My fishing year is just about to begin again at Sierra Brava. Last year, as expected, was rather slow on the business front, and it was really a case of surviving my first year in Spain; renting a house, and fitting in with the locals. The last part of that sentence is probably the most important factor to take into consideration, when living in a rural village. I am the only Englishman living in Zorita, and respecting the locals, making an effort to learn some of the language, and joining in with their lifestyle, traditions, and culture, is what living in Spain is all about for me. I really feel at home in a funny sort of way.
I have many clients booked in already for this year which is really exciting for me, and likewise for the adventurous anglers who have chosen to book their holiday with me. Promotion has helped bring a few more clients to the table, along with my website, blog, and my notoriety!? I have just written a Sierra Brava article for International Carper in the UK; something some of you might find an interesting read, before deciding on your next foreign destination.
I have just returned from a long weekend in Prague. I went there for three reasons. Firstly, to undertake my first ever talk at a carp meeting, secondly to help with the launch of a new website which I am providing material for, and thirdly to talk with the owner of www.carpfishing.cz who will be an agent for my guiding business. David Fort who incidentally won the last World title of TOKS is heavily involved in the carp scene in Czech Republic, and is confident he can send me clients from his home country, and also soon from Hungary.
In February I may have a film crew from Germany, CarpHeart TV, arriving at Sierra Brava to film some footage of the lake with me fishing. I am hoping this will bring a few Germans to Spain to sample what is on offer on my doorstep.
Late February sees the first of my clients arriving. I have just started offering a Drive & Survive option, for those who wish to do everything themselves, but still wish to have a little assistance with obtaining licenses, access to the lake, and a host of other useful additions I can offer. It is a long drive to Extremadura and if you have to waste another day or so, getting everything you need to begin fishing, it can lose you valuable fishing time. I can have everything ready and waiting, on your arrival, and you should be set up and fishing within a couple of hours of arriving in my village. It is the perfect starter aid for Drive & Survive clients.
My first package clients will be fishing throughout the month of March, up until the closure date of April the 1st. Sierra Brava closes for one month. I will be heading to fish a nearby lake with my old friend Matt Dent, for about two and a half weeks; and this will coincide with my birthday and a weeklong fiesta in Spain celebrating Easter. Last year I attended all of these events, but have chosen to fish this year instead, not only giving my wallet a welcome break, but probably saving a few brain cells in the process.
May sees more clients arriving and I will be operating Sierra Brava Dreams right through till the beginning of July. I then take my annual leave. It is too hot to fish to be honest, even if you like the sun, and although there is still a chance of landing a large fish, I would rather my clients booked at more favourable times of the year, not only for the fishing, but for the sake of their skin. The sun is incredibly powerful in this region and the heat is quite dry. It is uncomfortable for the residents who live here, sensibly they all sit in the shade, as they know the dangers the sun ray’s can bring.
September brings more clients to my local lake, and likewise October. I am hoping to have clients through till the beginning of December this year as the lake does fish well till then. At this time of year, January, it is all about the weather, more so than other times of the year, as the water temperatures are slightly colder, as are the nights. I constantly look at the weather on my laptop, looking for big changes in the weather, moody fronts moving in, with winds, rain and milder temperatures are what I look for. This winter has not been fantastic for such weather, and in fact we have had very little rain at all. Fortunately we are getting a lot of sunshine in the days and news from the lake is good – it is starting to fish very well.
In my calendar for this year I still have a few weeks left to fill. For everyone concerned it is all about suitable dates and possible availability. Most of my clients are fairly flexible with dates, which always help all concerned, in choosing the right time of year, and the right week to suit. As a rule of thumb I would not have more than three week bookings in a month. I need a few days ‘changeover’time to prepare everything for the next batch of anglers due to arrive. It is fair for everyone concerned and keeps quality standards high, and ensures you all get a better holiday.
My availability calendar can be found on my website www.sierrabravadreams.com/make-contact.html on the Make Contact page. It clearly shows the dates I have left for this year. If you are interested in a package at Sierra Brava with SBD, ranging from 3-14 days, check the calendar, find the dates you like, and drop me a message on the same page using the contact form. I will be in touch within 24 hours – that’s an SBD guarantee!
Quite a few of my clients have opted to hire cars from the airports this year, as it means they can be more flexible with flight times. It is something worth considering when you book your flights as you get the transfer part of the package price given back to you, meaning it can be put towards car hire and fuel. If there are two or more of you it is certainly worth considering..
I am getting ready to go fishing myself this week. I will be testing out Vital Baits new boilie and will let you know how I get on. I think it will work well and if it does I will be buying lots for my clients. I have also just ordered four new chairs for my clients. The set that I bought last year proved very disappointing. The problem with a lot of fishing tackle these days is the fact it is knocked up in China, and the build quality just isn’t durable. I have gone with Angling Intelligence chairs for 2012 and hopefully they will be more reliable. I have also been busy getting my house ready for clients. Clients generally will have to stay the first or last night of their holiday in my house. It all depends on flight times etc. I have basically decorated the whole house since I moved in last August. When I am not fishing I am not lazy!
So it just leaves me to say I hope you are all, having a good 2012, and I will be back with more news soon.