So the advice was chartreuse and faster. I haven't had the time to get any chartreuse stuff tied up, but I have had the chance to go faster. And what great advice this was. Now I'm not one for wasted effort: I like to fish static (for trout fishing this works better and besides, it is more suited to my nature). But when Bradley Wesner told me to strip faster, I thought 'Hell, why not? If he can, then so can I'.
So I took my broken rod and myself down to A. Bay, whacked a lure out and stripped faster. Almost immediately I had a take. In fact, there were periods when almost every cast had some sort of interest. And not the subtle 'I see it but pretend not to' type of interest either, but the down-right 'I'll chase it, bite it, pull the line out of his hand, thrash around the surface for a bit and then bugger off' sort of interest.
At first I was excited. And stripped faster! Of course in trout fishing, one doesn't strip faster when missing fish, one slows down and calms down: trout fishing is dignified - and I'm an English gentleman and so can fully appreciate this. But in the Saltwater (according to Brad – who is an American and quite possibly also a cowboy) it is a good thing to strip faster. At times I was stripping so fast I thought my arm was going to drop off. Now let me tell you something. When I get takes and follows and jumps, I get excited. When I then strip faster and get more takes and follows and jumps, I get even more excited. After about half an hour I was a frantic, gibbering wreck. You have never seen such a thing. I would whack it out there, strip back like mad, miss fish after fish and repeat the whole thing again and again.
It's a good thing that my photographer friend was off at some other part of the beach. I'm not one to resort to bad language, like German for instance, but it seemed like the most appropriate action.
Funnily enough it worked. I am going to ask advice on the bulletin board, but it seemed to me that out of the 50 odd takes I actually had, only to hook one fish, is an indication that I'm doing something terribly wrong. I tried smaller hooks and smaller flies – that didn't work, not at all actually. I would like to have tried bigger but I didn't have anything bigger. I would like to have tried chartreuse (of course).
So I did hook one in the end. A barracuda. With teeth. And not too bad a fish (for me). And certainly bigger than the last one. With teeth. And it fought rather well on the 6-weight. This is my first barracuda. Interesting fish, barracuda. Interesting teeth. At least I think that this is what it was...
So I grabbed my forceps and my very expensive digital camera (which I am in love with) and clambered down the rocks to the wet stuff. It was quite a precarious narrow ledge, but this is Sexyloops and I needed this photo.
My photographer friend was off at some other part of the beach.
I was just taking the photo, preparing the forceps, playing the fish and holding the rod under my arm, all at the same time – a Herculean task requiring total concentration, when an almighty freak wave crept up behind me and flattened me.
I didn't go in. I simply state this as a fact. Why I didn't go in, I can't say. It may be that in some strange fatalistic way, everything that can go wrong in my life, does go wrong, and I have accepted this and indeed now expect it. And so this was nature's way of surprising me.
Or it might be that I was just damn lucky. Either way I didn't go under. And you can be sure as hell that I held on to that camera. Yes it got wet, but survived. However my rod had gone.
Fortune seems to have been surprisingly active for once and the flyline had tangled around my toes, allowing me to return the fish and recover the rod. It sure was close though.
Total Flycasting Technique
A question came up on the Bulletin Board recently asking me about a website devoted to the Total Flycasting Technique. I had a look through the site and came to the conclusion that the crux of the technique was to cast a short stiff rod and combine this with a light flyline. I was hoping for a discussion with the owner of the site, but so far no reply has been forthcoming. Ah well, not to worry. However I have now had the chance to try this technique on a slightly larger scale. My new shorter rod is now an 8 weight, possible 9. I only have 5 and 6 weight lines. It does work, but it's not for me. For distance casting stick with a convention set-up; it involves far less in the way of effort.
More tackle in on it's way to me, kindly send to me from Guide Flyfishing.
Our new beginners section has been launched and has been very well received. Lesson two has just been accomplished and we are currently typing this out. Steve is frantically casting in the park at lunchtime. He says that it's getting better.
The shopping cart has now been installed. Sage, Redington, Loon and Leatherman are available. Steve is putting the tackleshop together and is doing a fantastic job. It is looking awesome and I'm really happy with it. This guy really knows his stuff!
BigPaul of Kate Flemings is acquiring all the best products. Currently we are offering Sage, Loomis, Redington, Loop, Teton, Vision, Jim Vincent, Lee Wulff and Cortland amongst many others. The deliveries are prompt (when the postman remembers his bike) and efficient.
Karen, as well as taking photo's and learning to fish, is busy typing. His fingers are a blur. She happens to be the only person involved in Sexyloops who can actually type using more than two fingers. The soon to be launched stillwater section looks like starting at with approx 120 webpages. She says that she is going to teach me how to type. Now that will be fun!!
Catch you later,