“Crap” is, not only an anagram of of the word “carp” but it is a pretty apt descriptor of my own success, over the last season or two, in the pursuit of that particular fish. I have managed to connect myself to a couple of fine specimens but each returned my nymph to me after setting my pulse racing. They didn´t have to do that. I had done all of the hard work. They were just being mean.

Yesterday I managed to catch my first carp in the Río Guadalhorce in ages and I hope that is a sign that my fortunes might be changing for the better. The river was very coloured and a fish, if you could find one, was likely to be only be seen if it were to upend sufficiently for the top of its tail to disturb the water surface. Luckily for me, a carp was considerate enough to do just that and I was able to tempt it with a rather ridiculous looking fly. The fly was my own version of a mop fly and, even possessing it, causes some degree of shame. It has lived in my fly box surrounded by more respectable imitative patterns and I don´t remember calling on its services in the past. Yesterday though, in the murky river I figured it might be about my best chance at attracting the attention of the carp mooching around in the sediment clouds of its own making.

This all happened at close range and the “fly” was lobbed beyond the fish and drawn back before being allowed to settle just ahead of where the head of the fish was judged to be. And then it was a question of figuring when might be the time to tighten up. This is a matter of experience. Sometimes I get it right but often I get it wrong. Yesterday, though, when I lifted the rod there was a surprised-looking fish at the end of the line shaking its head at me.

The mop fly has earned itself some reputation. It has its advocates and its detractors. My own view is that with a muddy river, receding after recent rains, and few fish to be found, I can use any little help that comes my way. The version I tie up took the reminds me Marge, the long-suffering wife of Homer Simpson and so I have christened the fly “Marge” in her honour. She has a little weight to allow her to sit up and wave her little hairdo enticingly.

Anyway, Marge did the trick for me yesterday and I am very obliged to her.

Mi carpa
These two could be mistaken for sisters!