Category: Fish and fishing


One of the problems that PR and I had when trying to catch a Mediterranean barbel is that not terribly much seems to have been written about them, and little specific guidance seems to be available. The sources of information that we consulted included John Langridge´s book on Spanish barbel and a few blog posts and snippets of information on the internet or short film sequences on Youtube. The simple truth was that this was to be something of a journey into the unknown.  Continue reading

On Saturday I fished with my old friend Mark McCann. We have fished together on and off, along with my brother Sean, ever since we were schoolboys. Mark was over here in Spain while his wife Nicola was playing with the Irish croquet team against their Spanish counterparts. While all the ladies were out on the lawn the two of us sneaked away to see if we could manage to catch a few or two out of my local rivers. Continue reading

December has just started and I realise I have never written, as I had planned, about the way another month ended. That month is not the November that has just slipped by but the October that preceded it. The last couple of hours of daylight were, for me, the highlight of the whole month. Continue reading

Things are pretty challenging on the river at this time of the year. The gypsy barbel seem to have abandoned the old haunts they prefer in the warmer months and are sulking, unseen in the deeper water. Continue reading

There are nine species of barbel in Spain which makes it something of a European hotspot. The UK by contrast has only one (Barbus barbus) which is not found in Spain at all. John Langridge and I have fished for my local gypsy barbel on many several occasions on my local river, the Guadalhorce, and his book Fishing for Spanish Barbel is the definitive guide on the subject of Spanish barbel. Continue reading

Paul Reddish and I went out to see if we could catch an enigmatic little fish on our recent adventure in Valencia. This is a nase which has a distribution limited to a couple of regions in this area. To the best of my knowledge it doesn´t have a common English name and scientists pin it down with a binomial that seems much more substantial than a little fish like this deserves: Parachondrostoma turiense. Continue reading

This morning I had a couple of decent bass in the Conde del Guadalhorce reservoir at El Chorro. It is a long time since I had a good bass and they were taken on successive casts. Those big bass seem to be like London buses. There is an interminable wait before two of them turn up at the same time! Continue reading

The barbel on my local river will occasionally feed at the surface but, for the most part, they take food either drifting close to the bottom or actually on the bottom itself or even just beneath it in the soft sediment. They are well adapted for taking food this way with sensory equipment well-suited rummaging around beneath them. I suspect that most of what they eat they do not even see but identify with tactile or olfactory senses. Continue reading

Every now and again Catriona has to travel with her job and she abandons me for a few days.  She away at the moment and so I have the place to myself. The Spanish have an expression for when a bloke is left to his own devices like this. They say of whoever is liberated in this way that he “esta de Rodriguez”. I don´t know how widely used the expression is even here in Spain. I used it once or twice on the natives and they looked at me as if I had two heads. Incidentally, the guy who told me about the expression is a colleague of mine called Julio Rodriguez. Maybe he was pulling my leg. I wouldn´t put it past him. Continue reading

Do you want to know how to catch a carp on the fly?

Well bad luck buster, you´re asking the wrong person!

It´s not that I haven´t tried. In the last week I spent a couple of afternoons chasing carp and my personal tally of our old friend Cyprinis carpio adds up to precisely zero. Continue reading