Archive for May, 2015


The famous physicist Schrödinger once set out a little thought experiment of the kind with which Physicists love to bamboozle us. It makes little sense to me so I asked my Physics teaching colleague to explain it in really simple terms. He told me that to get a useful explanation I should read a little of a book of his that he happened to have to hand called “Physics for Absolute Morons” or something similar. The book makes everything crystal-clear by offering the following explanation:  Continue reading

On the river the other day I had a conversation with a goat herder. He was a kind of wild-looking guy but he was friendly. He was walking along with his flock of goats, dogs working around him, in the direction of the water I had been fishing. Ours was less of a conversation than an exchange of shouts because we were on opposite sides of the river.

Initially we exchanged greetings and he asked how I had done. I think I had at that point caught four barbel. Then I asked him how many goats he had and he told me he had about 400. That sounded like a good answer to me. Chances are there are new goats being born all the time, and old ones popping their clogs so the number probably fluctuates around that figure. Still, that´s a lot of goats whichever way you look at it. Continue reading

Europa Man

There´s not a whole lot of shade if you fish my river at this time of year so if you are going to do anything more than a few hours you might want to plan for a pit stop to grab a bit of shade and maybe a cold drink.

On the A357 which runs along the Guadalhorce river valley you can choose from a couple of places. One of these is the Cepsa service station and the other, right on the opposite side of the road, is the Cafetería E.S. Europa. This leaves you with a decision to make: Cepsa or Europa? Continue reading

My brother Sean and our old fishing buddy Mark McCann have just done a stint fishing the mayfly in Ireland. They fished Lough Arrow in County Sligo where Sean and I used to live many years ago in an building which had previously been a school house. I asked Sean to report back on his adventure and he sent me an email today. I will stick photos on some time if I can extract any out of Mark.

That´s enough of a preamble from me. Nobody writes a better fishing report than Sean so here we go…..

Continue reading

I came across an interesting piece of drama at the river on Saturday. It involved a night heron and some fish.

The heron was standing in water which was only a couple of inches deep, a shallow sill between one sprawling turbulent pool and another. Any fish moving upstream from one pool to the other needed to swim across this shallow ridge in water that barely covered its back and the chosen route was just where the heron was standing. When the bird became aware of my presence it took a few steps further away but resisted the urge to take flight. Presumably the heron, in the moments before I disturbed it, had been waiting for a fish of the right size to run the gauntlet before seizing it. Continue reading

Remember Indiana Jones? This guy was as tough as nails and he never backed out of a fight even when seriously outgunned. His chin was chiselled out of granite. If you knocked him down he just got back up again, madder than he was before. He was scared of absolutely nothing.

Except snakes. Continue reading

If I could be in any one place at any one time I would be hard pressed to suggest anything that would trump an evening like this one on the Guadalhorce river. In many ways I can appreciate it more for having been a spur of the moment decision. The weather looked good, I didn´t have much work to do and so I just said to myself “why not?”

The fishing was good too. I picked up a three barbel in pretty short order. The first of these was wounded in the middle of its back around the dorsal fin. The wound looked like the kind made from above, by a heron perhaps. Continue reading

I have been a man for as long as I can remember and it strikes me that being a man works out pretty well most of the time. Being a man lets you get away with all kinds of stuff. You can shout at the telly, use bad language from time to time, and get away with wearing the same trousers for ages before anyone notices. It gets even better as you get older. People just put up with your little quirks and eccentricities. If you don´t seem to know what day of the week it is, never mind. What do you expect? To the kids I teach I am just a bloke of a certain age. If any of them had ever heard of the palaeolithic they might just imagine that that was the era in which I was born.

Things were better for men in the 50´s which was just a few years before I put in an appearance on this planet. Continue reading

I have just come back from walking the dogs and we came across snake on the path. The dogs had just trotted on and the snake was making its way from one side of the path to the other. It was a pretty little thing, maybe 40 cm long and when it rested against a wall I had a pretty good look at it. I am pretty sure it was a false smooth snake (Macroprotodon brevis). If this is what it was it is really nothing to worry about. We only have a couple of venomous species around here, the lataste´s viper and the montpelier snake.

My encounter with that little snake brought to mind a closer encounter that Steve Lawler had on Saturday evening. Continue reading

A week ago today Steven Lawler and I witnessed some remarkable behaviour on the Guadalhorce – the gypsy barbel were leaping up a weir and falling back into the river. They looked for all the world like salmon.

We noticed that they never cleared the wall, despite coming pretty close at times. Steve took a close look at them and suggested that they were not trying to clear this obstacle, as we had first thought, but were feeding in the silkweed on the weir itself.  Continue reading