Category: Folks I know


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

Yesterday evening I found myself looking out over the Mediterranean from a viewing point at the end of a walking trail. I was with Paul Reddish. Beneath us was Marbella and cutting through the haze beyond the still waters of the sea were the tops of some of the mountains of Morocco. This is far from the narrowest part of the Mediterranean but, even from here, Africa looks pretty close. If you travel further west, at its narrowest point at the Strait of Gibraltar the distance shrinks to 8 miles or so and it can feel as though you could almost skim a stone and have it bounce across the water and rattle up among the pebbles of a different continent. Continue reading

I´m no expert on the fish of Loch Lomond but I am more of an expert than I was this time last week after having made a trip up to the Loch and to stare, for the first time, into its dark, peat-stained water. Continue reading

My son Leo plays rugby and he just sent us a message to say that his team, Whitton Lions RFC, had won the league. This was his first season of rugby and he has obviously taken to it! Being in Spain while Leo plays in London I have not been able to see his weekly matches but last weekend I had a chance to get over there and arrived early enough to make the Saturday game. Continue reading

I fished on Christmas Eve with my son Leo and Johan Terblanche and, as we headed out to the river, I was quietly optimistic about our prospects. I had made an exploratory visit a couple of days before and had managed to extract a gypsy barbel from the Río Grande and the river looked good. It was running clear and there were a few fish around. Continue reading

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