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25/08/03 - Consistency

“Consistency” is one of those words; it's a bit like “planning”. Of course I understand the concepts involved, I just generally choose to ignore them: “You want to plan something? Why? It's gonna happen anyway, and if it doesn't, well what good was planning for it?” and “You want consistency? How can you be consistent when change is at our essence? Fundamentally, deep down inside, I'm chaos and the more I get in touch with that, the more chaotic I become”

And all my life people have told me that I have to be consistent, and plan for it. Well, life just isn't like that - that's the cool thing about life: you never know what will happen; it's an adventure, an exploration into the unknown and every moment it's a completely new adventure, there are no maps or conclusion, there may not even be a point, we're just kind of making it up as we go a long – how are you going to plan the unknown? And make it consistent? If you think you can then you've missed the point. The one which may or may not exist.

That's what I tell them.

The other problem with consistency is it's boring. And boring sucks. I don't want my life to be boring. I'd rather it be completely fucked up than boring, anything but boring. In fact completely fucked up is rather interesting (you can take my word on that point if you want).

While we're on the subject, I've spent a lot of time taking a long hard look at myself, over the last few years, looking at my motivations and working out how I feel about “me”. And I've been changing a few things, getting rid of those things that I don't like. You know like greed, fear, envy, an inability to make a decent curve cast without hooking trees.

So.

Which one is me? If I'm looking at myself, who's looking?

Am I the guy doing the fixing and deciding what's the right thing (and how do I know what's right?) or am I the one on the inside? Or is the one on the inside really the one on the outside, you know, the one who reacts to what's going on around and me, the one who's talking now for example, is deep within? Maybe I'm both – possibly living in separate realities – it certainly feels like that could be the case sometimes, especially in Germany. Perhaps I'm a creation of the one on the inside, in other words I'm a fantasy…

See? It's far more interesting.

Anyway, what I really want to talk about is consistency and how it's not always such a bad thing after all. In flycasting it's quite a good thing in fact and something I've been trying to achieve.

And it's hard. Flycasting encompasses such a broad range of skills: there's distance casting, presentation casts, switch casts – in all its variations – as well as backhand casts and I'd like to be really good with the left hand as well. It takes a lot of work just to stand still. And if you work on your distance, your presentation casting suffers, and vice versa. I haven't practiced my left handed casting in weeks and I can't remember the last time I even thought about making a backhand Switch.

Too much fishing doesn't help either – which is weird, right? – but you adjust your casting when fishing, and consequently, unless you practice your casting explicitly, you don't fish so effectively. Being able to cover fish in all sorts of places, at all distances and with controlled slack line plays an important part in fishing and from all standpoints. Especially the fishing ones.

I'd rather spend an hour each day working on my casting and five hours putting it to good use, rather than six hours fishing at reduced effectiveness. And I certainly don't want to be thinking about my casting when I'm fishing; there's just too many other things going on. All of which are out of control.

There are three expressions that really get up my nose: “At the end of the day…”, “The end result being…” and “Ultimately all that matters…”. I have a completely different perspective, it's not where you end up that counts, it's how you travel.

I'm off to Germany shortly. I have a few friends coming over on Monday for a day of flycasting (Pete, Jon, Carl and Sean amongst others – although some are arriving tonight for "refreshments") and then I'm gone. The car's packed and I'm heading back to Spain. I fancy learning Spanish, drinking red wine and going fishing.

Both of us.

Paul

(getting shorter aren't they?)

Essential Bush Skills

The start of any flytying good flytying sequence involves squirting The Light of Apgai 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: the third hand
Notice my hat here, it's quite daring
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
Sheep make good flies too

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