Chris McCully

Fishing Diary

Hope, expectation and the Daddy

Thursday, 13 October 2016 at 07:52

Daddy A handful of fish at Grafham, although Henry christened a new rod and caught his first reservoir rainbow - facts which delighted me. Alongside fishing Snakes and Hare's Ears on intermediates I also spent time yet again fishing dry Daddies. Grafham once had a reputation as a lake which in autumn fished well to the Daddy (people even used to dap naturals), and there are times when I've seen thirty natural Daddies around the boat...and not a fish moving to them. I've even caught occasional fish on wet Daddies - particularly a silver version. Yet my repeated, increasingly half-hearted attempts to present dry Daddies to Grafham trout have so far failed. Mindful of the truth that other anglers catch plenty of Grafham fish on Daddies, these days I fish the patterns more in defeated and smiling hope than in bright-eyed expectation.

Perch study

Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 20:47

Thames perch Howard took this lovely perch from the Thames yesterday. Cracking fish. A fuller account of our Thames adventure will be found below.

Of a Thames weirpool

Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 09:34

Setting out Lovely day yesterday, fishing Pangbourne weir on the Thames with Steve Roberts, who offers guided days (and a top-notch lunch) on the river in his boat through River Days ( We had a splendidly varied day, catching some smaller fish - roach, dace, bleak - on trotted float tackle, a big perch (well done, Howard) on a touch-legered lobworm and a big chub which wolfed down a Flash Fly intended for pike. I also moved five pike on the fly-rod, but unfortunately none stuck, despite one being played out to the net rim. Oh well: it was grand to see them anyway, and we enjoyed a first-class day out in varied weather and in a wonderfully mellow autumn light.

Howard's big perch

Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 09:31

Howard's perch I love this photo, which could have been taken at almost any time during the past hundred years: 'Angler admiring a Thames weirpool perch'. The angler here is Howard Seabrook; the perch took a touch-legered lobworm during a late lunchtime. It was such a big and handsome fish that it was duly weighed: 2lb. 3oz. - and that's a big perch. It was surely the fish of the day.

A surprised and surprising chub...

Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 09:29

Big chub This chub, which took a Flash Fly intended for pike, was one of the other surprises of the afternoon. We weighed this one: 5┬Żlb., and a bit of a shock to the system.

Fluke on the Flash Fly

Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 09:26

Chub on the Flash Fly The chub took a 6/0 Flash Fly intended for pike (a streamer fished on a snap-link, titanium trace and all). This was proof, if proof were needed, of just how omnivorous chub can be.

And lest we forget...

Sunday, 9 October 2016 at 09:23

Thames dace And lest we forget, spare a thought for those beautiful little fish - the dace, roach, bleak and gudgeon - on which parts of the intricate ecosystem of the weirpool depend. As well as dace (pictured), we caught  a handful of little roach and some bleak, and very lovely they were.

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