Chris McCully

Fishing Diary

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A useful trio

Friday, 9 August 2019 at 17:30

A useful cast With the Wharfe running a foot above normal summer level there wasn't much question of fishing dry flies and in a bare ninety minutes' fishing one morning I saw nothing rising. It was reasonable to put up spiders anchored with a small copper-headed nymph: the Copperhead (left in image) seemed sensible given that the trout would be in soft water just off the flows, rooting about for caddis. Above it I put up two classic spiders, the Partridge and Yellow and the Partridge and Orange (size 16), thinking that the odd trout might just be interested in small stonefly nymphs or needle-flies. The Partridge and Orange moved a fish soon after I began but it was eventually the Copperhead which saw a fine old trout come to hand. Still, the spiders on the droppers did attract fish and I like to think Sylvester Lister would have been at least moderately pleased.

Emblem

Friday, 9 August 2019 at 17:20

East window The ruined eastern arch of Bolton Priory church is, I think, one of the most potent emblems of Yorkshire - more so, perhaps, than the Rose Window in York Minster. I first visited the priory in 1963 and have walked and fished parts of the Bolton Abbey estate sporadically through all the decades since. Yes, the estate does get busy with tourists - it has been busy with tourists since the later 19th century - but even on the busiest summer's day there's usually a place where you can get away from the crowds and, if you wish, find a quiet spot to cast a fly. At the time of our visit the river was in flood though it was just about fishable - was what our angling ancestors called, approvingly, 'porter colour' - so to snatch even ninety minutes' fishing was grand. It was possibly better yet to release a trout within a hundred yards of where I caught another Bolton Abbey fish - in 1974. I have to remind myself that my span of angling engagement here is now at least forty-five years.

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