Chris McCully

Fishing Diary

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A chub

Sunday, 29 December 2019 at 13:51

Trudex The river's been out of order for a week but was fishable today. The banks showed clearly where the flood had been; it had strewn debris five feet up into the streamside branches and had left thick, claggy mud behind. I thought of perch and duly took along the Lucky, an old Trudex, a handful of quills and some brandlings. In the event I caught no perch, which was fairly astonishing because I can catch them readily enough on softbaits in the same reaches of the stream. Still, all was not lost: a swift dip of the float - the only bite I had, I think - met an equally swift response and soon a chub graced the meshes. It wasn't a big chub but it did need the net, so that was all fine. I also discovered that if you take off the line-guard the old Trudex is a rather sweet-running little trotting reel and I had a glimpse of a kingfisher, so it was a pleasant few hours outside. The Lucky Strike was pleased, too.

The tale of Florence (Flo) Trubber

Tuesday, 24 December 2019 at 21:57

Beardy plug I was snood under but this Christmas Eve trotted out a story about an elf taking a bung. I wrote it in the leger but I was laying-on, just spinning a line. Then I went stret-pegging loafers onto next-door’s washing-line. They have a one-up, two-down gaff. They clipped up with a loaded waggler (they wanted to get shot, I think). ‘Induced take?’ asked their shock leader (he likes meat curry). ‘Only some dibbling, thanks,’ I said. ‘Pity you haven’t got any zig-bugs. Nice spods, though. Ah, bushing at Christmas – up-tidings of comfort and joy.’ Well, instead of dotting down we did a jig and reel – Scots wha hae wi’ Wallis cast - round the bait-dropper. They had family over: ‘open-ended swimfeeders,’ they grumbled. You should Czech their nymphing, then, I told them, or try jerk-baiting or the bread-punch and if all else fails, the Archer. ‘They’ll either mend, or vanish without a trace,’ I said. ‘Anyway, can’t stop-knot. Time for my paternoster. Merry Christmas.’

[34 words or phrases, since you asked...or possibly, didn't.]

Angling review of the year I

Friday, 20 December 2019 at 10:36

Perch An odd angling year - one during which I've fished too sporadically and have been much interrupted by work and other pressures. The year began as 2018 had ended, with catching pike and some small but feisty perch from the Suffolk Stour. The perch took softbaits (4Play Shads) worked on a 5g jig hook. Perhaps because of the relative clarity of the river they were wonderfully-marked, handsome little perch and I was delighted to meet them.

Angling review of the year II

Friday, 20 December 2019 at 10:28

Pike softbait In February I travelled north to fish the Wharfe for grayling and for pike. I experimented with the swim-feeder for grayling and did catch a few. For another day and half of that trip, however, I determined to catch a pike from the river. In the end I caught two and moved another. I swear that I'd encountered one of these pike three weeks before - a fish of around 7lb. which had attacked a grayling float as I batted that back during a long-trotting session. This time, the same pike fastened onto a Mann's Shad. Next day I clipped on one of the larger softbaits in the lure box and worked that  over a slow, fairly deep section of the river - a place I thought would hold roach shoals. The lure was duly seized and after a heavy play a pike of no less than 12lb. (93cm., the diary tells me) came over the rim of the big net.

Angling review of the year III

Friday, 20 December 2019 at 10:22

Spring I opened the trout season in the Dales in the company of Lord Rhodes (to whom much thanks). In late March we enjoyed a couple of cold but productive days among smaller or sometimes larger hatches of Large Dark Olive - to which the trout duly responded. It's quite rare, I find, to experience what you'd call 'classic' angling days but during one of these early spring sessions the olives were floating down, their wings set like the sails of miniature yachts, from noon onwards. There'd be a flush of fly, the first rises, and the fish moving from the deeps towards the stream-heads to intercept the newly-hatched duns.... Typically these early season hatches don't last long but while they did last it was a benign, reassuring and happy experience.

Angling review of the year IV

Friday, 20 December 2019 at 10:14

Rutland Throughout the spring (April-early June) I spent odd but persistent days fishing at Rutland - sometimes on my own but sometimes in the company of Lord Seabrook and Lord Brown (image). Buzzer hatches were good throughout May and we saw a few Lake Olives, too. We caught plenty of rainbows and it was interesting and often entertaining fishing. I experimented with the Bung (sorry) but more often caught fish either on the washing-line or on slowly-pulled Hare's Ears, buzzers and Cormorants. Again I caught nothing massive, and never caught large numbers of fish - I tended to lose focus after the first three or four and went off to have an experimental potter on another part of the lake -  but if you'd told me years ago that I'd be shrugging off brown trout of 3½lb. (one of the rare Rutland fish I weighed before release) I'd have been stunned.

Angling review of the year V

Friday, 20 December 2019 at 10:09

The Pyrenees In June Richard Faulks and I travelled to the Pyrenees to construct a piece for Trout and Salmon. (If you'd told me forty years ago that one day I'd fly in to Biarritz with the fishing-rods I wouldn't have believed you.) We had a splendid trip in the company of our guide Glenn Delporte. The fishing wasn't at all easy but we did catch some trout including the rare zebra trout, an Ice Age relic sub-species which is today found in the upper tributaries of the River Ebro (which include the R. Irati, which flows roughly south from the French-Spanish border).

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