Desperate times

Well, there is no fly this week. Reason? I am being spontaneous of course; this is what fly fishermen do, we fear nothing. Except grizzly bears and snakes, oh and big hairy spiders, crocodiles, bait, sharks, becoming shark bait, leaky waders and in the case of NZ, the aftermath of a chilli bean supper. But other than that fly fishermen fear nothing. It is a natural trait of men, manly men, men who are part of that special breed whose main aim in life is to become cold, wet and increasingly dishevelled looking. Be proud, after all not many people on this earth can profess to smelling like that more than once in a lifetime and even if they could they wouldn't, why? Because fly fishermen fear nothing.

Fly tiers however, are complete wimps. We play with fluff in the relative safety of our own homes and spend most of the time debating the usefulness of various fumigation techniques whilst gassing the family pet. To cut a long story short the combination of finding a treble hook in the underwear draw and setting fire to my new gold grade cock cape has left me with more than a little anguish and a piercing I really didn't want. It pains me to say this but I think my fly fishing fly tying balance is shifting in a manner I'd rather it didn't.

Things are starting to happen to me, weird things. I sleep walk in circles and wake up in cold sweats, these rotary vice nightmares are really getting me down. I see golden pheasant tail fibres in my breakfast and olives in my tea, why? God damn it, I fear I may wake up one morning with some kind of bizarre lip infection. Can you have an early life crisis? I know we should all be feeling sorry for Sean's diminishing writing career as he approaches the apparently fantastic but probably sexless forties, but this is different. I think I may be infectious; a man three doors down from me drowned in a bowel of museli the other night, this is the second time it's happened in a week, I felt terrible after lending him the milk, in fact its not entirely unthinkable that I could go down for cereal manslaughter.

Not really, only joking, freak accident apparently. Poor chap got pulled under by a powerful current.

So, I have decided to chill out. My new fly tying desk had been lying on the floor in pieces for about a week so I thought I might as well have ago at tackling that for a while. How complicated could that be I thought, 86 pieces, 10 screws and a dowel, must be a doddle. To think I almost went to Ikea for this, HA! Attach pieces 12, 36, 28, 4, 5 and 8 to piece 30 whilst firmly fixing in place with screw A. Place the dowel somewhere safe and attach pieces 39 and 40 to section B5.5E, but only after having cut piece 86 to size with a blunt Stanley blade. Step two, after having done a nude rain dance on your head with the assistance of copious amounts of alcohol bang your head up the wall six times, relax and begin contemplating what the hell that damn dowel was for.

Whilst fiddling with the new bald patches I seem to have acquired something crossed my mind (no comment please I've heard it all before). Why must we complicate things? Not a question asked directly so much, but an inescapable one nevertheless. I will refrain from the more predictable answer on this front as the obvious explanation serves only to prove the contradictory nature of the subject. Therefore, I would simply say that yes! fishing is wonderful, but sometimes we just need to shut the hell up and enjoy it for what it is.

Theory is the devils advocate.

Despite being essential to the learning process it must be dropped from time to time allowing life to fallback into perspective whilst sanity regains its rightful place. Both fly-fishing and fly tying are simple concepts; this is what makes them fun. It is very easy to spoil a good thing by going too far - thinking too much if you like - with no relief. Alcohol and sex are merely a transient diversion that can never really be a true substitute for the simple gratification (I'm lying of course) that comes about byway (through my teeth) of that first moment of exhilaration with a rod, reel, line, fly and nothing else.

Naked fly-fishing is the way of the future.

This is why it is essential to stop reading fly tying instructions for a week, take a break from other peoples opinions, ignore them for a while, just because their arguments seem subjective doesn't mean they really are. Most likely the whole point will have been mislaid at some time or another leaving only explanations of right, wrong and someone's over inflated opinion of themselves. You must avoid this at all costs by listening only to me.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Well yes but be careful, drastic measures are often unsuitable for the easily intoxicated, and remember, it is a known fact that women can out drink most men and as a result have developed special techniques in making you believe that you are pulling when really all you're doing is adding to her inebriated state whilst filling the bars cash register.

There must be a metaphor for life somewhere in there, I don't know, I feel myself gradually drifting away from my intended subject matter, actually no, this is a perfect demonstration of how much better things are when you're indulging in something so simple and are able to maintain that walking down to a river feeling completely irrespective of weight of rod, memory of line and style of ring. We are all in the end searching for one thing and one thing only, oh wait, fish as well, make that two.

So now with that shocking revelation firmly in place go to you vice, making sure to only think of women and alcohol, tie a fly, drive to your local water, and get your tackle out, NO NOT THAT! There may be children present………………..

Regards Ben
Ben Spinks studies fishery science, "I have to complete 3 environmental survey reports, 2 netting operations, 4 exams and a seminar on lake restoration. This is insane, I only went to uni for sex, drugs, rock and roll and sex" and is our flytying moderator on the bulletin board. He also ties a mean fly... so what are you waiting for, ladies?

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