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.

The mud on the bank of the river records the recent visits made by goats and horses and wild boar. There were only a few footprints, my own I think, from last week. There were some interesting tracks which I cannot identify but took some photographs in the hope that someone may be able to help me.

On the way home from fishing I have taken to calling in to a bar on the outskirts of Villafranco for a pint and a tapa of boquerones en vinagre. I like it here. There is usually some football on the telly. On a Saturday evening there is usually a reasonable crowd but I don´t really know the folks here so I stand at my regular spot at the bar and watch the football.

The bar tender recognised me as I walked in even though I am not really a regular. Before I even opened my mouth he asked me if I wanted a pint and some boquerones. It seems I am even more of a creature of habit than I had imagined.

The first gypsy barbel.

The first gypsy barbel

And the second

and the second

Getting dark

Getting dark

This stupid-looking nymph is what the two fish took. I couldn´t find the prettier and slimmer pink nymph I used last week.

This stupid-looking nymph, tied on a barbless size 14 hook, is what the two fish took. I don´t know what I was thinking when I tied this thing up!  I fished it because I couldn´t find the prettier and slimmer pink nymph I used last week. A little bit of 0.2 mm fishing line remains at the eye. This might seem crude to trout fishermen but the barbel are not usually put off by it.