Fishing is an odd business. Nearly every time I head out to the river I witness something curious and yesterday was no exception. As I was making my way downstream to ford the river I came across a suitcase and a couple of bags on the side of the river on the edge of a dirt track. And then I looked across to the other side where a man was walking across the shallows carrying a woman. Seeing no good reason not to wade across myself we met in mid river in water shin-deep and greeted one another before I went my way and they went theirs.

I can only assume the man crossed the river twice once with the suitcase and bags and then with the woman. She didn´t seem to want to get her feet wet! The odd thing is that this really was in the middle of nowhere. It is a good ten minute trek through citrus groves to where I had parked up. Christ knows where they were off to.

The fishing was pretty good. In the turbulent water below the weir fish were moving and I managed to find a precarious foothold along a shallow sill that allowed me to cast a nymph to them. It was all a bit mad. The wind was up and kept trying to rip my hat from my head and hurl it downstream. I do not tend to use a landing net, preferring instead to beach fish in the shallows, but beaching is not an option here so I brought one along. It turned out to be pretty useful and served as a wading staff as well as a net. The problem was that the river was laying claim to the net (there was nowhere to put it as I was standing in the river) in a similar way as the wind wanting to take possession of my hat and so it was all rather chaotic. I kept the net was trapped between my legs as I cast and needed to be careful not to lose my foothold on the slimy weed. Despite all of this palaver I managed to land five good gypsy barbel and had another three come off. The last of those pretty much straightened the hook. I didn´t get a good look at it but it felt like a heavy fish. All the fish were hooked in the swirling white water and every now and then a barbel would leap up the weir to feed on silk weed before being washed back into the deeper water. This is a behaviour that Steve Lawler and I filmed last year and I managed to get another recording before my camera ran out of battery. If I can figure out how, I will try to attach this short recording to this post.

After about an hour of mayhem at the weir I decided to head downstream to see if I could catch a carp and it was during my downstream walk that I first gave myself a good drenching when I slipped in a narrow, relatively deep section of fast current and then I came across the curious incident of the river crossing couple.

A lot of non-fishermen I know think we sit on our arses waiting for fish to bite but between the walking and wading and casting and hanging on to your hat and falling in we fly fishermen are kept pretty busy!


The fish were in the white water beneath the weir.


Don´t ask me!


I was hoping to bump into some carp and was fortunate enough to catch three and another three barbel further downstream. Here is the last carp going home. I don´t think he realises he is free. A second after this photo was taken he gave a big swing of his tail and was gone.