Well I'm back in the UK. Actually this isn't true, but by the time I upload this I should be, assuming I don't get waylaid somewhere else along the line (see note at end of page... I got waylaid). Indeed I'm actually writing this from the railway station in Surathani, waiting for the train which will take me to Chiang Mai, so I can make friends with an elephant for a few days.
Elephant-flyfishing you hope? No:- bit of a break from the fishing. I'm fed up with it! Underwater flyfishing sucks. I'd better explain...
I have now underwater-flyfished. I didn't actually catch anything of course. I mean this is flyfishing after all. So it wasn't really the point.
It hasn't been easy. I have met resistance. Divers, especially those responsible for running small diving businesses, are a little extreme in their views on fish conservation. Personally I'm becoming a bit of a catch and release freak, this is partly for fish conservation and partly because I prefer my dinner to have died with legs on. It's a taste thing.
As an independent observer (sic) let me tell you something. Recreational fishing is good for fish. There are 4 million anglers in the UK and at least 20 million in the US, and many many more in the world at large. It is the biggest participant sport in the world, and get this; we all really love fish. Otherwise why the f*ck do we spend all of our time trying to catch these elusive damn things, only to put them back immediately afterwards?
And not only this, but we all want to catch more fish (me especially) and one good way to achieve this is for there to be more fish in the water in the first place.
Divers of course want there to be more fish too. That makes sense. They like looking at them and swimming with them. Me too! But I particularly also like to catch them. You know it's a funny thing; I can't seem to be able to watch a fish without wanting to whip the rod out there and then and catch the bugger.
And not only do I like the pretty colourful fish, I like all fish (apart perhaps from eels and catfish - but they have their obsessives, so that's neat, and besides I'm particularly fond of trout and that makes up for it).
So anyway it took me a while to find operators who were cool with the concept of underwater-flyfishing. I was hoping to find someone as excitable as myself. But most of the divers I met were actually pretty dull.
It was interesting to go to the beach with scuba equipment and flyrod. It's usually one or the other. But both! This was something worth watching. A dedicated crowd of Japanese Tourists gathered. At various intervals throughout the dive I would pop up in startling locations (it was a shallow dive, and so I could do this) much to their obvious delight.
I felt a bit like the lady of the lake, only my sword was feather tipped.
So we stalked giant trevally amongst the rocks, me leading the way with my trusty sabre. Actually it was very phallic; the rocks that is. I'm not kidding, these are known as the phallic rocks, personally I couldn't see it and this is an area I consider myself somewhat of an expert, I mean I've got one, and I've had it for as long as I can remember, and my girlfriend, who thankfully doesn't have one, said she could see it. Is that weird or what?
The fly was a fail-me-well-pretty-much-most-of-the-time-but-haven't-found-better creation of my own (which may or may not explain a few things) and, if the small reef fish were anything to go by, it would prove irresistible to the giant trevally.
They came from miles around, these little colourful fish, to come and follow my fly. I felt like the pied-piper. I had my own little shoal of two and four inch fish all dancing and playing with my fail-me-ever. Some even pecked it, in a friendly way. It was a beautiful sight.
I was a little bit narked actually (diving term) even though I was only in 5 metres of water (diving humour - sad isn't it?) this was because on the last dive I had seen shoals and shoals of fish. Big fish even. Tuna amongst the masses. But of course I was naked without my rod. So bit of a bummer then.
Still, took some mysterious photos and increased my overdraft considerably. So it was a good time had by all.
Full Moon Beach Party
Koh Pha Ngan, near Koh Samui, is a rather pleasant sleepy little island, except when the full moon is out. Every month 8 to 10,000 backpackers arrive to celebrate and party hard. Sounds like fun.
So we caught a boat to the island and watched the last rays of sunset from the beach whilst knocking back as much wine and whisky (interesting blend that one) as we thought we could handle. About 8pm the air filled with heavy techno throbbing. There is fire throwing and other entertainment and at about 11 the beach filled up with people wanting fun.
Now this is not like England where, when half a dozen people get together, you need a lorry load of policemen to keep them all from assassinating each other. This is like pretty much the rest of the world, where people can go outside and not need to get angry.
Actually the first time I discovered this was in St Kilda, Melbourne, where there were thousands and thousands of people wandering around in the evening drinking, talking, walking and just enjoying themselves. I was astounded. I kept looking for the police wagons. You can't walk down Colchester High St (for example) on a Friday night without bumping into one every few minutes.
Why weren't these Australians fighting each other? It was a bit like the Stepford Wives. I wondered around in a trance thinking any minute now... but nothing ever happened.
Anyhow by 2am the whole beach was a frantic mass of semi naked wriggling bodies. there were are least 12 separate parties. By 5am the beach was a heaving disgusting sweaty mass; it was brilliant.
Sunrise was wonderful, people dancing the whole beach, on speakers, rocks, in the sea, everywhere. And there was this interesting reef...
Now I know that my mind was a little hazy, but that reef looks good for a spot for flyfishing. Strangely I didn't have my rod. The one time huh? Next time I'll know better. Techno flycasting; that will impress the chicks.
You've heard of the Orvis Jeep. Now here it is; the Sexyloops Pajero! Actually it's the Jeanine Pajero. This fantastic vehicle took me all the way to Lake Eyre for a disastrous fishing trip. And it's up for sale. But here is the catch, it's in Australia. Actually this isn't a catch, this is a selling point. So if you're planing an outback trip to Aus, or perhaps just fancy owning a vehicle on the other side of the world (it is pretty cool), or maybe you even live in Aus (you lucky dog you), then let me know. It's in Noosa - check it out. And check this out:- sexyloops Pajero
When I started putting this newspage together I fully expected to be back in the UK by the end of the month. But BA cocked up my flight reservation and I couldn't make it. Bugger. So I've just had to fly back to Australia early. Double-bugger.
Actually it was a rather interesting flight. I flew Malasian (quite good, apart from the food, which reminded me of cardboard, and the stewardesses who failed the all-important Arden Beauty Test, which in itself is rather interesting - normally air-hostesses are very desirable, and not just because they give you free drinks, and I often chase them around the plane).
Anyway, the tosser who sat next to me decided it would be a good idea to bathe himself in aftershave. He went from toilet to toilet, I can only assume, lavishly making love to the bottle. What was his thinking here? 'My, this is an expensive flight, but look! Free aftershave; I'll show them...'
Words fail me. Some people should never be let outdoors, let alone outside their own country. This guy was a grade1 dick. There is nothing worse than cheap aftershave.
Worse still, the smell made it's way to me and impregnated itself into my clothing. It was terrible; I couldn't get away from it. It followed me all the way through customs and onto the bus, and all the way to Noosa.
Now, here's an interesting coincidence. I'm not sure exactly when I discovered it, but discovered it I did; my insect repellent, which I always carry with me, has exactly the same smell, and curiously it had leaked all over my bag on the plane.
Yes! Some people will be working very hard this month. Me? I'm going flyfishing.