We´ve had some hard rain here recently and I thought I might take a look on the river on Sunday to see how it was clearing up. As usual I had the rod in the back of the car but thought it unlikely that I would be be taking it out. I live close to the confluence of two rivers, the Río Grande and the Río Guadalhorce and after heavy rainfall it tends to be the Río Grande that clears up sooner. So on Sunday I went to take a look at it in the hope it might have recovered sufficiently to offer me a chance to fool a barbel or two.

It became obvious when I arrived that the Grande had yet to settle. Not quite. Despite this I decided to take a little stroll upriver to the pool at the goat farm which, though not much fished, is probably the best known “beat” on this river. The water here is relatively deep and it provides a summer sanctuary for the barbel when the rest of the river becomes a trickle or dries up completely. There are fish in the goat pool year-round but when the levels rise they will disperse.

It was obvious that the river had been pretty high following torrential storms about a week ago and there were corrugated sediments that my boots were among the first to disturb well above the current river level. Much of the track I was walking would have been underwater until quite recently.

I never tire of being at this river and even though it was not likely to fish productively there is nearly always something interesting to see. On Sunday it was an otter. I saw it from a distance of perhaps 40 metres. It was walking along a path well off the river, right out in the open, in broad daylight.

I approached from downwind and was surprised at how close I came before I startled it. I guess I might have been as little as five metres before I was noticed and then the otter moved off and buried itself in a bush. Despite the easy grace of their movements in the water otters (or at least “my” otter) seem a little clumsy in their movements on dry land.

This is only the second time I have seen an otter here. I saw one on the Guadalhorce just a few months ago. I don´t know whether it was just chance or whether these sightings suggest that the otters are thriving on the rivers here.

Otters in Spain in general are recovering in numbers and this has been a gradual, if slow, tend in here in Andalucía over the last 20 years. They tend to stay away from regions which are heavily populated by people and so the middle regions of my rivers are probably favoured habitats.

I hope that these otter sightings will be the first of many more.

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I did not take photograph of the otter I came across on Sunday but here is a nice photo of another Spanish otter that I pinched from http://www.iberianature.com/