Category: Folks I know


Last weekend I drove up to Trujillo to spend some time fishing with Colin McLachlan. It was a hell of a drive and my wife thought I was crazy. The last time Colin and I crossed paths was also in Trujillo when Steven Lawler and I drove up in April 2016. On that occasion Colin was on a fishing trip with Dave Felce and Fred Carrie. This time round the other guys could not make it so it was just the two of us. Continue reading

My brother Sean and my friend Mark McCann are my longest serving fishing buddies. We try to get together every year or two to wet a line together and sink a few pints each evening to celebrate success or commiserate failure, whichever is a suitable response to the events of the day. Continue reading

Yesterday I drove for an hour and a half to catch a single fish that would not have looked out of place in a can of sardines. The reservoir from which I extracted this modest organism was Embalse Zahara el Gastor and it lies close to the town of Zahara de la Sierra in Cádiz which is nestled in the hills of Andalucía in the province of Cádiz. Continue reading

I owe a big debt of gratitude to a friend of mine called Clare Morris who was a very inspiring Head of English at the school where I work. When I started out writing things of my own a few years ago I would run them by her and she would give me much more praise than my efforts deserved and in the process, crucially, she encouraged me to stick at it. The end result was a book, a dozen or so magazine articles and a number of comedy scripts which were delivered in the form of standup routines. 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

My brother Sean will turn 51 this month. Whenever the opportunity presents itself he leaps off the wall of the pier in Knightstown on Valentia Island. It is the Atlantic we´re talking about here and, even in high summer, the sensation of jumping into deep water is something like having your balls rapidly immersed into a flask of liquid nitrogen. Continue reading

My brother Sean fly fishes off the south west coast of Ireland, sometimes from the shore and sometimes from his kayak and, more often than not, it will be a home made Clouser Minnow at the business end of his leader. 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

If you read this blog you will know that the thing is written by some bloke in the south of Spain and that it is largely built around the subject of fly fishing. This may well be true but the blog, for me, is the closest thing that I have to a diary and I am using it here to record an event which may have little significance for others but that means a great deal to me and to our family. 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