Category: Folks I know


When Steve Lawler and I reached the second fishing spot he had planned to show me on Friday we both chickened out of the trek across an open filed to the shore of the reservoir. There were a few cattle in the field there and neither of us trusted them. In particular there were three shady characters standing in the shadow of a tree and one of them had a mean look in her eyes. Continue reading

My mother doesn´t look anything like a trout, which is rather unfortunate for me but probably rather fortunate for her. This observation becomes particularly relevant now that my brothers and sisters, widely scattered throughout the world, have decided to run an art competition and the subject we are asked to paint is no less a person than our mother. Continue reading

We fly fishermen tend to delude ourselves sometimes and begin to imagine we are gifted observers of nature and that we have, through painstaking observation and craft, infiltrated the mysterious world of our quarry. At the vise we whip up near-perfect impersonators of the little bugs that drift downstream to the waiting fish. It is just a question of showing up at the river and success is preordained. Continue reading

Fishing with PR is a good laugh. He is one of the best fly fishermen I know and is one of those guys who has been everywhere and caught just about everything that swims. He also has a touch of that particularly English kind of eccentricity that makes him something of a “fish collector.” He would have made a first rate Victorian. Targeting a “full house” of Mediterranean barbel species is part of his quest to tick off all nine species that swim around here in the Iberian Peninsula. But searching for these fish is part of a wider adventure. It is a means of discovering all kinds of wonders hidden among the nooks and crannies of this remarkable country.  Continue reading

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

Yesterday I went fishing with my son. This has become a pretty rare treat and we probably now only manage to fish together once or twice a year. The fishing was slow, as it happens. We had only one fish between us and Leo caught it. Continue reading

There are three pubs in Inistioge which, as it happens, is just one more than the number of churches. On the face of it, it seems that there must be a pretty virtuous community there. After all in your average Irish town the pubs outnumber the churches by about a million to one. Continue reading

Brian Jones keeps a fishing diary and he was kind enough to show me what he had written about our fishing last Saturday. I thought it was very interesting, detailed and well-written and so I twisted his arm and asked him if I could reproduce it here. Being the gentleman that he is he gave me the thumbs up and so, without further ado, here it is: Continue reading

Everybody I have fished with on my local river returns the fish they catch. They might have asked if the fish are edible but that was no more than curiosity. They have also treated the fish with care and taken pleasure from seeing the fish swim away strongly after a quick photograph or two or a moment of appreciation. It is difficult to resist that moment even when you know it is high time for the fish to be on its way again. The gypsy barbel are strikingly handsome fish and, particularly in bright sunlight, it is always a pleasure to admire the profile of these fish and the striking contrast between their olive backs and golden bellies. Continue reading