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Newsletter 09/09/02 - Blow me up

lining up the sights for a shooting head head-to-head shoot out“I underestimated it”
“What did you underestimate Steve?”
“The contents page”
“You mean last week, when you said it was the largest operation ever undertaken?”
“Yes Paul”
“I see”
“The Sexyloops Contents Page captures the very essence of life itself, it is a ferocious and dangerous beast, it breathes fire, it walks the world tall - like a man. Sometimes it flies. Parts of it are mysteriously invisible, while others, blindingly obvious. It is the stuff of nightmares (mine included). In short: it is a dragon
Pete gives it all he's got - better duck - or else stand a *really* long way away “Steve, what on earth are you talking about?”
“The contents page – it is a dragon”
“A dragon?”
“Yes Paul, a dragon!”

Yes, this week, for a change, I am more grounded than Steve. There is nothing like a dodgy Indian take-away for bringing you down to earth with a bump.

Steve said, “Dodgy Indian take-way? You'll be out of action for four days, maybe six. Get some rest dude”
Pete readies himself for a quick spot of washing up“Steve, this is Sexyloops remember; it'll be over in 48 hours, possibly 24”
“Yes, that'll be the dragon”

Last week (as part of the Sexyloops EFFF-Masters Campaign - “dragon talking”) I have decided to knock a few flycasting theories into dust starting with the double haul. Double haul loads the rod? Well check this out: double trubble.

Then try this for size: cast and without stopping the rod, release the line half way through the stoke… the result? 25 yard plus cast. Now try this: hand cast, no rod, if you can't – or don't know how – then half-loop the line around a post and pull… result? 20 yards at least. Now get an assistant, with big shoes, to grab the end of the line and pull the rod bent – or do it yourself, it's a catapult cast – and let go… result? 10 yards, and only then if you're blessed – and who wants to be that? Gotta earn it I say.

Laying one back - better watch out now! this could go anywhereTomorrow I'm going to show how it's possible for the rod to unload during the loading phase – cool huh? And I've been up a ladder with a watering can to prove it. You know: it's about time someone did this and I've got both the ladder and the watering can and so it may as well be me.

Oh and if you try to push me off you're gonna get wet.

It's good this EFFF-Masters stuff, Steve says it's “sublime” - but that'll be the dragon of course.

Last Thursday Pete Sutton AAPGAI came around armed to the teeth with heavy-duty flyrods, shooting heads and a “curious bucket with rubber tie-me-down-quicks melted into the base”. It could only mean one thing: a flycasting distance shoot-out.

it's a good one - which involves running 140 odd feet to check so you can yell back - it's a good one, 6 inches further than your best... dude - which then involves the other guy running down to see if you're lying or not, while you try nudging it a couple of feet further on with your left foot while pointing to something *very* interesting which will involve the other guy tripping upThe course was set up (160 yards long - just in case) and carefully staked out with BBQ skewers and a feather. The feather marked the 55-yard club and was to be claimed by the first caster to reach the mark. I didn't fancy it though since it was a bit manky and so held back a bit. Pete didn't fancy it much either, he said - afterwards.

What was really interesting and has been all along throughout this campaign (dragon) has been how bloody hard it's been. You know, I thought, shooting head, I can cast, a little bit, 60 yards, at least. Maybe a lot more. Funny it's been nothing like that. The first time we took them out they didn't get 100 feet – but those were Jon Allen's shooting heads and there was something wrong with them – we both agreed.

Peter spends the retrieve time trying to psyche out the opponents (Paul) by pulling funny faces and breathing hard, sometimes he mutters *something* that can't quite be heardThen Peter came around with some real shooting heads, man's ones, but no inch tape and so we could only guess how far they went, and we made some pretty good guesses as well. One of my guesses came in close to 50 yards and I would have kept on guessing had it not entangled itself in a tree.

We did learn some stuff too. Not groundbreaking stuff, you know like double-trubble, but interesting stuff that although we knew, and even taught, hadn't fully appreciated. For one thing we learned the importance of being silky smooth. Which is very easy to say, you know “less power”, in fact it's one of my favourite teaching expressions, but actually doing it for yourself is a different story. You're thinking less power, but because it's a 10-weight you're going to whack it anyway.

And then there's the release, having just seen double-trubble (ground-breaking sexyloops dragon) I could fully appreciate the importance of an instant release. the battlefield - amass with shooting head weaponry - notice how the rod bag is red - that's important that isAnd so I'd remember to do that, but then forget to do something else, like haul really quickly, or aim high enough, or to lift my back foot off the ground a little bit (like Ian Walker does), or grunt (Pete seemed to think that was important). Basically it was a rare one that went right. And when it did the backing was in a knot.

Peter got 148 feet, when he wasn't looking. I got one of 145, which just goes to show that it's not all skill and timing and that sometimes, even in this game, luck can be your deadliest weapon.

Paul sticks him bum out - it's important to try all possible techniques when distance casting“What we need is some ball boys Paul”
“Huh?” (I replied from my strategic measuring position of 55 yards away)
“Yes Paul, with a line of ball boys we could have a row of five shooting heads set up, we could walk down the row one by one letting out our longest casts. They'd retrieve, we'd cast – perfect huh? Another great idea of mine!”
“I can thing of only one slight alteration that I would make to your otherwise brilliant scheme”

Peter hits 148 feet at the line explodes on impactThis has actually been one of those fishless weeks, I suppose I'm not too bothered, after all pretty soon I'll be back on the road again and fishing every day and I've been busy doing other things which will enable me to do this, like this (points to the keyboard), running (points to his feet) and trying to work out how to get mobile Internet connection in NZ (hands up in the air). Anyway who wants to go fishing every day?

I didn't mean that incidentally – obviously my mind hasn't fully recovered from the dodgy Indian take-away. Funny thing, minds, for 24 hours all I could think about was how to design the tailfin of a Sexyloops aeroplane – I have no idea why, it makes absolutely no sense to me, not least of all because I don't have a The feather sits untouched at 165 feet - Pete says 'bollocks'Sexyloops auroplane – interesting mistype, which I will let stand, I was hallucinating after all – and I certainly don't expect to get one (or the other – whatever that one may be) but design it I did but I'm damned if I can remember what it looked like (although it was a bit funky. It probably all means something of course – often does – and no doubt Steve will suggest something, he's good like that, you know with dreams and dragons and stuff, if not contents pages exactly, and it's never what you'd expect it to be.

Maybe I should go back to bed now.

Bird, plane or Super-Peter? The eventual shoot-out victor, when asked later said, 'you can keep your crummy feather, I was out to beat Paul and beat him I did - like a rocket'

This week I'm going to carry on dismantling flycasting piece by piece. Nothing is sacred. We'll be burning books, fishing rods, (not flylines – because they're plastic and that's bad for the environment), silk flylines, feathers, anything we can get hold of. And we'll be blowing other stuff up too. Just for fun like. I have an old flyreel for example that I've been meaning to blow up for quite some time now.

Right now I'm really off to bed.

Blasts from the Past

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who are these people?
it's wet
Now this is weird
if you can't beat them...
spiritual stuff
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