Chris McCully

Fishing Diary

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Paved with perch

Friday, 6 October 2017 at 16:20

Not tench At first light I fished the tench swims I'd raked and pre-baited two days ago. No result. Not a bubble. Even a move to the always-reliable perch hole didn't see the float dip, which was astonishing. And so I moved downriver. In the hours around lunchtime, with the day rapidly warming up, it was staggeringly prolific: some small roach, a few tiny but pristine dace....and then the perch moved in. I lost count of how many perch I released and a couple of them even needed the landing-net. It was a grand few hours with the Lucky, the Mitchell and a tub of red maggots, though small brandlings worked just as well. Grand to be outside on a day like this, under the washed harvest moon and with winter coming on.

Mitchell and Lucky

Friday, 6 October 2017 at 16:12

Mitchell and Lucky ...sounds rather like a firm of bent solicitors. Keith (the bailiff), who recognised me from the cane landing-net handle, took one look at this gear and said 'A man after my own heart....' Well, maybe, though I'm no merely nostalgic traditionalist and readily acknowledge that there are many circumstances when cane and other old-fashioned materials and tackle are far less efficient than up-to-date gear. Still, on the local river cane and an old Mitchell 300 certainly do the job and I feel comfortable enough with tackle of my own vintage. Keith and I also talked centre-pins: his choice goes to the Speedia, mine to the Adcock Stanton (or the Aerial). They're all good reels, though (in my view and for what it's worth) if you're buying second-hand it's wise to pay a touch extra for one in more or less pristine nick. Thus this old Mitchell 300, which arrived a while ago with barely a mark on it and in its original box, too.

Watching the wrong bubbles

Wednesday, 4 October 2017 at 14:56

Raking I know. Ridiculous. Who begins to fish for tench in October? Answer: Er.... I do. Over those perfect summer tench months - all those miraculous, bubble-infested dawns - I was simply too hard-pushed to get out there onto the river with the virgin tench-rake, drag a swim and then settle to fishing. This morning, far too late in the season, I finally had enough free time to do it, though I limited my efforts to raking out three swims only (which I'll duly fish in another 36 hours or so). It was hard, mucky work but enjoyable: a glimpse of a kingfisher, lots of olive nymphs and shrimps in the weed in the rake (which I duly returned to the edge of the water) and a chance find of someone's lost, loaded waggler. After I'd raked the swims I watched for tench-bubbles but saw only the wrong sort of bubbles - bubbles which were after-bubbles of the rake rather than bubbles that meant tench. Still, at least my tench-rake is no longer a virgin - and who knows? I may even, one day, catch a tench.

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