Mackerel, all of which give fantastic sport on light fly gear.  Look for the obvious spots where the light blue water turns to deep blue in a few metres – these are the drop offs that always hold fish.
Turrall’s sand eels patterns are first choice here, especially the bootlace sand eels or the larger summer sand eels.  For general prospecting closer to the rocks, try the bait fish imitators.  In all cases, you can’t go wrong with any kind of retrieve rates and you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s impossible to retrieve them too fast!  Remember again that these flies are designed to be fished on heavier leaders and in fact they won’t swim well on lighter diameters. 8 to 10lb is fine, and you can scale up to 12lb around the rocks for extra security.
A good piece of advice is to consider one of the great truisms of sea fishing: bank anglers spend most of their time casting OUT to sea, whilst boat anglers are always casting IN towards the rocks.  This simple one-liner tells you where most of the fish are!
So remember that whilst the family are happily ensconced on the beach this year, us anglers have these wonderful options open to us.  Pack the boot of the car with a fly rod as well as the bucket and spade this year!”
Chris Ogborne
Chris offers guided fly fishing trips from river trout days to saltwater fishing for bass and other species. Visit the Kernow Game Fishing site for further details.
Stock up with Turrall
From barbless river flies to saltwater specials, we sell a huge range of flies for every type of fly fishing. Find our award-winning patterns at your local Turrall stockist and keep an eye on our Facebook page for the lastest news, competitions and more.
Our Fly Pods are especially good value for the travelling angler, featuring a great selection of flies in a double sided box, whether you want to stock up on loch style flies or sea trout specials.
Fly Pod by Turrall

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