Latest Entries »

It looks like there is a crocodile on the loose! Recent sightings, including one made by a police officer, seem to confirm there is a nile crocodile swimming around in the Río Pisuerga close to the town of Simancas in central Spain. The story first came out a couple of days ago and there seem to be some inconsistencies between the different versions I have seen. The croc is claimed to be found in two different rivers (the Duero and the Pisuerga) and various estimates of its size have been offered ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 metres. View full article »

Talk to anyone about keeping poultry and you will get a familiar sad tale. These stories (and I have heard quite a few now) follow the same course and it is only the details that differ. Let me give you the general story, although you almost certainly know it already. The alternative points of detail have been put into brackets as an indication of how individual accounts vary one from the other, but the basic story is ALWAYS the same.

Here´s how it goes:

“Once I used to keep a load of (hens/ducks/geese or some combination thereof). Then one night a (fox/wild dog/leopard/alligator/boa constrictor) broke into the enclosure AND KILLED EVERY GODDAM SINGLE ONE OF THEM.” View full article »

The other day I was walking along a quiet road in the campo with my two dogs when we came across a snake. This was at around nine in the morning and the snake was sunning itself on the road. At first I thought it was a stick because it was lying quite still. As I got a little closer the “stick” transformed itself, developing a scaly skin and and a narrow flickering tongue. View full article »

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. View full article »

I have been isolated in my little finca in Andalucía since the 14th of March and during this time my wife has been staying with her father in London. They tell us to social distance from one another and recommend 2 metres but we have managed to extend that by over 1000 miles! View full article »

Wine drinking and fly tying can be happily carried out at the same time although I suspect the enthusiasm of the former impacts significantly on the effectiveness of the latter. I have just been outside on the terrace enjoying both activities and carried on until the evening light made it difficult to see clearly. In that time I imbibed perhaps a third of a bottle of wine and tied up three modest flies. View full article »

Yesterday I took a look at youtube and saw a guy tie up a crayfish imitation that was intended to appeal to one of those big comizo barbel that swim around in the Río Guadiana. The guy doing the tying was in lockdown here in Spain, just like me, and the fly he tied (if we can really call the imitation of a crustacean a “fly”) was christened the Guadiana Crawfish. The tier is a guy called César Tardio and he´s a really good fisherman who puts a lot of worthwhile stuff on youtube. View full article »

I have a particular soft spot for Mediterranean barbel which is one of our endemic species here in Spain and one that Paul Reddish and I have been chasing in Valencia, most recently at the end of February. View full article »

Legend has it that the Scottish king Robert the Bruce, having been defeated by the English and driven into exile, found himself hiding in a cave. And there he saw a spider trying to build a web and, for whatever reason, failing to do so. But the spider, to his credit, never gave up and just kept going until he got the job done. Inspired by the tenacious spider, Bruce thinks to himself that you can achieve anything if you really put your mind to it. He never looked back after that. Before you knew it he was triumphing over the English in the Battle of Bannockburn. View full article »

The F word

Thomas McGuane tells a lovely little story in his book “The Longest Silence” about how his family referred to his fishing fanaticism. To the rest of the family his obsessive preoccupation was simply referred to as the “F word.” And so it happened that one evening, when dinner guests had been invited and everyone was sitting around the dinner table, his young daughter appeared and loudly pronounced to all the guests “all that daddy really cares about is the F word….. And if he’s not actually doing it, he’s reading about it!” View full article »