Category: Fish and fishing


I got no change out of the fish yesterday evening when I tried to sucker them into ingesting a little nymph and so the gypsy barbel of the Guadalhorce enjoyed a relaxed, uneventful evening. To be honest I should have had one when I lifted into a dip of my yarn indicator but without any real conviction. I thought I had snagged on the bottom and, by the time I realised that the bottom had drifted across the river a couple of metres, everything went slack again and the fish was gone. Continue reading

One of the one hundred and twelve thousand reasons I go fishing is that I manage to grab a bit of solitude when I´m out there creeping along the river bank. In truth I would normally expect to have the river completely to myself but for the usual suspects who tend to hang out there – the egrets and herons and and all the the bugs and weeds and shrubs and fishes. Continue reading

For whatever reason plans seem to go in alphabetic order. You might give Plan A a whirl and if there is no mileage in it, then it´s time for Plan B. This evening on the river I got as far as Plan C. Continue reading

I fished on Christmas Eve with my son Leo and Johan Terblanche and, as we headed out to the river, I was quietly optimistic about our prospects. I had made an exploratory visit a couple of days before and had managed to extract a gypsy barbel from the Río Grande and the river looked good. It was running clear and there were a few fish around. Continue reading

I have a fish tank in my lab which is a constant source of interest to the students I teach. Frankly, they spend more time watching the fish swimming around than they ever do listening to me. There used to be a much-admired crayfish in there which would astound everybody by periodically shedding its exoskeleton and looking like it was dead before appearing from behind a wooden log.

What a party trick that was! Continue reading

Every now and then my brother Sean and Mark McCann manage to get a few days of fishing and head off into the hinterlands with fly rods thrown into the back of their cars and their heads swimming with dreams of trout and Guinness, both of which essential to the success of such ventures. Very occasionally I get to join them but it is increasingly hard to do because I live a long way away and the best times for fishing in Ireland tend to coincide with my busiest times at work. Continue reading

For some time now I have dabbled in painting fish in water colours and, until now, the subjects have been fish that I have become acquainted with first hand including brown trout, perch, carp, black bass and gypsy barbel. I have just broken with this little tradition by painting a fish that I have never seen in the flesh but that strikes me as a beautiful subject – the Golden Dorado. It´s no surprise that I have never seen or caught one. If I were to do so I would have to book myself a flight to South America. Continue reading

I don´t know whether brown trout are dumb or not. There are quite a few fishermen out there who say that our old friend Salmo trutta is actually pretty thick. Others take the opposite view and consider trout to be smart on account of their fussiness and selectivity, the very same traits oddly enough that are cited by their opponents as evidence of their stupidity. I will leave this debate to anyone whose flies have been refused all day and are seeking solace over a beer or something stronger. My own take on the matter is that trout are smart and dumb at the same time, an attribute, if you think about it, that is not uncommon in human beings. I would go a little further in suggesting that our native brown trout are the intellectual superiors of the rainbow trout, although I´m sure many will disagree. In either case we´re not talking about organisms pushing their way into the higher range of IQ scores. Continue reading

I have just gone and tied up three stupid-looking flies. They are simple variations of the mop flies that seem to be the rage at the moment but, when I look at the things, what comes to mind is the rather strange hairdo of Homer Simpson´s wife Marge. If I were to give a name to this fly, which I won´t on account of their being nothing much original about it, I might go with “Mrs Simpson´s Special.” Continue reading

My brother Sean and our close friend Mark McCann head off fishing the mayfly every year on Lough Arrow and it is one of my few regrets about living in Spain and working as a teacher that I am unable to join them. I do however insist on getting a full report and Sean invariably provides an account in his own inimitable style. Mr McCann has also contributed to the cause this year and I have therefore, in the finest tradition of plagiarism, stolen their words and pictures, without their knowledge or consent, and include them here for us all to enjoy.

 

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