I'm trying to become one spontaneous, in-it-for-the-moment, here right now, while getting "there" dude… without trying (because if you try your not "there", you're simply trying).
Sometimes I think that I'm the only one who doesn't get the picture, and then at other times I think that I'm getting something that a few people know but won't tell, and finally in more enlightened times (perhaps) I realise that I am simply loosing my mind and that this is the process I embarked upon a long time ago ("hell, you live here and you think this madness makes sense?").
To stop thinking so damn much, or at all, and to stop trying to control the thing that is controlling you (whatever the hell that is) is to just let go and feel. Basically I'm purposely letting go of everything and finding myself by loosing myself. Wild huh?
Oh and the other thing is that I like to be amazed. Life is amazing and I sure as hell don't want to understand it…
Which of course, all goes to explain why I am fishing here in Germany.
But before we do that, how about this:
7 days a week
We've been playing around on the Internet, changing the front page every weekday for the last five months now.
We started off six days a week, but couldn't handle the excitement and so we dropped back to five. The problem with five days a week is that there is nothing catchy about it and although we're doing something that no one else out there is even attempting, we've decided to get serious, exciting and dramatic (all in one foul swoop), take on the flyfishing world by storm, do a vortex thing ("huh?") and go seven days a week. Yes Sexyloops is now seven days a week, better than ever and better than that I'm bringing in new and exciting (mystery) talent for the Sunday Sessions :-)
Shit, in some countries they don't even fish on Sundays…
However in Germany they do (I don't; I write newsletters).
The Berlin Thing
I came here in one of my spontaneous, in-it-for-the-moment, here right now, while getting "there" escapades, and am I pleased that I did, for so far it's been serious (this is Germany remember), dramatic and exciting. I don't really know my way around Germany too well, for one thing I have only the barest understanding of the language (just enough to be completely bewildered) and I struggle a bit with the humour sometimes. But so long as I can make myself laugh, life's ok; at least I can have fun (as I see it "dry" just doesn't work over here – "Nein, nein, I'm not being serious, just joking, ha ha... Yes I know it's not funny, that's because it's 'DRY'").
Anyway I actually know some really nice people here (which is great) and it's a real privilege to be made to feel so welcome. Yes, I like it here. OK, every time I go somewhere I get lost, everyone is in a rush to go nowhere in particular for no good reason, there isn't a trout in sixty damn miles and they don't understand "dry", but I like I still like it :-)
I'm lucky enough to know the Fario club. Lots (well about thirty) flyfishing dudes who seem to really enjoy their fishing and I was kindly invited to join them on the opening day fishing the Dusse. I still have my Fischereischein from last year's undercover operation in East Germany.
The opening day was a trout fishing expedition and of course I arrived without a rod (still don't have one) but had a great days fishing with Peer, who generously drove me there.
The highlight came when I was busy chatting away to Jana about Norway (never been there, but what the heck) and Peer says: "Paul, kindly cast ze flee under das tree; I'd like to see how it's done."
"Kein Problemo, Peer" and I took the rod. It's like that when you're a flycasting instructor; always being given little challenges, which of course is why I hone my casting, to give it that needlepoint edge, that true profession touch.
That the fly didn't quite go beneath the tree I could see came as a surprise. That it ended up half way up the tree, some twenty feet above the water surface, came as a surprise even to me.
I handed Peer the rod. "There you go"
Peer said: "I knew how to do that"
"Then why did you get me to do it?"
Germans. Actually I don't think that Peer could have reached those dizzy heights and he was just bragging. Inside I could tell he was secretly impressed. I think Jana was too.
When someone is called Hechte Peter and you know that (1) Hechte is German for pike and (2) Peter is a flyfisher, you can put 1 and 2 together and come up with six. Six-inch zonkers to be precise.
For those who are without the relevant knowledge (and yet prepared to be amazed) a zonker is a lure sporting a "generous rabbit strip" - don't worry I shall be tying these with a suitable artificial substitute (since I like rabbits) - and a six-inch zonker is one huge mother of a bunny, almost (although not quite) impossible to cast.
Naturally it is tied on a big hook, it's extremely dangerous to use and should only be attempted under extreme caution. Yeah right, let me at it; us Mugwai Hunters are used to the big stuff, it's part of our life's calling.
To put the experience into perspective I should like to make clear that I have only caught one pike on purpose. That was about ten years ago, maybe a little more and at Ardleigh Reservoir. I decided that I should like to catch one, disappeared right up the end of the West Arm and chucked out a large Appetiser. I quickly caught one about 10 pounds.
This may sound impressive, but it wasn't really; back then Ardleigh was a trout fishery and hence full of pike and a ten pound one was particularly small fellow. There were larger brutes swimming between the lilies, sneaking up from behind and bumping into my waders. I took it as a bad omen and curtailed my pike fishing adventure for another time. Ardleigh held the British record pike of 44lb for many years and many believed there to be a monster, far in excess of this, lurking in some quiet bay. I can't confirm nor deny this; and neither did I wish to then.
Anyway I have caught pike up to about thirty pounds by accident but that's another story involving damsel nymphs, random chaos and a friend called Trevor.
I was interested to see if pike fishing was like trevally fishing (ie you can catch only one fish every five years) and so when Hechte Peter invited me to catch some pike on some zonkers, I said "Sure, why not, my life's already fairly exciting, but getting lost on the S-Bahn for an hour and a half, closely followed by dicing with flyfishing death by way of six-inch zonker is just how I want to spend Friday."
I arrived late and with a zonking hangover. I blame Vegard and Svein. Vegard for getting me a free pass to a concert and Svein for getting me drunk. Both are Norwegian, which (I am told) goes a long way into explaining things. Two hours sleep and getting lost on the S-Bahn didn't help much either.
However I had a really great day and I learned more in one days fishing than I have for a very long time indeed. For one thing I caught pike and for another, thanks to Hechte Peter, I now have confidence to just go out and do this thing anywhere.
Peter is a very methodical flyfisherman and one of the best I have seen. And I have seen many. Of course Germans are all methodical, but that's not the point. Together we worked carefully downstream, crawling our way through the reeds on opposite banks, casting in tight to the edges before working out to mid-current.
Peter caught one on the first cast. I didn't of course. Instead I had a fight with some reeds, which was almost as interesting. The problem with six-inch zonkers is that they require a special casting technique of their own… the "lob cast". For short casts it's very much like spinning, so you want a long leader. For long casts it very dangerous and so you want to duck.
I'm going to get into this. I know that now. For a long time I considered pike fishing to be an inferior form of flyfishing. No more. Given the choice tomorrow I'd rather go pike fishing than stocked trout fishing, which is just as well since that is exactly what I am doing.
Ireland with Sean
Sean said: "Paul, I have a trip lined up involving enormous brown trout, wild women and Guinness… you interested?"
"Does it also involve chillies?"
"Of course and maybe even a mugwai"
It's like that when you are a spontaneous, in-it-for-the-moment, here right now, while getting "there" dude. Anything involving chillies.
Of course this is no normal fishing trip we have lined up. This is a high-speed cross-country flyfishing adventure. Due to the fact that I fly into Stanstead at 22.55 hr on Friday night and our ferry leaves 5 hours later from the other end of the country we will be racing all the way there. Hopefully I'll get to drive.
As well as going seven days a week, Steve is reworking the entire site, making it faster loading, keeping it more under control, making greater use of css and doing stuff that only Steve understands. Steve has this habit of doing something, saying, "look at that" and testing me on the HTML.
"But I'm trying to stop thinking, Steve"
There is a lot of clever stuff going on, which I know I'm going to have to understand (although I'd prefer to just be amazed). It's the flash stuff that blows my mind.
This week we shall reveal what is happening. We are readying ourselves…
Take care, have a great week (all seven days of it :-))