Archive for May, 2014

While I have been immersed in deluge of exam marking here in Spain, back in Ireland my old partners in crime, my brother Sean and Mark McCann have been doing what they do best – sinking pints and fly fishing for the elusive brown trout of Lough Arrow and Lough Sheelin.

Needless to say I am wracked with jealousy. The only mildly amusing moment I have had over the last few days occurred during the marking if the IB Biology when one candidate stated that the answer to a question was “That´s just the way things are. God works in mysterious ways!” Continue reading

One of the unusual features of human mind is the curious interest we show in the behaviour and motivation of chickens. For instance I have lost count of the number of times people have asked me why the chicken crossed the road. And I have often been challenged to state what came first,  the chicken or the egg?

The first question, the road one, has a large number of possible answers, each considered to be hilarious. The second question, about the egg, is supposed to entice us to stroke our chins in contemplation even though it is a pretty dumb question if you know anything about science. The most memorable answer that I can recall is the dismissive comment that a chicken is simply “an egg´s way of making another egg.” Continue reading

Something happened yesterday right out of the blue and it cracked me up.

I was paying for some diesel at the service station. This can take a little while because I need to get a receipt to claim some tax back later. While this was going on I was looking at the characters queuing at the other till. One guy comes up to the till looking a little dishevelled and he said “here´s 20 euros for the unleaded I just put into the Lamborghini at pump number four.” Continue reading

Not a million miles from where I live there is a fishing tackle business which includes an extraordinary museum. We made a visit here during our second day of filming for Jara y Sedal. There is heaps of fishing gear here but it is the exhibited items of tackle that really steal the show. Continue reading

There is a pool on the river where a friend of mine, Barry Anderson, caught a shed-load of barbel a few weeks ago, some nice ones too. It is not very big. It is a hole really but I thought it might not be in the best taste to write “Barry´s Hole” as a title to this post in case I got a fat lip when we next meet.

The pool is small and, truth be told, I have known about it for a few years and managed to extract a few barbel from it, though none of the bigger ones I have seen in there. Those big boys will ignore a nymph and just cruise around nonchalantly while their repeated refusals send your heart rate through the roof. Fly fishing is supposed to be relaxing but, Christ, there is nothing relaxing about seeing a bigger barbel than you have ever landed, swim up to take a look at your nymph and then turning away again! Continue reading

The second day of filming began in a very civilised way with a pitufo mixto and a café con leche in Éstacion de Cártama. The film crew were looking a bit weary, no doubt after a late night (it was feria time in Cártama). Guillermo, one of the producers, looked decidedly bleary-eyed through the fog of his cigarette smoke as he tried to kick start his day with a strong coffee. When he finally got to talking it was simply to express the view that it might have been good to have had one less beer the previous night and maybe one more hour of sleep. I guess many of us know how that feels. Continue reading

A little over a week ago I began three days of filming on the Río Grande and Río Guadalhorce for Spanish national television. I was joined on the rivers by my friend John Langridge who is a great character and a hugely experienced fisherman. He is also a veteran of several films on fishing and an author of a dozen or so books on fishing. The TV people got in touch with John and he in turn asked me if I wanted to be involved. As if he needed to ask! Fishing is always fun on these rivers but in the company of a fisherman like John I knew I was going to be in for a real blast. Continue reading

It can be very difficult to choose where to fish, particularly at times like this when the Río Grande and the Guadalhorce are fishing well but today I opted for the Grande. This river all but dries up in the heat of the summer although there are a few deepish pools where the fish can tough it out. At the moment it is just lovely and is carrying a fair amount of water.

It occurred to me that I should take advantage of the raised water levels to explore a stretch of river I had not fished for a couple of years. Continue reading


The stretch of river Guadalhorce which leads from its meeting with the Río Grande is quiet for much of the year. I usually have it to myself. But it was heaving with horses and people this afternoon. This is due to the annual Romería when crowds turn up at the river bank and hold a party al fresco. The most beautiful women attend this event and, sitting side saddle with drink in hand, they are quintessentially Andalucían.

I don´t know a great deal about horses. The last one I sat on would not even move until my Mum
put a coin into a slot beside it. But here at the Romería horses are everywhere and there are some real stunners. There is a real buzz here with kids, and old and young all hanging out together finding shade under the eucalyptus trees and the cool of the riverside breeze. Continue reading