This one is going to end up being a bit rushed since I have just returned from the Gamefair and it is already Monday morning. And have I got something to say, but before I talk about elitist, pretentious, beaurocratic organisations who try to enrol me without my agreement, I'm going to talk about Vegard's four and a half pound Lapland trout, because that is much more important and almost certainly more interesting (at least as far as Vegard and I are concerned).
One week ago I was still in Lapland hiding from a Greenland woman who was well over the limit on all fronts and that was last week's newsletter. Everyone seemed to find this highly amusing btw, apart from myself who simply found it alarming. Next day I went fishing and got completely skunked, although whether this was due to not having sufficiently recovered from the previous night or whether it was due to the fact that I had all the wrong flies I cannot say, although I have my suspicions that a size 8 sedge would have made all the difference… that or a shave.
Vegard on the other hand cleverly demonstrated that there are big fish in Lapland, and he did this in the best way possible: by catching it. Vegard was very surprised by this fish, said how he had never caught such a big one, that they may actually come from another dimension and why was I not catching any?
On my final night (and I use the term loosely of course) Vegard and I fished with a friend of his, whose name completely escapes me (hey look I've just driven back from the River Test where Jim Curry could be seen swimming its hallowed waters). This Norwegian dude (the Norwegian dude, not Jim), apart from being a mean flyfisher, had a completely unique (to my knowledge) technique for dealing with the Mozzie Issue… he would let them bite him.
I would like to point out his hat… apparently the peak was too long (Gary).
Unfortunately on this last night it rained. And so we did what any flyfishers would do under the circumstances: we lit a fire, drank impossibly strong coffee and talked about women, catch and release and Vegard's four and a half pound monster.
As the rain came down harder, the fire burned to a smoky smoulder and we decided to call it the end of my Laplanding Experience. The next morning, just before I was due to leave, Johan dropped by to wish me a great trip back and to give me a reindeer skin.
Now I know that my sister, when told that I was going to Lapland and would she like anything, when she said she would like a reindeer, she really meant a whole, live one and not really. It's actually a really nice gift. It is in fact my new sleeping mat, and a warm one. You might be wondering how I cope with this, being a vegetarian flyfishing dude. Basically I've been told that meditating and thanking the deer is a pretty good start to any sleeping mat relationship. The dreams have been pretty wild of course; you know snowy mountaintops, lichen and long dark winter nights.
“I would rather see them inside our tent pissing out rather than outside pissing in, Paul”
A well-known angling instructor told me this with regards to the current underhandedness of the Salmon and Trout Association and their attempted implementation of their new Licensing Scheme.
“But they are all incontinent,” I thought.
I have been asked to be a little less vocal with my views, especially since Sexyloops is either the busiest or the second busiest flyfishing site in Europe and it is a flycasting site.
It was unfortunate that I didn't get to have dinner with my friends of the AAPGAI on Saturday night who chose to have dinner compliments of the Salmon and Trout Association, but I'm not sure I could stoop so low as to get into their tent. They have just sent me a membership card that I have promptly returned. Hey what's life if it's not fun?
I flycast, I teach flycasting, I am possibly one of the best in the UK and I have absolutely no idea what is going on and everyone I talk to has absolutely no idea what is going on either. Seems like another STA cock-up to me, but I'm keeping quiet about it.
The Arden Flip-flop Style was a hit over the weekend. Many people asked why I chose to name such an important technique in flycasting after my left shoe. Because at the time I couldn't find the right one.
Pointy loops were the subject of AAPGAI discussions and how exactly one arrives at a pointy loop (by relaxing your rod hand immediately after the stop). Loomis have agreed to give me a couple more rods (not bad for someone who didn't have a rod six weeks ago) and while undertaking some research for one Sexyloops reader I discovered another rod that blew my mind (David Norwich) and he gave me one… you will be hearing more about this rod – it is phenomenal - as well as the GLX's this week.
Having experimented with every line under the sun I believe that the Rio Windcutter is the best pulling line on the market, but I am about to get into shooting heads. I think that in reaching for those 70 and 80 plus yard casts I will learn something in flycasting that I don't yet know. I will be starting my research next Sat with competition caster Jon Allen.
It was a great weekend for people giving me things. Usually people just ask me for stuff, especially money, but this weekend people just gave me stuff, and not just rods, but also furled leaders (review coming up), interesting little tools, fancy flies and beer.
I am about to settle back into the Sexyloops routine of working like hell to bring you new and exciting daily content. And especially more on flycasting
Having arrived back I also received a surprise parcel through the mailbox, namely another hat. This one comes from a friend in Spain… thanks :-))
Jim Curry was also at the Gamefair. I met him swimming up the river. What he was doing swimming up the river he couldn't say. “Seemed like something that should be done” was all he would splutter. Maybe he needed a pee?
The River Test certainly looked very beautiful and well managed although this was deceptive of course since it was full of rainbow trout (oh this is a hard newsletter isn't it?). What they should do is to stop stocking completely, make it catch and release, take it out of private hands and make the fishing public (like just about everywhere else in the world) but hey, everyone knows this but because we are not vocal about it we don't have a say.
Carl's crocodile went well, and so it should, although the inflatable crocodile failed to take off the ground, much to everyone's disappointment. What we should have done, but I only thought of it too late, was to launch it down the river during mid demonstration.
I'm sure John Wilson would have loved it and he may even have caught it. Nice guy BTW – I hadn't met him before.
Carl said “Damn, if only you had thought of it earlier I would have floated down the river sitting on the crocodile doing some fancy Spey casting stuff”
I don't know if you have been to a Gamefair before, or even this one, but sometimes the non-fishing section appears to be a little far out. One evening as we wandered up to the pub we found many statues in one area. Someone suggested that we place these in the river (it may have been me actually). In another part there were vast illuminations. It really was very mysterious and we wondered what it was all about.
And there were strange people up there too. Not fishermen, not even flyfishermen, but other people, some of whom were women-folk. Carl's current chat up line incidentally is that he is the world flycasting champion. Personally I reckon that crocodile-wrestler would have more appeal and possibly even be greater believability, although his casting is becoming rather “sexy” :-))
Anyway Carl is on his way back to Berlin where he has to explain how he managed to get a suntan when he was off sick, Ian Martin (who was also down by-the-way) is off home with his cane rods and his indestructible flyboxes (less two) and I'm, well, here I suppose.
Oh and lastly I have finally realised that most people just don't "get this site"... it really isn't about flyfishing, which is why it is of course.