New to the Teise?

Fly Fishing for Trout or Grayling on a river is a sport different to Coarse fishing or indeed Still Water flyfishing. As such some may be wary of giving it a try. Indeed even an experienced river fly fisherman may take time to get their bearings and figure out a new river. TAOA therefore puts effort into ensuring any new members – whether experienced or not enjoy the river. Prospective/new members are offered a tour guided by one of the club’s members. We hold several “club days” a year were some of the club’s longer standing members take small groups fishing on different stretches of the river to share some of their knowledge and advice. We also have a locally based professional coach who is available to give 1-2-1 lessons, he is contactable via the Club secretary.

We asked two recently joined members, one an experienced river fly fisher, the other not, to share their thoughts on their first year on the Teise:

CL is an experienced Flyfisher -

I’m a keen flyfishing man and I have mostly fished private fishery ponds, lakes and reservoirs.

I then started to do some river fishing on day trips with a guide.

For years I thought I wish I could fish in a local river but thought it’s all very private and very expensive until by luck I found the Teise fishing club.

I sent an email thinking there would be no chance.. they must have a waiting list of few years...but no I became a member in a matter of days.

I didn’t really know the river so on my first day fishing I went thinking “perhaps I made a mistake not checking the river before becoming a member”.

Anyway I got there and started fishing..what did I find?

This  river has got so much to offer for every level of flyfishing.

The river is natural as much as it can be

Lot’s of insect life.

I find fish in every corner but not so easy to catch.

There is so much river to fish it took me 7 trips to fish all the river.

I caught 4 fish on my first visit.

And from that day I got hooked on this very special little river.

I would say for all the reservoir fishers... this river is where you should try something different.

PB is new to fly fishing -

"New boy on the Teise".

Okay, I can hardly be called a boy, but I was new to the Teise last year, and pretty new to fly fishing in fact. I had been given a day on the Kennett several years before, and inherited an old fly rod, reel, and some kit from an uncle, so I had a vague idea what to do. The truth is: my wife thought I needed a hobby, so she did some research and found a genuine trout river within half an hour of my home outside Tenterden.

My first stop was a call to the club secretary to ‘vet’ me and show me around the river.The river access usually meant a good walk and a careful descent down the bank, but the river itself is stunning, there was no hesitation joining the club.

I had been worried that my fly-casting ability (such as it was) was not up to the job, but the width of the river and the sheltering trees (very valuable in the hot sun or the occasional shower) meant that long reservoir-type casting is really not needed. Variations on the flick or sometimes the roll cast seem to cover most situations. I’ve concentrated on dry fly fishing most of the time, as I found that easier than nymphing, and of course there’s nothing like the thrill of seeing a fish rise to your dry fly. 

The river is usually shallow enough that waders are not necessary, and some members believe it’s better not to disturb the riverbed too much, but wading is allowed, as well as downstream fishing and a second fly. That’s particularly useful for someone like me who can use the NZ/Duo/Klink&Dink method where a dry fly (e.g. Klinkhammer) can be paired with a nymph to help you detect a bite. It’s also a great way to carry on fishing for Grayling after the Trout season has closed; there are a lot of lovely Grayling in the Teise.

Joining the club has meant that there are lots of people who are not only very friendly whenever you meet them (surprisingly seldom on the river in fact), but extremely helpful if you’re prepared to ask. One committee member spent several hours trying to teach me the art of nymphing, with some success, and happily showed me the access points at several beats that I’d walked past before. The club days were also very valuable when several ‘old hands’ would take small groups for individual hands-on tuition on the river.

The Teise is definitely a hidden gem, with a wide variety of fish (I have often caught Grayling Dace, Chub, as well as Rainbows and some lovely Browns), all on dry fly or the odd nymph. I also rarely fail to see at least one Kingfisher flashing past me and there’s even a family of Mandarin Ducks. That makes every visit to the river a relaxing pleasure, and I hope I can carry on fishing there, and maybe even improving, for many years to come.

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