I guess there are a lot of reasons you might have for heading off to the river for a few hours. Maybe you want a bit of peace and quiet, maybe you need a blast of fresh air, or to stretch your legs and get some useful exercise without working up a sweat. Yesterday I went to the river to shake words out of my head.

The previous night I performed a couple of stints of standup at a school fund raising show, each of about 20 minutes duration and had managed to finally deliver scripts that had been floating around in my head for ages. Prior to this I had been performing these only to Brutus, our ancient dog, as we took our daily walk around the campo (the other three dogs tend to run around like crazy and don´t listen to anything).

Fishing on a river is a perfect way to give your mind an airing. It is like throwing open all the doors and all the windows. Fly fishing asks you to focus. You need to be attentive to what is happening around you; to the changes that have happened to the river since your last visit, to where the fish might be, to your own movements, to light and to shadow.

I don´t really subscribe to the view that fishing is all about immersing yourself in nature. This is an important component, no doubt, but I go fishing to catch fish (and then to put them back again) even though I realise that this is a dumb thing to do in any people´s eyes.

So the few hours I was on the river yesterday I was freed of the invented characters of comedy and the silly narrative that connected them together and when I got home I felt all the better for it.


The river was pretty clear and so I had a chance to take a couple of underwater photographs. Here is one of four gypsy barbel I took in the moments before it swam off.


All of the fish were taken on a small bead head nymph.