Chris McCully

Fishing Diary

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Tench dawn

Sunday, 12 July 2020 at 12:33

Dawn on the lake Even if you keep what are generally speaking quite social, sociable hours - and I usually do, these days - it's good once or twice in the summer to get up at the crack and fish for tench as the sun rises. The world moves from darkness through monochrome to technicolour and angling theory has it that at these times the tench will make use of cooler water temperatures and be feeding, bubbling in bankside swims....

  I fished for three hours as the light came up. I had some twitches on the float - these were mere twitches, probably line bites - but not even the hordes of tiny rudd and perch were awake. Of tench there was no sign.


Sunday, 12 July 2020 at 12:28

Loosestrife There's a wonderful Thelwell cartoon (in that masterpiece, Thelwell's Compleat Tangler, 1967) which shows a fuming coarse fisherman - ciggie and scowl up, black plastic coat on - well and truly fankled in great beds of wild flowers. Caption: 'His days are spent among the purple loosestrife and wild iris'.

The Compleat Tangler was one of the first angling books I ever possessed. I still often recall its images - and in particular, the captions - with a smile. It's a book that seems to have been constructed in and for a different, kinder and gentler world.


Tuesday, 7 July 2020 at 08:32

Lower lake Richard Faulks and I enjoyed a grand day out yesterday as guests of the Norfolk and Suffolk Flyfishers' Society . It was astonishing that for one reason and another this was the first time I've fished for trout since last season. All the better, then, to get out there. The weather was unsettled but there were some fish moving even during the daytime - to midge pupae, I think - and it was good to release a few. It was one of those lovely, warm, hospitable and gentle fishing days that seem to come along all too rarely. Bonny surroundings, too. Thanks to one and all.

A scale for remembrance

Friday, 3 July 2020 at 15:32

Old tench Lovely dark old tench. Lift method, 11mm Source on a critically-balanced home-made bayonet rig (see next entry - and that's it with all the dirty talk). Also had some action from a carp - a massive if brief resistance as the line tightened....and one nacreous carp-scale neatly lodged in the bend of the hook. A scale for remembrance.

Fixing bayonets

Wednesday, 1 July 2020 at 16:50

Home made bayonet rigs I've been using some nifty shop-bought bayonet rigs of late. Because I prefer (wherever feasible and practical) to use tackle I've constructed myself I wondered whether it would be possible to make similar rigs, ones designed specifically for tench. It turns out that making your own bayonet rigs is simple: buy some bayonets (readily and cheaply available on the net), fix them onto 6lb. nylon, attach the nylon to a size 10-ish, strong hook (barbless or debarbed) with a knotless knot, then make a figure-of-eight loop at the business end of the nylon, i.e. the end you're going to attach to a terminal swivel.... and there you are. I make the rigs around 4" long, which is roughly the right length for fishing the Lift method. Put a grain of sweetcorn, a pellet or wafter or what-you-will onto the bayonet, sit back and wait until....until nothing whatsoever happens.

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