I didn't learn very much Austrian. Life is like that.
These newsletters are brought to you through the night.
The other big news is that I am temporarily shutting the tackleshop, for the winter.
"The Cause" exists; only we can see it.
The problem with meeting nice, interesting, intelligent, sensual, Austrian, pharmacist women is that everything moves on; lives path's cross and intermingle but ultimately there is always the path. That one of the paths happens to involve fish doesn't help, but at least is forgivable. Maybe. We are having a disagreement with our suppliers. Hello?
I'm sure we'll meet again, I always seem to know when I'm going to see someone again; besides I still owe her a casting lesson and she owes me a trip round Vienna. And next year I'll be supporting different tackle manufacturers. And although she noticed that the rear tyre was a bit low, I chose to ignore it.
Four wheels on my Pulsewagon
Every newsletter is different, in composition, construction, timing. This one comes from Reefton campground. It's a Sunday evening. There is red wine beside me and to my right. And there's chillies to my left. I have ten hours ahead and almost no idea about what I want to write, but I am pretty clear about how I want to write it. It looked a bit flat in Christchurch.
All that exists is now.
And I use music sometimes. I like to set the mood using music, but if I'm not careful the music sets the mood for me. Arguing with one of our suppliers wasn't making me happy and so we've moved on. Want a better deal? It's coming. Pharmacy… there's too many spin-offs and you have to earn it buster… I put a little bit of air in and it looked okay (at the time).
I think that we are worrying a few people, you know, with Sexyloops. In fact I know it, in fact even I am worried; hell, it's almost like a job. But we are here; we are not going anywhere. Picton. If there's a cause: we believe it and we are about to unleash the dogs.
"Do you have any Fuller's Earth?"
"Why certainly: we have two tubs, out back"
Four wheels on my Pulsewagon and I'm still rolling along
Although for the last four months I've been trying to get hold of some, no pharmacy seemed to even know what it was - "Try the garden centre" - the Australian Customs seized some last year, and in the small town of Picton, New Zealand, I found two tubs of Fuller's Earth. I promptly bought half their supply.
391 words, I aim for 1600. Although it doesn't really matter. Nothing does you know and I now have three years supplies of sinkant.
Although it looked flat, it wasn't. I crossed Arthur's Pass checking it from time to time and I even tried to buy a "just in case" jack. That I couldn't buy a jack didn't worry me, everything happens for a reason. It's one way of letting go.
Steadily, over the last few weeks, I've been loosening the reins, in fact the front page and much of the recent site activity has been physically put together by Steve. I've been coordinating content, piecing together PoDs, answering emails and doing my own thing; I've been fishing spring creeks. Every once in a while I have to do this. It allows me to detach.
If everything happens for a reason then I wonder why I had to come to Reefton? And if nothing really matters can I then allow things to happen as they are meant to? The Pulsewagon started to veer across the road; I thought it was the wind.
Four wheels on my Pulsewagon and no jack
The best thing about spring creeks is that the water is gin clear. The worst thing about spring creeks is that they are bastards: the fish are hard to spot because there is lots of weedy stuff looking exactly like fish, they are hard to stalk because the surface is glassy smooth, and the fish are impossible to catch because you have all the wrong flies. I really need to spend a couple of days tying up some deadly flies because I don't have any. I suppose that I really need a day of rain, but given a day of rain I would do some Sexyloops work and not tie flies, so what I really need is half an hour of rain.
Last week I spent most of my time on the Marlborough Sounds. I wasn't fishing. Not much. Sometimes I don't, but this weekend I drove down the West Coast to fish with Deano. It wasn't raining. Deano had been fishing for the last 9 days and so he smelled a bit. I returned his cooker - the one that never worked - and his float tube - that was useful for sleeping under - and a few other bits and bobs, but I've hung on to his lamp.
Together we fished a (mystery) spring creek yesterday. We could have caught fish, in fact Deano did catch one, but apart from this particular fish they were all damn hard. The answer must be to fish in the evening, assuming that they rise, which they probably don't. I had a couple of takes on a small nymph and I have a few ideas for the next time it rains for half an hour.
Last week a question appeared on The Board relating to the Get out of Jail series that I write with Charles Jardine and the Snake Lift. I have decided to include the full article (with a few additions in italics) since I haven't done this in a newsletter for quite a while and it's topical:
Ok, so it's not a cast, it's a lift, and we don't care. This is because nothing matters.
You've just fished out your groovy slack line cast and the damned fish has ignored your fly. Now the line is in a snaky mess and getting washed towards your feet and surprisingly quickly. Life, we feel, is about to get interesting. Must have been a spring creek.
If you were to try and make an overhead cast, you would find it impossible; in order to send the line over your head, you first need to be able to pick it off the water, and for this you need a straight line. Of course you could and hopefully would start with a roll cast. Goddam spring creeks.
But I know something rather more exciting. No wonder they all wear camouflage here, and I thought they were just simple-minded.
Bring on the snake.
How to do it
By drawing a 'man-size' spiral with the rod tip directly in front of you accelerating all the way through into the upcast, you can safely pick this slack line off the water and send it into a backcast. The line should spiral off the water and then disappear over your head. It looks kind of sexy... well I think so. If you don't have any slack line on the water then a man-size circle would hook you on the chin. This latest piece of advice comes having read the Sexyloops Bulletin Board; a mine of information and some wit.
How not to do it
A good way not to do this is to pause between the circular lift movement and the start of the backcast. This is actually rather a bad move and destined to a tragic failure of alarming proportions. None of which I described.
- Line comes off with an almighty splash, or not at all; either the circle drawn with the rod tip was too small, or insufficiently powerful: you can make small fast circles or slow big ones; slow small ones just don't make the grade.
- The backcast is too low and you hook your bum. What has happened here is, either you have not continued to accelerate into the upcast but slowed into it, or you have drawn too large a circle with your rod tip finishing too high and the only place for your back cast was to go was down.
- Whilst drawing circles you temporarily forget that you are perched atop a large, slippery embankment and in a fit of thoughtless wonder, you take a step forwards tumbling twenty feet down into the river, whereupon you discover that the fish you thought you were casting to was in fact a piece of spring creek weed.
Taking it further
Technically, if you remember to spiral outwards and don't do something silly, like start to spiral inwards, you can draw two or more spirals. I could argue that this enables you to pick off longer lengths of slack line, but it probably just looks and feels good. I mean this is fly fishing after all, and as such we have no idea exactly why we do it. Quite astute this comment; this guy obviously knows what he is talking about, even if no one else does.
Taking it even further
I don't just use this cast to pick off slack line.
If I want to pick off an upstream lying line out of a fast current then this is the lift to use. Basically it allows you to beat the flow. Incidentally I picked up this technique from some Kiwi guiding friends amongst whom it is extremely popular. Ta.
And for the technicians
With a straight line and a snake lift, utilising a large spiral you can pick out a deeply sunk leaded fly. And with a tight fast spiral you can pick off a dry fly without moving it by very much. Bollocks.
The first allows you to pick out deeply leaded nymphs from downstream positions, leaded rabbits on the dangle and those annoying weighted leaders with which German speaking people, in particular, are curiously fond. Austrians, now there is a curious coincidence. Must be some weird Universal synchronicity at play.
The second allows you to lift a dry from the water without firstly dragging it across then closely followed by, beneath the surface. It is possible to move the line without sinking the fly. And since there is nothing to stop you snake lifting a jump roll it is possible to re-roll cast a dry fly without waterlogging it. Technical on-the-edge Sexyloops stuff.
The plan for this week is to spend the next 5 days fishing somewhere between here and Christchurch before meeting up with Jim Curry and Deano next weekend. However I also feel a trip to the North Island coming on. Basically anything could happen and it probably will.
Three wheels on my Pulsewagon
Just outside Hari Hari, the rear tyre blew. The Pulsewagon lurched to the side and the wading boots fell off the top of the utilities box and hit me on the head. With a screech and accompanied by the smell of burning rubber I turned into the verge. Why the hell was I going to Reefton anyway? Is this where it all ends?
Once again I'm heading north…
This week, there will be content from Mike and Sean. Also there will be some more from me. Ben is heffalump hunting- he says he needs one for dubbing.
I plan to get to work within the NZ section and I have just been asked for some more flycasting MPEGS. Principally of Spey casts.
I hope that you have a great week; we will of course be changing the frontpage and Picture of the Day daily.