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Fishing with Frank

I fished yesterday evening with Frank Huisman who is one of our graduating students this year. We teachers may not be supposed to have favourites, but of course we do, and Frank is not only one of mine but of pretty much all of his other teachers as far as I can tell.

One of the reasons we like him so much is that he´s very smart. He always gets A grades in his exams and, naturally, we teachers like to take credit for our input. The truth is he would probably have gotten the same grade if he had been taught by a cardboard cut out of mickey mouse. View full article »

One for the yearbook

Around this time every year the school yearbook is put together and someone comes knocking at my door asking for my contribution. My area is Science Education and so the that will always be the focus. When it was done I sent a copy to my daughter Pippa who looked over it and said that it was, in her view, one of the best things I had written. She told me to post it on the blog and so, after giving it a little thought, I have decided to do so. Funnily enough I wrote this in the morning and in the afternoon the news came out about Trump pulling out of the Paris climate agreement. It seems to make it all the more pertinent. Anyway, here it is if you are interested……… View full article »

On my local stretch of river you can choose what kind of water you fish. There are broad shallow pools, there are riffles and reaches where the river twists and turns, where it speeds up or it slows down. And you can find fish in much of this water if you look closely. To the gypsy barbel the deeper pools with reasonable currents offer prime real estate and the shallow sills where the river empties into them can be relied on to produce a few fish which hold in the shallows but, if they are disturbed, that can reverse effortlessly into the relative safety of the deeper water. View full article »

The mayfly is up at the moment and everybody in Ireland with half a brain will be out chasing trout. It just has to be done. The best advice for any fisherman at this time of the year is this: divorce your wife if you need to and, if it comes to it, be prepared to abandon your kids. If things are busy at work consider pulling a sickie or, if you have a little business of your own, just stick the “Gone Fishing” sign and get the hell out of there. View full article »

The biggest fish I have hooked on the Guadalhorce just came off the line after we had been battling it out for fifteen minutes or so. I never saw it but from the dogged and unrelenting nature of  the fight it can only have been a carp. I knew shortly after I had hooked it that it was something out of the ordinary. It had the assurance that big fish have. To be honest, I hooked it without being aware that it had taken my nymph. I had been casting to some barbel that were swimming close to the surface of discoloured water when the nymph sank to the bottom and was hoovered in by the carp. View full article »

A keeper

Every now and then you catch a fish and, for whatever reason, the circumstances of its capture stick in your mind. I caught a nice fish a couple of hours ago and the little details are all there in front of me. The barbel was duly returned unharmed and is now swimming in the darkness of the nighttime river. View full article »

Yesterday afternoon I joined my old partner in crime Harry Abbott and David Blair for a few hours on the river. I had been a little worried that the water might not have cleared after recent rain but the river was mending well and was quite fishable although probably not quite at its best. View full article »

On Saturday I met up with Clive Smith and we had a crack at the barbel on the Río Grande. There have been some heavy rains recently and the Guadalhorce has coloured up and is not yet returned to form. The Río Grande is a more challenging river but at least it was running clear and we had a shot at a few fish in the steadier flows. View full article »

Nobody seems to know how old Brutus is. Brutus is our dog. Before making a home for himself with us he used to belong to a local farmer. He was probably supposed to act as a kind of guard dog. We used to see him as we walked around the corner and up the hill. He just looked at us with a kind of indifference. Maybe he remembered vaguely that his job was to appear menacing but he was beyond caring. He might have lifted one of the brows above his dark eyes but that would be about it. View full article »

Most of my barbel are taken on nymphs but they will take a fly if they are up on top and it is a very exciting way to fish for them if ever the opportunity arises. Johan Terblanche and I fished to some barbel recently that were feeding on tiny things in the surface film. Every now and then a fish would station itself and rise pretty steadily. If you managed to drift a fly over a fish like this you were in with a shot. View full article »