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September 1999

Well thank god that month's finally over now. I mean I don't want to appear negative or ungrateful but could things really have been any worse?.. well sure they could have, but that's not the point.

The Gamefair

It started with the Gamefair. Halfway between Colchester and Leeds the LandRover broke down. Just up from Grantham on the side of the A1 - you may have seen me, I was there long enough. The clutch release mechanism had siezed, and not in any simple way that a little gentle persuasion (with a crowbar) would solve, but in some monstrous capacity that necessitated removal of the gearbox. So I removed it.

I don't know if you are familiar with the gearbox on the LandRover, but it's a heavy, stubborn son-of-a-bitch, which requires lots of angry cursing just to get it's attention. And I cursed it.

And then I broke the gearstick. And so I cursed that too.

Quite funny really, because my triathlon training came in useful (as it does) when I had to run through Grantham town centre to get to a scrapyard on the other side so as to pick another one up.

"Hey mister, what are you doing?"
- "Triathlon training."
"What's the gearstick for?"
- "Changing gear... dickhead"

And then the solenoid packed up. And the starter motor. Old cars are funny like that: it's never just one thing; it has to be a whole list.

Still I got there, eventually, 26 hrs later than expected. The fair was quite good; the tuition lanes were busy and the weather was brilliant (which is most unusual for this country - I had packed my thermals and ended up wearing shorts... in Yorkshire! Amazing!) Incidentally if you ever go to one of these events and book up your fifteen minutes of instruction, do yourself a favour and don't drink alcohol beforehand. You know who you are.

We stayed at the Jarvis Wetherby Hotel. This is not a plug. I will not be staying there again. I won't recommend it. Ever... that is unless you are looking for somewhere run-down, in dire need of decoration, friendly service, and a chef. However a couple of the waitresses were nice - there, never let it be said that I don't give credit where credit's due.

Dinner was late, inedible and interupted by a fire alarm.

STA Junior Fly Fishing Schools

Last year I was the 'resident' instructor. I partook in just under thirty of these days all over the country. And great fun they were too: twenty kids (10-14) all keen to try fly fishing. You start off by giving a demonstration and then coach their casting through the morning. And in the afternoon we all go a-fishing. Fantastic. They learn about entomology, knots, flies; pretty much everything they need to know to catch fish by themselves. And it only costs them a fiver (because it's heavily sponsored). And I've been brought in again to help out with a few this back-end of the season.

Delbury Hall was the first. I arrived late because it took me four hours to get there. It should have taken just over two - but you know the M25. No lane discipline. Why on earth drivers just sit in the middle lane is beyond me. Last summer I drove about 50,000 miles and became quite cavalier in my driving (especially when I was driving a borrowed car - you just can't be cavalier in an old LandRover, especially mine) and started under-taking these idiots - something which upsets quite a few. Face it if you are under-taken you are in the wrong lane Sunshine. Bet that gets me some mail.

Still I arrived in time to watch the end of a first class demonstration by Tony Jones AAPGAI.

And then it was time for some individual coaching. It was the second pupil I got to, and I demonstrated the power-snap (because he was doing pretty well) and the tip-section came off. It was a six piece rod, the tip-section was only 18 inches long, and straight down the line that section flew - it was a great cast. Because this is a tale of tragedy the poor kid hadn't put any wool on the end. So we lost that tip. And because life is a bitch, it was a brand new rod.

Now this presented an interesting problem. Although it is obvious to me that whoever put the rod together was responsible (every section was loose, it turned out) I didn't say so (because let's face it - this would have looked a really poor show), and I took responsibility.

I kind of look at these things as 'opportunities' (my life is so full of 'opportunties' - so much so in fact, that it is almost a little unfair that I should be blessed in such a manner, and I should like to share them out a little more, and with that in mind I contacted the retailer), and I wondered if the retailer (who in this case was Sportfish) would look at the situation in a similar light. No. They passed up on this one and sent me to the rod manufacturer (who in this case was Shimano): "fancy helping me out here?".

I tried three different approaches to this company hoping to get a new section at cost (or free), which I would have thought to be very reasonable. The result: 10 + post, total cost to me 14.Which is above cost but not staggeringly so. Unfortunately it has taken them almost three weeks to deliver.

So how would I have dealt with this situation when I was sales manager at Guide Flyfishing? I would have had a new section in the post same day to arrive next day at no cost whatsoever. Why? Because for every half dozen times that you do this, one guy picks up on it and writes a very public letter of thanks, and you just can't buy that sort of advertising.

And now? Now that I am proprietor of the interesting and exciting Paul's Tackle Emporium? Quality tackle with quality service? Same thing only more so and I would have twisted the arms of my supplier to get it done for free.

What would Shimano/Sportfish have got out of this had they had handled it properly? Free promotion. Now every time I give a demonstration I'll make use of this little parable to illustrate the importance of correctly assembling rods (insert section at 90 degrees and twist straight to lock), because it has a funny side. And now of course the Shimano/Sportfish conspiracy ends up with the wooden spoon, which is far more potent than good publicity.

Sexy loops article

Every once in a while I have a little run of articles in Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Magazine. And in this September/October issue is the long-overdue "Sexy Loops" article. One of the problems of writing articles is the long delay between writing and being published. One of the other dificulties is not having control of what is published. This is why I like having this web-site so much: I can write precisely what I want and I can upload it immediately.

In this particular circumstance I wrote the article two and a half years ago, and updated it twice. The last update was some eighteen months back. I also updated the drawings. The article which has appeared in print is in fact the first update, and the sketches from the second. So it might not make a hell of a lot of sense. Which I find kind of neat, in an odd sort of way.

The published article makes mention of the fact that small rod arcs produce tight loops. This is only the case with regards to tip-action rods. Of greater accuracy is the most recent version which states that tight loops are caused by straight paths of the rod tip. Although there was a time when I used tip-action rods, now I use progressive-action rods and have altered my entire casting stroke to suit.

The article on this site is the updated version:Sexyloops article. Of course now the follow up article "sexyrod" will cause even more confusion. It's fun isn't it? Still the casting tips section in this site is more advanced and the text is precise: and you've found it.

The Paul Arden Newsletter

Many of you have submitted to my email newsletter, and some of you are beginning to wonder when you'll receive the first copy. Well wonder no longer; issue number 1 will be sent out the middle of this month. Still time to join...

The Website

I have been spending quite a large amount of my time enlarging and tidying-up this site before I head off abroad for the winter. I have added much greater depth to the tackle selection. Of particular excitement is theVector Suunto Wristop Computer. I also spent one particularly boring late night reducing the down-loading time by speeding up the graphics - took three hours to complete, but worth it I guess.

Ardleigh Reservoir

Has not fished well, but is expected to do so this month. There is a very large amount of fry present in the water. With these sorts of quantities the "silicone smelt" is the fly to use (which is this month's web article). Good places to try are: the Western Arm between Pine Point and Noah's Arc, opposite bank, and central basin (as a last resort). Also bear in mind that the Lodge Bank used to fish really well, especially around the sluices, and although it hasn't done so for about five years, you never know.

And what does the book say??? What pearl of wisdom do I have in store for you this month?

The Beginner's Guide to Stillwater Trout Angling (including some advanced thinking) by Paul Arden, only 5, including post (UK only, elsewhere at cost, about 70p), crammed with knowledge and tips, all presented in a thoughtful, interesting, amusing and at times, delightful manner, this month tells us this:

It is often a toss up between bank fishing and boat fishing. The fish tend to be pretty close up to the bank but the lack of bank anglers tend to make drifting the shallows a distinct possibility.

And with that little gem I shall leave you with a link to 'The Silicone Smelt', otherwise known as 'Lazy Ways with Wets'.

Blasts from the Past

damn robots
perfect loop
accessories
who are these people?
it's wet
pilot
Now this is weird
if you can't beat them...
spiritual stuff
where?
turtle
New Zealand
Summer in England
Winter in Thailand
Phallic rocks... really!
 
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The old front page

damn robots
perfect loop
accessories
who are these people?
it's wet
pilot
Now this is weird
if you can't beat them...
spiritual stuff
where?
turtle
New Zealand
Summer in England
Winter in Thailand
Phallic rocks... really!
 
Feeling left out?

email address
Subscribe
Unsubscribe