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I fished the Guadalhorce the other day with Johan Terblanche who is a veteran of previous campaigns on the river. After we had set up our gear at the cars and just before we each headed to our chosen piece of water I took a picture with my phone and when we took a look at the photo we both agreed that we looked remarkably cool.

There wasn´t much else that was remarkably cool though. We fished through the hotter hours of the afternoon and relied on some wet wading and an pretty steady upstream breeze to prevent us from cooking. View full article »

Sean´s big trout

My brother Sean joined Mark McCann this year for their annual mayfly fishing sortie on Lough Arrow. He caught a very fine trout this year and sent me a picture at the time but I was hoping he might find time to write a few words about the trip before I put something on the blog. View full article »

The trout of Inistioge

The Nore runs up past the village of Inistioge in County Kilkenny and has a good reputation as a trout and salmon river. I have not yet caught a salmon or had the chance to fish for one but I do have a soft spot for our old pal Salmo trutta and was keen to see if I could catch a few. View full article »

There are three pubs in Inistioge which, as it happens, is just one more than the number of churches. On the face of it, it seems that there must be a pretty virtuous community there. After all in your average Irish town the pubs outnumber the churches by about a million to one. View full article »

Brian Jones and I headed to the river on Friday evening. In the back of the car we had our fishing gear but also an assortment of fine mesh nets, trays, magnifying glasses, forceps and droppers because we thought it might be interesting to take a few kick samples to see what kind of bugs there were at the bottom of the river. View full article »

The barbel on my local river will occasionally feed at the surface but, for the most part, they take food either drifting close to the bottom or actually on the bottom itself or even just beneath it in the soft sediment. They are well adapted for taking food this way with sensory equipment well-suited rummaging around beneath them. I suspect that most of what they eat they do not even see but identify with tactile or olfactory senses. View full article »

Every now and again Catriona has to travel with her job and she abandons me for a few days.  She away at the moment and so I have the place to myself. The Spanish have an expression for when a bloke is left to his own devices like this. They say of whoever is liberated in this way that he “esta de Rodriguez”. I don´t know how widely used the expression is even here in Spain. I used it once or twice on the natives and they looked at me as if I had two heads. Incidentally, the guy who told me about the expression is a colleague of mine called Julio Rodriguez. Maybe he was pulling my leg. I wouldn´t put it past him. View full article »

Do you want to know how to catch a carp on the fly?

Well bad luck buster, you´re asking the wrong person!

It´s not that I haven´t tried. In the last week I spent a couple of afternoons chasing carp and my personal tally of our old friend Cyprinis carpio adds up to precisely zero. View full article »

Ten years on

I don´t know if a watercolour painting is ever really finished or whether you just reach a point at which continuing with it might do more harm than good. The other day I showed Catriona the picture of the trout I had been painting and she said that it looked fine to her and that maybe I ought to leave it alone.

She is probably right. Making a watercolour painting is like building a house of cards. If you go for an extra level it might all crash down. View full article »

Every now and then you feel as though you are invited by nature to observe an event or a behaviour which normally goes unobserved and it invariably comes as an unexpected treat. This happened to me on the river about three weeks ago when the gypsy barbel were so preoccupied with feeding in broad daylight that, when silently approached, I was permitted to see them from very close. I made a film of them but for reasons I do not fully understand, I am unable to load it up on to the blog. View full article »