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.
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.
mister, what are you doing?"
the gearstick for?"
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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?
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
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
with that little gem I shall leave you with a link to
'The Silicone Smelt', otherwise known as 'Lazy Ways with Wets'.