Category: Folks I know


Isidro and the donkey

Yesterday a few of us headed up into hills to a little town called El Colmenar. It turns out that at this time of year that sex-crazed deer, loaded with hormones, descend from the surrounding woods and start rutting. Pretty recently they were even seen walking about the town and there were X rated scenes involving these beasts witnessed by the outdoor swimming pool of the Hotel Rural Buitrera. 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

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

Leo graduates

This blog of mine is the nearest thing I have to a diary and, as such, it´s great to be able to report on Leo´s big day on Saturday when he graduated from the University of York with a B.Sc in Accounting, Business Finance and Management. Catriona, Pippa, Grandad and I made it up to York for the occasion and we had lunch afterwards with the families of two of Leo´s closest friends from university. 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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I was in Bavaria last week with a school group and met a very interesting chap. His name is Frank. He has a surname too but I don´t know what it is. Frank taught our students how to rock climb on a climbing wall outside the hostel. Frank is no spring chicken. We guessed his age at something greater than 60, maybe a good bit more, but he was fit as a fiddle and there wasn´t an ounce of fat on his wiry frame. Continue reading

Every now and then I send off a bit of writing to Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Monthly in the hope they may decide to publish it. If they do accept my little article I get a modest remuneration that, as it happens, almost exactly equals the cost of an annual subscription. So, the way I see it, if I get one article published each year I get to read the best magazine out there (the editor may be reading this!) for free. Continue reading

It was very nice to meet up with Simon Thompson on Wednesday evening and to spend a little time with him on the river. Work and other commitments made it a pretty brief visit but we managed a couple of fish between us and Simon was out again on Friday and had some more.

Today I was at the river again and had a mighty tussle with a carp. I had been given the cold shoulder by a bunch of carp on this stretch of the river a little while back and felt that I had a score to settle. Continue reading

My neoprene fishing boots have seen better days. They are full of rips and tears. In places they seem to be hanging on by a thread. Thinking about it, my neoprene chest waders are just as bad. I took these waders on an outing to Concepción reservoir after work on Friday and it turns out that, despite my best efforts to patch them up, they have nearly as many holes as my landing net. When I finally dragged my arse out my float tube after three hours casting to largely indifferent black bass, my legs looked like water balloons and the water sloshing around inside the waders was waist high. Continue reading

I have just come back from the river after spending a very fine afternoon fishing with Paul Reddish. Paul is excellent company and is a very accomplished fly fisherman. Today we were accompanied by Paul´s wife Fiona and her sister Shona who is over from Australia. Continue reading