Chris McCully was born in Bradford, Yorkshire in 1958. Educated at Malsis and Bootham, he took a first-class degree in English Language (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1982) and went on to complete a doctorate at the University of Manchester in 1988. Throughout his working life he has been a writer and academic and has taught, given readings and lectured all over the world. He has written, co-written or edited around 30 books and has published countless essays, articles and reviews as well as over a hundred angling features.

In 2003 Chris left the UK to live in the Netherlands, where he spent a decade writing, teaching at different universities and catching pike and zander. The last activity underlay the making of
Fishing and Pike Lures (Medlar, 2009). Over the same period he also fished many waters in Ireland and elsewhere for sea-trout, developing an ambitious collaborative project (2007-13) with Ken Whelan, James Sadler, the photographer Gardiner Mitchell and many other sterling anglers and naturalists on both sides of the Irish border. This work resulted in one of Chris’s major publications, Nomads of the Tides (with Ken Whelan and James Sadler, Medlar, 2013).

In 2013 he and Monika relocated to England. In Essex and Suffolk he explored the angling, wildlife and culture of the Stour valley and that interest resulted in a further Medlar book, Stour Diaries (2019). Now retired from being a Professor at the University of Essex, he still writes occasional angling features, particularly about Yorkshire, where he returned to live in 2022. In his non-existent spare time Chris brings on young Poppy, the fourth in a succession of Labradors, plays the piano with criminal enthusiasm, ties flies, develops his garden - and, of course, he goes fishing, though these days he spends more time dawdling, dozing or photographing wild flowers than he does angling.

Chris’s website can be found at

As well as Stour Diaries, his recent and forthcoming book publications include the following:

Names of the Fish in British and Irish Freshwaters (Medlar, 2022)

The River of All the Goodbyes (Medlar, 2023)

The English Funerals (poems, Muscaliet Press, 2021)

Beowulf: A Translation and a Reading (Carcanet, 2018)

Four Places (essays, Muscaliet Press, 2018)