I visited the river about four days ago and found the Guadalhorce to be off colour but the Río Grande running clear. There were fish in the first stretch of the Río Grande that I came across but they would have nothing to do with me. I spent a very absorbing afternoon trying this and that, ultimately to no avail. I showed them nymphs of various kinds along with dries. I fished under an indicator. I fished without one. I cast long. I cast short. If I thought anything would shift the odds in my favour I gave a whirl. But the fish, like I say, would have none of it.

Having been so comprehensively skunked I was itching to get back and I managed to do so this afternoon. I had a few little nymphs with me that I had tied up with some tungsten beads that Paul Reddish was kind enough to give me. These nymphs are the usual kind of thing that I use and tied on jig hooks of around size 14. I opted for the silver bead (Paul gave me both gold and silver) and went for a pink body. For some reason pink seems to be quite attractive in the eyes of the local barbel.

The Río Grande is beautiful just now. It was nowhere very deep but the pools I selected did have the depth and structure needed to provide cover for the fish and there were quite a few barbel around. There were carp too, and while I saw four or five, I never really managed to get a shot at one. They were hugging the bank at my feet and drifted away almost as soon as I saw them.

I´m happy to say that the gypsy barbel were in a more accommodating frame of mind this afternoon and my new nymphs seem to work pretty well.

The fish were in lovely condition and I would say that  most were over three pounds. I don´t weigh fish and so these weights are estimates. I unhooked them in the water and let them on their way again. I´m afraid I have no photos of the fish. It seems an unnecessary ordeal to put the fish through and I am happier to see them swim off strongly.

Even though it looks pretty dishevelled now I wanted to get a photo of the nymph that took the last four or five of the seven barbel I landed. The nymph is nothing special to be truthful but it seems to work and I´m sure the tungsten bead has something to do with it.  No doubt the genuine article will end up on the bottom of the river one day or stuck in a tree!

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This scruffy looking thing has been through the wars. It got dragged around the river by a succession of fish and became intimately acquainted rocks and weeds. In its heyday it looked prettier!


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Red and pink seem to go down pretty well.

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Here are three of the survivors from my little team of four that I tied up between my last visit to the river and today. The absentee took two or three fish today before falling apart and is now retired from active duty.