Chris McCully

Fishing Diary

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Herrings and ballet

Friday, 24 January 2020 at 12:33

Herrings Take a moment. Look at any reliable source and read about herrings and their interaction with the copepods on which they typically feed. It's marvellous - underwater choreography, an intricate dance, a predatory ballet.... I was stunned by the familiar.

Image:, accessed January 24th 2020

Moth sheets

Thursday, 23 January 2020 at 17:03

Moth prevention How to protect fly-dressing materials? Today I came across a moth-deterrent which consists of cardboard sheets impregnated with something or other. The sheets are designed to hang in your wardrobe. They pong a bit - synthetic flowers - though over time the whiff will surely wear off. They're readily available; I got mine at Tesco. Although I'm intrigued by moths and am even fond of them I don't want them hanging around the stock of CDC or partridge hackles, so it's good to have some sort of prophylactic. Image:

First snowdrops

Sunday, 12 January 2020 at 16:41

Snowdrops It's often on my local stretch of the river that I see the coming of the year's snowdrops. So it was today. Lord Seabrook spotted them first, which was a bit galling since I'd spent time on and off all morning looking in the familiar places for them. Still, there they were - a bit premature, hanging their frail heads against the weather. As I was photographing this austere snowdrop-clump a double rainbow formed in the river valley and a group of long-tailed tits were busy in the bushes behind me. It's on this same reach of river that I usually see the first mayflies of the year, too (Ephemera danica) so it's a prolific, even blessed little spot.

Turbid water

Sunday, 12 January 2020 at 16:33

January piking In truth it's not often we blank while piking on the river but we did today. Even Lord Seabrook - the only man I know who can catch pike on softbaits when the river's the colour of milky tea - couldn't work the oracle. Then again, he moved three, one of them a good fish, so the session wasn't altogether without incident. I suspect the yo-yoing of the water levels, the barometric veerings, the flood-turbid water all had something to do with our failure. There's also the fact (and I think it is probably a fact) that pike don't feed all day every day in deepest winter. They may feed - what? - three or four times a week, and sometimes less in bitterly cold weather. It's entirely possible we chose to fish on a day when the pike had their mouths firmly shut. And good luck to them. All the same, we had a walk with fishing-rods on an exhilaratingly windy day in the country and we even saw the first snowdrops (above). All good.


Thursday, 2 January 2020 at 07:32

1966 Plus ├ža change....


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