Archive for June, 2015

I reckon God must be getting old. Old folks often feel the chill a little and like to turn the central heating up and that certainly seems to be happening here. The weather people say we are experiencing a little heat wave which should pass in a few days. Maybe. I figure it is just God twiddling the dials that adjust the thermostat.

On Saturday morning I collected Leo from a friend´s house in Fuengirola and took him to the river to see if the fish were up and about. They were, but they were sluggish, as was Leo himself after a night on the beer and just a few hours of sleep. Continue reading

Feckin flies

I spent Sunday afternoon and evening with Steven Lawler on the Guadalhorce river. Steven has recently been out in Bosnia fishing for trout and grayling and he showed me some of the tiny nymphs and dries used to catch them in gin-clear water. He said he figured I would like Bosnia and after listening to tales of his adventures there I must admit that it sounds like my kind of place.

We had no prospects of catching trout or grayling on the Guadalhorce of course but were looking forward to catching some barbel and maybe, if the gods smiles on us, a carp or two. Continue reading

I don´t know if you have read The Hunger Games or seen the films they made of these books. Pippa is a big fan and dragged me off to the cinema to watch them. I won´t ruin the plot but the story involves young people meeting untimely and often violent ends, often at the hands of others of a similar age.

This is an interesting and disturbing theme and breaks the Hollywood mould somewhat. After all the ones who get killed in the movies are usually “baddies” and, franky, we are all perfectly happy to see the end of them.

In the Hunger Games a bunch of kids are selected and thrown into some huge arena where they have to survive and kill one another until only one remains. It is the kind of thing that the Romans would have loved but with a few futuristic elements thrown in for good measure.

When these poor unfortunate kids are selected for the games by the “Capitol” they often hear the catch phrase “may the odds be ever in your favour” Continue reading

Camping may not seem like a particularly glamorous activity to most people. Most of the camping I used to do was on the shores of loughs. We went fishing not camping. We just slept in tents. Our camp sites were open fields. There was grass, rain, and wind and not much else. Cows would wander around and occasionally make nuisances of themselves. Once, memorably, they relieved themselves all over the sides of our tents while we were away fishing and when we eventually returned in the dark and turned in for the night we found the zips and fly sheets and guy ropes were liberally coated in cow shit.

There was certainly no glamour on those trips – that´s for sure. There were no facilities of any kind – everything you needed you brought yourself or, more often, you forgot to bring. If you wanted a shower you just stood out in the rain. It was always raining. Continue reading

Last week I managed to fool a nice carp with an odd looking fly I found in the bottom of my fly box. The carp may have been pretty but the fly it fell for was ugly and scruffy. It looked as though it had been out for a night on the beer and had not shaved for a few days. I had no other fly quite like it and so decided to take a photo while out on the riverbank in case I should lose it. You never know – that kind of thing might be useful for the future. Continue reading

Today was as good a day on the river as I can remember for some time. As I was heading out I was trying to decide which of two stretches of river to visit and I opted, in the end to go to Estación de Cártama and just walk upstream for a way. There were quite a few people having picnics and barbecues, this being a popular area with the public, but it took just a river crossing and a short walk upriver to find myself alone. Continue reading

I was driving home from the the river today and bumped into my neighbour Andrés. He is another fisherman, just like me, except that he fishes only in the sea. I told him I was had been to the river and had caught three barbel. He asked me what kind of size they were and I used the universal gesture that indicates the length of the fish as the distance between the palms of the hands. I told him the best fish might have been a kilo and a half, mas o menos.

Then he put me to shame by pointing out that he had recently caught a “mero” of 14kg in Algeciras. “Jesus, that´s a big fish” I thought “but what the hell is a mero?” Continue reading

Old Trout

Every now and then I start out on a painting and then, for one reason or another, forget about it. I came across an old trout today that I had started a long while ago and, having a little time on my hands, I thought I might see if I could finish it off.

It is now more or less done and so I popped out a few minutes ago to take a picture of it before the evening steals too many of its colours.

Here she is. An old trout.






Glossy Ibis

Last week I took a look at the Río Guadiaro in Cadiz province. It was a hot afternoon and so I decided to have a swim in the river. When I had swum a little way downstream I noticed a glossy ibis standing on the stony margin just where the pool became shallow and before it was funnelled and broken in a shallow section of fast water. It was a beautiful place this and I guess it would be relatively undisturbed since the bankside growth was difficult to pass through. The only way to get here was to swim. Since there was little of me sticking out of the water I tried to get as close as I could before frightening the ibis away and managed to come within about 8 metres of it before it decided it didn´t like the look of me and took to the air. Continue reading

This weekend was my first chance to get out on the river for a while and I managed to fish on the evenings of both Saturday and Sunday. The river was in pretty good shape and there were a few fish around.

The gypsy barbel seemed very spooky initially and I was forced to go down in size both in nymph and leader. Curiously the fish would often be frightened of the little splash created by the nymph as it landed. When they are “on” they can often be attracted to this and even swim over to investigate, often accepting the fly in the process. I found that it was better to offer the fly from slightly upstream and often give the nymph a little movement when it was close to the fish. Continue reading