I can barely get my arse out of bed in the morning if it is an ordinary work day but if there is an early start for a fishing trip I hardly even need to set the alarm. This morning was typical. I woke at around 5.00 am and decided to get up and hit the road. The alarm on my phone went off when I had already broken the back of the journey to the reservoir and my arrival coincided with the first bit of light that was good enough for fishing.

Concepción reservoir is within spitting distance of Marbella and close to the town of Istán. It is tricky to find a place to fish here if you are on foot but if you can get out in a boat or a float tube you can cover the water easily, or at least part of it, because the reservoir is pretty big – some 5 km from the dam wall to mouth of the Río Verde.

There are plenty of carp here but they generally small and uncooperative, but if it´s black bass you´re after the fishing here is pretty good. There are some big ones too. I paddled around the north arm of the reservoir up to the river mouth fishing one shore on the outward leg and the opposite shore on the return leg.

The fishing was pretty good and fish rose to poppers as well as taking a sinking fly. One interesting observation was one bass which, as I was unhooking the popper, seemed to have something in its throat. This turned out to be the tail of a small fish, maybe another black bass. I guess it had just swallowed this thing when the popper arrived on the scene. Interestingly, the fish were happy to take a sunk fly fished quite slowly. I tended to cast towards the shore and retrieve very slowly or paddle gently. If the fish were there everything would tighten up nicely.

The Río Verde continues to flow and some barbel and carp were hanging around the river mouth but they were not very serious about feeding and I left them to go about their affairs. When the river thins in the summer, or dries out as often happens, the barbel drop back into the reservoir but they seem to hang around in the vicinity of the river mouth. I had a go at casting to them but the odds were decidedly against me so I returned to float tube and went out after bass again. While I was fooling around trying to tempt the barbel to a nymph I bumped into an old guy walking his dog and we got to chatting (the old guy, that is, not the dog)

We agreed that it was a lovely day and a fine place to be. The described this as being the perfect place to “disconnect.”

I guess he hit the nail on the head.

There is a tail of a recently eaten fish in the throat of this bass

There is a tail of a recently eaten fish in the throat of this bass

The black bass is an introduced fish from North America. The alternative name - largemouth bass seems quite apt!

The black bass is an introduced fish from North America. The alternative name – largemouth bass seems quite apt!

When you release the bass and they realise they are free they will often dive down and splash you with their tails!

When you release the bass and they realise they are free they will often dive down and splash you with their tails!

Beautiful country this, here is the Rio Verde. Until the construction of the dam this river would run to the Mediterranean.

Beautiful country this, here is the Rio Verde. Until the construction of the dam this river would run to the Mediterranean.

One of the better ones

One of the better ones

and another

and another