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Here to fish

Fish, fish, fish, fish, fish, fish. It's all about fish.

This could be a fish Vortex.

Well fish and fishing. What would fish be without fishing? They'd be wet things that you may or may not eat. In fact, to be specific, because this could be important, they'd just be wet things. You wouldn't be able to eat them, not that I do of course.

No, I catch them. In fact that's why I'm here: to catch fish. Why are you here? Does your life have a purpose like mine does?

Some people are here to be a doctors and help the sick. I'm here to fish. Some people's calling in life is to have lots of children. Cool – if you like kids. Me, I like fish. Sometimes I don't catch them; that's OK, sex doesn't always result in a love child. Ok ok this is what happens when I get back to NZ...

I love trout. See? Mostly because they're complete and total bastards. They're either spooky as hell (here in New Zealand – almost home) or “selective” as hell (as on the San Juan, New Mexico – for example) and everything in-between.

Sure, I enjoy the occasional fling in the salt, just as married men enjoy the occaisional fling with someone else's wife. But that's not my thing. No shit. That's me sleeping around, that is. Or something like that.

There's nothing I don't like about trout fishing. Whether it's stalking lake edge fish cruising the sandbanks, or stalking BIG BULLDOG BROWNS mid-current – hmmm – or fishing the slicks with dries, dancing wets on the drift, fishing boobies in river mouths, presenting to estuary smelt feeders, dry fly action on a mirrored lake, bugging holes, nymphing on the slime, side-sweeping lures, plugging the banks. Night fishing on nights so black you can't see your hands; wading by feel. Falling in. The rain! Give me rain – and make it a cold front. But not today. Wind: bring it on. Well actually I don't like the wind.

And I'm not alone. That's why we have trout the world over. And they don't have to be BIG. I mean OK, I like BIG trout, but I also like small trout. Fishing burns in Scotland catching 4oz monsters, throwing curved casts as if it really mattered.

And I love the places it takes me. I may be here to fish, but I'm also here to travel. This is my world, as it is all of ours – global speak – and I want to see it too, but mostly I'm here to fish. Summers in New Zealand, summers in Montana. That's cool. Great fishing in Montana: technical rivers, interesting stillwaters, amazing fishing in New Zealand. There's a whole world out there waiting to be fished..

So anyway, I'm sitting in my truck. Tomorrow I'm going fishing with Deano – that was yesterday. I went fishing today of course – that was cool. And yesterday. Erm and the day after tomorrow and the day after that. Not sure what I'll be doing the day after. Hmmm… ah yes, fishing, well fuck me. There's a system here.

Now some people, anglers even, don't understand how fishing can be interesting when you do it every day. I know! Amazingly shortsighted of them. You see, the more trout fishing you do the better you become, the harder the fish you catch, the greater the rewards – it's not much of a system. There are always fish you don't catch – I want those – and given experience I'll get them. That's because I'm here to fish. There is no point, no end goal, no Nirvana – this is it, my point, my reason for being; this is Nirvana. Have you found Nirvana?

The last couple of summers in the US have made me a better angler. I've started to notice the difference here in New Zealand; I'm better with nymphs. My roots on UK stillwaters help everywhere, but when it comes to river fishing I've always been lacking some edge. Finally I'm finding it. The Spanish obsession, I encountered, with presenting slack enables so much more, but I still wish I could cast further.

That's the problem with New Zealand. I don't cast here, not much. I only practice when I can't make a cast I'd make in the Northern Hemisphere. Of course then it's too late and I've fucked up a backhand switch on a double. It's hard to find the right balance sometimes.

Something you may find interesting is that my flies have changed; they're often smaller, weightless and presented with shot on the leader. Years ago I didn't do this and more to the point: I didn't have to. So why's that? Is the fishing becoming harder with the increase in pressure? I suspect it is.

This is going to be a bumper year, certainly my best in New Zealand. Feel free to join me anytime. But warn me first.


join me anytime

PS this is what too much fishing does to you.
PPS Ben looks much worse.

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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