When I was a child, an old friend lent me a book by Joaquín Agut about fishing for trout. I remember that I appreciated its reading because it was pleasant and easily understandable, I had drawings about fishing, the river and the fisherman, but what I loved and absorbed completely was the atmosphere in which everything was involved. While I was reading it (it was the first book I read at 10 years old) I could feel and see the river and perceive how I was able to catch a beautiful trout. Reading that book that summer was fantastic, I went with him to all parts of the house where we spent the summer with my parents. I would read and then look at the drawing of the trout on the cover. It was a beautiful brown trout with its almost iridescent red spots next to an old fly rod; It was amazing that there was something like that, or even better, a combination of both, a lovely fish and a beautiful and enigmatic instrument specially designed to capture that fish alive. Sensational!
In the first years nobody taught me how to fish trout. No one. I had to learn everything by myself, based on failures and a lot of perseverance and observation. I was pretty applied. I bought books when I could and I read them very carefully, some magazines, like the magazine Hunt&Fish where in each issue there was a column based on drawings with a little explanation at the foot of these where some interesting aspect was shown, a trick or a little secret in fishing. I remember very well the author of those drawings and also of his books: Emilio Fernández Román, whom I had the good fortune to meet a long time later on a trip to the Spanish capital and who had the kindness to give me several books and dedicate me some.
When I was in the city far from my beloved landscapes, it was when I read and remembered the most. Prepared the next departures still distant with great enthusiasm. It was like a balm that in no way calmed my desire to return there to be wrapped again in all that vital, so calm and special atmosphere. Of course if something deserved to be lived in depth it was all that. Often the word “secret” or “secrets” appeared in books and magazines. So many trout fishing … he has a secret … Or, that fisherman of the town always fishes because he has a secret, and so …
In the fishing shop of my town we also heard the same story, about that fisherman who caught the incredible, because he had no secret, or the secret river lost in the mountains where they catch some precious trout of an exceptional size and a “Bouquet” exquisite. And this was the usual way to describe and justify his constant successes in trout fishing. Methods and secret rivers, come on, he’s not going anymore. Of course I never believed anything of all that.
Years later I went fishing many times with Pere Bach, Josep “Xinco” and Isidoro Martinez. They were all local fishermen who knew the river perfectly and knew how to fish in any circumstance and condition. They almost always fished many trout and some exhibition specimens. They were all incredible fishermen who also became close friends of mine.
As expected none of them had any secrets, nor did they fish in any secret river or anything like that. The only thing that differentiated them from the others, what distinguished them, was that they liked what they did, they loved it as much as I did. Therefore they went fishing whenever they could and they also had the luck to live next to the same river that they fished. That was all. There was no special bait, no special rod or even a special method. Everything was pure logic, and much practice and observation. Nothing else, but it was not easy to learn either. He came with the years and spent many hours, which were always spent with pleasure and with a large dose of patience and observation. That was it.
And as I became a good fisherman my dear friends were disappearing, first of the atmosphere of the river and after the life itself. So when I still hear, – that fisherman has a secret – I can only remember those times with a great love and nostalgia, of all those I met and everything I learned wrapped in that blue and alive atmosphere in a covered ground of stones and pebbles. The secret is not such, the secret is you and all the things you will have the chance to discover and experience, the river will show you little by little, the only thing you have to do is visit frequently, have patience and love what you do . That is all.
~ Carles V.