This newsletter may not make a hell of a lot of sense, not because I have toothache, which I have by the way and following a visit to the dentist, which I find ironic, especially since I didn't have it before, but because I've hit the whisky in order to alleviate the pain. I'm not sure this will work incidentally, but I'll try it out anyway.
Besides most of these newsletters don't make much sense, or so I've decided.
See? I've just reread that paragraph and I had to reread it twice just to understand it.
So: Sexyloops. For a long time people said, “Paul, you can't make your living as a flycasting instructor and having fun. No, you have to do something else. Go to University, get a degree, become a sheep.” “Hey look,” addressing people who told me I couldn't have fun, “that's not true! Here's my take on life: go out and discover what it is you enjoy and then make a living out of that.” That's a message, that is.
Just because it's flyfishing doesn't make no odds. It could be surfing, tiddlywinks or dentistry. But what do I know? I'm just a man with a 5-weight. And that's the other thing: no one knows. No one knows the answers. Take God, for example, some people believe in God, some don't. So what does that mean? I don't know. It may not mean anything actually. But this is the point: everyone tries to tell you their opinion... do you want to be like them, or just be yourself? I know one thing: I don't want to be anyone else. I have enough problems in life as it is.
So ignore them. You can't change them. Why be someone else's sheep?
Control, boxes, laws, fear; it's all a choice I suppose and although it may be “easier” to wear fluff, the question is “can I look myself in the eye afterwards?” Because somehow I reckon that's important.
It surprises some people, that I've been travelling pretty much on and off for the last 10 years. But it's easy; I quit university because it sucked and started living on the road because that didn't. University didn't grab me, for some people it does – that's fine; wonderful in fact – but I believe that if you're not happy you should change the picture, do something, anything else. And so I did: I went fishing.
Flyfishing has always been my passion. And it's an amazing way of life. You may think it's good as a pastime, sure it is, but when it's your drive it's far more interesting. At some point you end up failing to distinguish between life and flyfishing. At some other point flyfishing becomes life itself and therefore life's teacher. That's pretty cool.
Flyfishing can give you depth. (Hey this is an interesting start)
Erm, so yeah, travelled for a while, lived in cars, tents, sofas and I still do mostly. In fact right now, when I leave the UK this time, I don't think I'll be in any one place for more than about a week for years. That's it; I'm free again. The only difference is that when I first started out, I did all sorts of crap part-time jobs. I've laboured, cleaned, and driven my way around the world. So long as I could find enough money to go flyfishing it didn't really matter what I did. In fact I often arrived in New Zealand flat broke.
So if you're young, in fact if you're any age, and thinking about heading off, then I think you should; it's easy. Or would you rather end up in a box? How many lifetimes are you going to have? Personally I think life is not about doing what you're told to, I reckon it's about taking opportunities. But hey, what do I know? I'm just a guy with toothache.
Sexyloops is interesting for me, because about a year ago I had to make a decision over whether to destroy it or else make some money. I came to the conclusion that making money made the more important point.
It's funny and this may tell you a lot about me, but when someone tells me I can't do something, I go out and do it. In fact in some way or another every decision I've ever made has been a sort of “yeah, right, just watch me”. I know that, and I'm still fighting it, but what they do can't be right. Money first, ego, separation, put-downs, fear, hatred… how can that be what it's all about?
I get fed up with people who are so obviously out of touch with themselves and yet think they know better. How the hell have we ended up in a world where this is not only acceptable but also “the path”? I don't know what the solution is, but to stop voting, stop accepting everything we're told and to stop watching TV and to start talking to people must be a start.
So that's where I am with this life-flyfishing-thing.
Of course Sexyloops is different; it doesn't fit and has jagged edges. We have this amazing input and it's not just about flycasting. Sure, Sexyloops has become the flycasting site, I think we all take that for granted, but it's also about perspective, and there's some incredible content within. And I actually reckon the most interesting part is the perspective. Sexyloops has interesting characters. Real people. There's Sean (who can't love Sean after reading his Fishmails? – apart from his girlfriend perhaps). There's Ben, Mike and, recently, Lars and Lasse as well as the Sexyloops Board members and all our “irregular contributors”.
Magazines copy our ideas and even pinch our name, other sites imitate us, but they can only have missed the point; we're not imitators – we're attractors. Even so, in the end we're still a wild card. I know that. And that only goes to make it all the more interesting; the fact that we are attracting sponsors.
In my pre-toothache haze, I decided that Sexyloops is the site to sponsor, and having made that decision I'm approaching the leading flytackle manufacturers and I'm telling them this: “Hey Mr Manufacturer, Sexyloops is the flyfishing site to sponsor, we want you because I think you're the best out there, now sponsor us!”
And they are.
More Sponsors follow this week...