Are you sitting comfortably?
Sexyloops is the number one flyfishing publication in Europe.
There, now pick yourself up off the floor.
We have thirty percent more traffic than our nearest Internet rival. That makes us mainstream Ė ironically. This is it. You can take your "traditional flyfishing" and stick it. We have paid exactly zero in advertising and through CONTENT and a genuine desire to actually USE the Internet we have become the most read flyfishing site in Europe.
But it goes further. More people read this site than ANY OTHER European flyfishing publication. More people read Sexyloops each month than Trout and Salmon, Trout Fisherman and Flyfishing and Fly tying magazines. Does this raise any eyebrows? Two weeks ago we were conservatively saying that we had a monthly readership of 55,000. That was two weeks ago and since then we have jumped by a third and weíre still climbing. More people read Sexyloops than any other UK flyfishing publication. EMAP donít hit the numbers we get.
Interesting huh? I think so. And weíre still working out how to do this thing; of course no one else is even trying to work it out. But we know one thing: the Internet is not like anything else you have seen before. And to think of it like this is to miss the point. And Iím saying this from the position of someone whoís made a point of missing the point.
Anyway, this page will start off being written in Hari Hari on the West Coast of NZ, be finished out the back of a van in Central Otago, before being emailed to France and being uploaded to a UK server.
Or something like that.
So Iím on the road. Christchurch took a little longer than expected and I have a big Thankyou to say to friend and luckiest flyfishing guide alive: Deano. And just because he caught a nine and a half pound trout yesterday and MY fish today, the one that missed my fly and in a moment of disorientated stupidity took his, doesnít mean that Iím bitter about it in the slightest nor any less grateful Ė as everyone knows, stupid fish donít count. The SoB ;-)
I met Deano last year through Jim and we stayed in touch throughout (his) close season. He is one of only two guides I have chosen to give links in the NZ section. I may be removing his shortly. Dean is a little bit different to any other flyfishing guide you may meet, and I donít mean this necessarily in a negative way either. Some people like "different". Deano uses walky-talkies to stay in touch with his clients. No one else does this.
I have a feeling that Deano will become a feature of this yearís NZ flyfishing expedition and I look forward to fishing with him again Ė for one thing he wears camouflage. I canít wait to introduce him to Camo-Guy ("Deano meet Camo-Guy" Ė "Where?" Ė "Guy, meet Deano" Ė "When engaged in Stealth, Boys and Girls, always take the invisible position").
Although Iím travelling and on the road, things are not completely smooth yet. Shortly they may be, but right now my Internet connection is via Global Roaming. Within the next day or two Iíll be on a NZ network and from then on in Iíll be online more frequently Ė he says, really believing it.
Iíll shortly be heading down to Central Otago and Fiordland. There are a couple of rivers I want to fish before the tourist pressure hits them next month. November is a great month to fish because you find yourself alone for most of the time and in NZ this is important. On many rivers, if you are the second person to walk the stream in the same day, you will probably see little or no fish.
Yesterday I learned something new in flyfishing. Or if not new exactly then I have at least now seen it with clarity, and itís important. And it has to do with the "Hedged Bet".
The Hedged Bet
The Hedged Bet, for the uninitiated, is the use of a dry fly on the top dropper and a nymph or wet on the point. The New Zealanders are often credited with itís invention but this is not the case Ė Iíve read books which make mention of the technique back before trout were introduced to NZ (about 1880:-)) anyway the thing about it is that itís a very popular technique, being the normal Kiwi tactic, and up until watching Deano catch his nine and a half pounder, Iíd been dubious about its practicality. In fact Iíd scorned the method. Which is understandable if youíve seen Deano cast.
Iíd been considering the Hedged Bet to be a hedged bet, a sort of "well maybe they want a dry or maybe they want a nymph" approach and as a nymph it is inferior for two reasons (1) drag and (2) lack of depth (3) any self-respecting fish will see the dry and the nymph and work out that there is a third party hidden in the bushes wearing camouflage. Nobody expects the Spanish Fly. Itís late.
As an indicator itís no use either and for reason number 2. Hey I can write, sometimes I choose not to.
As a dry itís also inferior: thereís drag, excess leader material and a trailing fly to contend with Ė which is all very messy if you ask me. Iíve been coming to NZ for ten years now and Iíve been avoiding this two-pronged attack. (Note to Steve)
But the Hedged Bet works and it works very well. Itís often hard to get a nymph down to these fish sometimes Ė they are just too deep. Quite often a deep lying fish can be induced to come up and take a large dry, but in the early part of the season it usually canít be bothered. However,
Give them a dry fly and a nymph and the fish will often come up and take a look at the dry and turn away and take the nymph. Itís like the Muddler Trick we use on stillwaters, but static and less ingenious or if not less ingenious then certainly less dramatic. I see how it works and I also see why I havenít been using it, only I didnít realise just how effective it can be sometimes and itís something Iím going to have to entertain in my life. I didnít tell Deano all this of course Ė and not just because he chopped my line in half with his outboard motor Ė but I am now converted and it gets worseÖ
If your top dropper is merely a fly designed to attract attention, it has become an attractor. If you are going to use an attractor then you may as well go the full hog and use something bright and eye-catching. Enter the Royal Wulff. Yes folks, having dismissed the Royal Wulff as one of the worst fly creations known to man, I may actually find myself using one and just as soon as I can find all the materials (Monday).
Okay so is this flyfishing Ė you know, in spirit?
What about a large floating Glow Bug instead of a Royal Wulff? Would that still be flyfishing? Itís no different. Iím asking myself these questions Ė and they are interesting ones (Deano) Ė in the full knowledge that I am about to embark headlong into the world of the Hedged Bet. Yes I really will be trying the greased-up Glow Bug (floating orange Booby variant) and I may even stoop to the Royal Wulff.
I see how it works Ė but is it life as we know it? Iíll let you know.
Sexyloops Ė the running of
Iím aiming to do the Monday newsletter and one other piece of content, probably flycasting related, each week. As well as this Iíll be dropping in content to the Front Page and writing the PoD's. Iím also editing the other content and, you know, doing coordinating editing stuff. Oh, and Iíll be flyfishing.
Steve has been working the front page as well as transexualising the others and HTMLíing (is that a word?) all the incoming content Ė weíre going XHTML transitional, and because we are getting into multi-media, and because we are the only people even thinking about this (let alone actually attempting it) things may be chaotic. So itís back to normal then. Thank goodness.
Itís great to be fishing again :-)))