Category: Flies and fly tying


Today I had a chance to pick up some bass flies that Johan Terblanche very kindly tied for me. I was away from home during his recent visit but he was good enough to leave them with some nearby friends and when I dropped in on them today to collect my daughter who had spent the night there, I was duly given the flies. Continue reading

I caught a good carp today. It took a fly intended for black bass and I had no reason initially to think it was not a big bass. The fly was cast in close to the margin and I had just begun to work it back when everything went solid.

I saw a flash of flank initially and it did seem pretty dark but then the fish sounded and for the next 10 minutes or so I saw nothing beyond the end of my fly line or the first few inches of leader. Continue reading

In the face of it “French nymphing” sounds like a highly dubious activity that might appeal only deranged perverts. Thankfully it is not quite as dodgy as it sounds. French nymphing so no more and no less than a simple and very effective way of extracting trout from rivers. I knew a little about it before receiving some instruction a little over a week ago on the Upper Guadalquivir. Continue reading

Good question. Like many good questions the answer is not straightforward. In fact it doesn´t have an answer at all. The truth is carp are very adaptable and they do what fish do best, which is to feed on whatever is available and, given the choice, the source of food that provides the most nutrition for the effort required to obtain it. Carp, just like the rest of us, want the most bang for their buck.

If you asked a seasoned trout fisherman what the best fly for trout is you will get a deluge of answers. You will get suggested patterns ranging from diminutive midges through to large streamers and Chernobyl Ants that look like the Titanic but have greater inherent buoyancy. The real answer to the question, unsatisfactory as it may be, is “it depends.” And it is the things that it depends on that make fly fishing so absorbing. Continue reading

In the car on the way to the river this afternoon Cher started giving me a hard time. She told me she was annoyed with me for being unfaithful to her and asked sarcastically if the woman I allegedly engaged in a bit of slap and tickle with last night was “worth it.” Then she announced that she was stronger now and was just going to get on with her life. Jesus! Give us a break! I´ve never even met the woman. Anyway, as it happens, last night I was at home watching the telly. Continue reading

Can you get an indian summer in the middle of winter? Well, it certainly seems we have one here! Yesterday I was off galavanting on the river in shorts and crossing the river, as I usually do, in wearing a pair of neoprene diver´s boots. It seems quite odd to get away with this while much of Europe is, if not yet in the grip of winter, not far away.

At this time of year many fly fishermen switch to species like grayling and pike which don´t seem to mind the cold too much or which are not excluded by close season rules. There are no grayling in my neck of the woods although nearby reservoirs contain pike. What we do get, here in my local river, are gypsy barbel and common carp and both of these were in fine form yesterday.  Continue reading

The weather forecast for yesterday stated that there was a 100% chance of rain, which is a pretty lousy forecast in most peoples´ books. Of course, if you wanted rain this would have been about as good a forecast as you could possibly hope for.

Personally I don´t mind the rain one bit. I´m Irish, which means that an occasional drenching is part of my cultural heritage, like drinking Guinness. So yesterday I headed off to the river knowing that I had a pretty good chance of getting soaked but it was not so much how the rain might affect me that I was thinking about, but how it would affect the river and, indirectly, the fish. Continue reading

I had a very fine fish on the Río Grande this afternoon. I was delighted with it, not only because it was a beautiful fish, but because I had my work cut out to catch it.

The Grande is a little coloured now following recent rain but I thought that the extra water it was carrying might encourage the fish to spread out a little and explore the reaches upstream of the deeper pools which are off limits when the river is skinnier. Continue reading

My ancient car is acting up. On Monday morning it refused to start which was curious because the previous day it had taken me happily to the river and back. Maybe it was just drawing the line, as I am often tempted to do, at heading off for another week at work at some ungodly hour in the morning.

And then yesterday it failed, in spectacular fashion, its annual technical inspection. It often lets itself down on some little technical defect or other but yesterday it decided to pull out all the stops and fail with aplomb. The man with the torch who lives in a dark cave and inspects the underneath of the cars was so impressed by the defects that he surfaced into daylight and asked me to go down with him to look up. He said “look, see that broken bit?” and pointed to a broken bit and then he said “look, see that crack?” and pointed to a crack. I pretended to be surprised but knew perfectly well that the whole car was just more or less hanging together. Continue reading

I had a simple plan for this afternoon. First I was going to head off to the Guadalhorce to see if I could fool a few fish with some simple nymphs I tied up yesterday afternoon. After that I was going to drop in to Café Europa for a cafe con leche.

There is nothing much to the little nymphs I use. I tie them on smallish (size 14) barbless grub hooks and they seem quite palatable to the barbel and carp. You could do a lot of fooling around trying different patterns but I tend not to. I have a lot of confidence in these things and stick to them out of a mixture of laziness and brand loyalty. Continue reading