Archive for June, 2009

Fishing with Paco and Carlos

June 28th, 2009 No comments

Well that was fun, only picked up one fish today, another carp – will post a picture later because I don’t have one. My last evening in Spain – back to Hungary tomorrow. It’s been a great trip and hopefully I’ll be back again in a couple of weeks to run with the bulls.

Always a pleasure meeting up with Paco. Paco as many of you will know – at least you will if you’ve followed Sexyloops over the years – is one of the most innovative flytyers in Spain and the planet. It’s great to see that his suspended nymph has developed/evolved, and is even better! Paco kindly gave me a bunch of flies over breakfast, some of which I’ll post here.

Off to have dinner with Carlos. Early start tomorrow with the drive back to Madrid.

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From Spain!

June 28th, 2009 No comments

This entry is coming from one of my favourite places: Spain! I’ve been here for a few days, on Friday I gave a stillwater fishing and casting course in Burgos, which was fun and really interesting to give a course based around stillwater fishing – sort of where I came in on when I started teaching. Good guys, some superb anglers including the number one competition angler in Spain. Thanks to Fernandos, Pepe and of course Carlos for helping organise this event. I’ll talk more about this on Wednesday’s FP when I cover for Matt.

Today Carlos and I initially started fishing for some trout in a local stream, however Carlos had to quit because he was too warm in his waders and so we went to another water. We’ll call it Mystery River X, not necessarily because it’s a mystery, but because Carlos didn’t tell me its name (he may have forgotten it). It was once a great trout fishery, many years ago. It’s not really a trout fishery any longer however. Now it’s a carp and barbel fishery. And I like carp and barbel – in fact I love carp and barbel. I’ve only caught maybe half a dozen barbel on fly – in my life – and around 100 carp. So it’s all pretty new to me.

Nice to get into some fish. I started trying to nymph them with a bunch of different pattens, from scuds to shrimps – nada de nada. I flung some dries at them – also nada. Then I chucked out a streamer. First cast a follow from a carp, second cast hooked into a good barbel (I didn’t even know barbel took streamers!). I lost that fish eventually but that’s partly because I was messing around with my camera.

Later I took a cruising barbel under my rod tip – on the streamer – and then three carp in quick succession in a quiet backwater – also on the streamer (using Christian Kuchelmeister’s streamers from the EFTTEX) . These carp had to be teased and two took the streamer while speeding up and the third on a pause (I’d run out of room). Fantastic! Carp AND barbel on fly blow me away: sight fishing, it’s not easy, the follows, the takes and of course the fights! Both species fight hard! So much so that I fell in. Gotta blame someone and Carlos was upstream.

Tomorrow we fish with Paco. More soon…

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The work begins

June 22nd, 2009 No comments

Well, after several long months – at least three – and it could even have been four – work has finally begun on Sexyloops School Latohead. In the rain. I think everything will happen quite quickly now, or at least it will if it stops raining this week. I had to dig a couple of trenches by hand in order to save the trees. Flyfishermen do that.


June 18th, 2009 No comments

Well so much for the Drava being clear. It was clear, but that was yesterday. Today it’s muddy brown… WTF? Fortunately however I wasn’t there at 4am because I was waiting for Clark’s page to arrive from NZ – thanks Clark! And I can tell you something, I don’t know where it was raining – because it sure as well wasn’t raining here – but somewhere in either Croatia or Italy they got drenched.

Interestingly, there was a bit of a backwater that was clear. There wasn’t much I could do about it – because I couldn’t get to it, but there must be a way, even it means just floating across on a rubber duck. And in that clear backwater, not only where there some fish rising (!), and some others being eaten, but I saw an enormous fish swimming along. I don’t know how enormous, but I’ll say thirty pounds (it could be more – it could have been fifty, basically I have no fucking idea, but it looked big from 50 yards) and I can’t tell you what it was either, but I think it was a catfish. But it could have been a Mugwai… could it be, that the Mugwai lives here? Here in Hungary? Yes, I think maybe it does. And it lives 300m from Latohead.

I don’t know how long the Drava will take to clear, I suspect not very long, but that could be complete bollocks, or just wishful thinking on my part, or both.

I’ll be in Spain the following weekend for a Stillwater course: advanced stillwater flycasting techniques, technical fishing methods AND flytying. That’s what I like about Spain; Carlos always thinks up something new to do – and mostly it’s never been done before.

I hope this is not going to turn into one of those “Don’t fish in Hungary blogs”…

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Back to the water

June 17th, 2009 No comments

Yeah I know. But what with the EFTTEX here in Budapest and the recent cart upgrades in Flytackle Europe there hasn’t been much exciting to write about apart from the Sexyloops FP. That said our cabin is now in Hungary, waiting to be delivered to Latohegy. We’ll be building the base (hopefully) within the next week or so AND building the cabin and then I’ll truly be living on the water again – thankfully. Busy as hell at the moment, what with that, Sexyloops, Flytackle Europe, Ironman training and of course: the Drava is clear.

So that’s all gone to hell now, hasn’t it?

I got there pretty late this morning, with Peter, probably about 9.30, expecting it to be high and discoloured. And although it is quite high, and a little discoloured, it is very fishable indeed. We were way too late in the day to do any good – it’s like 30 degrees here in daytime Hungary, if you know what I’m saying – but I did move a fish from under the banks. I suspect it was an Asp but I didn’t get a good enough look – it could have been a decent chub – be that as it may, it’s all about to happen – and if there’s fish under the banks it’s going to be interesting.

Tomorrow morning 4am: I’ll be there.


PS Lots of grasshoppers around. Very bright green. I feel a flytying session coming on..

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Keszthely Marathon

June 7th, 2009 No comments

Just back from my first marathon, the Keszthely Marathon. Well OK it’s not really my first marathon because I ran the Hungarian Ironman last summer, and that finishes with a marathon, but it’s the first time I’ve done the marathon only. There was a couple of times when I’ve run the distance in practise and more over the years but I’ve never actually entered the competition. When I was living in Australia I ran from Noosa Heads to Eumundi and back, which apparently is about 40Km and I seem to remember doing that in 2hrs 50 and less, but it’s a bit like flycasting without a tape measure. When I started Sexyloops I stated that you – after a lesson from me – could throw a 6wt 120ft without falsecasting, which is true, but you probably wont.

And so I have nothing I can really compare to from back then, which is a shame, because I was fit. OK there was a few short triathlons, 1.5/40/10 which I did in 2hr15 and my 10Km run time for that was 36minutes. I’ve always been a runner, back from when I was playing rugby, through those days when I was playing around with short triathlons, to now that I’m trying to make respectable Ironman times. The Ironman last summer was 13hr40, and my marathon there was 5hrs -FFS. But I was fucked. 10Km in I was fucked. In fact I if you want to know the truth I was fucked on the swim, the cycle just made it worse and then the run completely fucked me. But I’m fitter now.

So I was kind of expecting a bit more today. My first 20Km was erm, fast, I was in the top ten or so if you exclude the half marathon runners, and I was fairly motoring along, and then the heat got to me – man it was hot out there on the tarmac, I don’t know how hot but this is Hungary, not England, it was probably hotter today that it will be all summer in England. I don’t know if that will make you feel good or not. And I hit the point where I actually thought there was a possibility of collapsing, which wouldn’t be good. Other people had already collapsed around me and I don’t think from the smell of my socks.

For the next 15K I was slow and running between water stations. And then a storm came in from the Balaton and dumped heavy rain on us, which was fantastic, and my last 7K was pretty quick. Final time: 4hrs 15. Which is 45minutes too slow. In fact I’d like to be going sub-3. I’m not playing tiddlywinks and just running around the park doesn’t do it for me anymore.

But it was good. Well organised, friendly, not hardcore like the Ironman, and it was great to get out and run a serious distance. I’ll learn from this, get fitter and start nailing it.

Fishing the Drava tomorrow. That should be fun too.

Cheers, Paul

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Back in Naggashagga

June 4th, 2009 4 comments

As they say, “the best thing about Budapest is leaving Budapest”. But that’s not actually true, because the motorway out of the city is always mad, so what they really should have said is “the best thing about Budapest is having left Budapest” – and then they’d be right. That said, it was nice to go running at the top of the hill and catch up with some of Babuska’s friends.

Marathon this weekend. Fishing tomorrow. Hopefully it all starts soon. Bring on the summer fishing!!!!

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