Discussing fly fishing tactics on the bank before the start of the days guiding.
Deer Park Fishery Open Day
Deer Park Hotel, Weston, Honiton EX14 3PG
Sunday 29th April 2018 10.00am – 4.00pm
To celebrate the new season on the water, the Deer Park fishery on the river Otter is holding a FREE bankside open day which is open to all, whether you are a fly fisher or someone who is looking to get into the sport.
Our fishing school instructor Neil Keep will be on hand to talk all things fly fishing and show you around. Get a free casting tune up with Neil who will be happy to pass on any tips and techniques for fishing the river. There will also be some on the water demonstrations in modern nymph fishing techniques and river fly casting.
Along with all this there will be the latest range of Marryat river rods for you to try out and maybe even some bankside fly tying if the elements permit.
A short walk from the river bank will see you at the splendid Deer Park Hotel which will be open for lunch and refreshments throughout the day and if the weather permits there will be an afternoon barbeque on the bank.
On arrival please park in the hotel car park and walk down to the river where you will find us set up on the river bank, if you are unsure please pop into the hotel reception and they will point you in the right direction.
If you would like any more information about the day please get in touch with Neil Keep –
Telephone: 01225 313729
Mobile: 07821 647055
A great couple of days on the latest Deer Park Fishery residential fly fishing course.
Great company, plenty of laughs mixed in with some nice fish and of course the usual great hospitality and amazing food at the Deer Park Hotel.
After breakfast on day one we made our way down to the river to be met with blazing sunshine so we got stuck in with tuning up the guests casting on the bank followed by looking at setting up for some different techniques. By lunch time the heavens opened and the fish disappeared to the river bed so we cracked on with some deep nymph fishing with various jig patterns and by the end of the day everyone had banked some fish up to a couple of pounds. There was a brief window in the weather and I managed to get one of the guests onto a sipper who eagerly snaffled a BWO pattern…twice….and the fish was missed both times!
We retired to the hotel for the evening for for a few beverages and an amazing meal. If you don’t fish, just visit the hotel for the food alone, it’s worth the trip!
Day two was the complete opposite, a big sun and soaring temperatures. We tried some lightly fished water, managed one fish but it was tough. After lunch we went in search of some shaded runs with some decent flow and managed a few more. Pleased to say that the guys all managed fish on both days in far from ideal conditions. The river is very low now so I’m off to do a rain dance but in reality I think we need a good weeks worth of the wet stuff to make much difference now. On a positive note we did spot a bright silver bar of about 5lb leap clear of the water on the second day which must of made it’s way up on a brief spate a couple of days earlier.
Every year seems to be busier than previous years with new projects and days on the water either guiding or introducing newcomers to the addictive sport of fly fishing and looking back at 2016 it was no exception.
Many days were spent on the water with fishing friends old and new in search of all manner of fish from trout and grayling through to some bass, carp and pike. Not unlike recent seasons the West Country migratory fish proved problematic with poor summer river levels seeming to make the fishes progress up the river systems later than ever. Even with the local river season extensions the rains didn’t really materialize, so this asks the question, are our river seasons outdated with climate change and should season dates be moved to accommodate? I know on one of my favourite rivers the salmon season starts on February the 14th (a popular date with wives and girlfriends!) and apart from the odd kelt, I would never expect to see a fresh run fish in the system until April.
Corporate bookings seem to make a bit of comeback in 2016, so the coming year will be interesting with all of the political changes happening around us to see if this resurgence gains any more momentum. Family days were also popular this year which is always great to see, on more than one occasion I had three generations of the same family on the bank with a fly rod in hand.
Working partnerships remained strong throughout the year with some amazing days spent on the bank with the brilliant Vale House Kitchen and Deer Park Fishery, both of which seem grow from strength to strength. Check out their websites for what is sure to be an even more exciting year to come with lots of events and courses on offer.
The year also saw me doing a bit of promo film work with Vale House Kitchen which was a real eye opener, hours of work went into the film but the results were amazing, you can check it out here. I spent a day on the river Otter with Dominic Garnett, fellow guide and author, for a magazine shoot, again great fun and even made the front cover of the magazine in one of Dom’s shots! You can check out some of Dominic’s work here. I look forward to doing a bit more with Dom in the coming year so keep an eye out for this.
Throughout the year I continued to work alongside Marryat Rods, Partridge of Redditch and Varivas, this gave my guests the chance to try out some of the best tackle on the market before buying. The new rods from Marryat went down a storm this year and I’m sure it’s a name you will being seeing and hearing more and more in 2017. Come and join me in the coming year and try these for yourself, you will be truly amazed!
So with the New Year looming and the diary filling fast I’m really looking forward to what’s in store and would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy, fun and fished filled New Year.