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14/07/03 - Keep Looking

So I'm on the road again, currently in Germany, not sure for how long, and unsure whether to head north or south afterwards. I'm considering going to Denmark, Norway or Sweden for a few weeks. Or else down to Spain. Decisions decisions. And it's a tough one to call because in three weeks time I plan(?) to be in Idaho. After this I'll go to Spain, and possibly for the rest of the summer. Or something like that.

It's quite fun actually because I've borrowed a car, thrown all my stuff in the back and just headed off. And without a plan. Anything could happen.

I always struggle a bit in Germany, I really believe in going with life's opportunities. You can't do this if you have attachments and responsibilities. You can't do it if you have a mortgage, a wife, or children. You can only do it if you're completely free. Sure I'm very lucky to be in this position, but I chose to be I this position… hang on, while I climb into the hammock…

Hmm, never written a newsletter from a hammock before… this newsletter is different; it comes from inside a hammock, making it a bit edgy-like; I could fall out any second. It reminds me of when I used to live in a Land Rover (I had a hammock strung up in the back).

Free to fly

Anyway this freedom is what I want in life, I did this pre-Sexyloops and love it. I love travelling and seeing the world, going fishing whenever and for as long as I want, living on a day by day basis. It's not for everyone, that's true, but it is for me. It's structureless, and fairly chaotic. Raw. It's how life is meant to be. On the edge, over the edge, never do the same thing twice, or once even.

So when I come to somewhere like Germany, with all the tidy gardens, laws and regulations, box-like thinking, little trees shaped like lollypops for Chrissakes, a place where people work and take surface life seriously, I feel like I've entered an alien world. Nature and life isn't like this, German friends, so why try to control it? You can't and if you try you miss the point.

I've mentioned this before, but I'll do so again, because it's interesting: in order to fish in Germany one must first take an exam that takes 4-6 weeks of study, catch and release is illegal in Germany and in many states it is illegal for children under the age of 15 to fish.

Think what you're told

Okay I know that the rest of the world is just the same, that most people do what they're told, think what they're told, and are driven by fear. If you're thinking, you're in the box. If you're not thinking you're in the box. If you understand me you're in the box. If you are the box, then how are you going to get out?

Work like a robot, live like a robot, eat, sleep, get married, buy a box, have children, do what you're told, put some order in your life, do everything you can so that you never ever question anything. Fill up all those empty spaces. Watch TV and condition yourself. Remember: you don't want to think too deeply; you may discover your box is an illusion.

Well anyway that's what I reckon. And it's not like I haven't said it before. I just felt like saying it again. Maybe I should say it in German.

Distance Blasting

I had interesting mail this week regarding last Friday's distance blasting video, where instead of pulling the rod I'm punching it, and that since I've been pulling and teaching to pull the stick for years, I had no right to do this. So I'd better explain I s'pose.

One year ago I was quite happily pulling the rod and casting further that everyone else I met. It felt good; life was sweet. And then I met Jon Allen and we had our first shoot-out. Even with a dodgy backcast (that Jon's now fixed – cunning dog) he cleaned up against the inch-tape and me; something like 5-2.

So I changed my cast to cope with this. It's taken about 9 months to find something that will really do well in the 5-weight shoot-outs and although I'm in contact with people who'll out-stick me, I think I should be at least on the pace and I'll know either way when I get to Idaho next month.

Keep looking

In some ways it would be better to discover that I'm not on the pace, and that there's another three or four yards to be found. But even if I discover that I am on the pace I'm still going to go looking for those three or four yards.

Don't get me wrong, pulling down has several serious advantages over a forward casting explosion: it offers perfect tracking and sexy loops, but against the inch tape it just won't cut it and I can't stick the 5 weight past 108 until I increase my stroke length. I suppose it depends on what you're trying to do.

There's nothing wrong in being wrong. It's how I learn and if you only ever want to be right you'll spend your life trying to bolster a stale position and not one of moving forward. I don't want to be right; I just want to be better.

It's nice to be fishing again, I've just spent what? three months? casting. There's been a little bit of fishing here and there, but nothing serious. Now however, I'm back in action fishing six or seven days. I can't seem to get excited by reservoir fishing in the UK anymore: I've probably had it too much. I've fished stillwaters for a couple of decades and for many of those years I worked or lived on them. Now I need something a little bit different.

And I'm looking for it.


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
A sexy catch...

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