Things are pretty challenging on the river at this time of the year. The gypsy barbel seem to have abandoned the old haunts they prefer in the warmer months and are sulking, unseen in the deeper water.

If you decide to wander the banks with a fly rod it makes sense not to build up expectations. Chances, if they come your way are likely to be little more than half-chances and it is best to consider the whole enterprise as an excuse to have some quiet time somewhere pretty.

I spent a couple of hours on the river on Sunday afternoon. If I were a decent human being I would have been weeding the terrace as I had promised my wife but unfortunately the river sometimes pops into my mind and the temptation to have a little flutter usually gets the better of me. The weeding was going to have to wait!

I did have one half-chance and, luckily, it was one of those moments that things seemed to work out. There was nothing showing in the water and the river was quite coloured. I decided just to stay still and examine the water on my near bank. It looked like there was nothing doing but then I saw the dark bar of a fish´s back orientated in such a way that, as far as I could make out, its head was poking into the bank.

I tossed in a little nymph with a silver tungsten bead into close to the bank just beyond the fish and very gently tightened to it drawing it towards the fish. I could see neither the nymph nor the fish´s reaction to it but kept tight to the little nymph. And then the rod arched and the fish turned downstream. In the battle that followed my tethered fish ran among others that were disturbed by the commotion and the positions of several fish were revealed.

And that was that. One half-chance and one handsome fish. I wandered a way upstream and saw nothing. There were vacancy signs on all the old barbel hangouts and the parking lots were empty.


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Back in the drink


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¡Hasta la vista baby!