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.

Like me, Steven is a float tuber and a fly fisherman and when we dragged ourselves out of the reservoir after about three hours of fishing we discovered that we had something else in common too – leaking waders!

Over the years Steven has fished for all kinds of fish in all kinds of places, among them Ireland, Iceland and India. Soon he will be off to Mongolia and fish for taimen.

It is an interesting question where in the world an angler might fish, given unlimited funds and I´m sure that it is a topic that has been aired in many of those après-pêche conversations in the pub. Steven and I gave it a whirl while eating a few tapas in Zahara de la Sierra. I have to admit Taimen in Mongolia sounds hard to beat but Steven reckons that Mahseer in India might be top of the list. He should know. He has taken them up to a whopping 60kg. And, of course, India is such a fascinating place in its own right.

Zahara is beautiful too and the mountains in the distance may not have been the Himalayas but, recently dusted with snow, they were impressive too. The bass fishing in Zahara is very good by all accounts and the reservoir has many of the features which, from the point of view of the bass, constitute prime real estate; drop offs, shallow bays, sunken trees and that kind of stuff.

I am keen to return when the weather warms a little and the water temperature rises enough to reanimate the bass and I hope that Steven will join me. That will give us both time to get our waders fixed!


The bass would love it here

Bass country

Steven enjoying himself

Steven enjoying himself

I like it here!

I like it here!

They built the towns here in tough terrain for protection against the moors.

This is Zahara de la Sierra. It used to be a moorish outpost until it was recaptured in the fifteenth century. Being positioned on the side of a mountain it would have been pretty difficult to access and easy to defend.

From Zahara de la Sierra you can get a fine view of the reservoir. The shadow of the mountain on which the town is perched is beginning to fall over the reservoir.

From Zahara de la Sierra you can get a fine view of the reservoir. When this photo was taken the shadow of the mountain on which the town is perched is beginning to fall over the reservoir.