I originally came to Invercargill so as to get grounded and to put myself in the situation whereby, no matter how much I would feel the need for a bit of woman's company, I wouldn't be tempted by one. And it worked, well certainly the woman bit. So there you go, never let it be said that I'm unfair to any place. It may be the end of the world, but it does have something going for it after all.
"Need a break from women? Go to Invercargill"
Unfortunately the fishing's crap of course – it seems that you can't have everything after all.
So I'm going to base myself in the sticks of Te Anau for a while, flyfishing such enchanting places as the Waiau, the Clinton and Mystery Lake X. Last week a friend of mine fished up there and he tells me it was good, better in fact than it has been in a very long time indeed and that I'm crazy to spend all my time at the end of the world, down there in Invercargill.
And so, tempted by the lure of good fishing (apparently they are well and truly on the sedge), by the time this newsletter gets to you I shall be up to my armpits in the icy cold water of the Waiau River.
Fly Tying in Moderation
Sean, moderator of the flytying section is due to visit me for ten days of electric fishing (I've promised him a 6lb brown – or it might have been 8lb – either way it was a reckless thing to do, but that's me all over). As he approaches ever closer we have been in steady communication.
From Australia I received this email:
"Stuck in Melbourne for 5 hrs waiting for connection. Turns out that the transit lounges are excellent places to practise stealth flycasting :-)))"
Then from Auckland:
"Sadly waders were in my checked luggage so I couldn't oblige... but I'm sure you'll manage to obtain some sneaky shots of me one way or another. Arrived in Auckland 2 hours ago and it's hot!! Very hot, in fact. But I remembered to say 'no' when they asked me if I tied my own flies. Now in quite a cool little hotel on the outskirts of the city…"
"Welcome to New Zealand :-) :-) Do you mean to say that they didn't empty all your luggage looking for Fuller's Earth? Must be doing something wrong :-) I feel a fishing trip coming on....”
And most recently, from Taupo:
"Nope - was spared the now-famous Fuller's Earth inspection, partly because I went through customs with this Austrian chick I met in Singapore who had about 20 ear/nose/tongue/who knows what else piercings and obviously looked a lot more interesting than me. And yeah, I feel a fishing trip coming on too :-)) Am planning to limber up on the Tongariro on Monday & Tuesday - found a woman who owns a cabin in the woods on the riverbank and am gonna stay there on Monday night."
Sexyloops is about to go through another of those transformations. We don't actually plan for these; simply a series of circumstances come together and lots of stuff suddenly happens. It's a bit like when I was teaching Jim a few of the old bush skills I've picked up on my travels, such as lighting a fire after heavy rain.
You pile up some wet wood; pour large amounts of petrol over the pile, light a match and dive for cover. The explosion can often be seen for miles around.
I'm looking forward to teaching Sean a few of these bush skills. Unfortunately as much as I have protested he seems unwilling to sample Underpant-coffee and insists on bringing over a plunger. Coward.
It is slowly dawning upon me that saltwater flyfishing doesn't work. Frankly I should have worked this out before. After all saltwater fishes don't eat flies; they eat other saltwater fishes. Stupid of me not to have realised this. An email on the subject reinforced this and suggested that I use berley.
Ah ha! Now I think that this may or may not start a heated discussion – could hardly do anything else really, since that covers both options - and so I have posted it on the board :-)
Back in the old days, before we knew better, we used to catch pike by accident and do terrible things to them; like eat them. Now however we know better. An interesting discussion has been started on the board as to whether there really are such things as pike rods, which of course there aren't, and this discussion has revealed that BigPaul is indeed a pike fisher from way back.
X-linking is a feature of this newsletter. I'm not saying that this will make it any easier to interpret, only that it is a feature.
"Hey Paul! I have one wish - can we keep this thing a little quiet, since I'm afraid that otherwise we could end up being a crowd and that wouldn't be good for our fishing trips. And you'll see some spots that are so secret that if you weren't english spending most of your time exactly on the other side of the world from here, I'd probably have to feed you the magic 'Potion-of forget-where-I-was-the -last-4-days.....' :-) Cheers, Lars"
"not a problem... sounds like a bit of Mystery Lake X coming on... and magic potions? I'm in for some of that :-) Is it ok that I say that I'm in Denmark? Or should I say I'm in France? :-)"
"Thought you would be......
How about flies - I can tie some up for you if you would like that?"
To which I answered:
"Flies *and* magic potions? I might stay a month :-)"
Anyway I fully understand this requirement. Needless to say I won't be saying whereabouts I am fishing in Denmark, in fact since I'm driving up with Berlin, I won't even have to consult a map. Hell I might even be in France.
Following on from the international acclaim of Jim and Paul's AAPGAI world tour, I have been inundated with enquiries as to how one becomes APGAI. It's not easy. First of all one has to become STANIC. This is an exam which assesses your ability to turn up. The successful STANIC instructor can then proceed onwards to take the AAPGAI exam. The reason the STANIC is a necessary pre-qualification is one of political controversy (of course). I can reveal now that it is simply so that it places the STANIC qualification beneath the AAPGAI. Of course since the STANIC qualification is merely passable be turning up and no other skill is required, unlike the AAPGAI one say, where an ability to flycast and teach are both taken into account, this was unnecessary.
Of course the MBANIC is far more difficult again and involves that much-admired ability to live on chilli-beans and underpant-coffee. Gary Coxon, it is rumoured, is in practice now.
While sifting through some old video footage for the Sexyloops definition, I came across this piece involving the acclaimed Mouth Cast and a couple of snapcasts. The snapcast is of course the sexyloops subscription service and is the only way to stay truly in touch with events and is a great link to sexyloops :-)