Chris McCully

Fishing Diary

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Tight lines, all

Friday, 23 March 2018 at 16:32

Lures And so another trout season is underway. I wish tight lines to all - may we have the joy of it. I'd planned to take a boat today but the weather was so blustery that no single-manned boats were being allowed out on Grafham this morning. I pottered about along the dam instead. It was hard work in the wind but eventually I released a biggish brown (c.4lb., snapshot below) and a lovely overwintered rainbow (c.2.5lb.) for good measure. There was next to nothing moving - it's maybe a week or two early for any mass movement of fish to little black buzzers - so it was a question of fishing lures at different depths. I'd had enough by lunchtime.

I don't know quite why I carry so many lures, since I only use two or three - the Pitsford Pea, some Minkies or Suspender Minkies in the later part of the season, and some Boobies and FABs as attractors. Still, they look cheerful.

22 inches

Friday, 23 March 2018 at 16:27

Grafham brown Only had time to take a quick snapshot before release but....22.5 inches and a shock to the system. I estimated this fish at c.4lb. A 20-inch brown trout I caught years ago weighed 4lb. so I think I've been honest (and if anything, conservative in the estimate). Pitsford Pea, south end of Grafham dam.

Fish in the freezer

Saturday, 17 March 2018 at 09:53

Frozen fish Summary to date of March 2018 angling efforts: (i) planned to go to river. River mostly frozen, incl. estuary; (ii) planned to go to river again. River in flood with meltwater; (iii) planned to go to local beach. Beach washed away in easterly storms; (iv) planned to begin trout fishing. Cancelled because of snow, easterly storms and treacherous roads.

Looked at fly-tying bench. Looked at local angling reports. Looked at weather forecasts.

Gave up.

First songs of blackbirds

Friday, 9 March 2018 at 07:51

Blackbird This morning at 0643 - just a few notes from a roof-top. Yet it was that authentic thing, the first phrases of the blackbird's spring song.

Estuary birds

Sunday, 4 March 2018 at 17:52

Redshank Putrid weather for fishing but I did manage a walk to the local estuary and photographed some wading birds. It's astonishing how you can look at something - our local estuary is an example - and not actually see it. For almost the first time I looked and saw - and as a result, photographed nine species of wading and other birds, from redshanks (pictured) through greenshanks, teal and pintail to black-tailed godwits. It was a lovely couple of hours and made much good.

  I've been thinking about angling plans for the coming months: mullet on the fly, flounder on the baited spoon, perhaps some shore casting.... Trout at Grafham and Rutland.... And some trips further afield to Hampshire and Derbyshire at mayfly time together with what I hope will be another Irish visit in the summer. It should make a varied and interesting year.

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