I have walked many kilometres of riverbank of the Río Guadalhorce over the years and have a developed a pretty good feel for the river and, particularly, the stretch that runs closest to home. I fished there this afternoon and felt that I would trade miles of this river for just a couple of square metres a shallow run which tips into a deep pool.

If you look very carefully from an elevated bank beside this run you will soon make out the shapes of good fish here. They appear and disappear in the broken mirror of the surface. If you really want to make them out clearly and, in the process, punch a little too much out of the skyline above them out they will vanish. It is that simple.

The water where the fish hold barely covers them. At a guess it is between 6 and 10 inches deep for the most part and, probably nowhere deeper than a foot. I think the fish like it here because the water is sufficiently turbulent to conceal them and the sanctuary of the pool can be reached in no time by turning with the current and dipping into the undercut at the foot of a rock which breaks surface at the head of the pool.

I have tried casting to the fish from this elevated point but it takes little time to spook them so today I waded in the river and cast from behind the shelter of the rock. From here the fish are only a little way upstream and I can remain hidden. Only the rod breaks the skyline. Casting consists of nothing more than pitching the nymph and I fish a longish leader and try to keep the fly line out of the water. There is really no time to expect to see a take. It is just a question of pitching, picking up and pitching the nymph again. It takes probably only a second or so between the nymph landing and having to lift it again before the nymph snags up in the debris that accumulates at the foot of the rock.

If a fish takes here you will just feel it. Fish that hold in current have to make a commitment to grabbing something in the split second it appears and, if you are lucky enough for a fish to accept you nymph the chances are you will know all about it in pretty short order. Today I had a fish this way, and another one a tad further upstream in the glide just before the run breaks up the surface.

The fishing is challenging at the moment. The rains that revive the river have yet to arrive and so it is running thin and carrying some colour. In all but the shallower stretches, the bottom cannot be seen and fish, if you can make them out, are gliding ghosts. Before I left the river I used my rod as a yardstick to estimate the width of the river at the point where I caught the two fish. My best guess is that it was 15 feet across. When I left the river I was delighted with my two lovely fish. I knew that, all said, this were a pretty good return.


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Here is the second of the two fish in the moment before it was returned to the river.



I slipped into the river here and waded up to the large rock. From here it was possible to pitch the nymph into the sweet spot which was pretty tight to the left bank.


When you get to the rock you can get some cover and pitch the nymph to where the fish should be. If you haven´t alerted them you are in with a shot.