Sean and Mark and I managed to extract a few barbel from the Ríos Grande and Guadalhorce last the weekend but the pick of the bunch was taken by Mark in the unlikeliest of circumstances. Sunday was the Romería and the river banks were overflowing with horse riders and carriages and families picnicking in the shade of eucalyptus trees. And somewhere in the middle of all this commotion we found a little stretch of river which seemed relatively undisturbed. Above it a couple of dogs bounding around in the shallows, and below a couple of people were wallowing downstream. I cannot call them swimmers really as there was insufficient depth to swim. They simply sat in the river and took some respite from the heat.

Tight to the near shore the river is a little deeper and there is good tree cover to provide shade and keep people away. This is where the barbel were. They were not easy to see and would often melt into the river revealing themselves only from time to time and giving a short window of time in which to pitch a fly upstream. Anyway, you can guess where this is going. A fish showed itself, Mark got his fly close enough and the fish duly obliged.

To my surprise the fish did not do what they often do, which is to bolt downstream at a rate of knots. That might have surprised the folks in the water! Instead it stayed reasonably close and behaved itself very obligingly. In the landing net it revealed itself to be a really handsome fish and we had a chance to take a few snaps before the fish was put back home.

A really handsome fish this one
The fish was very close in where there was shade from overhanging bushes
Two magnificent specimens! Mark avec son poisson.