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The Den

It appears that in order to become a policeman in Florida you must first pass the Wanker Test. There I was, tucked away in a nice off-the-road spot:

“What are you doing?”
“I'm online, working.”
“You're online? Working? [sarcasm] You can't work online here, this is National State Property. Drive to the next gas station and work from there”
“You're welcome; pleased I could be a wanker to you”

And this was during the daytime; can you imagine the fit they'd have if they caught me actually sleeping in the car, with my socks hanging out the window?

When I was a kid – I still am a kid of course; you won't catch me growing up and not having any fun – anyway when I was kid, earlier at six, say, I was into “dens”. We would build magnificent hideaways using sheets, blankets, chairs and pillows. Sometimes we would build ships and James Clutterbug (not an assumed name, surprisingly) and I would pirate the seas, plundering like Lars does now, before getting caught in a violent storm (which would necessitate us throwing all the pillows around and destroying most of what we had made, of course). And that was before the sharks arrived.

I digress. The point was – I think – that there is now a den in the back of the Eggplant. The kayak (the kayak needs a name by the way Lars and don't pull any of that Wild Turkey shit this time), the kayak is the roof and supported by the Esky on one side, a box at the stern and the passenger seat comes into play too, supporting the bow. Various pieces of clothing are used to fill up the gaps and basically no one would believe it was possible for a man to live there. How wrong they are.

Of course I don't park it in dark corners, which would be suspicious. Oh no, I park up in well-lit parking lots alongside other cars. How's that for undercover stealth? Camo-Guy would be impressed by my brilliance.

My morning emergence is something to behold too, but let's not go there.

Anyway, to fishing… it was Jim Curry who first said, “Saltwater flyfishing is shit” but back then we didn't know we had to fish with our minds. Me, I've been fishing with my mind all week, paddling here, paddling there, thinking here, meditating there, and I must say saltwater flyfishing is such a blast, now that I know it's imaginary.

There has been imaginary snook for example, all of which ate the fly and then the leader before disappearing. And there has been other fish too which Bruce identified thus:

“The fish would be either a needlefish (up to about 20"), or a houndfish (if bigger). Be careful of them, especially if you catch a houndfish, they can be aggressive and bite like the dickens. I've seen them attack wading anglers while on the line. Nasty little buggers, but can be fun.”

Which is of course absolute bollocks.

So yeah, every day it's just one exciting moment after another. I haven't made up my mind about Florida yet by the way. It's very difficult to travel here freely and it's not at all like the Mid West for example. I've found one potential camping spot here on the Keys – no doubt completely illegal but I don't think I'll get caught and I may even be able to light a fire! Man, have I missed my fires – I love fires; it's what we do – us flyfishing traveller dudes. Give me an outdoor fire every night and I'm alive. Oh and I need some more fish too – real ones this time.

By the way, never having caught a Tarpon, I can't understand what all the fuss is about. It may seem strange but I can't imagine it comparing to a day in backcountry New Zealand. Still I'm happy to try anything once or twice. So far all the saltwater fly anglers I've met have been really weird. So that may tell you something – it tells me a lot.


hiding under the yet-to-be-badly-named-by-Lars kayak

Essential Bush Skills

The start of any flytying good flytying sequence involves squirting The Light of Apgai on your polyprops
Both alarm and curiousity set in when the polyprops start melting
Putting the lid back on the jar to stop *that* happening again
The flytying proper is underway
Notice the composure, that's true class that is
A difficult bit, you can tell that from the vacant expression
Essential bush skills: the third hand
Notice my hat here, it's quite daring
Snip, snip
I'm not quite sure what I'm doing here, but it's cool
Trimming an oversize hackle that appears to have become trapped in the whip finnish manoevre
Delicate precision work, the hallmark of any good flytyer
A sexy catch...

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