Remember that Meatloaf song where he sings that two out of three aint´t bad? As it happens he was just telling somebody that while he wanted and needed them he was never going to love them. I always thought that that was pretty harsh. Don´t be sad? Yeah, right.

I have a similar story but it is not about the nature of my relationship with another human being but about catching and failing to catch fish which, as I´m sure you will agree, is a matter of much greater importance.

And the numbers are not the same. Instead of Meatloaf´s two out of three we are now looking at three out of four.

The rivers are settling now after some recent rains and this is, in many ways, the very best time of the year. The Río Grande flows in to the clouded Guadalhorce and its water has now cleared well. Around the area of their confluence and just a little way downstream, there are plenty of fish but they are not in the business of revealing themselves unless you pay close attention. Soon the summer heat will really kick in and both rivers will shrink. If this year follows the pattern of previous years, in a couple of months much of the Grande will be bone dry and it becomes hard to imagine, when looking at the cracked earth, that barbel had once weaved here in vanished river currents.

But for now things are as good as they get and I try to get to the river as often as I can. On Friday evening, in the only hour of decent fishing light I had, I managed to catch three barbel but there was a fourth fish that taunted me and then glided off into the murk. This one was a carp and it was, by some measure, the biggest of them all. It was tight to the near bank and had its head stuck into a little overhang. The near bank was relatively clear because this was the water that had come down from the Río Grande and it had not yet mixed fully with the turbid water of the Guadalhorce. I could see the broad shoulders and most of the body of this fish but the front half of its head was right at my feet and obscured from view. I was frozen to the spot and had a nymph hovering ready to drop in front of it if it backed even a few inches. The big carp though had other ideas. It burrowed away into the margin wallowing around happily. And then, with no indication that it was frightened, or even aware that I was standing almost on top of it, it just glided away.

I don´t know whoever it was that Meatloaf wrote his song to, but perhaps it may offer them some consolation to know that they are not alone in having their heart broken!

Some consolation at least!