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I once worked with a guy who used to be in the boy scouts. He told me that his troop had to go on some long trek that involved camping and all that. In preparation the scout masters gathered all the scouts together. First up, the scouts were instructed to empty the contents of their rucksacks onto the floor. Then they were told that they needed to leave half the stuff out and to repack again. Once this had happened they were told to to the same thing again – empty the rucksack, take take half the stuff out and re-pack again. In the end they had only the very minimum needed and were not carrying an ounce more. No doubt the scout masters thought that they were imparting meaningful life lessons with all this palaver, but I don’t know if this is true. I suspect that when these boy scouts grew up they might never have got very far in terms of career progression. I can picture them turning up to job interviews wearing only their underpants.

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We have this dog called Paris. I know what you´re going to say! What a dumb name for a dog! Who would even think of calling a dog Paris? Well, let me clear this up straight away. That naming business had nothing to do with us. 

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I came across a guy on the banks of the Río Grande on Christmas Eve who was looking after a large flock of goats. I asked him how many goats he had. He didn´t tell me. Instead he said “guess!” And so I did.

250?

He shook his head. I had to try again.

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A friend of mine, Johan, has just gone and bought himself a sport fishing boat! She is christened “Impi” and is moored on the Island of La Gomera, one of the Canary Islands, sitting way out there in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Johan´s idea was to create a charter operation to allow people like himself to have a chance to get out into the ocean and fish for some of the most iconic sport fish that you can find anywhere. 

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My son Leo came over in the summer and gave me a present of a hat. As a matter of fact he gave me two hats. The first was a Whitton Lions woolly hat (Leo plays flanker for the Whitton Lions). This is a very fine hat and is nice and warm for the winter. My daughter Pippa was also treated to a Lions hat and the two of us are just waiting for things to cool down enough to warrant putting them on. I live in Andalucía while Pippa is at university in Glasgow so my guess is that she will be wearing hers first!

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This article was published under the heading “Feet on the Ground” by Fly Fishing and Fly Tying monthly, August 2020.

I remember seeing an advert for a pair of wading boots one time. It was in a magazine, this one maybe, a few years ago. The details have receded a little into the mist but I remember clearly enough that the advert featured a picture of a particular brand of boots worn by some guy who happened to find himself in some kind of social setting, maybe a cocktail bar or somewhere similar. You couldn´t see who was wearing the boots because the picture spanned only the distance between knee-level and the floor. The guy wearing the boots was not alone in the photo. Just in front of him and facing towards him was a pair of slender and shapely legs supported on elegant stiletto heels. 

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The closest part of the Guadalhorce to where I live is just downstream of the confluence of the Río Grande. It is very roughly half way from the reservoir at El Chorro and the mouth of the river in Málaga where the river splits into two parallel channels embracing a lovely little wild space rich in birdlife before the waters are finally discharged into the Mediterranean. Getting to “my” stretch takes just a few minutes by car and earlier this year I carried out the journey on foot which takes about an hour. The heat at this time of the year is too punishing for this to be an option. View full article »

Johan and I spotted a good barbel in the river the other day and I couldn´t resist the temptation to have another crack at it yesterday. When Johan and I we came across it on Tuesday this was one of three fish holding in fast flowing shallows just below a broad pool. In fast skinny water like this fish are difficult at the best of times. View full article »

Yesterday I spent the morning and early afternoon fishing on the river with Johan Terblanche. Johan and I have fished together several times over the last two or three years and when he pops over to this neck of the woods from his home in Luxembourg he drops me a line and we meet up to see if we can catch black bass or, as was the case yesterday, some gypsy barbel from the river. View full article »

Today, for the first time, I caught a gypsy barbel on a streamer. It was a very handsome fish and I don´t think it would have been any less than four pounds in weight. The streamer was being used because I had intended to fish for black bass but the bass were not very interested today and, while I managed to catch a few, they were small fish. Interestingly, the same streamer was taken by two carp, both unseen before they were hooked and both taken as I was fishing close to the steep shoreline. View full article »