I was joined by an otter yesterday as I was fishing a pool on the Guadalhorce. It made its way upstream through the shallows before easing itself into the slow-flowing pool. I don´t think the otter was frightened but he knew I was there. He eased himself through the water on the opposite bank before vanishing into the plants in the margin.

It is always a treat to see an otter but this one was not altogether a surprise. Downstream, on the margins of another shallow pool I had earlier come across a set of otter tracks freshly set in the mud on the margin. I suspect that the otter that joined me had left those tracks, perhaps earlier in the same day.

The river all around here is relatively undisturbed and looks like perfect habitat for otters. It is nice to know that otters are prospering, not only here in my local river, but in Spain generally. There has been a 70% increase in there numbers over the last 20 years or so in Andalucía.

The presence of the otter seems to have made little difference to my own prospects. I had a fish from both the pools with the otter tracks and the pool where the otter joined me. This second fish took a dry fly which I had been fishing as an indicator for a very small nymph. That came a something of a surprise and it was my first barbel on the dry this year so far.

I hope that I cross paths with the otter again. An afternoon on the river is always fun but an encounter like this makes it even better.

The otter made its way upstream from the shallows and joined me in the pool. Our little encounter lasted perhaps 20 seconds or so.