Chris McCully

Fishing Diary

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Some bedtime reading

Wednesday, 16 June 2021 at 16:35

Batty I can't remember anything in professional life as fraught as the end of this present, Covid-modulated, academic year. I haven't fished since the Test (see below) and spend long working days in useless gibbering. (Dorothy Parker is useful: What fresh hell is this? I say, as I open the laptop at some unearthly hour.) To keep sane, I've turned to angling titles. I've read about stripers and sea trout; have steeped myself in anthologies, even in angling-related poems. Among the readings there's been an encounter with James Batty's reflections on fishing for bass in Cornwall (see image): there's off-beat humour in this book, trenchancy, and always, first-handedness. It's informative and iconoclastic. From my limited experience of (fly-)fishing for bass in Essex and Suffolk I'd also endorse everything the author says about fishing in (semi-)darkness and (particularly) about the fact that bass can often be found in shallow water. So Batty's Song... is warmly recommended.

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