It was very nice to meet up with Simon Thompson on Wednesday evening and to spend a little time with him on the river. Work and other commitments made it a pretty brief visit but we managed a couple of fish between us and Simon was out again on Friday and had some more.

Today I was at the river again and had a mighty tussle with a carp. I had been given the cold shoulder by a bunch of carp on this stretch of the river a little while back and felt that I had a score to settle. On the Guadalhorce barbel are pretty plentiful and, unless they are in one of their moods, perseverance generally pays off and you will be rewarded with a few fish on most visits. But it is not so with carp. Catching carp here is pretty hit and miss.

I bumped into today´s fish when I noticed him nosing around in the vegetation of the near bank. He was feeding so intently that at one point he had half of his head out of the water and was slurping noisily like some kid finishing off a milkshake through a straw. For some time I followed his meanderings as he drifted in and out of view, bumping into the stems of plants. Trying to catch a fish like this is very tricky and I don´t like to get my hopes up too much. More often than not you end up hanging up in vegetation and watching the cloud of displaced sediment that is simply the fish´s way of saying “haste la vista, baby!” There were some good barbel swimming close to this carp and one fish in particular was tight beside him. Those barbel would have been much more straightforward to catch but I was determined not to cast to them but to hold on until I could have a shot at the carp.

Casting was not an option and I simply lowered the nymph a couple of inches in front of his nose. The window through which the nymph needed to drop was a gap in the vegetation no bigger than the palm of my hand. Thankfully he was so intent on feeding that I could get away with this. In his own good time he drifted forward over the position of the nymph and I tightened up. And then he was off like a freight train pulling the leader out of the rod rings and towing the fly line through the nearside weeds while he headed across the river. There´s no stopping a fish like this when it is on its first run and so I was happy to allow the fly line to drag through the weeds and then sort it out when I had a chance.

And then it was just a question of hanging on and trying to keep the fish away from snags. After swimming across the river and into the current he turned tail and headed downstream. Having things pretty tight makes it feel like like having a big dog on a short lead. I followed him downstream and waded across the river and then I managed to bully him into a side channel where we slugged it out for what seemed ages before I he was beached in the shallows.


On Wednesday after work I had a chance to meet up with Simon Thompson, who is over in Spain on holiday, and we headed down to the river for a while.


I was playing this carp during the royal wedding this afternoon. Prince Harry might consider Meghan Markle a pretty good catch but I think I did better!


The fish took the nymph right in front of the grass in the foreground. The “hole” in the vegetation behind was caused by fly line as the carp decided to run across the river!

Screen Shot 2018-05-19 at 17.24.45

This morning I tied up a few little nymphs using the little tungsten beads that Paul Reddish gave me. The carp and a few barbel considered them palatable enough to accept.