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.

No sooner had we arrived on the river than we were eaten alive by flies. I´m not sure if they were mosquitos but whatever they were, the little bastards, they were certainly interested in biting us. It was extraordinary. We would split up to fish a different stretch of water and inevitably the first thing Steve would say once we met up again was “there´s a fly on your nose” or “there´s a fly on your chin.”I spent more time swatting these pesky little flies and scratching the itchy bites than fishing and we were eventually forced off the river because they made such a nuisance of themselves. Despite the plague of biting flies we each managed to catch a few fish.

In the end we decided to return to the cars and see if we could find some insect repellent although by that stage the damage was done.

A coke and a couple of tapas revived us in Café Europa and we then headed upstream to fish for another hour or so before calling it a day.

Steve in action

Steve in action

And the end result

And the end result

This gypsy barbel is a male. The distinctive tubercles on the head are still visible. They are very prominent in the spawning season and will soon disappear.

This gypsy barbel is a male. The distinctive tubercles on the head are still visible. They are very prominent in the spawning season and will soon disappear.