Chris McCully

Fishing Diary

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Winter in spring 1

Thursday, 12 April 2018 at 17:24

Rutland Here's Lord Calbrade at Rutland yesterday. Well done, m'lud. Yet the awful weather continued: bitter NE winds, low cloud, murk and fog, torrential downpours. As damp seeped laughingly into old bones and as visibility dropped to around 50 yards the boats were called off the lake - and we promptly, though briefly, got lost on our way back to the harbour. On Grafham today, too, boats weren't allowed out till nigh lunchtime because of fog and murk. As it happened we elected to fish from the bank instead and experienced a morning where we saw little activity (one follow deep down and that was it) and no rising fish: Grafham at its most dire. Still, Rutland fished quite well yesterday despite the weather - we shared eight between us, with Rod getting the most and best (a cracking overwintered fish of 2¾lb.) - and from what little I could see of it, it looked like a lovely lake.

  Splendid hat.

Winter in spring 2

Thursday, 12 April 2018 at 17:21

Murk Air temperature never more than 6C; murk, low cloud and a bitter, sneaping NE wind all day. Boats called off Rutland early.... And still young Calbrade kept catching Rutland rainbows.


Friday, 6 April 2018 at 17:45

CDC Buzzer It was a day of firsts down at the rainbow lake: Henry saw the first swallow of the year; he caught his first trout on a fly he tied himself (a Cove PTN); and I caught and released the first trout of the year on dry flies (see image - a film-fished CDC Shipman's). We shared a grand day and saw plenty of action, most on fairly deeply sunk nymphs and lures, but with some little action on buzzer-suggesting artificials and even those dry flies. I was astonished that the fish would move to floating patterns but there was an hour around lunchtime when a few small black buzzers were in the air and some patient work with CDC and Suspender buzzers brought four offers and two fish in the net. That said, an intermediate tip, a longish leader and a weighted pattern on the point (Damsel, Nomad) worked rather better, especially when cast across the ripple and allowed to fish round slowly and deeply.


Friday, 6 April 2018 at 17:41

5lb. This was the best of them, a fat and fit rainbow of 21 inches (about 5lb., we thought). It was much chunkier and heavier-set than the Grafham brown of 22 inches that I released towards the end of March. Blue Flash Damsel on the point. I released a number of other fish 3-3½lb. so it was a prolific little session. Such a change to be fishing in mild weather and hazy sunshine after what has been a bitter winter and early spring.

Gusty Grafham

Tuesday, 3 April 2018 at 16:45

3lb-er Hard work this morning in a gusty wind. Grafham was at its most unsettled and forbidding and a few hours before lunch saw only one offer - and one fish, a splendid rainbow which I estimated at around 3lb. Pitsford Pea on a DI-3. I packed up after a late (and still gusty) lunchtime, though by then the air was - would you believe it? - warmer and spring seemed to arrive as I watched. Still: I Must Try Harder.


Sunday, 1 April 2018 at 15:59

1 April rainbow 1st April and a chap simply has to fish. To the rainbow lake, where I released a leash of very fit rainbows and one blue trout. Best two were 3-3½lb., with the rest running from 1½lb. upwards, so it was a prolific little session despite the chill. Several of the fish were so fit and silvery that they were chrome. There was no general rise to buzzers but that will come as soon as the water warms up a touch. Roll on, spring.

Mud, buzzers and bloodworms

Sunday, 1 April 2018 at 15:53

Spring flies Cold water (7C), cold air; fish near the bottom, browsing on bloodworms.... I thought I had it all worked out. I didn't. Here are the flies I tried, all much-tested. In the event every fish bar one took the lime/white Nomad (bottom), which I fished as slowly as possible. One other (only) took the Blue Flash Damsel. Some rainbows took on the drop, others when the fly was havering over the bottom. I had other offers with which I signally failed to connect, so it was a few hours full of activity despie the fact that winter doesn't quite seem to have left us yet.

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