#94 Summer 2018/19 Postcard – Wine and Fly Fishing

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    Greg French

    Okay, this postcard is written by our esteemed editor so my comments may sound a bit sycophantic. Still, I loved it. Part of the reason is that I adore the Pyrenees (see my Andorra Postcard in FL#91 and the story ‘Zebra trout’ in my latest book Water Colour. (I almost included the Pyrenees in The Last Wild Trout – my book about of the world’s twenty best trout waters. It missed by a nose.)

    A bigger reason for liking this article, though, is the tightness and smoothness with which it is written.

    Just because it reads so easily doesn’t mean writing like this is simple to do. For those of you who want to learn to write better, I urge you to take a closer look at what Rob has achieved. Could you fit this amount of description and detail into so few words? Could you make so many different parts of a story flow so seamlessly? Well, I’m sure you could – but only with study, discipline and practice.

    Anyway, I urge you to travel to the Pyrenees if you can. I’ll certainly be returning. Again and again.



    Thanks Greg. I’ve had some really nice feedback about the article (though the forum seems to have become a feedback black hole for mag contributors) including a lengthy phone call today with a prospective visitor.
    I could have written ten pages about food and wine in San Sebastián and later in Collioure but only got to look at trout from bridges and stream-side walks without the fly rod.
    Also reading my two Pyrenees based articles in FL#69 gives a more complete picture of the fishing and cultural experience.


    Mark Cloutier

    This was a real eye opener. I get the food and wine and the history. Having experienced Spain first hand I thought of it as more of a ‘twiggy’ destination in terms of fly fishing. After Robs story it’s added additional layers as a fly fishing destination (or journey) worth taking……..next time!



    My recent experience in the Spanish Pyrenees wasn’t so hot – though it could have been.

    It could be a fantastic destination (it has so much to offer) and I shall go there again.

    But, not with the (apparently well regarded) host I had on my most recent trip. I don’t appreciate being taken advantage of, I don’t appreciate being lied to and I don’t appreciate being humiliated because of those lies.

    I find myself using this phrase more and more these days . . . caveat emptor.

    A rather, nay, an exceedingly miffed Mitta



    Loved this article too !
    But where was the Irati ? And Coq de Leon patterns? And getting your breeches wet ?Just kidding … but I am curious what fly was in the mouth of the Zebra pictured …and that getting a fish on first cast is a bad omen ( though on the Parrot the other day I got a nice fish first cast then nearly trod on the biggest brown I’d seen for a few seasons…spooked it of course)
    Had some fun fishing limestone streams while hiking in the Picos de Europa on honeymoon fifteen years ago after a week in San Sebastian ( like a smaller Pyrenees in Cantabria & Asturia , ” green Spain ” ) and would dearly love to get back there one day to fish the Pyrenees .
    So Mitta , who’d be topping your wishlist for a guide if/when you return ?


    quote chf” post=328940:

    . . . So Mitta , who’d be topping your wishlist for a guide if/when you return ?

    I will return CHF – no doubt – possibly even later this year, as I’ll be somewhere close. I couldn’t stress enough that it is an absolutely marvellous place to visit and for an antipodean (Aussie) the many faceted experiences in the Spanish Pyrenees are up there with the best.

    To that end, I have already had an initial communique with the the fellow/group I will most likely use as a guide on my next visit.

    Greg (French) has been around these particular traps quite a bit and from what I have read, he probably has something of an understanding of them all.

    I’ll PM my number to you and if you wish, I will detail the rather distasteful/dishonest representations and other aspects of my recent experience.





    The main Zebra fly was just a little rubber bug with a bit of flash and indicator. Ideal for turbulent pockets.
    Honeymooning in San Sebastian would be hard to beat. We spent a week there and loved it. The beach, swimming, exploring, eating and drinking – pinchos bars and Txakoli (chacoli). Did a quick day trip into the neighbouring French Basque country and saw plenty of trout in some gorgeous streams. Love to go back and fish there, and revisit Hemingway.



    I was in San Sebastian almost 48 years ago..I can tell you it was an entirely different place then,as was Spain in general.I only wish that I was fly fishing then.

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