I write this from a campground in Gore. I am not entirely sure what I am doing here in Gore, but I had to come here. I had one of those moments. There was I, happily pottering around Te Anau (note well that I didn't manage to make it down to Invercargill as previously planned – sorry girls), enjoying a spell of unusually fine weather, when all of a sudden I had the compulsion to leave and at once.
Out on the edge
When I get a compulsion to do something and at once, I do it – "life on the edge, spontaneity, better-to-regret-something-you-did-rather-than-something-you-didn't, but why hold on to the past anyway?" sort of philosophy. As you can imagine, it gets me into trouble, and I mean a lot, but so what, you only remember one life at a time (usually).
But where to, thought I? Invercargill? Meet some beautiful women? Queenstown? Do some skydiving? How about Gore and flyfish the Mataura?
Under the circumstances, Gore seemed like a good choice and I thought I might just go there, but when I was told that the chap who I thought I'd meet, had died, and only a couple of weeks before, I thought maybe I don't want Gore after all, just in case it's catching.
So I was in a bit of a quandary. And my pack was heavy. I am not used to carrying my things about with me on my back anymore and I was beginning to wonder what the hell I was carrying around that was weighing me down so much; surely I don't need so many things - I'm an experienced traveller dude and if I want to walk the world barefoot and join the homeless brothers (and hey, I am homeless, a brother and I hardly ever wear shoes) - then I should throw away this lumber and be free of it.
So I swapped my big bag for a small bag in a second-hand shop, threw away half my stuff and hitched a lift with the decision to go wherever the first lift took me.
Where the wind blows
"Where do you want to go traveller dude?"
"No idea… where are you heading old man?"
OK… so I didn't go where the first lift took me. I went half way and caught a lift with a chick and (a) we talked about life (b) we talked about flyfishing (c) we talked about rolling green hills (her topic) (d) I realised that I might have trouble with this six-months-break-from-women thing had (e) I not been very strong in my mind and (f) had she shown any interest in me in that way whatsoever (which she didn't of course).
Still I think that (d) was positive; it's good to know that I'm not becoming a monk – a part of me was getting a little bit worried for a while (pun:-))
Mugwai and Bullhead Association
I've noticed an unusually large number of bullies in the rivers I've been fishing just recently and I hope you are all grateful: our Associations first success! The bull is back! Jim Curry and I (founder members of the Mugwai and Bullhead Association – no connection to Salmon and Trout Association, no links to British Fields Sports Society and we don't drive Land Rover Discoveries with your money) are both very happy.
Jim says, "We have once again restored the Bullhead back to their former glory and they can be found everywhere. We are very happy" or he would if he was here and had seen all the bullies I have. The Waiau, for example, is full of them.
So, since we feel that the bullheads no longer require our assistance, we are changing our name to the Mugwai Association, and are going to put all our efforts into supporting this species (and they obviously need it since we haven't even seen one yet). The Mugwai and Bullhead Association National Instructors' Certificate will now become known as the Mugwai Association National Instructors' Certificate - this is far more appropriate anyway.
Note well that just because we have changed the name doesn't mean that we have changed the standards – for example we don't want you to think that we are better casters or instructors, although unlike some other qualifications we would sack people who we felt were not up to the task. If for example, Jim realised I was a crap caster and couldn't double haul or teach, he'd sack me at once and he'd be completely right in doing so.
Fortunately, however, both Jim and I are highly qualified APGAI instructors and chilli-bean eaters and therefore we will not be lowering the standard of this new qualification.
So where have I been?
I took a wander up the Upukorora and the Whitestone rivers on separate days and had a fantastic time. Neither produced many fish since we were following footsteps and not making them - well actually we were making some, but not the ones we were following (until we turned around of course - are you having a good day so far? ready for some subliminal messages? buy a Loomis GLX:-)).
There were lots of flowers and trees (yep, still into my trees) and it was a real privilege just being there. Admiring the nature, breathing in the scenery and wondering where all the fish were; after all it's what we do best.
I've also had quite a few evenings on the Waiau, but have decided that it's just too easy. Lars from the bulletin board and Denmark sent me a couple of secret sedges over (well they may have been a secret) and I caught fish quicker than I could cast, and had there been any mugwai around I'm sure I would have caught some of those too. Sean might even have caught some with his Stanic cast of last week.
BTW Sean writes: "Thanks…for a most amazing ten days. I had a fantastic time, lack of 6lb-ers notwithstanding, and it was a privilege to be there and fish with you. Am in Sydney where it is hot and humid and there are no trout, but I still have images of those amazing fish and those equally amazing rivers in my head."
Which was nice :-)
Analysis of a Stroke
Steve has been chopping up a few short mpegs and been coming up with some truly inspired content. Frankly I'm excited and although I'm fairly excitable by nature, I think you'll be excited too. Since this stuff is brilliant (of course) we are going to upload this into the Flycasting section and, as we develop the content, we will integrate the two together. We don't know how exactly, since we don't really know what we are going to find out, and that excites us even more of course. Basically there's a lot of buzz around.
Still in Gore
I write these newsletters over a couple of days and this is me back again and completing the second part. I found out why I had to come to Gore for after all and it had nothing to do with flyfishing, but with some other part of life that flyfishing teaches me about and I had to help someone sort his life out, which is ironic since (like everyone else I know) I'm busy trying to sort out my own, but in some obscure way, doing this for him has helped do just this for me. I think.
Which is pretty cool and the way it's supposed to work, but it means that I'm still here in Gore and not fishing and so tomorrow I'm heading somewhere where there will be fish and a 'phone line.
Introducing the Sexyloops cartoonist
I've been looking out for a crazy cartoonist for a while and last Thursday I finally met the dude (Jim Rabba) staying in a backpackers hostel in Te Anau.
You may be wondering what we need a cartoonist for, and you shall just have to wait a little longer… however this guy is talented and inspirational as this video ("The Artist at Work") clearly reveals :-)
This week last week
Last week I did none of the things that I said I was going to do. I suppose that this is partly because Steve revealed what he was up to with the videos, and mainly because Sexyloops is put together on a day-by-day come-what-may basis and we have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow let alone next week. Basically your guess is a good as ours and, like us, you'll just have to check by and see :-)
Next Friday I fly out from New Zealand and fly to Coolum, not Noosa. Last week I got into trouble for saying that I was staying in a tree house in Noosa, when in fact the tree house in question is actually in Coolum. Apparently there is a difference:
I know that Noosa has a stigma attached to it...and yes, it has a sort
of ring to it in the newsletter...however what's wrong with Coolum? Now
before you answer that, let me point out that Coolum is now very well known
due to CHOGM...
Of course I thought that Chogm was a fish…
No CHOGM, unlike the elusive Mugwai, is not a fish!... disappointing I know
because if it was you would then have another endless search on your hands.
CHOGM, or Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, is going to be pretty
huge. Apart from all the "big wigs" in town, there will also be such
characters as Bill Clinton and, I believe the Queen will soon be paying our small
town a visit. Everyone is on full alert! There are 2 F1 11's waiting at
the airport to shoot down any unauthorised planes, there are 2,000 police
invading the area to do car searches of any car that wants to go near the
Hyatt, there is a whole heap of army personnel camped out at
Nambour.... would you like me to go on?
Obviously the perfect scenario for one of my socks.
Anyway I'm going to base myself in one place for a couple of days before I fly so that I can unleash some new unknown content and surprise everyone including myself.