The first time I saw the first fishing video of Rafael del Pozo was enthusiastic, the video was called “The magic world of fishing” was a magnificent report on the fishing of trout in the rivers of Leon in which not only showed the technique of fishing to dry fly but was able to envelop the spectator in wonderful river landscape. Shortly thereafter, the second video titled “The Trout and the Fly Fisherman” appeared in which, like the previous one, great fishing scenes were filmed in the Leon rivers and the reproductive cycle and spawning of the trout was shown with an exceptional underwater report. In the first video there was already an excellent film about the cocks of Leon, their breeding and their conservation with a special attention in the way of collecting the feathers for the preparation of artificial flies. Special mention was also made of the Astorga Manuscript where Juan de Vergara relates how artificial flies are to be made for trout fishing. Finally in the epilogue of the first video were remembered the words of Dame Julianne Verners that said: “go fishing not for the quantity of fish caught but for your health and especially for the health of your spirit”

I was simply captivated completely, and a few months later I bought my first fly rod. Rafael del Pozo in a couple of videos had convinced me unequivocally, in learning the new technique of fishing and in entering a new world, wonderful and fantastic.

These videos that resulted in an exciting series of eight, are still currently of such cinematographic and documentary quality that a few years ago I recorded them in the new DVD format. I still put them on the player and I keep watching and listening carefully.

On the feather roosters of Leon, our cocks, I must say that all the famous roosters of the world like the ones of Limouzin or the famous necks Metz and Hoffmann, come from the cocks of the Vecilla and the Cándana de Curueño, that is to say of the most famous Community of Leon where today a good fishing of trout continues in a few rivers and well treated. It is a disgrace for our nation that the León roosters are valued so little by our governments and public administrations, because Leon’s roosters provide the best feathers in the world for the assembly and making of the best artificial flies and nymphs . The luster, tone and texture of the feathers and fibers of a Leon’s cock have no rival or comparison with any other fine-cocked cock anywhere in the world. Moreover, La Vecilla and La Cándana de Curueño are a very unique and particular enclave for the luster of the feathers of their cocks. Delibes spoke in his book “My friends the trout” that if the cock was removed from its enclave lost the transluvium of the pen and the luster, which lost much of its charm and beauty and therefore its indisputable quality.

Rafael del Pozo Obeso, Cantabrian by birth, presented us with a monumental work and without price possible today, the book published by Everest “Flies for Fishing”.
Flies for fishing, it is a fundamental work for any fly fisherman who cares. Extinct and difficult to find, the book is bound in a superb way, with case and extra covers and a paper of great grammage of enormous quality and both the drawings and all the photographs of aquatic insects are beautifully photographed and shaped in each of their pages. What transposes the book of Rafael, is nothing more and nothing less than all the species of aquatic insects in their most important orders, describing the cycle of each species, its size, the period of hatching and in what type of water can be found. Each insect species, whether of the order of the ephemeroptera, sedges and stone flies, has a very detailed photo or collection of photos (according to their importance) and a drawing that places it to its natural size.

At the end of the book is shown how to assemble and build our own artificial whether dry, wet or nymphs. Rafael, a neat, tidy and wise man, did not leave anything in his book. This book was once a work so valued that it was exported to the whole world and in its original language, such is the admiration that aroused in many countries, especially in the United States.

I had always admired Rafael del Pozo a lot and it was in 2004 while I was staying at the Hotel La Salmonera near Cangas de Onis on the banks of the river Sella, when he showed up with a crew of Spanish Television to shoot scenes of fishing Of the Atlantic salmon with fly in the most emblematic river of the principality of Asturias.

Several days were recorded with great fishermen of the principality like Antón Caldevila the famous “el cuatro” of Arriondas that was exactly that it captured the salmon for the television report. I was accompanying them on their excursions through the famous preserves of the Sella and even left Rafael a fly rod with a hand for salmon to tempt salmon under the bridge of the preserve of “Las Cañeras”.

They were great days, they filmed, they fished and visited several interesting places to complement the report like the fish farming of salmon and trout of the affluent of the Sella. It was all very interesting and above all very friendly. Rafael behaved as the person who was, very arrival and very affable, was a man of great knowledge of fly fishing and a very fine fisherman. With him I learned how to value a fishing line, low-line fishing and suitable fishing distances. He was a teacher in every way, very cordial and educated. Before leaving, he gave me a card with his mobile phone number on the back, to be in touch a posteriori.

Time later we spoke on the phone and told me that he would retire in a few months because he was already close to 65 years old, and that he would go to Cuba to set up a Fly Fishing Charters company on the island. We continue in contact until his unexpected death in traffic accident in Cuba. We were a very vital person and a great communicator.

Rafael had not only succeeded in launching the fly-fishing company in Cuba but in one of our last telephone conversations he told me that he was still conducting symphonic orchestras on the island. Rafael was also an orchestra director and so it is not surprising that all his videos have a beautiful music, very adequate, very accurate and that fits perfectly with the river fly fishing and “tempos” of the film.

Rafael got in his life to transmit through his reports, both those he filmed with José Mª Gamazo, Arce Productions, as many he did with Spanish Television, the essence of fly fishing, the beauty of this sport unparalleled while we marveled at the majesty of the river landscapes and the beauty of their creatures, and especially the salmonids that were their passion. With the book that left us and that should be reedited for the knowledge and enjoyment of all lovers of fly fishing, Rafael has left a very deep trace to all the Spanish fishermen, along with endless reports that constitute together with the precious book, a complete work.

~ Carles V.

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