Chris McCully

Fishing Diary

Grafham masterclass

Tuesday, 27 September 2016 at 14:57

The master at work One other bit of fishing I've done recently involved a trip to Grafham with Mark. Many years ago I realised that fishing with Mark was a delightful, ritual humiliation in which I'd invariably be outfished and outclassed. Still, I know my place: to make the tea, dispense the sandwiches, work the engine and do some doffing and forelock-tugging. Our recent trip was no exception and I was treated to a masterclass. One consolation was that if Mark caught or released three to my one, I at least managed to catch the best of the day - a fin-perfect rainbow just a shade under 3lb. I've rarely known Grafham in a more generous mood, and early dusk at Church Hill Farm was a wonder: a light wave, a gentle light, with fish moving up the ripple....


Tuesday, 27 September 2016 at 07:48

Gardiner on the Whitewater Just back from Carlingford (Northern Ireland), where we enjoyed close encounters with seals, auks, terns, gannets and egrets, caught and released a handful of small sea-trout and were brutalised by the weather. One great find during this trip was the sea-trout fishing of the River Whitewater (pictured), which runs into the north-eastern shore of Carlingford hard by Greencastle. It's an archetypal spate river, very clear in low flows, and holds some really big sea-trout: double-figure fish are encountered fairly regularly and the average class of sea-trout wouldn't disgrace many Welsh streams.

Turtle 1

Monday, 12 September 2016 at 08:35

Turtle, Argostoli Kefallonia is host to loggerhead turtles. These vulnerable reptiles may be found in the harbour at Argostóli and elsewhere on the island, and these lovely creatures also visit nesting sites on more southerly islands and along the northern Aegean coasts. In Argostóli harbour, the turtles hang around the returning fishing boats. I never expected to see these creatures in this lifetime, and kept asking myself 'where do they go in the winter?' The answer seems to be that there's no rest for the turtles: they spend their entire lives at sea, so presumably must find sheltered spots in which to survive the winter storms.

Turtle 2

Monday, 12 September 2016 at 08:32

Turtle, Argostoli Loggerhead turtle - at least, I think it's a loggerhead - glimpsed in the harbour at Argostóli, Kefallonia.

Shrimps and spots

Monday, 22 August 2016 at 08:49

Rose-moled and in stipple The Thruscross trout (and please see below) were handsome fish. Their abundant red spots may well derive from part of their diet, which is....shrimps. A root about under the bankside stones revealed that Thruscross supports great quantities of Gammarus pulex. These were light grey in colour and were found everywhere along the shores of this very lovely reservoir.

Trout in the Washburn Valley

Monday, 22 August 2016 at 08:30

Black Klink The Washburn Valley reservoirs - Swinsty, Fewston and Thruscross - lie in the heart of Yorkshire. Fewston is stocked with rainbows, as is Swinsty. All three waters hold browns, but Thruscross hosts only wild fish. We spent a hot but very pleasant day on these three reservoirs, and found Thruscross to be a delight, with its willing, if small, brown trout. They were wild as the non-existent wind, and above all, they were quick. A dry Green Daddy pulled some fish, but the trout seemed to prefer a Black Klinkhåmer (size 14), a supply of which I'd tucked into the fly-box as an afterthought before leaving for the Dales. The fishing (bank fishing only) is offered by Yorkshire Water. Prices, directions and regulations can be found here:

Scar House

Monday, 22 August 2016 at 08:24

At work I was hard at work with Steve and Rod last week, constructing what I hope will be a couple of pieces for that venerable organ, Trout and Salmon. We had poor conditions - calms and heat - but fished some really lovely stillwaters, among them Scar House reservoir. This lies at the head of Nidderdale under the shoulder of Great Whernside. Spectacular scenery and, as it turned out, plenty of wild trout. They didn't run big - the best we had wasn't quite a pound - but they could and occasionally did take fairly freely, even in the balmy and light airs. A Daddy and a Black Klink, fished in the surface, seemed occasionally to work quite well. The fishing's offered by Nidderdale Angling Club (, to whom we extend our warmest thanks.

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