The big news it that the Sexyloops Tackle Shop is once again offering the best deal in the business. Hey times change and we change before them; that's why we are the number one flyfishing site in Europe, forging the way forwards at a pace with which others can only merely watch and wonder. The deal is that if you are a newsletter subscriber (and that's dead easy; all you have to do is to complete the little box with the cheeky monkey) I will give you a 10% discount on every order.
That's right you'll get 10% discount, free delivery, great advice, a smile, maybe two and if you want to phone your order, I'll even put on a husky female voice. This offer to beat all offers, like life, may not last forever, for one thing my female voice impression is anything but husky, but right now it stands across the board and just when you thought life couldn't get any better, we've done it again…
Introducing the Sexyloops PIN
Are you tired of going through the tackleshop every time you want to order a spool of tippet material? Well check this out! From now on every customer will be given a unique Personal Identification Number allowing reordering to be simple, straightforward and incredible easy – just email your order to me with your unique PIN and I'll do the rest.
Yep, it's a great idea and there are loads more where that came from. It's the Sexyloops revolution :-)
The Hanningfield Flag
Talking of revolts, six-pound Sean “he's no vicar” gave me a call last week to say that there were too many flags around, he wasn't into flag bollocks, would I please stop saying that “he's no vicar” and what about a day at Hanningfield?
“Sure Sean, I think that the flag thing is bollocks too and are you a vicar then?”
“Erm, no not exactly”
“I should think not”
So it was agreed that six-pound Sean “he's no vicar” and I would go to Hanningfield together and pay the 94 quid for one day of catch and release fishing (two people in a boat): hmm.
It currently costs £35 to put all the fish back and yet £16 to take six home. It's an interesting new concept. Anyway the full story on this can be found on the Bulletin Board.
We had a great day with nymphs and, later on, dries; if only they would allow fishing for another half an hour or so, I think that the evening rise could be quite fun. For the record we returned about 10 fish between us, none to our knowledge sank to the bottom to die and although we thanked the fish in a meaningful and spiritual way (as you do) they all seemed perfectly happy to be returned and not eaten. Of course those 10 fish will become slightly more difficult to catch now (having been educated a little bit) and therefore Hanningfield is a marginally more interesting place to visit.
Sean said “aren't we nice – another day of this and I may pack it all in and become religious”
Fortunately this was not possible.
It's been a long weekend: long but most enjoyable.
I was asked to give a flycasting demonstration for the Norfolk Flyfishers open day. Peter Sutton (another revolutionary, if only he was a little bit younger - he says, AAPGAI instructor and “puller”) was co-ordinating the event and asked me to do my stuff, “whatever that may be, Paul”
“Well I just kinda make it up as I go along Pete”
“Perfect, and come up the day before; we'll have a bit of a gathering”
From experience, gatherings with Pete always involve beer and since Chris Hartley from Guide Flyfishing was due down as well, I knew that things could get a little bit out of hand. Chris and I once spent several days lost together in Holland during the EFFTEX a number of years ago, although whether that was from the effects of alcohol, too much weed or possibly both I can't say exactly. Chris says: “It's a nice place is Holland… I think”.
Of course I gave a blinding demonstration that, as usual, no one really understood, but that's the kind of level at which I aim. I had a lot of fun and tried out most of the new Guide stuff. For the record I gave my demo with a Vision Intro rod that retails for £60. It's actually a bloody good rod, nice responsive tip and progressive action. Didn't quite hold up to really deep loading but for £60 I was extremely impressed and it compares favourably to many rods I could mention of three and four times the price.
Colin Thomas (nice guy and a good caster as it happens) from a nameless manufacturer was also at the show.
The ACA were there; I asked what they did… ooops :-)
As were the STA… ooops :-) Actually I get on with all these guys; they just don't understand me, that's all. I said to Tim Gaunt-Baker (from the Salmon and Trout Association): “Tim, I'm offering free lessons to all STANIC instructors and have been offering this for a week now”.
Tim is AAPGAI (passed this year) and immediately asked for a lesson. This is why he is AAPGAI. Peter Sutton is also AAPGAI (as you know) and he also asked for a lesson. This is why he is AAPGAI too. I have not had one single enquiry from any STANIC instructor. I'm going to Spain in about 10 days time to teach the CNL. This is from Carlos:
Carlos on Life, the Universe and the CNL
“I'll start from the beginning. AEMS (Asociación Española para el Estudio y Mejora de los Salmónidos) is by far (number of members and prestige (national and international)) the most important flyfishing Association in Spain. Its goal is clear: protect and fight for the conservation of rivers and expand the idea of catch and release with flyfishing as the least harmful method of catching trout. It has regional committees all over Spain and every year they celebrate their annual Encounters (Jornadas) on a different location. This year my committee (from Navarra) is responsible for the organization of these Encounters. Navarra is a very nice region in the north of Spain and some of its rivers are very well known even at an international level (thanks to Hemingway who used to visit us quite often to do some worm-fishing in the Irati river and a lot of wine-drinking in Pamplona).
The capital city of Navarra is Pamplona. You have probably heard of its famous festivals: San Fermin, where the bulls run in the streets and a hundred more events. These festivals start on the 6th of July and last until the 14th. Believe me they are worth a visit!!!
The place for the Encounters (let's call them Jornadas from now on as that is the name in Spanish) is a village on the mountains in the north of Navarra and one-hour drive from Pamplona called Roncal. The river that passes through this village is called the Esca river, a mountain river 15 metre wide on average (by the way, now that you mention it, I caught a 50 cm (around 2 feet long) brown trout on an 18 dryfly yesterday among others)
The Jornadas will take 3 days. They start on Friday evening and finish on Sunday at midday. We expect around 120 people (flyfishermen, wifes, girlfriends and a few children). These people are all members of AEMS plus a few guests (politicians, journalists...) People come to these Jornadas with different (one or more) intentions and motivations such as:
1- To fish in one of the best trout rivers in Spain. We have booked 15 kms of
the river for these days and only for people of the Jornadas. The river is
much longer so no problem of space (there are other good rivers nearby)
2- Participate in the activities we are preparing for them (casting,
3- Meet with friends and buddies they haven't seen for a year
4- Have lunch, dinner, lunch, dinner and lunch together (some breakfasts as
5- Go out at night and drink with the same friends and drink with them until
6- Enjoy the surroundings, rural life, great landscape, and charming
atmosphere of this place
7- Miscellaneous (I wonder what this could be? – Paul)
Among some of the activities we have included your Demo and presence. There is a very nice stretch of river just opposite the headquarters (nice big rural house) of the Jornadas where people will have great visibility around the river (on both sides of it, as just there the river goes under a road bridge). You can do anything you like. Of course long distance casts and some presentation ones are the most spectacular.
Ok, I am not sure if I am forgetting anything (I haven't told you about
hatches, weather conditions, menu and varieties of wine, but that's fine as
well). Tell me if you need any more information about anything (even where
the real big ones are :))) )
P.S. I found a useful application for the serpentines made in circles instead of wrist flexions, I have to tell you.
Best regards, Carlos.
Yes, I did forget to tell you something! Recently AEMS has launched a new project to promote flyfishing in Spain. And that is the CNL (National Casting Committee) Mel Krieger chose seven candidates (instructors) to form that committee and we have been working on this project since last year (writing the brochure, the exams, casting routines....) The seven of us come from different parts of Spain (one of them doesn't even come from any part of Spain). We are the ones who would like to take a course from you right the day after the Jornadas and in the same place. And we are the ones who will do what we are told to cast better :)))
Our names are: Fernando, casting without effort. José
Ricardo (coordinator), Krieger's philosophy. Raul, not instructor yet as he hasn't passed the instructor's test. Alejandro, salmon fisherman and loads of knowledge. José Ramón, great photo of him casting. Duncan (Chris Rownes from Denmark or Bust – don't ask why he has two separate names because he doesn't know – Paul) And me, likes to write short names in the air with the line. We all love flycasting :)))”
Casting for Love
Now I know that as well as having a great time fishing, teaching and chasing women, I will learn and improve my flycasting. Last time I went to Denmark, Lars a Viking and FFF instructor markedly improved my jump roll cast. Herb Spannagl from NZ has (unwittingly perhaps) improved my left-handed casting out of sight and especially my roll casts. Chris Rownes FFF improved my forward delivery while in Berlin enabling me to throw tighter sharper loops. This has all happened in the last 2 months.
I am offering free lessons to all qualified instructors, partly because I figure that instructors are teaching because they enjoy teaching and therefore believe in it and partly because I figure that I'll get a free lesson out of this too.
I know that I want to be the best instructor I can, not for any egotistical reasons, but because I want for my pupils to learn the best techniques that I can give. I love teaching flycasting; it's not about money, even though it is a little about money: it is mainly because I love doing this crazy thing. If you are a qualified instructor I will teach you for free (unless I have to fly to Spain of course – that's a little bit different :-))
I have radically changed many flycasters in this country; improved upon their techniques. Across the board I have made people think, including, in fact especially the AAPGAI. And that's because I have been lucky enough to meet and learn from many flycasting instructors myself. Mel Krieger played a major influence on my flycasting, as did the people listed on the “Why AAPGAI?” page.
So my question is why have I not had any STANIC enquiries?
I would like some.
Have a great week; this week we'll be doing some heavy duty work in the Tackle Shop, I'll be doing some cool stuff in the flycasting section, The Flow will be a plan of attack, I'll have some exciting sponsorship to announce, we'll be giving away a couple of books, having yet another competition and if I get my arse into gear I may even do some work in the New Zealand section.
Sexyloops is the site that makes all the others look amateur in comparison. The only British site to take flyfishing to the rest of the world and we don't need to wave flags to prove it… we wave sticks. FYI Wednesday should be an interesting day…