What people don’t know about me.

What people don’t know about me.

Paul Arden | Monday, 2 July 2018

It’s funny but there are readers who don’t know that I’m a traveller - as in have been travelling for well over 25 years and really, while I may have dropped anchor for a longer stay here and there, it’s only ever temporary and I’m still travelling, even here in Malaysia. A few people seem to have a problem with that! I know it’s pretty unusual and in fly fishing circles I may be the only one - at least I don’t know of any other fly fisher who has been travelling for quite as long - but in other walks of life I have met many “travellers” so it’s not a unique choice; exploring the world, working as you go and I’m surprised more fly anglers don’t live out of a suitcase (or more practically, a rucksack).

I’m not sure what that says about me, but I do know that when it all goes wrong and everything turns belly-up, then I can get my things together and head off in another direction - to a different country, continent, hemisphere - the only difference next time this happens is that I’ll take my wife! That’s not to say that I’m always running away; it’s actually the unknown adventure that I seek, not the escape, although sometimes escape has been necessary too!

I’m not one to give anyone advice (I live in a boat in the jungle FFS!) and figure that it’s for everyone to decide for themselves what it is that they want to do in life. My only advice is to live life in your own way. Just staying alive is a success story in itself and while it’s obviously good to “do good” in the Grand Scheme of Things, only a few people dedicate themselves to helping fellow man. And very good people they are too. 

Me, I’m more fishing prioritised and believe that we’re in Fly Fishing Heaven, we’ve made it (well done everyone!), we’re here to enjoy it and have a bloody good time... Be sure to ask me if you need any more worldly advice like this and not just the usual casting/fishing advice - because I’m always ready to help Tongue Out

I wasn’t always perfect and as a teenager was off the rails - that’s what being a teenager is all about! As an adult there are a few things I might have done better too - especially when it comes to dealing with other people’s bullshit! In fact, to be perfectly honest, it’s only been in recent years that I’ve acquired Sainthood. 

Truth is, you can’t find the right path without checking out a few of the dead ends along the way - it’s what makes life, and us, more interesting; it builds character and it’s similar to having a few dents in your truck: every dent tells a story. 

I also recognise that throughout life we evolve as people. Maybe that’s what life is about, and not only fishing? While most of us want to be ourselves, we also want to be the person who we see ourselves becoming.

The exception being people have their heads so far up themselves that they can’t see daylight. Ego is the weak and often jealous person propping himself up at the expense of others. I’m sure we’ve all done it as children; it’s just that some adults spend so much time propping themselves up that they fail to realise that we can read them like an open book, and we know for a fact that anyone who is constantly reminding us how bloody fantastic they are, are actually underachievers in their own minds. Maybe if we push them into the lake a few times they’ll learn that everyone has their own life and it’s not all about them!

A big change has happened over the last 6 months: I’ve gone from generally scraping through month by month to actually running a business selling fly rods. We’re still in the woodwork but are definitely on our way up. This transformation has been a result of two things - 1) the Fly Casting Masterclass  and 2) the HTOC competition. The first delivers high quality content with the Hot Torpedo rod in action and the second shows that many people are fishing and casting the HT series - and loving them. Many thanks to Tim Kempton for the idea for the competition (and the marketing books he made me read!). 

100 rods was my goal for this year - we will pass this number quite easily before the end of the year. 200 is my goal for next year! More than that is going to be an organisational challenge - but it’s a challenge that will be solved in a number of exciting ways. 

Something else that you may not know about me, is that I planned to do all this and have a fly fishing brand and fly rod range at the age of 17. While I may not be fast, I usually get there eventually! The name “Hot Torpedo” was created back then and derived from the Spinal Tap movie. “My baby fits me like a fresh tuxedo, I love to sink her with my Pink Torpedo!” Watch the movie if you haven’t - it has nothing whatsoever to do with fly fishing, only about not taking yourself too seriously. 

There are people out there who copy/steal others’ ideas - but that’s not very interesting for them is it? Far more exciting in life, is to run with your own ideas, no matter how crazy they might at first appear.  It doesn’t really matter if you succeed or not, only that you try. It’s fear of failure that holds most people back from a more interesting life. Don’t let that be you!

Right, I’ve been catching a few fish. The Giant Snakehead are starting to free-rise on the lake. Surprisingly there are actually a few small Toman families - with very young babies and rather large parents. The Gourami are bastards as we all know and love. Stu lost a big Gourami to a stump last week and missed another one on the strike. I’m hoping to see Jono Shales this Wednesday who is planning on visiting me for two weeks. He’s coming 50% to catch fish and 50% to beat me at pool. Let’s hope he catches a few fish because that’s all that’s going to happen Kiss