Autumn is here

My blog posts are getting further and further apart, but I regularly update my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/tobiascoephoto/) and Instagram (@tobiascoephoto). Since my last blog post I have been out and about fishing a lot. This has included trips to Spain, Ireland and Mauritius, in the case of the last place to a remote atoll from the main island of Mauritius. At home I have got in plenty of fishing for bass, trout and the other typical UK species.

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Nice bluefin from St Brandon’s atoll, Mauritius

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A lovely bonefish landed on St Brandon’s atoll, Mauritius

Much as I love going overseas to fish, there is also some world-class fishing available here at home in the UK. I experienced a real red-letter day yesterday when I went out chasing perch on the fly with a good fishing friend. In the course of the day, we had almost 40 perch over 2lb between us (the majority I should add not caught by me!) with numerous fish over 3lb. Just incredible autumn fishing!

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On a final note, I have not uploaded many new images to the website recently, however I have just put a load more images up from my last trip to New Zealand at the beginning of last year. You can check them out here: http://www.tobiascoe.com/Gallery/New-Zealand/

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Summer update

Over time I have written less and less blog posts. This is in part a reflection of how busy I have been over the last year or two and also because the way we communicate online (at least as I perceive things) has shifted away from blogs and on to social media. For this reason, I have set up a Facebook page for my photography and writing, which can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/tobiascoephoto

I hope to update this page a lot more regularly than my blog and it will also tie in to my instagram – just search for @tobiascoephoto I will still update the blog every now and then, but I expect it will be much more sporadic.

I have been away quite a lot the last few weeks, including a brief trip to Massachusetts (primarily for work, however I did fit in a couple of days fishing) and a very recent trip to Spain, chasing sea-trout on dries in the northern Spanish region of Asturias. The latter was a very interesting trip and myself and fishing friend Howard Day enjoyed some great sport.

I have also added a few more images to the website, from a trip that was (somewhat unbelievably) almost two years ago. Myself and a few other guys headed up to northern Norway to fish the fjords and we had a huge number of cod and pollack, with a few halibut thrown in for good measure. The images are on the main website, in the Norway gallery.

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Australian odyssey

I recently returned from a pretty fantastic trip to Exmouth, in Western Australia. It is somewhere I have wanted to travel to for several years due to the variety of fishing opportunities that abound in the area. With this in mind, a long-time fishing buddy of mine booked a trip almost two years agao, to fish with Jono Shales of Exmouth Flyfishing.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t as good as we hoped it might have been, with high white cloud making it very tough to see fish on the flats. As a result, we spent a lot of time fishing elsewhere, with a lot of success. Jono is a fantastic guide and through the course of the two weeks we spent with him, put us onto some great fish.

We caught a huge range of species including big golden trevally, longfin tuna, giant trevally, brassy trevally, queenfish, mangrove jacks and a black marlin. The latter I was lucky enough to catch in a day spent fishing the bluewater. We raised six marlin through the course of the day and the fish I caught came in hot on the teaser and switched to the fly perfectly! The fish of a lifetime.

The overall impression we went away with at the end of our trip was of a fishery with a staggering amount of different opportunities across several habitats, covering a huge area. I’m planning to write an article about the trip, but for the moment a few teaser pics (all courtesy of Jono Shales) are below.

On the website, I’ve added a new album to the gallery, from a trip to the far north of Sweden. These images are from the same trip I wrote about recently in The Field and the article is HERE. I also have an article out in the current issue of FieldSports Magazine, discussing the impact of flooding on fish. Pick up a copy in the shops now!

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Article’s ahoy

I have been pretty busy recently on the photography/writing front recently and have a suite of articles either out now or shortly coming out in the shops. I had a big article on early season fishing on the Usk in the february issue of Trout and Salmon magazine, which can now be seen on the Articles page of my website. At the same time, I had an article out in The Field on fishing in Sweden, which is also up on the Articles page of the website.

My current article in the shops is on the interesting topic of river restoration. While not exactly fishing per se, it is still a subject that most anglers will find intriguing. You can read it in the current issue of The Field that is in the shops now.

I have also recently sorted out a new large image set for the website, of my trip a couple of summer’s ago to far north season. If you enjoy fishing for wild brown trout in remote wilderness then this is definitely something to check out.

 

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Instagram!

The blog has been a bit quiet of late, largely due to the pressures of work and writing and also because it lost steam a bit. In addition to the blog, I am now adding images and videos to instagram, as this is quick and easy and lets me quickly share what new (and old) images and video clips. You can follow me by searching for tobiascoephoto in Instagram (I know, I know, a little late to the party….)

I have been very busy of late working on several articles, which will be coming out shortly in various magazines. They cover everything from exciting early season fishing opportunities in the UK, to fishing in the wilds of Sweden and a pretty special fishing location a fair bit further from the UK.
Back at home, I have been preparing for an upcoming trip to the west coast of Australia and have been tying a lot of flies in preparation for this. I’ll get some images up of the filled fly boxes once they’re all done! Given the range of species to chase over there, I’m going to need a lot of different flies!
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Camp Trout

I don’t know where this year has gone. It only seems like yesterday that it was the peak of the trout season and now we’re just a couple of days out from Christmas. Looking back, it has been a great, if somewhat busy year. I’ve done some great trips, including a weekend spent camping up on Dartmoor with a group of friends.

Throughout the weekend, I shot a lot of footage and have just got around to pulling it together into a short film. I have tried to get across the fun and simple pleasure of time spent fishing and camping with friends in what is a pretty condensed video and while the trout that star aren’t huge, they are pretty and the overall experience was fantastic. Although it feels a bit odd looking at scenes from high summer when we’re in the festive season, going through the footage was a chance to look forward to next year’s trout season, when I’m sure we will once again head up to Dartmoor, as well as to reminisce about the time spent with good friends.

The video is HERE and I have also added it onto the main WEBSITE

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Big Scottish trout

Any of you who read my ramblings in magazines like The Field may recall that I wrote a piece a year or so ago on the potential for big trout in Scottish rivers. The potential for sport with big trout is often overlooked, however, in favour of the more famous salmon and sea-trout.

Taking my own advice, I headed to the River Annan at the beginning of May to try and hook into some of the river’s fabled big wild brownies, with fishing buddy Howard Colmer. We weren’t disappointed. Despite cold conditions and a strong wind, our first day provided some of the best river fishing I have experienced anywhere in the world. We started out in the morning flicking nymphs through a few likely runs and pools while waiting for a hatch to start. After a short lunch break it was back to the river and from that point on the river switched on.

Observing the river from a road bridge, we saw the odd fish start to rise and then the hatch got into full swing. The next three hours saw a consistent stream of olive uprights, iron blue duns and the odd brook dun coming off the river and the trout responded accordingly. Between the two of us, we had over 50 fish in the afternoon, both grayling and brown trout. The pick of the fish was a cracking brown trout of 4lb 2oz and Howard lost another fish of a very similar size when the hook pulled. Just a stunning few hours fishing.

Frustratingly, that evening the heavens opened and it rained all night and into the next morning. Heading to the river about noon, we watched the first few pieces of debris drift past, before the river rose two feet in as many hours. Our last day of fishing was on a high, but clearing river. Following the sharp spate the day before, the hatch was very much suppressed, as was trout activity. Despite this, we still managed to pick up a few fish to 2lb, including a couple on dries.

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Up on the Usk

Flyfishing has become so global now and the exchange of information so fluid as a result of the internet that it can be easy to become disheartened about the fishing that we have in the UK. Anyone who reads blogs, magazines and browses the internet will likely see images and videos of monstrous trout from different places around the world on an almost daily basis. These can, if one isn’t careful, make our UK trout seem trifling in comparison.

The reality, however, is that we have some fantastic fishing in the UK. Down in Devon we are spoilt with numerous streams full of small, wild brownies. The only downside is that the operative word is ‘small’ – while they may be beautiful, a very good westcountry brown trout is one as long as an old school ruler. It is for this reason that I and many others travel to rivers elsewhere in the UK where the trout are of a larger average stamp.

The Usk is one such river and the trout in the river are typically on average the size of one of their ‘very good’ Devon cousins. A day on the river yesterday yielded plenty of trout in the 12 – 15″ class, topped by a cracking fish (not caught by me incidentally) of around 2.5lb. A strong, cold downstream wind meant that the hatches were very sparse and the fish weren’t rising with any regularity, so we had to switch between nymphs and dries. In the case of the latter, CDC and deer hair emergers did the damage, with a couple of fish really smashing the fly as it drifted over-head. Fantastic fun!

Usk (April 2015)  (1) Usk (April 2015)  (2) Usk (April 2015)  (3) Usk (April 2015)  (5)

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Season’s Start

The trout season kicked off a couple of weeks back down here in Devon and with this recent flush of nice weather, it really feels like spring has arrived. The start of the season was a complete contrast, however, and opening day was decidedly cold, resulting in very slow fishing for the few of us that met up at The Fox and Hounds to try our luck on the Taw.

The weather stayed fairly dour after opening day and I have spent the time tying plenty of flies for the upcoming season, experimenting with various French nymph patterns, as well as a variety of olive patterns for the hatches that are now starting to come off our rivers.

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On a recent trip to the river, these proved most useful as there was a small hatch of olives through the warmest hours of the day that brought fish up to the surface. Classic CDC emergers and DHE’s proved the downfall of a few fish, although as the hatches waned Howard Colmer and I had to switch to nymphs.

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Looking back at the blog just now, it has become increasingly sparse over time, in part because of pressures from work, but also because blogs don’t really seem ‘in vogue’ any more. For example, I never did finish the trip report from my over-seas fishing trip at the beginning of the year. I still haven’t got around to looking through all of the images and video files in detail as yet, however I have uploaded a video of a willow-grubbing fish on the Mataura River onto youtube. Worth checking out as it doesn’t get much more exciting than when a good trout is feeding hard on top like this!

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Trip report I

Well I’m back in the UK, after what was a pretty great trip, which took in Tahiti and New Zealand, with fishing buddies Mat McHugh and Paul Procter. It’s a long way to go, however the fishing proved to be as good as we had hoped (at times!).

Our experiences in Tahiti were somewhat hindered by the weather, which was very poor for 5 out of the 6 days we were fishing. We experienced strong winds, rain and low grey cold which meant it was difficult to spot fish, as well as making it uncomfortable to get around the atoll by boat. That said, we still managed to catch a few bonefish, trevally and a hodge-podge of other tropical species.

Mat McHugh and Paul Procter walking a flat while a big storm passes by

Mat McHugh and Paul Procter walking a flat while a big storm passes by

For the one day when the weather broke, we got to see a glimpse of what the fishing could be like and saw and caught plenty of bones, as well as experiencing some great fishing on the reef edge. Paul and myself got particularly excited about the latter, as we saw some clonking bluefin trevally and landed a heap of fish including red bass, bluefin trevally and even a small Napoleon wrasse.

A key contributor to being able to fish in this environment is the gear you use. Rods and fly-lines need to be strong as you often have to hook the fish then simply hang on to stop them hitting the coral. In order to fish in a place like this you also need to be able to actually get there. To do so, high quality footwear is a must to protect from the sharp edges of dead coral (don’t stand on live coral!), rocks and urchin spines. I took a pair of the Orvis flats hikers and they were absolutely excellent.

 

From Tahiti, it was on to New Zealand, to fish the famous waters of this country that is so famed for its trout fishing. We flew into glorious weather, with temperatures in the high 20s in Queenstown. This weather persisted for our first day of fishing and Paul Procter and I took the opportunity to head up to a trophy water in the Southland area, where we managed to catch some cracking fish, including a nice fish of 6lb 5oz for me.

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A cracking 6lb 5oz trout from a NZ trophy water

The rest of the week was a bit of a mix weather-wise. The hot, sunny days were matched by days of grey cloud and rain. We still managed to catch fish in all circumstances, however, including some willow-grubbing fish (more about that later). I used the a 5wt model of the new Orvis Recon rod for almost all of my fishing and highly recommend it. It was a great rod to cast and had plenty of back-bone to muscle big NZ trout away from snags.

A nice trout from the Mataura River, which took some bullying to prevent it from finding some nearby snags

A nice trout from the Mataura River, which took some bullying to prevent it from finding some nearby snags

 

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