Chris McCully

Fishing Diary

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Angling, travel and solitary safety

Monday, 23 March 2020 at 11:19

Egret I'm rethinking angling plans in the light of urgent government and NHS advice (see 24th March). Angling is probably one of the safer outdoor pursuits, particularly if done solitarily or with appropriate social distancing, yet I have postponed some of my own plans and am keeping everything under review. Government advice might change (it has: see 24th March) and I'd urge all UK anglers to listen to news updates, revise plans accordingly and act with extra thoughtfulness and consideration. If I speak for myself then if/when isolation measures become more stringent and I am confined to home I shall (a) tie some flies for exotic and imaginary trips (and probably, equally imaginary fish); (b) teach myself to Wallis cast with accuracy and consistency; (c) sort out the fly-tying desk. There's always angling-related stuff that can be done.

Rutland ospreys

Sunday, 22 March 2020 at 18:09

Rutland ospreys You can spectate the Rutland Water ospreys and their nest at https://www.lrwt.org.uk/wildlife/rutland-ospreys

Wild Trout Trust spring auction 2020

Friday, 20 March 2020 at 16:08

WTT logo WTT spring auction, 20-29 March 2020. Going ahead as planned. Lots of....lots. Have a browse - and bid. That could be the antidote to worrying through these unsettling days.

https://www.wildtrout.org/content/auction-0

Ready? Er...

Friday, 20 March 2020 at 14:14

Fly reels Strange times. Still, there's a kind of solace in the rituals of annual chores - checking backing, splices, fly-lines. This year's been no exception. I clean lines; check the wear and play of reels; apply grease where needed and put a drop or two of sewing-machine oil on reel spindles and handles. It's pleasing to begin each trout season with all the gear in good order. That said, my own season hasn't quite yet begun... NB. 24th March: no angling is currently possible until further notice given government and NHS requirements for us to stay at home. See also the statement from Angling Trust's CEO for entry 24th March (above).

Nervous water I

Monday, 16 March 2020 at 21:18

Nervous water In Mexico I was one of a party of five hunting bonefish, tarpon, permit and snook. I'd never fished for any of these species before but I dearly wanted to catch and release a bonefish. In the end - after two days where I had to unlearn a lifetime of trout-fishing habits on the take - I did catch some bonefish and some other species as well. One highlight (of many highlights) was wading a sand and coral reef way out in Ascension Bay where I cast for both bones and permit. One sign an angler looks for when targeting those species is 'nervous water' - slight corrugations in the surface made by the pushes of feeding fish. There's some nervous water in this image and you can probably spot it quite easily. What you won't see are the sharks - lemon, black-tipped, bull sharks - which were surrounding me as I clicked the shutter.

Nervous water II

Monday, 16 March 2020 at 21:15

Average sized bonefish The bonefish weren't massive. They averaged around 2-3lb., though some of our party released bonefish between 4-5lb., which are big bones for Ascension Bay. They're wonderful creatures, magnificently adapted to their tropical environments - and once hooked, fleet and unstoppable as the wind. 

Nervous water III

Monday, 16 March 2020 at 21:07

Barracuda 'fly' We'd seen some barracuda and I mentioned to the guides that it might be fun to try and get one on the fly-rod. Later that morning we duly spotted and hunted a barracuda. I borrowed a 10-weight (thanks, Roger), hurled this...it's not a fly, not a streamer....this thing (a representation of a needle-fish) at the barracuda, not for a moment expecting the fish to take. There was a massive rush at the lure and before I knew much about it the barracuda was hooked. I've never experienced a take so violent: it was almost menacing in its speed and intensity. Then the fish took off towards the reef. The play was heavy, as it turned out, but quite manageable. Eventually the barracuda came to the boat - a fish of around 10lb., we thought. The dental armoury of the barracuda is just as formidable as the books and photos have told you so wire traces are a must.

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