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Belief and Conviction

I've come to the conclusion that the most important aspect in flyfishing, is not the fly, nor the presentation, it's not your ability to read water nor your ability to spot fish, it's not how stealthy you are on the approach and it's not even whether or not even about your loops. Nope, the most important aspect is you. And to be more precise in that statement, what matters most is your state of mind.

Of course having a sexy looking nymphet attached to the end of your line will go a long way to increase your confidence, and therein, I think, lies the key. Quite simply, if you want to catch fish, and more pointedly if you want to nail them, then you'd better go out there with complete conviction that that's what's going to happen, and that you are, without any shadow of a doubt, going to make that happen.

In the past I've talked about “the Zone”, those times when everything works out – to see a fish is to conquer – it may not be perfect, although it's not far off either. The Zone, for me, is when absolute conviction mirrors outcome.

I fish with very many anglers, and across the complete spectrum of ability. And I've been lucky enough to fish with some really exceptional anglers in my life, and the thing that really stands out amongst the best of the best is the go-to attitude.

Of course it doesn't always work out – who would want that? Myself, I actually enjoy failures. Catastrophes thrill me. Don't get me wrong here; I don't go out of my way to create them. They just happen by themselves, for whatever reason, and I revel in them; they're for entertainment. Give me everything, that's what I say.

I actually think that one of the secrets to good fishing is to enjoy the bad times. If it's not the secret to good fishing then at least it's the secret to happy fishing.

So that's my polarised view; on the one hand I go out expecting to nail every single fish in the river, which helps create that, and if I screw up, then I enjoy that too. Simple.

A good friend of mine, who just happens to have won 2.7 million dollars in the lotto last week, not coincidentally, has a poster on his wall stating, “be the most positive person you know”. That is the best fishing advice there is.

So if you happen to lose your sunglasses off the top of your head, Sean, just grab another pair out of the Red Herring and go nail the big bastards!

Sean and I are about to head up a very famous river with an angler whom I met last year, on top Benmore Dam. I got talking to this guy – who was fishing his fly over the edge – and at the very moment I said that I didn't have time for us to fish together, the Pulsewagon broke down. So I made the time, and I'm very pleased I did, because he's a great guy, we have a lot in common and he needed a casting lesson. It's funny how these things happen. Coincidence or synchronicity? Dunno, although I have my suspicions.

We'll be off-line for a couple of days – to give us time to nail every single fish in the river, from Lolita to Goliath. Sean will catch a six pound trout up this river and maybe even a double figure fish. About time one of those came along… or a couple.

That's about it really, apart from the fact that I had to pick seven leeches of my right leg this afternoon – and I didn't even know they had leeches here in New Zealand – that it was great catching up with Garry and Aaron and getting beaten at pool in the local pub last night, that Sean caught a baby Kahawai out the mouth of the Waitaki River, and I still don't believe him, that the TFO rod has a bad case of tip bounce, that we're in the process of shooting a Sexyloops video and that Sean snores like an elephant.

Have a great week!
Paul

The result of positive thinking - big fish AND sunglasses

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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