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15/04/03 - The Club

Pete Sutton begins his 'The Launch warm-up routine 2'... click this image for the original formulaYep, mental blockage there. “So that's why the Vortex is four days late?” It happens like that sometimes. Not really my fault either; there's lots of things going on, and I think that we are pissing a few people off. That's never intended of course; it's just a by-product of whatever it is we're doing. Life huh?

I suppose if I was interested in money, then it would be really easy. People who put money first are simple to work out. They are predictable, and you can slot them in a box. Everyone knows where you stand when money comes first. Some people put God first of course. Which is fine, and you kind of know where they stand too, after a while. But I seem to have a whole different set of priorities. I have a hard time working out what God is, and whether or not I believe in him, despite being convinced that I have met Him a couple of times… Warning: be careful not to smoke weed on your own.

So, where was I? We've pissed people off! It may have been my socks: no one runs a tackleshop selling one pair of socks. Lot's of people have been trying to buy them, but they're not for sale. No one runs a tackleshop not selling one pair of socks.

Surprising agility displayed here by Pete as he attempts to grab his right footWell I always speak my mind; that's where I stand. If I think something is crap, then I say so. If I like something then I say that too. That is what is called integrity. And if parts of the trade can't handle that, is that my fault? We all know that certain manufacturers are subject to fanciful advertising; nope, let's be accurate here: they lie. Some of these companies shouldn't even be in business.

In fact I'm really easy to understand, I may be a bit weird with some of my ideas, but I am open with them. Maybe that's what frightens some people.

And we're doing really well. I mean okay, we're pissing a few people off and we're not making any money, but if you hold any views whatsoever you're going to piss people off. In fact just being here you'll annoy someone. Is that my problem or theirs? Let me answer that; it sure ain't mine.

Here he's like a coiled tigerTrue, we're not making any money. That's obvious; the tackleshop currently doesn't sell one pair of socks and there's bugger all else in there either. And we are decidedly advertisement free. But we do have a hell of a readership. Considerably more than any other European flyfishing site. BTW the way we assess our readership is by doubling our unique hosts (this is the most accepted method on the Internet and counters ISP's like AOL caching), this gives us a monthly readership of well in excess of 70,000. Mind you I'd still like very many more than this (and they are not just ex-girlfriends, which a few people have suggested :).

We tried forming partnerships in the trade, but they've always been disappointing. So I'm moving this site back into the commercial arena. My bank manager insists on it; he says if I want to go out and meet interesting and intelligent women I need to make more money. I tried telling him that I didn't want to go out and meet interesting and intelligent women, and that I was in fact far shallower than this, but he wouldn't hear of it.

Pete notices the camera and reveals an unhealthy interest in cheer leadersSo it's an interesting time for me. I don't know if you ever saw the original tackleshop, it was built around the anti-sell, in fact this whole site was built around this premise at one time. Well that and you'll need sexyloop to get it out there. I suppose it's just another area with which I'll have to get to grips. When am I ever going to get a chance to make a video??? :-))

Yep, frustrating, but I think it's worth the ride. It's nice to be doing something with your life that you think's worthwhile, and isn't simply money orientated. I'm making some great friends through Sexyloops, and – accidentally – have created an amazing board. And I know that others have made friends here too. What could be better than that?

Sure we understand flycasting more thoroughly, and we're better anglers too. Hell even some of my flies are starting to look pretty damn cool. And I'm having a hell of a lot of fun. Isn't that what it's all about anyway?

So that's why the Vortex was delayed; I was going through some stuff. Here is the original start as written on Sunday:

The Club

Difficult bit this for Pete. Carl's obviously embarrassed now and pretends it's not happeningIt's bloody hard to get good at anything on your own.

Good start, eh? Pretty catchy stuff, although I could have turned it upside down yet, and begun with an ending, you know like: "See you there dude; bring your flipflops."

Of course you may think you're good, but until you go out and meet others with similar interests you'll never know for sure. And if you've been buggering about on your own all the time, it's very unlikely that you will be good. And if there's a group of people bouncing ideas off each other they are almost certainly going to be considerably better.

I genuinely don't believe in competition; I like to see people doing well.

You could live in an illusion, you know pretend you're good but without ever putting yourself to the test, which is fine, but I know one thing, by putting myself to the test I will become better, especially when I get beaten.

We all live in an illusion.

It depends on which is more important, your ego, or your desire to learn. I figure that I want to learn. I don't have anything to lose, not ever. Well not apart from my ego of course, but I want to lose that, I mean so what, either nothing really matters, or else everything really matters, which is the same thing I reckon.

Notice those arms; Pete's an animalViking Lars lives in an illusion; this morning for example, he went saltwater flyfishing at *6am*.

And apart from which, I'd like to be better at what I'm doing, I'd like to be able to cast better, I'd like to catch more difficult fish. That's why I practice and work at it. The getting better is what it's all about for me.

He won't catch anything of course; that's because saltwater fly is an illusion.

Once I was seeking perfection, or what I thought was perfection – interesting concept that one – and a few times I thought I had it, which only spurred me on, but I think what I found was the zone. A fish catching zone, where everything comes together. That's actually why I do it, fish that is.

Next week we'll *both* be getting up a 6am to go fishing.

Casting is different. Going out and spending half a day working on casting is great fun, and I love it, and although I have friends who just cast, that wouldn't be for me. I wouldn't cast if I didn't fish. I'm still very focused on fish, in fact I just can't get enough of it, I'm completely absorbed.

I'll be concentrating at all times – that's what I'll be telling Lars.

As well as being flexible Pete is both quick and nimbleHowever, one thing I have worked out is that good casting has made me a better angler. I can't even begin to explain the difference. There is no messing about, I mean, sure I still cock up the odd cast and stick it the fly into trees. And there will always be fish out of range. And good casting will never replace stealth, knowledge, experience, thinking, tuning in, an ability to tie fish-catching flies, confidence; you need all those things, and in abundance.

And for saltfly; luck, an ability to move between different realities and a stripping basket.

But good casting is different to all of the above, for casting is mastered in a field, where there are no fish, and it requires constant attention.

Denmark is great; there are lots of blonde chicks.

I'm really lucky, for I have very many friends who are excellent casters. Many are amongst the world's finest. Becoming AAPGAI was the best thing for my casting. I now know dozens of excellent casters, all of whom are willing to share their knowledge. How lucky is that?

Not as lucky as meeting lots of blonde chicks.

In fact it gets even better; every few weeks some of us get together and cast, video each other, discuss concepts, try new things. And we all want to improve. Look at this site; it's the same thing, only here we have a collection of flycasters from around the globe all sharing knowledge. It really is amazing. In the last year my flycasting has improved out of sight and as a direct consequence. I really noticed this in my last NZ trip, because I was pinging fish that would have otherwise been impossible.

They all work in baker's shops.

Mind you there was a quite a few fish I couldn't get a fly to cleanly, not first time around. And that is why I am mastering the left hand. It will give me many more opportunities.

It's how they invented Danish pastry. I'm hoping for twin buns.

Pete Sutton; flycasting athleteRight now I am destroying my stroke again and for the umpteenth time; this is a regular thing for me now. Every year I take my casting to pieces in order to improve it. And I now have three quite different strokes:

Carl's coming as well; we won't be letting him drive - this time.

There's the “Flip-flop” style of pulling that I use for demo's and grooving my casting stroke. There's the fishing cast, which is much more off the side – don't want those fish seeing that rod. And there's the 5-weight distance cast.

The return of Denmark or Bust. Lock up your buns.

So we're setting up a flycasting club. Sam Davis has been working very hard on this, and Hywel Morgan, Pete Sutton (flycasting athlete) and Jon Allen all seem keen, as well as a number of others. I'll be posting up more information during the week. Should be a blast.

See you there; bring your flipflops.


Essential Bush Skills

The start of any flytying good flytying sequence involves squirting superglue on your polyprops
Both alarm and curiousity set in when the polyprops start melting
Putting the lid back on the jar to stop *that* happening again
The flytying proper is underway
Notice the composure, that's true class that is
A difficult bit, you can tell that from the vacant expression
Essential bush skills part 17a; the third hand
Notice my hat here, it's quite important
Snip, snip
I'm not quite sure what I'm doing here, but it's cool
Trimming an oversize hackle that appears to have become trapped in the whip finnish manoevre
Delicate precision work, the hallmark of any good flytyer
The finished fly: A Lunn's Particular

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