My brother Sean and our friend Mark have been fishing together on and off since we were kids and this weekend we went fishing together and were kids all over again. Mark often comes out to spend a few days in Marbella but Sean has not been out here for years but he contrived to add a few days to a trip to attend a science conference in Sevilla and jumped on a train to Málaga. This was the first time that all three of us wet a line together in Spain.

We have had a lot of rain here recently and the rivers are a little out of sorts but slowly they are improving. This made the fishing more challenging than it would normally be at this time of year but we plugged away and were rewarded for our efforts with a few fish. Both of these boys know what they are doing and so they needed little guidance from me. The real challenge was trying to scope out a few fish when the rivers are pretty coloured up. I worked on Friday I and so deposited the boys on the banks of the Guadalhorce close to where it meets the Grande. The plan was for them both to have a day of fishing while I was hard at it at the chalkface.

The advantage of this particular part of the river is that it is possible to grab a menu del día at a local venta or a coffee to refuel. As it happens, I grabbed a coffee there myself before picking them up at the end of their shift and, during our subsequent debriefing, it became clear that all three of us had fallen in love with the waitress who poured me my cafe con leche. She had had a busy day and had shown no sign of having fallen in love with any of us in spite of each of us separately claiming that she had!

It is always interesting to see the different approaches taken by fly fishermen. When there were no fish in view, which was nearly all of the time, Sean did a fair bit of prospecting of likely water with his fly fished down and across and he had a few takes from fish he did not know were there until he had them on the end of his line. To me that was interesting. We all ended up using versions of the mop fly that carp and barbel seemed to like when it first appeared on the menu. During its three days of sea trials we figured that it performed pretty well. It seems like a good option for the river in its current mood but something a little more modest is likely to be better soon when the water clears a little and the flows ease up.

I will skip over the fishing details because I don´t suppose they really matter all that much. The bottom line is that we caught a few fish and lost a few more. What I remember was what mattered much more; that we joked around, hung out, caught up on news, and let our hair down every evening after our adventures on the river. I think we all realised in the moment that what we were doing out there was something of a rare gift. Sometimes the realisation of good times comes as a reminiscence but there are times you can feel it, as we did at the river, in real time. There was the usual banter and ribbing and swearing and there was the easiness that comes of hanging out with people you know inside out and nobody ever feels they have anything to prove.

Sean and Mark will next meet up, as they do each year, for the mayfly. They pitch tents on the shore of Lough Arrow and spend the days afloat on one of Finny Dodd´s boats. Things are busy for me at that time and I have to sit this one out. I hope the trout keep up their end of the bargain and look forward to hearing the full report when they´re done.

No fish in the river could feel safe with pros like us about
Here is Sean with his first gypsy barbel
Sean and Mark pose for a picture while the fish are nowhere to be found
This guy asked the boys to take his picture. He improved the their prospects for success immeasurably by walking his horse along the river!
The Romería
Very close to the airport we tried this section of river. Between us we saw only one fish just in front of that little island in the middle of the river and I was fortunate enough to get it.
This is Mark playing what turned out to be the best fish of the trip and the story behind this particular capture will be the subject of a future post