It's great to be back in the US. This Vortex is coming from Florida and I'm absolutely shagged. It's been pretty much non-stop action since I left New Zealand. I've been fishing, casting, getting behind on emails, catching imaginary redfish, eating some of the worst fast food on the planet and driving, driving, driving.
Texas was fantastic of course. It's always great to hook up with Bill and Rick and although we didn't exactly nail the fish we had a wonderful time. True, I got a little frustrated at one point, I was fishing particularly well in New Zealand and it annoyed the hell out of me to screw up. And it's tough to go from doing something really well, which involves spotting, stalking, casting, hooking and landing trout, all on your own, to doing something not very well at all, which involves getting poled around and having redfish pointed out to you so you can screw them up. And I'm not very good at being told what to do and have spent my whole life doing everything but.
However it was a lot of fun, despite my anarchic disposition, and I now have the confidence needed to fish Florida from a kayak which both Rick and Bill have managed to falsely instil, and that's just great.
I recommend that you UK guys go and fish with Rick sometime, you'll have a blast – only don't let Rick talk you into eating the local Mexican food.
Anyway no doubt I'll be drawing parallels between fishing with Rick and fishing with Frank, and I know they'll both enjoy that.
This has been quite a smooth transition for me, in going from New Zealand autumn to US summer and that's because Bill's been such a tremendous help. Bill polished my car on an almost weekly basis, apparently, and made sure that everything was ready for my arrival. So thanks :-)
Yesterday I fished with Tom Jindra out of New Orleans. We fished the marsh, had a great time and I proved conclusively to Tom that Redfish are imaginary. The reason that Bill and I caught fish with Rick was because Bill knows they are imaginary. Tom on the other hand has yet to reach this conclusion and still believes in them, which is why we caught bugger all. Saltfly is a bit complicated like that, but that's why I've come to America of course: to spread enlightenment.
As well as allowing me to pole the boat for 36 seconds, Tom let me wear the see-through bug suit he wears for Mardi Gras. So yet another wonderful and productive encounter between flyfishing dudes.
On the road here in America, I have three things going for me: Sexyloops, the FFF and my accent. Everywhere I go I'm well received and have friends. It's pretty damn cool actually – of course they don't really know me yet, so that's a fourth thing.
Anyway I have a long long drive ahead of me. I haven't yet reached Tallahassee and that's only about half way between New Orleans and my destination – and I really want to try to get there tonight. I'm of the opinion that when you start a long drive you may as well knuckle down and get on with it – even if petrol is 2 whole dollars a gallon (that's just over a pound – so you can see why the Americans are complaining so much).
The next Vortex will come from a swamp.