Archive for October, 2014

Yesterday I went off to Concepción Reservoir with Mark McCann. I will say nothing about the fishing because it was pretty awful. The fish were not hanging around in the place they were supposed to be and we didn´t land anything except a carp which was foul hooked. This fish decided against ingesting the woolly bugger in the conventional manner but decided to head butt the thing instead!

What was interesting was not the fishing, but the mud. Mark and I sank into this stuff to varying degrees and Mark got himself stuck at one point and needed to be helped to extricate himself from its grip.

I was the unlikely hero of this drama and when I met Mark´s wife Nicola later in the evening she greeted me as the heroic rescuer of her betrothed. She said she owed me and insisted in rewarding me with a gift of the equivalent value to her husband. That turned out to be a pint of lager! Continue reading

Paying the water bill

You have no idea of the kind of bureaucratic hoops we have to jump through to get simple things done here. Yesterday I had to go and pay a bill for the irrigation water and went along to the bank in Alhaurin. In the good old days I could pay it in Cajamar without any undue fuss. But not any more, now these bills need to be paid at Banco Sabadel.

That little hurdle hardly compares to the obstacles that Banco Sabadel puts in the way. When I reached the front of the queue and presented the bill and some cash, the guy at the till pointed out a notice stuck onto the wall. These bills, according to the bank´s timetable, can only be paid between 11.30 and 2.00 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between the 11th and 24th of each month. Continue reading

Every now and then I have a bit of time to myself and I realised on Friday that nobody had any particular plans for Saturday, or at least any plans involving me. The folks at home wanted a day to just chill and they gave me their blessing to disappear to the river for a dose of hydrotherapy. No sooner said than done!

The weather has begun to change as it does each year at around this time and some recent heavy downpours have breathed some life into the river.

It can be quite surprising how these changes seem to affect the distribution of the fish. I carefully stalked the summer hotspots but found them largely devoid of fish and it seemed I would have to go back to the drawing board.

Fortunately there were a few fish around and I took a couple of gipsies on nymphs in the first hour or so before things went a little quiet. Wild boar have been roaming along the river bank and it was quite something to stalk the banks and realise that my foot prints were joining the tracks of these heavy animals which busily forage the river banks while we sleep. Continue reading

I have never seen Concepción reservoir so empty and was amazed to see, on my arrival, the exposed sediment of its floor. I suppose I ought not to have been surprised. The low levels were reported in an article published this week in the local press and which featured photos of ghost buildings which had emerged after years of immersion.

It seems that recent rains have done little to reverse the loss of water and the Río Verde which feeds the reservoir has cut a long channel through her floor and now empties its turbid water the best part of two kilometers from the position of its “old” estuary when the reservoir is full. Continue reading

Fat Pig

At home we have a bunch of dogs, a cat, a terrapin and heaps of fish. And we used to have a rabbit until the thing died earlier this year. These are pretty cool pets but they won´t raise many eyebrows. If you really want to make an impression you need something a little more unusual. How about a pig?

George Clooney had, or maybe still has, a Vietnamese pot bellied pig. And this became something of a trend with all those Hollywood types. He has just got married (Clooney, not the pig) and I don´t know what his new missus has to say about having a pig in the living room. I guess time will tell. Continue reading

My old car

I don´t know anything much about cars. Most of the ones we have bought over the years were cheap and second hand and there were some real stinkers among them. This is probably no more than we deserve. When we are on the garage forecourt sizing up a prospective new purchase our examination is pretty cursory. I count the wheels. If there are four I am encouraged. Then there ought to be a steering wheel somewhere. If there is, and it is roughly circular in shape, and positioned in front of the driver´s seat this will pretty much seal the deal as far as I´m concerned. That is, of course, provided the car is pretty cheap. It is usually only some time later that we discover our shiny new car turns out to be a creaking crock of shit. Continue reading

Back in Ireland my fishing buddies Sean and Mark have recently sneaked off for a fishing adventure. It sounds like they had a real blast. I wish I could have joined them. I include Sean´s report and Mark´s photos to give you an idea of what the two boys got up to:

“Back from our adventure in the west and a damn fine adventure it was too, I tells ya. Carra was not in a generous mood and showed almost complete disinterest in our efforts before finally she yielded – in a last minute, petulant ‘oh alright have a bloody fish then’ sort of way. Friday was like the Bahamas and we struggled the whole day long with barely a sign of a fish. Saturday the weather turned out perfect – a good southerly warm wind, good waves and grey skies – couldn’t be better in theory. We caught a small fish early on and then spent another 9 hours flogging the water with nothing whatsoever to show for it. The only bit of a reprieve was the Kelly kettle and some pot noodles on one of the islands. Somewhat re-invigorated we plotted our tactics, set up new teams and set forth once again upon the waters…to be met with further indifference. We had sacrificed the All-Ireland hurling  final replay for this shite and great was our whingeing and cursing of fate. Eventually we gave up all hope of catching anything but just kept going – largely because we didn’t have the wit to call it a day. As we entered the final hour of light and our two lines were out quite close together, to our complete astonishment, a good fish burst of the water, broadside, out of nowhere right between our two teams of flies. Neither of us knew whose fly it had gone for, we both struck until, and as luck would have it for me, she had happened to have attached herself to one of mine. After a good scrap we netted a beautiful 3lb Carra fish –  stunning beasts that they are. Cue scenes of amazement, shock, joy, flabbergastificaciousness etc etc. It’s nice to get a bit of luck for once when it seems there ain’t none to be had.

A splendid night followed in Ballinrobe in a grand, lively pub, lowering pints with a bonus All Blacks-Argentina match on the telly. Blissful.

Next day we fished Moher Lake near Westport – the one where Leo acted as human anchor that time. Weather was perfect – warm, light breeze (easy for rowing) and the fish were in the mood (a mixture of wild and stocked brownies). We caught nearly twenty up to 2lbs – four or five big lads. All on wets with the Claret Bumble and Kate McClaren probably the overall winners but they were interested in most things. Tried the dry Daddy at the end but they had begun to switch off at that stage – which was decent of them as we had to leave at that point anyway. Most entertaining days fishing I’ve had in a long time.

And the above was interspersed with all you can eat breakfasts for €5 and sundry other entertainments. A most excellent adventure.


We’ll send on a few piccies in due course that Mark took with his fuzzy phone camera.”

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Every now and then a little thing happens, quite out of the blue, that reminds you of how interesting the people of Andalucía can be. They have a kind of joie de vivre and spontaneity which many of the rest of us may lack. Or maybe they just suffer less from the stifling self-consciousness that prevent those hailing from northern Europe from letting their hair down a little. Something happened just a little while ago which shows the free spirit of these people and I thought it would be nice, while it is fresh in my mind, to record it. Continue reading