If you know the Río Grande at all you may well know about a stretch of water I call the “Goat” pool. It is a relatively deep pool and fish remain there throughout the year, even in high summer when much of the rest of the river pretty much dries out. If you are looking upstream the left bank gives easy access but if you go stomping up to the river you will put everything down. The opposite bank is quite elevated and leads up to a goat farm. You can sit on an enormous rock here and look down. The water is deep there and, chances are, there will be fish swimming around right below you.

Looking at those fish is easy enough but catching them is another matter. The problem is that if you can see the fish they can see you too, or at least get an impression of you. And that´s all they need. They won´t do anything dramatic but they will resolutely refuse the fly you show them.

You have a much better shot at these fish if you concentrate at the pool inlet and fish from the open side. If you want to do well you need to stay well away from the river and keep as low as you can.

John Langridge and I were filmed fishing on this pool a couple of years ago. We fished it early in the morning. I suggested that John work his way across the shallows at the tail of the pool and stalk along the far bank. For one thing I wanted him to go as far as the big rock and have a look at some of the fish in the pool from an elevated vantage point. I cast into the shallows at the inlet and had a fish almost straight away, even before the camera people had a chance to get their cameras set up. That was the only fish we had on that occasion. Afterwards I felt bad that I had not swapped with John and gone to the far side myself. In retrospect the inlet might have been the easier option as there are usually fish there.

I fished the goat pool at the weekend as the river was thinning down after recent flooding. I had one fish from it on Saturday and a couple on Sunday and all took little nymphs fished with an indicator. I didn´t see any fish on either day but figured they would be where the water drops off a little and the current was not too strong. No doubt there would be others hugging the bottom in the faster water in the middle of the pool but these are difficult to fish to as the current will tend to push a nymph more quickly than they would expect it.

There are good fish in this pool and on Sunday I had a couple of the better ones. I think that my second fish was about four pounds and the first one a little smaller. But I know that there are a couple of bigger ones, six pounders maybe, that I might be lucky enough to catch one day.



I ask the fish to smile but they rarely do!


This sorry-looking creation, a little weary after its adventures, was taken by the barbel.