Chris McCully


Next Entry

Time for the dries

Wednesday, 24 May 2023 at 08:31

Coniston Hall Flat calm at Coniston Hall lake near Skipton. Buzzers everywhere. Time for the dry flies - and here's Lord Rhodes lifting into a rainbow that has just taken the static fly.

Hawthorn patterns

Tuesday, 16 May 2023 at 08:29

Foam Hawthorns Although it's not strictly necessary to carry separate artificials for both black gnats and hawthorns, I have here adapted and simplified a foam-bodied Hawthorn pattern whose dressing I found somewhere on the internet. (I forget precisely which site or channel I found it on, so apologies to the onlie begetter - there are loads of similar dressings and the present tying is an adaptation of just one of them.) Specifically, I was looking for a pattern which I could take to the reservoir and which would have really good floating qualities, sufficient to withstand waves, occasional drownings and other acts of God. A foam-bodied job seemed to offer floatability and I loved the idea of a white polypropylene wing, trimmed short. I lashed some up the other evening on Tiemco 113BLH hooks, size 16. A prototype had its water-trials yesterday, not on the reservoir but on the river, and took one handsome wildie before a  hatch of olives got going around lunchtime.

Day of the hawthorn

Sunday, 14 May 2023 at 08:19

Under Great Whernside To the reservoir for the first time this season. A day which began with low cloud ended in warm spring sunshine. We struggled early on; small wets were ignored, as were larger dry flies. Then a fellow club member encouraged us to change to size 12-14 dries to mimic the hawthorns that were by then blowing onto the water. The trout were taking the naturals with characteristic splashy rises and if you could get your artificial(s) into the path of moving trout they would generally rise to the deception(s) despite the arrival of calms and sunshine. In the end we released around seven apiece, with the largest around 13" (c.12oz.). I've often wondered what the trout eat in this upland, apparently infertile habititat so I took note of other insects I was encountering - chiefly sepia duns (I think) and small black stoneflies. The margins were also tenanted by minnows and other fry.

Wild light in May

Thursday, 11 May 2023 at 08:20

Angler, wild light

Cool and showery

Thursday, 11 May 2023 at 07:57

Large Brook Dun The weather might have been cool and showery, with the river running full (though dropping), but what has been for me a torrid and difficult start to the season continued yesterday. A small wild trout came to hand early on (Copperhead Caddis) and later in the afternoon I released another at long range (as we say, to make ourselves feel better). In between those small events, and despite a hatch of what I'm sure were Large Brook Duns (see image) between 1230-1400, nothing much happened. There was little rising. Laughing showers hurled themselves at us from Malham Moor; purple-headed clouds boiled above Great Whernside and Buckden Pike. And the river ran on, tinged with peat, implacable.


Friday, 5 May 2023 at 19:55

Pound and a quarter It was a slow morning on the edge of the North York Moors. The Klink was cast, the Dink pitched in after it. One trout succumbed to a gold-headed caddis pattern. Rain fell - until at lunchtime, suddenly it didn't. The front left behind humidity and gleams of sunshine. In one glide I stumbled across a group of trout feeding well to the smörgåsbord of insects that were by then driting down, onto or across the river: March browns (and some great red spinners), large dark and medium olives, and some small sedges (grannom). There were hawthorns aloft, too. The activity was sporadic and short-lived, but a dry March Brown or Funneldun deceived some lovely wild trout, of which the clonker pictured was the best (about 1¼lb., I reckoned). It was a good fish for that part of the river.

White campion

Thursday, 4 May 2023 at 17:15

White campion The wild garden's coming on. Bluebells and forget-me-not are there in profusion. Horseweed (aka Canadian fleabane) also seems to have appeared in legions and I'm not sure I'm all too fond of that despite the uses to which the weed was put over the centuries. (I've rooted up some of it and kept a plant or five, just to show willing.) And one plant that has appeared, much to my delight, is the white campion (see image) - Silene alba. I've been too delinquent to look up whether it has any herbal uses but it's certainly an elegant wild flower. (My reader will recall I did a bit of work last year on the term campion, noting that the noun was possibly related to champion - the flower was probably used in the chaplets or garlands worn by the victors of Roman games.)

Previous Entries
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  3 6
7 8 9 10 12 13
15 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      
April 2023
March 2023
Powered by WebGuild Solo

No Contact Details

This website ©2005-2024 Chris McCully