Archive for October, 2015

Recently I got a message from another fisherman, Dave Felce, who also likes to fish for carp on the fly. Dave lives in the UK but is an occasional visitor to Spain and likes to wet a line in Extremadura whenever he can. He was kind enough to say that he enjoyed what I had written on the subject in my book and that he has a perspective on the subject of fly fishing for carp that is very similar to my own.

He included with his message an excellent article he had written on the subject and was kind enough to let me reproduce it here:


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I had a very fine fish on the Río Grande this afternoon. I was delighted with it, not only because it was a beautiful fish, but because I had my work cut out to catch it.

The Grande is a little coloured now following recent rain but I thought that the extra water it was carrying might encourage the fish to spread out a little and explore the reaches upstream of the deeper pools which are off limits when the river is skinnier. Continue reading

On Tuesday I spent a little while playing with plastic building blocks with a delightful young lady in Tangiers. There were about eight of us sitting around a little table building all manner of temporary structures from colourful blocks, or, in our case dismantling them. As it happens we soon discovered that our own particular aptitude was for demolition. The young lady in question would pull apart the two block structure I had assembled and then make a spectacular facial expression to indicate wonder or awe or surprise. I would mirror the expression in turn and we both spent quite a while fully immersed in this little game: assembling, dismantling and then expressing complete astonishment.

The young lady in question has Down syndrome just like all the other children in her school and I was part of a visiting group from the school where I teach. There were 25 of us in all, two teachers and 23 of our sixth form students including my daughter, Pippa. Continue reading

My ancient car is acting up. On Monday morning it refused to start which was curious because the previous day it had taken me happily to the river and back. Maybe it was just drawing the line, as I am often tempted to do, at heading off for another week at work at some ungodly hour in the morning.

And then yesterday it failed, in spectacular fashion, its annual technical inspection. It often lets itself down on some little technical defect or other but yesterday it decided to pull out all the stops and fail with aplomb. The man with the torch who lives in a dark cave and inspects the underneath of the cars was so impressed by the defects that he surfaced into daylight and asked me to go down with him to look up. He said “look, see that broken bit?” and pointed to a broken bit and then he said “look, see that crack?” and pointed to a crack. I pretended to be surprised but knew perfectly well that the whole car was just more or less hanging together. Continue reading

I had a simple plan for this afternoon. First I was going to head off to the Guadalhorce to see if I could fool a few fish with some simple nymphs I tied up yesterday afternoon. After that I was going to drop in to Café Europa for a cafe con leche.

There is nothing much to the little nymphs I use. I tie them on smallish (size 14) barbless grub hooks and they seem quite palatable to the barbel and carp. You could do a lot of fooling around trying different patterns but I tend not to. I have a lot of confidence in these things and stick to them out of a mixture of laziness and brand loyalty. Continue reading