Archive for January, 2015

I used to work with this guy a long time ago and he told me an interesting little story one time. He had left home when he was only sixteen and his old man had a word with him as he was setting forth into the big wide world. His Dad said “Son, you´re going to be on your own now and it will be up to you decide how you live your life. The only thing that I would ask of you is that you steer well clear of incest and morris dancing!”

Fair enough! I just remembered that story today as I was driving to the river and I regretted having had no similar words of guidance to offer Leo when he headed off to university in October. Mind you “steer clear of incest and morris dancing” – who could improve on that? Continue reading

A couple of good things happened yesterday. First, I had a chance to meet up with Steven Lawler, another fishing nut living not a million miles away and, second, I had a chance to take a look at a new reservoir in Cadiz province. The reservoir is Zahara, a fine piece of water and sitting in very pretty countryside. In fact both events were related. Steven is familiar with Zahara and has taken a lot of bass here and he was kind enough to meet up to show me around. Interestingly, there are smallmouth as well as largemouth bass in Zahara and, according to Steven, the smallmouth make up the majority of captures.

At this time of year the bass are unwilling to play ball and we figured that pike might turn out to be our best bet. Unfortunately nobody told the pike that they had been scripted into the little drama we were hoping would unfold. The pike, it turned out, had other plans and only the sunken trees showed any interest in swallowing the pike flies we threw around. Continue reading

The weather people said that on Sunday the rain would appear. That´s good news. The reservoirs are low for this time of the year and need some winter rain now to top them up before the long summer arrives. So Saturday seemed like a good time to take a look at the river before the change in weather shakes things up. If the rains are sustained and heavy it can knock the river out of kilter for a while.

There is a very nice stretch of water that my friend Norman Smith introduced me to and I thought it might be nice to take a look at it again. The last time I was there it seemed that it had been recently polluted and I was told a goat herder had seen a lot of dead fish during the week between my visits. I was curious to see if things had improved. Continue reading

We´ve got this great big lump of a dog called Brutus. One time, a few months ago, Leo used the internet to try to find out exactly what breed he is. He narrowed it down to some kind of mastiff. He is a bit scary to look at. He looks like the kind of dog that would take your hand off. But appearances can be deceptive, Brutus is as gentle as a lamb.

Brutus has only got one working eye but this doesn´t seem to hold him back in any way. When we walk each day he sees the world, like most dogs, pretty much at knee level. It is often dark by the time we head out anyway and so not having two good working eyes, or even one, is no great loss. Continue reading

I guess I´m a creature of habit and fishing the local river seems to be a habit I cannot shake off. There was not much fishing time this afternoon and the shadows were already lengthening as I headed out but I figured I had nothing to lose.

It seems that in winter the fishing needs to be approached a little differently. It is not so much a game of stalking. The fish are hard to spot. They have largely abandoned the shallows. I caught two barbel but did not see either fish before it took. I guess it is a case of finding stretches that you imagine hold fish and search them out with a little nymph. Today I used a little yarn indicator about three feet from the nymph and probably would not have caught without it. Continue reading

The barbel on the local river seem to like a little pink nymph and I tied one up recently which seems to have been given the nod of approval.

Until now I have been unable to show the flies in much detail but Santa brought me a new camera as a reward for being very good last year (I was!) and so now I can take good close up photos. How exciting is that! Continue reading

Today the weather was lovely and, having I a little time on my hands, I decided to pay my first visit of the year to the Río Guadalhorce to see if I could open my account with the gypsy barbel. The river was looking lovely and was running reasonably clear but after an overnight frost I figured things might be a little slow.

I walked a good stretch of the bank before I saw a fish. Unfortunately it had seen me too and drifted off to deeper water. There were a few fish around but they didn´t seem to have much time for me. You need thick skin for this business and I try not to take these things personally! A few turtles dropped into the water on the opposite bank, a task they accomplish do with remarkably little grace. Most things that live in water seem to be able to move into or through through this medium with some degree of elegance but this is not true of turtles. If you disturb them when they are sunning themselves on the bank they launch themselves into the river and invariably hit the water in a clumsy belly flop. Continue reading