I had a lovely visit to the river on Sunday and a chance to try out one of the little nymphs I tied up the previous night during a “fly tying” zoom call. This zoom call was a lot of fun. The tying was done by myself and my brother Sean but we were joined by our old fishing buddy Mark McCann and various family members including my son Leo, Sean´s son Dan and his daughter Nancy. Our respective wives even dropped in at various stages. Our women folk were pretty much uniformly of the view that we are all a bit silly sitting around at vices, swilling red wine, and talking bullshit.

The flies Sean was tying were to serve to catch some trout in his local river in Ireland but the river was running pretty high and so his nymphs were heavily weighted. My own nymphs were to fish “my” river for barbel here in Spain. The stretch I like is pretty clear at present, and shallow too, and so I err on the small side when tying. I know that the barbel would be spooked if nymphs are too large or gaudy or make too much noise when they plop into the water.

I will tell the story of how things went by on Sunday by stitching together a few pictures taken during my adventure at the river and a little bit of text for context so here we go…….

The results of my efforts during the previous night´s zoom call. The nymphs are tied with tungsten beads but I tried to keep the size down.
The first fish taken cruised into the near margin and took the nymph at the first time of asking. This is the best barbel I have had this year so far.
This is the Río Grande. There is a tiny grass island upstream where a number of fish were holding. I was lucky enough to catch three of them. Later, when summer arrives, this section of river will likely all be dry.
We tend to forget that from a fish´s point of view most of the river surface is a mirror. This is one of my “island” fish just before it swam away. The fish that were hooked close to the island tended to turn and steam off downstream. This meant that they could be landed without frightening their buddies.
This was my fifth and last fish. The strollers who were kind enough to take this picture for me continued walking upstream and would have put down the fish I was hoping to sneak up on! They were nice people and I hope they enjoyed hanging around on the river as much as I did. People are often surprised that quite big fish swim around in quite a little river!