Chris McCully

Fishing Diary

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Crucians (1)

Monday, 29 July 2019 at 14:56

Crucian A very brief morning session at another part of the local quarry. I was trying for tench but instead caught another mixed bag of roach, perch and skimmers. Among them, however, were three crucians, with the best (two) running to at least 1½lb.

  I didn't use antique tackle this time, just an old 11' float rod, a Mitchell 300 and 3.2lb. Floatfish together with a new Drennan Stillwater waggler (5BB) and a barbless #16 hook. Very efficient it was - as it needed to be, given the brevity of the session. Still, I was delighted with the crucians and for minutes together was able to stare the float into invisibility. It was as if all summer - birdsong, pondweed, dragonflies - was concentrated into that gaze. Yet when the float dipped away I found I could see it after all, and see it most clearly at the moment of its vanishing.

Crucians (2)

Monday, 29 July 2019 at 14:54

Another crucian This was the smallest of the three - around 1lb., I thought. Nothing complicated was involved. I fished a standard straight-through waggler with a red/white maggot cocktail.

Crucians (3)

Monday, 29 July 2019 at 14:50

Crucian 3 Such handsome fish. If the metaphor weren't ridiculous they remind me of something...unearthed and slightly unearthly, like polished Roman coins. This one (the first of three) was no less than 1½lb. and may even have pushed 2.

Sic transit gloria mundi

Sunday, 28 July 2019 at 14:14

The longest-lasting pair of waders in the world Two days ago we faced record summer temperatures; yesterday the groundsmen were painting our local football pitches ready for the opening of this year's soccer season. In this period of change, and because fishing time has been very limited, I've being doing small fishing-related chores. One involved recycling what is probably the longest-lasting pair of waders in the world. This pair I bought in, I think, 1992. I don't know how or why they've lasted so long. They've had hard usage - not only during trout fishing, but also during winter pike sessions. Still, all things pass away. The wire-wool soles on these remarkable waders have worn out - something which caused a heavy fall and a badly sprained wrist a couple of years ago.

I bagged them for recycling with a pang. I now have separation anxiety - from my ex-waders.

Quarry roach and rudd

Friday, 26 July 2019 at 17:45

Hybrid Quick session at a local quarry, which resulted in a mixed bag of roach, rudd, perch, skimmers and hybrids (see image). Allcock's Record Breaker and Mitchell 300, both of my vintage. Sometimes it's good to sit on a basket, watch a red-tipped float and dawdle in what's left of the day's heat. I enjoyed the roach...

Quarry skimmer

Friday, 26 July 2019 at 17:41

Skimmer ...and even these skimmers (though of all fish I am least fond of breams). I also released a perch that was so big (I estimated 1½lb.) that it took line from the old Mitchell 300. Yes, really. It was a clever perch: I had it primed for its photograph - unhooking mat and everything - when it gave a heave of its tail, made a clean and beautiful dive, and vanished from whence it came. I tipped my sunhat to it.

Bustards on the Eden

Saturday, 13 July 2019 at 10:53

Camomile My reader will recall that earlier this year I spent time tying replicas of T.E. Pritt's bustard patterns (see 19th May). These Pritt fished at night on the Northern rivers in July and August. Last week, together with angler and photographer Richard Faulks, I spent time on the River Eden at Appleby, staying at the Tufton Arms ( We fished two nights, staying out until around 0100, and caught a number of brown trout on those bustard replicas (Brown and White Bustards, size 10), with plenty of activity after dark on fish which tweaked, pulled or were briefly hooked and lost. Richard distinguished himself by taking a splendid brown of 2lb+ in the darkness, though this last didn't come on the bustard but on a small (size 12) orange Muddler. It was a captivating couple of evenings, though I remember the smell of the night as vividly, almost, as the fishing: abundant camomile lined the field edges, and as they were crushed under wader studs the plants scented the darkness.

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