My three Bristol clients from March returned to Sierra Brava to do battle once again. One is a good friend, one I know through friends, and the final member of the group – I know from earlier this year. We all got on well, and I expected it to be no different this time around. In fact it was even better, and it was more of a holiday for myself, rather than work. I do love my job!
We had nine days planned and that meant a good session was ahead of us. The boys arrived on time at Madrid airport and I soon had them back in my village and we were raring to go. As always with a repeat booking – expectations were high within the group, and I was as excited as they were when we reached the lake.
I put the boys in a bay area which always has plenty of fish present. I myself caught a 40lb common from the swim, just a few weeks earlier, so I was hoping the big girls would arrive at some point during the week. As always with a massive public lake, you may only get one or two nights when the opportunity arises to catch a big fish, as their movements can’t be predicted.
I am not going to write a long report about how they fished and what occurred during the session. They used 90kg of Vital Baits boilies combined with maize and tigers. They all followed my advice and remembered what they learnt from last time, so really it was easy from my point of view. Sometimes a guide just needs to be present, and available when needed. That was my role for the session really, and it seemed to work for everyone concerned.
Henry struggled last time, in March, so I was very keen to see him conquer. I put him in the last swim at the end of the bay and he reaped the rewards taking lots of fish. The two Pauls caught carp, but the action was less frequent for the pair. As a guide you sometimes have to try new strategies and I realised towards the end of the holiday that this particular bay wasn’t the best swim for three anglers. The reason being that most of the fish seemed to be held up in Henry’s swim, so the other two guys had to work extra hard to join the action. Fishing is always a learning curve however, so after suggesting one of the Paul’s put his rods out ten yards further, he suddenly had an active day’s fishing. Sometimes that is all it takes.
Positivity was one of the group’s strong points and we all worked as a team. The weather was very inconsistent and we were greeted by everything the elements could throw at us. One morning the wind had changed direction and rain was pelting the guy’s bedchairs and sleeping bags. We worked as a team and soon had the shelters turned around, meaning they were dry and comfortable. You can’t expect to come on a wild, public water holiday, and not be prepared to get your hand’s dirty. The 4 x 4 and trailer got stuck at one point during the week, so once again, we all worked as a group, and soon had the Navara hauling the heavy trailer through the thick mud. Attitude and spirit is all part of a Sierra Brava Dream’s holiday.
The final tally of fish was 35 carp. Henry had a new personal best common which put a big smile on his face. At 29lb 8oz, it might not be the biggest carp caught at Sierra Brava, but his smile told a thousand words. The experience is often more important than pounds and ounces.
The odd fish was lost, and as always at Brava, they always feel big. However, fishing is called fishing for a reason, and it is very possible that none of the lost fish were bigger than Henry’s PB. You always hope for a big fish, but when the carp have thousands of acres to travel in, there is no guarantee they will visit your spots. There are no big fish swims in Sierra Brava – it is a public lake. Effort and patience brings those results. This is why the lads are returning next year. They love the whole Sierra Brava experience. The service, the food, the lake itself, the fight from the fish; and the fact it is a proper holiday. There wasn’t a crossed word between the four of us all week. It was a laugh a minute, and a pleasure from start to finish.
Cheers guys. See you in May.