Chris McCully

Fishing Diary

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Strawberries

Sunday, 11 June 2017 at 11:22

Strawberries I remember writing last year about the full moon of later June, which is known quaintly as the 'strawberry moon'. These tides are a good time to get after bass, though on a short session two evenings ago I caught nothing and saw nothing moving - not even mullet. There was just the remorselessly muddy flood and the fading light; even the terns seemed torpid.

Yet in the garden all is growth. This is the first proper season of our reconstructed and much-worked plot so it's been good to see a smashing crop of strawberries. The raspberries look promising, too, and I may get a few cherries and plums from two trees we planted only last year. I enjoy the seasonal rhythms of the garden almost as much as I enjoy the rhythms of angling engagement: there's connectedness, and hope, and a profound, outwardly-directed attention that's a splendid antidote to a working life filled with continual pressures.

Little bass

Sunday, 4 June 2017 at 20:57

Tiny bass One of half a dozen little bass that took either a shrimp-suggesting pattern (as here) or a streamer. One tiny bass was smaller than the streamer it annexed - which would be the equivalent of me trying to swallow a foal. Two fish were a glorious 9-10 inches....and the miniature size of these fish didn't matter at all. It was enough to be there, in the broken light under a livid sky, with a whole season of bass fishing before us.


Time of the dog-roses

Saturday, 3 June 2017 at 18:25

Wild rose I've missed the river. This afternoon I went for a walk up a well-known reach and found the dog-roses in bloom. Around each bend, and high up in the tree-canopies and their foliage, mayfly spinners were dancing; the near-bank greenery was alive with damsels, dragonflies, libelles; tiny dace sipped at nothings in sky-reflecting pools. I didn't see another soul. It was utterly captivating.


For all that I enjoy trout fishing (and the opening of this season has been, by my modest standards, particularly prolific and exciting), each year I find myself looking forward to June 16th. I rarely fulfil any of the great plans I make to fish the river but find that after all, it doesn't matter. It's often quite enough just to be there, outside, among the familiar and lovely things.

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