I remember reading some time about scientific research had shown that an absolutely perfectly symmetrical face appears odd and unattractive and that punters shown “doctored” images producing this effect did not find them appealing.

Then somebody or other carried out some big survey to decide whether Cindy Crawford or Claudia Schiffer was the more attractive supermodel. Of course both of these women are celebrated beauties complete with shapely thighs, arms, breasts and all the other essential accoutrements of womanhood. The one voted more beautiful turned out to be Cindy Crawford and the reason cited was the famous “imperfection” which is a little mole, or beauty spot or whatever it is called on her face.

So why is a guy who creeps around rivers and who usually writes about his various exploits now suddenly talking about aesthetic imperfections and beautiful women? I have, as you might have guessed, absolutely no personal connection with supermodels. Somehow I don´t really think I would be their type.

The fact is that Cindy Crawford´s facial blemish brought to mind a curious disfigurement in a carp I caught the other day. The fish itself was hale and hearty and fought like an absolute demon but it had a slightly disfigured mouth.

The fish took a little barbless nymph and was hooked fair and square in the bottom lip so the odd appearance is not due to its capture. When I beached it on a muddy bank I noticed the odd shape of the fish´s mouth but it seems to have been otherwise completely healthy.

After taking a photo I released the fish into the river. Often a released fish will dawdle for a moment while it finds its feet but not this one. It simply shrugged its broad shoulders and went on its way.

It often surprises me how a little river like the Guadalhorce, thinning now in the late summer, can throw up such lovely fish. This particular carp was memorable for its enormous strength. It felt for a while as though I was attached to a sack of concrete. It was a pretty big fish too for this stretch of the river too, going 4 or 5 pounds.

I hooked him within a rod length or two but was bumping into rushes about 28 metres away within a matter of perhaps 12 or 15 seconds. When I did manage to work it back it stubbornly refused to surrender and my 4 weight was bent right to the but when I tried, at least three times, to beach it.

I was over the moon with this fish. It was the last fish taken on a “tough” day and even though I had a little more time available, it seemed appropriate after its release to call it a day. That fat carp was, despite its facial disfigurement, a great beauty although maybe not in the same league as Cindy Crawford.


Nobody´s perfect


It took a lot of sustained pressure to finally beach him.


I realised that supplies were low and so tied up these nymphs before I went out. They are tied on jig hooks and one of them took the carp and some barbel too.