Canarian Carp

Out in the desert...

The Background

On Gran Canaria there are no inland waters. Almost. Apart from drainage ditches, which rush down the steep hills when it rains, there were no freshwater streams, or even fish, until the beginning of the 20th century. But then numerous reservoirs were created, in which the rare but intense rain was collected. These water tanks were primarily used for agricultural purposes and the fight against forest fires ...

To ensure the biological balance, these lakes were populated with carp and black bass. Since then, a lot of time has passed, agriculture now uses other sources of supply and the lakes usually do not receive much attention ... but what about the fish?

The waters

In the course of our project we have fished various reservoirs on Gran Canaria. The largest, however, is the most famous - Embalse de Chira. Despite the many different microclimates on the small island, the waters are very similar in structure. Most of them are found in narrow, rugged valleys at several hundred meters above sea level and therefore have steeply sloping rocky shores and little vegetation on and in the water.

The rules

The fishing license can be bought at the office of the local island government. Fly-only stretches and stuff alike will be searched in vain. With one license you can fish a lot of different reservoirs. You can fish for carp, black bass and tilapia - cause there's nothing more in the rugged lakes high up in the mountains.

The Effect

There are few insects and other food such as crabs or similar, hardly any shade and high water temperatures. The artificial lakes are heavily dependent on external factors such as rainfall and temperature. Even the fish, which are now almost completely wild, are special. First they do not grow as quickly and as stoutly as in many waters of mainland Europe, second over the decades, unique crossovers have evolved from various strains of common and mirror carp.
Never before had I fished for carp with the fly rod. Of course the idea itself is not wrong, but in case of doubt I have always preferred trout fishing. I got my first carp on an eight weight rod. With more than 10 kilos in weight a brutal debut, which I will never forget.


Having been in Gran Canaria for a film production two years ago, I could not wait to return with the fly rod. The unique landscape and the hard fighting fish are a connection that you will not forget too fast!