Now I'm back in Australia, working on the website. The UK was fun, but not that fun; not so much fun that I'd like to live there or anything like that, you understand. But fun in an interesting short sense.
Anyway, I went back for the Chatsworth Angling Fair, and so let me tell you about that first.
Chatsworth Angling Fair
Apart from getting many new subscribers (and quite a few new customers) and, of course, giving a blinding demonstration on both days, not a lot happened really!
Apart, that is, from the Interesting Experiment. Let me tell you about 'eye contact'. Not in any sexual way, but rather in the demonstrator-audience sense.
For the 'interesting experiment' I decided to give the demonstration on the Sat sans sunnies, and on the Sun mit sunnies. Just to mess around with the language thing (believe me, my life's complicated).
So what the hell are 'sunnies' anyway? Well, glad you asked. In Australia they shorten everything. Brisbane becomes Brissie, breakfast becomes breakie, Christmas (I kid you not) becomes Chrissie. It is a most infuriatingly crass lingo at times (especially when you find yourself using it). Anyway sunnies are sunglasses and on the Sunday I forgot to take them off.
Until the end, that is. And the result most definitely was in favor of keeping them off. I had more audience feedback sans
So learned something there.
Well, RSA films actually, which is in London (no matter how much they pretend otherwise), asked me to do an advert for them and Seimens Mobile Phones.
Well, you know how it is. One time when I was working at Ardleigh I received a phone call from a 'friend' impersonating some US film director asking to rent the whole reservoir for one week, no matter what. But I fooled him; I worked that one out... eventually
But this was different; I definitely didn't know this chick, and if her phonecall was anything to go by, this had certainly been an oversight on my part, which I intended to rectify as soon as possible.
So yeah, got the job. Let me tell you about the film industry; it's full of gays. Even the women, I'm told. But unfortunately I can niether confirm nor deny this last aspect...
Before the shoot (technical filming term) I had to make a trip into London to meet the wardrobe department and sort out some top angling fashion accessories. Naturally I got lost on the way in. This is a speciality of mine. But on this occasion my luck was in, and I found a Japanese tourist who managed to show me the way.
Yes, the wardrobe department (gay, appropriately) insisted that we visit the new London Sportfish shop, so that I can be dessed in various overpriced accessories and photo's taken. What could I do? I have nothing against Sportfish (just because I am the only human-being on the planet who they will not send a catalogue) and besides I've seen their website, and they are in desperate need of a consultant (£450/day - let me know).
So back to this advert. Well my job was standing in the river casting whilst various cameras took pictures. There was fish too! Brought in especially for me to bung 'back' into the river. And let me tell you, man are those things slippery! I mean it's fine when you've caught them and played them; they've quit. But when they've just been freshly netted... that's something else again.
I learned a few things. One was that for what will probably take no more than 15 secs of an advert, takes about eighty people (of which no more than three actually even remotely appear to work) filming all day long. Another is that although it was a normal English grey day, the result will be radically different. And lastly, and most significantly, at one stage they had a camera directly above my head, whilst I executed an overhead cast, and that camera was much closer than I would have thought possible (good to know when casting beneath bridges, as you do).
So when can you expect to see this wondrous advert? Probably within the next month. Not to give too much away, it's Siemens Mobile Phones, McLaren Formula 1, their head designer (Alex somebody or other, who doesn't actually fish in real life... now there's a surprise) and Sexyloops all rolled into one. What the hell mobile phones have to do with any of this I have no idea.
And the buggers still haven't paid me yet...!
After completely destroying Air New Zealand's international reputation last month ('How much longer can they carry-on now?', I ask myself.) It appears that they have made yet another blunder. In cancelling an evening flight and not telling the passengers so that they arrived to find the airport closed. Man, am I pleased I don't fly them anymore..! (They still haven't apologised to me, incidentally. I was hoping to get some sort of compensation, like money, out of them).
Ardleigh announces closure
It's official. Ardleigh Reservoir will cease as a trout fishery as of the end of this season. It is arguable that it indeed ceased as such some 5 yrs previously. Let me tell you why, because they won't.
Ardleigh was at one time one of the premier trout (especially brown trout) fisheries in the UK. However 5 years ago there was the blue-green toxic algae scare whch forced many of the Anglian Water fisheries to shut for three weeks. Following this event weed never grew at Ardleigh, the corixa all flew elsewhere, ephemerids completely disappeared, sedges too, and even the hardy buzzer populations were all but wiped out.
On nights when ants covered the surface hardly a trout rose.
When a fishery doesn't fish you can be sure as hell that it's not going to make any money. Deny it as they will, there is no way that you can go from having a weedy fishery (Too weedy to bank fish during the summer. They even had a weedcutting boat which was used to chop back the growth - after one enthusiastic session the draw-off tower was blocked for two days while a digger was brought in to clear it!) to a sterile fishery from one year to the next, without bunging in chemicals.
You've got to feel sorry for the old guys who made fishing their life's hobby, and who fished Ardleigh every single day. Now they have to stay at home with their wives. So you've got to feel sorry for their wives too!
Web site additions
Well, I've added newsletter no 2 somewhere to this site (see if you can find it!). And I'm currently adding new product, from tackle to flytying to echo-sounders to GPS systems.
Monthly book snip
This is an exert from the June section:
Now the dams a funny thing. I guess I get about two separate one week to ten day hot fishing periods on them. The first often comes around the early part of June, occurs at one end of the wall, is best at around about half past ten in the morning and very few people know about it. I approach it in two different ways. (1) floating line and nymphs, probably buzzers on the droppers and damsel on the point, probably a gold-head and (2) dries. The nymph fishing relies on inducing the take, the dry approach is far more fun and can be really quite difficult to cast out under certain wind conditions.
I guess I had better tell you about dams. The primary reason for their existence is to stop the water from washing all down the valley and drowning towns in the process, holding the water back so as to pump it to the taps when needed. Their secondary function is to cause you to slip in and attempt to stop you getting out until either, someone comes to your assistance, or failing that, you become a victim of the waters.
Yes, dams are notoriously slippy. When wet they can be absolutely treacherous. And remember even when its not raining the lake water tends to splash around the edges. Great place to slip. Studded waders are great for water entry. Try sliding all the way down from the top of the dam and into the water.
Once you finally find yourself in the water and you probably will at some point or other, then you will find that the dam is even slippier under the lake than above. You can sprint under water and not go anywhere. Try it. All that you actually can do is to swim all the way to the end and walk out. However take care here too, you should find some really soft mud you can get your feet stuck in.
The best bet is to swim along to some other angler, who will be a little surprised and ask him for a hand out. This is the stage where you can pull him in too. You could travel up the dam like this and end up with more anglers in the water than fish. Beware of large groups of swimming anglers requesting assistance.
Two more things, beware bridges above dams; the shade hides the damp and also make sure platforms are secure before trusting your weight to them. I remember one time sliding down a wet dam and landing on a platform with relief, only to find it was somewhat premature because some bastard had unchained it.
The second period of hot dam fishing occurs somewhere during August and will be dealt with under the same month. Also July can give sport.
It is my plan to go diving in Thailand shortly. If anyone has any advice on Thailand, saltwater flyfishing, underwater-flyfishing or dive-sex, then I'd be most interested to hear from you.
I am currently working on the tackle shop section; I have many new products as well as some interesting advice. Daily additions at the moment.
Now look, I am updating this site using a Psion5 and mobile phone. It's not ideal, and every once in a while a broken link appears. Please tell me if you find one!!
And don't forget that I am always available on email to answer your casting, fishing or tackle questions. Either email me directly, or use my bulletin board.
Have a good month!