Category: Fish and fishing


My son Leo gave me a present of a nifty little hip flask and, a little while back, Johan Terblanche gave me a nice bottle of South African brandy. And so, I put two and two together and decided to pour what was left of the brandy into the hip flask and then go looking for something to celebrate.

What better to celebrate than the capture and release of a nice fish? Continue reading

Yesterday afternoon Johan Terblanche and I fished the Guadalhorce. The river was somewhat skinnier than when we had last fished it around Easter time and it was carrying a little colour. Johan is now officially my favourite person in the whole world after he gave me a present of a bottle of Klipdrift brandy from South Africa. I don´t know much about brandy but I understand that this is a bit special. I reckon I might pour some of this stuff into a hip flask my brother in law gave me a few years back and enjoy a celebratory toast if a good fish should come my way. Continue reading

I guess at some time or another every one of us has found ourselves at shit creek with or without our paddles. Maybe some of us have even fished there. I think I have. From what I recall the fishing there was disappointing to put it mildly. Continue reading

On Wednesday of last week an old fishing buddy of mine, Norman Smith, passed away. It came out of the blue and we are all still shaking our heads and wondering what the hell happened. Yesterday I joined his family and friends for a service at the cemetery of Coín which was given by a lay preacher of the Church of England. I sat at the back of the room and, at the opposite end separated from us by a glass partition was Norman´s coffin. On our side there was a large photograph of Norman. In this picture he was looking particularly pleased with himself and why would´t he be? After all he is cradling an enormous carp. Continue reading

Only an idiot would venture out fishing in the afternoon heat here in Andalucía and so it will come as no surprise that I spent a few happy hours on the banks of the Guadalhorce yesterday afternoon and followed this up by a bit more of the same today! The worry at this time of the year is that the fish succumb to same lethargic mood as the rest of us – a sort of dull torpor that descends like a fog of anaesthetic when the heat of summer begins to kick in. Continue reading

One of the nice things about fly fishing is that if things don´t go your way you have an endless supply of things to blame. There´s no need to point out that your lack of success is down to your own ineptitude when you can point out that the wind was blowing too hard, or not hard enough or the the time of the day was all wrong, or it all came down to the unsuitable temperature, phase of the moon or climate change. These, and many others, can be used either singly or in any combination to allow you to blank for the entire season with perfect justification. Continue reading

On my local stretch of river you can choose what kind of water you fish. There are broad shallow pools, there are riffles and reaches where the river twists and turns, where it speeds up or it slows down. And you can find fish in much of this water if you look closely. To the gypsy barbel the deeper pools with reasonable currents offer prime real estate and the shallow sills where the river empties into them can be relied on to produce a few fish which hold in the shallows but, if they are disturbed, that can reverse effortlessly into the relative safety of the deeper water. Continue reading

The mayfly is up at the moment and everybody in Ireland with half a brain will be out chasing trout. It just has to be done. The best advice for any fisherman at this time of the year is this: divorce your wife if you need to and, if it comes to it, be prepared to abandon your kids. If things are busy at work consider pulling a sickie or, if you have a little business of your own, just stick the “Gone Fishing” sign and get the hell out of there. Continue reading

The biggest fish I have hooked on the Guadalhorce just came off the line after we had been battling it out for fifteen minutes or so. I never saw it but from the dogged and unrelenting nature of  the fight it can only have been a carp. I knew shortly after I had hooked it that it was something out of the ordinary. It had the assurance that big fish have. To be honest, I hooked it without being aware that it had taken my nymph. I had been casting to some barbel that were swimming close to the surface of discoloured water when the nymph sank to the bottom and was hoovered in by the carp. Continue reading

A keeper

Every now and then you catch a fish and, for whatever reason, the circumstances of its capture stick in your mind. I caught a nice fish a couple of hours ago and the little details are all there in front of me. The barbel was duly returned unharmed and is now swimming in the darkness of the nighttime river. Continue reading