I got in trouble with the law the other evening as I was about to launch my float tube in a reservoir close to one of Málaga´s satellite towns called Santa Rosalía. Just as I was about to slip my moorings some security guy comes up to me on his moped and asks if I am aware that I am breaking every law in the country. For one thing I am about to go afloat on the reservoir where being afloat is verboten, where swimming is verboten, and I was planning to fish within 50 metres of the dam wall which is also verboten. He was unclear about whether fishing beyond the 50 metre zone was okay but that was probably verboten too.

He was actually a nice guy and was being helpfully informative. The guardia civil would have fined me if they came across me showing such blatant contempt for the law or maybe thrown me in a dark cell never to be seen again.

So I decided to make a move and was actually pretty obliged that I had successfully broken all these rules on numerous occasions in the past without getting my comeuppance.

So there was I with my fishing stuff all ready but nowhere to go. It was time for plan B, which I decided, should be the Guadalhorce downstream of the iron bridge at Estación de Cártama which I had not visited for a long time.

Plan B turned out to be a dud. The river was decidedly off here and I suspect that this is attributable to a pipe pouring dubious effluent into the river. The river smelt “iffy” and I wandered about 400 metres downstream but there was not a fish to be seen.

Plan C was my “local” stretch and I managed to catch a couple of gypsy barbel there before God twiddled with the dimmer switch and there was too little light to fish with.

I sometimes forget how lucky I am to have easy access to such a lovely and productive section of river. It seemed a bit odd to have had a rather lengthy and meandering route leading me ultimately just a little way down the road. It brought to mind a series about seafood on the telly a few years ago by, I think, Rick Stein. Anyway this series documented an odyssey around the world by some slathering foodie in search of the ultimate seafood delicacy. The conclusion he finally drew from his extensive travels around the globe was that nothing he ate anywhere could make his taste buds summersault more vigorously than the fare he got just down the road when he tucked into the great British delicacy – fish and chips.


The river looks good but I suspect the water quality here is poor. Certainly there was little sign of fish.


This is one of a couple of gypsy barbel I took on a nymph. This fish has a little injury to the operculum (which was not caused by me) and was quickly returned to the river.