Well I think that we've come a long way in the last twelve months. I know I have. Thanks in no small part to Steve known as the "technical side" to Sexyloops, he is very much involved both in the site's direction and inspiration. He's been there for me both as a friend and colleague; I feel very lucky indeed to know him. Hell, I've been through a lot (the lot?) in the last year, let alone Sexyloops. So thanks Steve :-)
And thanks also to Karen for being the star pupil of The Experience, being a friend and for putting up with me :-)
Anyway this isn't the Oscars and neither do I think I'm about to die, so on to...
I've been mentioning the Sexyloops Saltwater Concept (the SSC) for quite a while now, but it wasn't until last week that we finally got things up and running.
Here we have something quite unique. I have six saltwater geniuses The Panel - (Bruce Richards, Cathy and Barry Beck, Tom Rowland, MadBrad and Gary Coxon all of whom are from the US apart from the last one, who's from Cheshire) and they are going to try and help me master this saltwater scene.
Of course this means that I'm going to have to change my life around a bit. I may be in New Zealand at the moment, but I can tell you that Florida, the Bahamas, Mexico and other exotic places, such as Southend Pier, will be the focus of any future travels.
First up on the exotic location map is Bluff Harbour, just around the corner from Invercargill. This scenic wonder is the Southern Hemispherian equivalent to Monaco. Here you will discover some of the most beautiful women in the world. They lounge around the beach bars, scantily clad, sipping cocktails and enjoying the hot hot sunshine.
Oh what a dream I live in.
Knowledge is patchy, as ever. I'm told that both salmon and barracuda will start to appear in numbers and very shortly. January the 14th has been banded about in a few different places. How the hell they can be this precise I can't say
but I'll be there.
Last week, on Christmas Day to be precise, we launched a new concept for the Internet. We do this sort of thing quite regularly here at Sexyloops :-)
This section, in many ways epitomises the Sexyloops philosophy. We think that you should read it.
So what have I been up to? Well I've been fishing for a start. I went back to Mystery Lake.
Mystery Lake was a bit of a feature of the last newsletter of course, but it was rather an unsuccessful trip if you happen to judge these things in terms of fish caught, which luckily we don't. But this last outing was different.
To start with, I managed to successfully hook a brown trout of about six pounds in the tail. Now before you scorn this, let me tell you that this demands both a highly accurate cast and for you to sneak up from behind. Everyone was most impressed.
However, catching brown trout that you can see is not the same as fishing boobies that you can't. Boobies are better :-) Boobies btw are buoyant lures fished on a fast sinking line. Their chief ingredient being two foam balls enmeshed by silk stockings. It has been suggested, that the main reason for their success, is due to the pheromone input. I can neither confirm nor deny this, however it is something in which Loon Outdoors firmly believes.
Anyway I don't know if anyone does fish boobies in the South Island, but they should. It was very successful and caught us some really fantastic fish. The only problem now is that we have run out of boobs.
It gets worse.
I have somehow drawn the short straw and the task has befallen me, to acquire some silk stockings so that we can tie up some more. Now no one loves a good challenge more that I, and ordinarily I would literally jump at the chance of helping out fellow anglers in this way.
But this is Invercargill. Hell I'm on a break from women, it's very important that I stay clear of them for a few months and quite possibly for the rest of my life.
So I'm going to try and steal some.
Fishing Mystery Lake is not something your everyday commonplace angler can do. It requires a boat. And a fast one. It's important to be able to zip from one place to another like lightening. If one place isn't working you have to reel in as quickly as possible, sprint along the shoreline, jump in the boat and off you go.
Why this is important, it hasn't been explained to me, but it is so.
Anyway we zipped into one feeder stream and had a bit of a smoochy around. My fishing partner spooked one on the walk up to the stream mouth. I didn't spook any; that's why I'm the pro.
Just around the corner we saw them: a pod of fifteen fish, all lying within twelve to eighteen inches of water. The smallest would have been perhaps five pounds, the biggest, perhaps eight. It was my cast, and just as well since I'm the pro here. This very difficult situation obviously required consummate skill. With fifteen relatively big fish in front of one, it is very difficult to catch one of them without spooking the others.
It wouldn't have been fair of me to catch one and spook the others. As well as being a pro, I'm also a considerate angler.
So I flicked the nymph to one of the fish lying on the outside edge. Remember: pro.
This fish had a look at my fly and did something quite peculiar. He didn't take it for a start. What he did do was something rather different: he swam from fish to fish and told them all to wake up and bugger off; that it wasn't safe anymore and that if they didn't, they'd very soon be sorry. I've seen this sort of communication before, but not to this extent. There is absolutely no question that this is exactly what he was doing.
One time I was fishing a lake - a lake that I can name this time; Moke Lake in Central Otago - and I had climbed a tree in order to lower the fly to some particularly interesting browns beneath them. These trout have special beats and they spend their whole lives swimming around in circles hell why not? I do and I cunningly lowered Bob's Bits to the water, in preparation for the return of a rather nice looking brown that I had spotted earlier.
This fish came back having completed his loop, and all was looking dandy. He came up to look at the fly and almost opened his mouth but changed his mind at the last instant. I nearly fell out of my tree. However I held my composure and gave the fly a little dibble, a very cunning movement suggesting both realism and life. The trout had another look and immediately bolted off.
I thought that that was that. But then something amazing happened: he came back with another fish. I thought perhaps that this was a sacrifice man, that would have been a real mean thing to do but it wasn't: the first fish made it very clear that my fly was something that should not be eaten. It actually barged him out of the way twice, they swam around in the fly a few times and then bolted off.
These fish have my complete and utter respect.
So yep, that bay was a bit of a write off what with Guy spooking his fish, and me playing a little game with my fifteen. Still interesting though.
We have a few more sections to launch on Sexyloops, partly so that we can start to publish more frequently, but also so that I can go fishing more often. For some reason Steve wants me to go fishing more often. I think that this is so he can bugger about with Pic of the Day. His last one, for example, just left the screen entirely.
The Bulletin Board
It's been nothing short of chaotic at times. I'm trying to stay well clear of this madness and start serious discussions - yeah right :-) - anyway, Sean successfully narrowed his flytying down to two patterns, but seems confused when it comes to ice fishing and fly tying, Steve is having his casting analysed by everyone and one of the regulars keeps trying to sell his waders in the wrong section.
So in order that some sort of sanity can be brought to bear (or is it bare?) I have enlisted the help of a new moderator, who will be making an appearance in the early part of this week. He is Norwegian, but he does speak *some* English :-)
That's it for another year. You can see what the site looked last May by clicking this, and yes, we have come a long way! I've actually got the original sexyloops on disc somewhere; I'll have to dig that out :-)
Sexyloops is pretty much what I do. Thank you for all your positive feedback; the emails I receive, actually mean more to me than most of the other stuff I get out of life. You just can't buy this sort of thing.
Happy New Year from Steve and I
And a G'd New Year t'yea from BigPaul in Scotland.
ps a friend in Te Anau has just told me something else you can't buy: poverty.
pps if you want to see how the pro's dress check out this link (Guy).