“The mind is just an interpreter, Paul, so don't attach to it”
“And some people are given wonky interpreters”
“Yeah, that's for sure”
“Possibly as a practical joke”
“And do I have a wonky interpreter too?”
“Of course, that's why you find life ironic”
“Are we still talking about Saltwater Fly?”
The problem, if it is a problem, and it might be, is that when you spend lots of time on your own, the voice inside your head starts to take the piss, or worse still makes sense, or in this case tells you to completely ignore it.
I'm back in the South Island, on my own, like about all of the time, and nothing, absolutely nothing, beats the freedom of being on your own. Don't get me wrong here, I like people, pretty much and I am exceptionally lucky with the people who I meet, and it's interesting to see life and how they feel about you, and it, through their eyes, but if you're not careful you end up trapped in their world, and if you have a wonky interpreter like I do, you end up becoming the other person and not yourself. Well that's what I think.
Mind you maybe some female company would be quite good as well, apart from all the unavoidable drawbacks that go along with it. But hell, I'm on a mission, I'm here to go fishing, running and work on a website, you won't catch me doing the same thing twice, or once even.
You know there's a lot happening. Everywhere you look something is going down; there are ants foraging away, flies being eaten by birds, someone somewhere is being eaten by a Mugwai, quite a few people are having sex, there's lots of wild stuff happening, life and death events, the world over, in fact it's quite mind-boggling when you stop to think about all the activity that is happening everywhere, from small communications to global events.
Indeed one would be led to believe that under such circumstances I would have lots of things to write about, a veritable feast of ideas, but incredibly, it is not so. In fact, and possibly as you have come to expect, I'm just going to explore the events of the last seven days (well six actually because last week I was one day late) and how I feel about them. Not much perhaps, but since I feel really great right now, on top of the world, in spite of being at the bottom of it, something must have happened to create this feeling.
Maybe I found the Mugwai? Whatever that is. “The Mugwai is whatever you believe it to be” – that'll help.
One thing that is exciting, is that I have been developing some new casts (well new to me, new as in from the last Flyfair when Jupp showed me one of them) and by applying a snapcast, or a snake roll, to a straightening loop, without shooting line, I can create a whole new series of presentation casts. I can even get the line to go around and behind objects in front and to the side of me. I already know of several places where I can try this cast out and will be rewarded by a respectably large sized brown trout, or else a tree (it's not fully developed yet). I have captured a few on video, but will probably wait a couple of weeks before I drop them into Friday's video day. There is still the Spey series to complete, of course I want to get to all the funky stuff right now, and not bother with all the basics, but that's not how these things work, or so I am told.
These newsletters, or at least the latest ones, have all been written in the back of the Pulsewagon. I park on top of a hill, because the laptop drains the car battery pretty damn quick and I need to bump start on the way down again. Right now everything is covered in a thick layer dust, on the inside. I actually rather like it, it says I'm on a real fishing trip, but unfortunately the dust has found its way into the CD player and I'm going to have to pull it apart shortly, and probably break it in the process. Screwed to the door handle is my fly-vice. I've been tying flies this week, and getting my box in order for the top-of-the-water action that I've been missing so far. It's been hard to find the time for this, but finally I seem to have a flybox full again, and with flies that may actually catch fish :-) It's quite therapeutic this flytying lark - it's been so long I'd forgotten that.
This great flytying frenzy (I think I may have tied 20 flies) took place while visiting my friends at Bellbird Lodge and lucky me, I experienced my second Turangi New Year whilst there, which was almost exciting as last New Year's Eve with Camo-Guy in Invercargill, only the drinks were different and there was no phone call from an irate ex-girlfriend at 1 am to liven things up. In fact there were no single women at all.
Last night, camped outside Hanmer Springs, I had a realisation whilst staring out and thinking about things, as you do, about just how damn big this place is, not that I could remotely get my mind around the true size of things. There was me thinking it was quite a long way from the Pulsewagon to the trees and could I be bothered to walk that far, when I suddenly thought about just how far away all those stars were, about how many of them there were, about just how immense everything is, and that somewhere, in some distant Universe, where the worlds are upside-down, and things that make sense over here seem quite unfathomable over there – not that there are many of those – and vice versa, that saltwater fly might just be possible. I mean as unlikely as it may sound to those in the know, maybe, just maybe, those Deceivers actually do work somewhere. Because they sure as hell don't work here. I have asked Mike's advice on the subject, since he appears to know about this stuff, and on Wednesday he'll be starting a series all about Saltwater action.
Yes, you haven't heard the last of the blast just yet...
Little flyfishing dudes
You know it's quite funny that when you travel around and hang out with backpackers, there are a routine set of questions, which after a while start to grate, and one of them is, “How long have you been travelling for?” To which I always reply “On and off for about ten years now”, which shocks a little bit since most backpackers, of which I do not consider myself to be one incidentally, travel for 12 months on a round-the-word ticket (which always reminds me of something else) and they experience a small taste of freedom which sadly they never manage to recapture. But of course I'm bias.
One of the issues that kept coming up recently, and almost daily, is one of children. Now don't mistake me here, I haven't been chased by backpacking women asking me to have their kids, that doesn't happen very often, or at all in fact. But many people have said something like, “Paul, you're getting on a bit now, when are you going to have kids?” Because remember I'm 32 now, I'm not Peter Pan, and one day I'm going to have to grow up.
And, surprisingly, it is something that I've thought about a number of times, hell I even moved in with a couple of them on two occasions, not that I can remember why now, but it seemed like a good idea at the time, but that was different, they weren't my kids, so there was never – you know – a lifelong commitment. The problem is that I haven't seen anyone who has kids who I would like to swap lives with, even for a moment. In fact, sitting in Geraldine today, whilst sipping my morning cappuccino, I watched a number of parents and children and tried very hard to work out the attraction of it all. They didn't seem particularly happy or fulfilled, but instead in some strange place where the entire world revolves around little Jimmy and his ice cream.
Look I don't have anything against kids, in fact I like them, in moderation, but I'm just not ready for them yet, not in this lifetime. I'm sure that having children of your own teaches you something, that's what everyone says, but I don't think I need to learn it, and I really just can't see the point. I haven't met one single person who has children who I could say, “Yeah, that's cool, what a great life they have”. And as for passing on genes, I just don't see life that way.
Besides there is only room in the Pulsewagon for me and two women max. And generally just me :-)
Fiordland sedge madness
This week I'm going to base myself in Te Anau for, well, this week, and maybe the next one. I want to get into a bit of a routine, Sexyloops needs it for a while, and my fishing needs it too. There is a place I know where I can get perhaps the best evening rise in the world, it's reliable, it's hectic, it's dark and when you hook a big fish you have to run downstream 100 yards, sometimes more.
If this works out, and the river's fishing well, I'll be able to run (running really is a priority now; it keeps me sane, as we say, especially if it's after a hooked fish - hell, I can run those fish down quicker than anyone) and work during the day, and fish the late evening rise. This means that I should be able to do another piece of content each week, because I'd like to.
But basically I just want to go fishing :-)
Cheers now, Paul