The biggest fish I have hooked on the Guadalhorce just came off the line after we had been battling it out for fifteen minutes or so. I never saw it but from the dogged and unrelenting nature of  the fight it can only have been a carp. I knew shortly after I had hooked it that it was something out of the ordinary. It had the assurance that big fish have. To be honest, I hooked it without being aware that it had taken my nymph. I had been casting to some barbel that were swimming close to the surface of discoloured water when the nymph sank to the bottom and was hoovered in by the carp.

In short order the fish moved downstream but it seemed unhurried and I followed it to keep it away from snags. There are some hazards in the pool where I hooked it and I encouraged him to move downstream to where the river was relatively open and free of obstructions. And then for about 10 minutes or more we just slugged it out at close range. I had just enough leverage to stop him working into the snags on the nearside bank.

There is little room to beach a deep bodied fish on this bank and so I figured my best bet was to wade across the river so that I could beach him on a gentle incline and I was about half way across the river when the rod straightened and my nymph reappeared.

That big carp had gone.

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It is surprising that a river as little as this one has monsters in it.


The Guadalhorce and Río Grande´s flows are meeting here and you can see that the Guadalhorce (far side) is quite discoloured. I hooked the big fish well downstream of this point and this is why I never saw the carp despite having it just in front of me in water about three feet deep.


This is my previous best carp from this river but I suspect today´s fish might have been a good bit bigger.


I had a few barbel today and this one was taken on the way back to the car after losing the carp. It was a tiddler by comparison!


When I got home I took a photo of the fly that the carp (and a couple of barbel) had taken. It is a home-made thing – a sort of hybrid nymph and North Country Spider. Might be useful to remember this one!