– How many trout you fish this year?
– Eight and last year, three -. I replied
– Only eight?
– One of quilo half! -. I said with the enthusiasm of a boy of thirteen.
– They are very few. You should catch many more.
When summered in a village of Alt Urgell, my only distraction was to go fishing. I was usually in the afternoon. Took the car line company Alsina Graells. The driver also fished from time to time, perfectly understood my great hobby and back stop anywhere on the road to pick me up and bring me back to the village around eight and a half hour in performing the last journey. He had the disadvantage that at this time began fatten trout and I lost time mosquito, at which the vehicle was available fishermen to fish and catch advantage a considerable number of trout. Segre was a blue river banks filled with clean and white stones.
The first time I saw Pere Bach fishing in the currents of “the Reula”. I cast my flies at some distance between them, as he picked every beached fish. He cast to the opposite shore, the fish stung and brought them sparingly and quietly to the side of his fishing boots. Once there with the palm of his hand gently pushed trout to the side of the boot fishing, being trapped between the hand and the rubber boot time took the opportunity to catch it and put it into one of two baskets wearing hung over the shoulder.
I did not know who he was, but what he sensed was that it was an exceptional fisherman. That afternoon the summer of 1978, Pere Bach caught 43 trout and I only three. Unfortunately I could not stay until the end of the afternoon to continue watching fish, because I had to walk to the “dels Tres Ponts” road to wait in the car line. In those days there were who sold fishing fishmongers and individuals, as did he. No quotas were respected in free waters by most and only in the few existing fishing preserves more tuned the number of catches were twenty per fisherman and day, if the couple came Civil Guard.
Once I was at home, I said what happened and an old friend of my mother said: – “It sure is” The Perot “also known as” Peter the Long “. It’s the best local fisherman, he lives on the road in front of the restaurant. But he fish in solitaire because he sells the fish and never goes fishing with anyone not wanting anyone fishing with him. “
After a couple of days mid-morning my mother called to tell me that a tall man asked me to go fishing. I saw the small kitchen window while dining out. It was Pere, dressed in one of her emblazoned with pictures, cotton blend pants and leather sandals shirts. Pere always wore sandals … of course, was Peter, the fisherman.
He invited me fishing with him in the afternoon, to which I replied affirmatively excited. In the afternoon about half past four we went to Figols, where the Segre widens into a long and uniform iron. On the opposite side, there was an old trunk half submerged willow and told me he threw the spoon near the stump leaving and collecting sink slowly. After an hour and without moving the place was in my basket five beautiful trout wrapped in sprigs of clover meadow.
– You’ll see when you get home and your parents teach them the five trout-. He exclaim happy.
From that day we became friends, and brought me fishing every day with him. We would wake up in the morning before the sun came up and we fished until lunchtime and then in the afternoon we returned back to fishing until dark, then in his Renault 7 navy were returning back to the village.
In my room there was a window in the roof like a skylight right above the bed and I fell asleep watching the stars in a blue sky darkly. At dawn dozens of swallows perched on power lines, I woke up with his singsong chatter.
I was so glad and happy that there was no one more drop of satisfaction inside. Now with Perot he could fish every day from morning to night and not have to keep track of the car line and stop fishing when starts the “Mosquito l’hour” which was what we called the magic hour at night. Pere every night brought me back home, after learning a lot about the river and trout, which I never returned empty.
It was a very tall and wise man with a great sense of humor, in his conversations always had something of a very funny way. De populated and gray complexion, sharp features, seemed a Nordic or German man; He not pronounces bad words, or insults or say nonsense; very smoker. What I liked most about him was his tremendous humility and austerity. I saw always caught three unique telescopic rods of different lengths and three reels Abu brand models 506 and 507. Pere was not a man who could call accommodated. He lived for his work in the Taurus factory, selling trout, mushrums and snails. He fished with bulle d’eau, lures and early morning and only sometimes with earthworms. It was a formidable, very complete fisherman who understood and knew the river as anyone. Catches worked very carefully and with great precision. He never used a fish net.
Once he told me that in the area of “Congost” caught a huge trout, so large that the head had caught, the rest of the fish hanging over the side, while walking along the road towards the car. On the way an Andorran car stopped beside her and the man driving it, he asked him if he would sell it.
To which Pere said yes. They went to Organya and weighed on the scale of an old bread oven.
Look, seven hundred kilos.
– And how much is that? -. He asked the Andorran.
– A thousand pesetas the kilo. The hundred grams and is a gift.
And thus he ended all. Andorran man took off full speed to show your family and all your friends a fish unimagined dimensions.
Another summer day, we were heading with Perot in the car of an acquaintance of mine, fishing in the area Martinet, but the way the car blew two wheels because of some stones that had fallen from the mountain in the middle of the road . For more misfortune I was raining. When he stopped and waited for assistance while the accident, Perot said he could fill some bags of snails to time. After a while we had filled half a sack of them. Seu d’Urgell in the sold and the money we paid meal in a good restaurant and we still remained a good deal for everyone, to spend as best.
Pere was a great fisherman and mushroom picker, but above all a man simple and good, very discreet and quiet. Like l’Oncle I never found him morose or bad character. The last time I saw him, I came to look for mushrooms and told me where I could fill a good basket. He was accompanied with a friend and we were talking in the garage of his home, on the current fishing. He was years since he had left the fishing, and I explained that the river was not the same and that there was little fishing. At the end of a cabinet he pulled the two reels Abu 506 and 507 along with one of his telescopic rods and gave them to me.
– So you remember me
The next fall I returned back to the village to look for mushrooms, this time only, and found him in the upstairs restaurant at lunchtime with a friend. He was very ill with cancer but even so did not stop joking and tell a funny thing.
A few days later I phoned to chec him.
I feel really bad, I have wanted to vomit. I’m dying-. Long-suffering voice said.
– Adéu rosset! -. I said goodbye affectionately.
Pere Bach was a good, simple, cheerful and great inner strength man. Great fisherman.
It was my friend and a great guy.
~ Carles V.