Category: Other bits and bobs


Whenever I have finished fishing for the day, or when a change of fly is needed, I deposit whatever fly I have removed from my line into a little tupperware box where it joins comrades recently retired from active duty.

There are two flies in that box at the moment that, in my view at least, are quite interesting for one reason or another. Continue reading

The Man who stares at Goats

You should never underestimate the usefulness of goats. Down at the river I come a across flocks of these all the time and last Saturday, when I finally managed to track down a few fish in a shallow pool on the Río Grande, a flock materialised and went tramping noisily among the far bank. The goat herders keep dogs which are about the size of horses and which act as communal bodyguards for the goats and a couple of these giants decided to jump into the river to intimidate me. Continue reading

If some clown comes up to you and says “listen, I´ve got this fly pattern that never fails” you should treat him with distrust. I was going to say “contempt” but that´s a bit strong. After all, the guy may be well-meaning although a bit weak in the head.

Let´s face it, anything he says should be taken with a pinch of salt. In fact you are probably better putting some distance between the two of you. He may be a decent enough chap and his intentions may be good but, fundamentally, he is not to be trusted. You probably know all this already. Continue reading

I went to El Chorro yesterday afternoon not knowing if fly fishing held any real prospects and, somewhat to my surprise, I managed to catch a lovely carp. The water level has fallen since my last visit which was perhaps 6 weeks ago and the the Río Turón was little more than a shallow trickle as it spilled into the reservoir. Continue reading

Painting a perch

For some time now I have been working on a watercolour painting of a perch. I laid the keel, so to speak, back in June when I sketched a pencil outline but then the project when on hold during the summer when my “painting room” was occupied by Grandad and I succumbed to a prolonged apathy that seems to afflict everyone here during the height of the summer.

Recently though, when life was simplified by the departure of guests and the sting had come out of the summer heat, I wandered back into Grandad´s room, dug out the perch and continued to work on it. Continue reading

On Wednesday we finally got some rain here. It has been a long time coming and when it did arrive it drove down with an unrelenting ferocity that, in pretty short order, turned roads into shallow rivers and gave us a few hours of chaos. It is often the way things go here. The rains, when they do come, come with a vengeance. Continue reading

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

A very odd thing happened yesterday when I was fishing with Colin McLachlan. I was sneaking around the shore of a reservoir called Embalse de Gabriel y Galán in Extremadura when I came across a full grown griffon vulture on the slope leading to the shoreline. I had been so intent on looking for barbel in the shallows that I approached reasonably closely before I noticed. It is very unusual to see a vulture like this on the ground and there was no sign of a carcass that might have attracted it. Continue reading

I have walked many kilometres of riverbank of the Río Guadalhorce over the years and have a developed a pretty good feel for the river and, particularly, the stretch that runs closest to home. I fished there this afternoon and felt that I would trade miles of this river for just a couple of square metres a shallow run which tips into a deep pool.

If you look very carefully from an elevated bank beside this run you will soon make out the shapes of good fish here. They appear and disappear in the broken mirror of the surface. If you really want to make them out clearly and, in the process, punch a little too much out of the skyline above them out they will vanish. It is that simple. 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