For whatever reason plans seem to go in alphabetic order. You might give Plan A a whirl and if there is no mileage in it, then it´s time for Plan B. This evening on the river I got as far as Plan C.

Plan A was a dumb choice. The fish, wherever they were hiding, would probably have had a good laugh if they thought that I should be dim-witted enough to even think of it. They had had a relatively stressful day, those fish, or at least those in “my” stretch of the Río Grande. This is because today is Sunday and it was sunny too and the problem with a nice Sunday afternoon is that everyone and their dog decides that the river bank would be a nice place to hang out.

That first dumb plan of mine was to fish a stretch of river that had probably had dogs jumping around in it all day and folks stomping up and down the river banks. You don´t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that the fish in that shallow clear section of river, neurotic at the best of times, would have been reduced to nervous wrecks and, sure enough, despite pretty careful stalking there was not one to be seen.

Plan B was to take a 10 minute walk downstream and see if I could spot a fish or two cruising in a pool down on the Guadalhorce where Leo and I saw a few fish here when we fished on Christmas Eve. This is further off the beaten track and so the fish were likely to have remained undisturbed. Unfortunately it´s tricky to spot them here without breaking the skyline. I approached as cautiously as I could but there was not a fish to be seen.

The day´s sunshine was on the wane as I walking from the Grande to the Guadalhorce (and from Plan A to Plan B). I was not feeling overly optimistic about catching a barbel in conditions which were going to make spotting them more difficult and so I took the opportunity, when presented with it, to take a photograph of a horse. I figured that in this line of work you should just take advantage of whatever opportunities come your way.

Plan B didn´t turn out to be much of an improvement on Plan A and so, after failing to spot anything at all, this plan, just like its predecessor, was duly abandoned. As conditions for spotting fish became more difficult I decided that Plan C would be to fish blind under an indicator and work the water where the shallows gave way to relatively deep water. I did not see a fish all evening but the indicator dipped a few times and put my very briefly in touch with two fish, one within a couple of minutes of the other. Unfortunately neither of those fish stayed on for more than a few seconds and, as I left the river in the failing light, I realised that I had been skunked on my very first fishing day of the new year.

I can´t say I was disappointed. At this time of year nothing can be taken for granted and I was pleased that I managed to hook a couple of fish on an evening when it seemed I would have my work cut out for me.

Close but no cigar!

At least I have that picture of a horse!

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Here it is!