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01/09/03 - Destination Spain

Relationships suck. Especially if you're a flyfisher.

Really, I mean it. If you do your own thing and be yourself in one, you're described as selfish and if don't do your own thing and be yourself – and hardly anyone actually does I've realised – then you change and end up continually compromising yourself. I have loads of fishing friends who were cool to hang around and fish with, and then they get a “relationship” and I hardly ever see them, and they can't go fishing “too late” ie when the fish are rising because they have to run along home. They become weak and have to ask “permission” to have fun and do anything and they have to “arrange things”.

“Fancy going fishing Saturday?”
”I'll have to ask Emily”
“Don't bother”

And the other great thing about not wanting a relationship is that you actually get to know people on a deeper level, funny that. I suppose that's why homosexuals have more girlfriends than I do. Not that I'm tempted.

So anyway, I'm off to Spain. Driving down via Basel (which is in Switzerland, for those of you lacking the necessary geography skills), going to catch up with friend and casting instructor Chris Rownes who lives there, then on through France (of course; you can't drive to Spain without going through France for a least a little bit, not without getting wet, and besides I quite like France – they have croissants and other cool stuff).

And I'm going fishing. I'm in need of some serious fishing, at least a month of the stuff in fact. I haven't really worked out the logistics exactly. I may rent a place by the sea, or else camp and roam the coast like a gypsy – if I had a relationship I couldn't do that; it would all have to be arranged. I'll be learning Spanish as I go, so it's an adventure really, currently I know “Tortuga” so I've already mastered the basics. I just need a couple more thousand words and some grammar. Maybe.

Spain has some really good fishing which surprises a lot of people. There's trout fishing in the North, which is a bit complicated to get access to, being quite literally a lottery on some stretches, and there's some bass fishing and saltfly action down South. So far that's about all I know, but enough to get excited about.

I'm pretty well connected in Spain, having been over a couple of times now and made friends with the CNL (Spanish Flycasting Gods) and I am in fact a Spanish Master flycasting instructor – so's Mel Krieger, bet you didn't know that, that's the great thing about these newsletters; there's always a little tit-bit of information that you didn't know before, some little gem of wisdom – relationships suck (bet you didn't know that, or probably you did actually), you have to drive through France to get to Spain, if you want to stay dry, and it's good for a couple of croissants – and Mel Krieger is a Spanish Master Flycasting instructor.

This week I'll be visiting Carlos (Carlos is the translator of the Spanish section, a really great presentation caster and you can meet him at the British Fly Fair, or in Spain of course) and we'll be casting through hoops together – we always cast through hoops together. I'm really looking forward to it, I've a few casting ideas to show him and I know he'll have a few new tricks to show me too (he always does).

And I'll be going saltwater flyfishing.

I know what you're thinking; you're thinking, “Why, Paul? Why go saltwater flyfishing? It doesn't work. Have you been smoking Seal's Fur again?” But I have to save some poor misguided people, well one actually, José Ricardo, who's been emailing me telling me that it does work and is actually rather good. Of course I know this is completely impossible, and so I have to save him before it's too late and he starts drinking seawater. So I'm on a bit of a mission really. It's like that when you're a flycaster, and you thought it was all just feathers and tinsel.

This week I have a great Viking Tip for you involving legs and there's the follow up article from Max Garth on how and what fish see – Max is a saltwater flyfisher in West Australia who also believes it's possible. I'm not sure what we'll do on Thursday – Ben's in Scotland – and so I might post one of my flies up and try to explain some of the more advances techniques that Ben hasn't covered yet. Such as the whipfuck. On Friday there will be a movie from the Big Hitters.

It's not really a plan of course, and I could change all or any of the above at the drop of an AAPGAI hat, and I don't have to ask permission either. It's just me, a couple of flies and a pair of smelly waders. Better stand back now…


Ps here is a great movie of Spain featuring Willy.

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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