Friends in the Jungle

Friends in the Jungle

Paul Arden | Monday, 18 May 2020

I’ve been friends with Stu Tripney for close to fifteen years. We first met when I was training those in New Zealand interested in becoming fly fishing instructors and taking the FFF CCI exams. I trained Stu, Carl McNeil, Ronan and Chris Dore for what would be the first wave of certified instructors. They were examined by Tom Jindra who was fly fishing around NZ at the time - I took Tom 4x4ing into a river, that must have been quite an adventure for him! He caught a super fish while there too :)

I’ve always had an enormous amount of time for Stu and when he had his fly shop in Athol, I would often drop by with a box of beer to put the world right. He’s also always been a fervent supportive of Sexyloops and has all our rods, many with radically different builds, some with skull and crossbones, others in funky colours - and he uses them at his NZ fly fishing school.

A very interesting fly tyer with a unique twist on just about every fly, at some point in the future, no doubt, he will become a Front Page contributor for Sexyloops and we will learn more about these special flies. He’s the only Sexylooper - so far - to completely destroy a Hot Torpedo by rolling his truck down a mountain side and he very nearly managed to cause a major fly fishing magazine to go bankrupt with his twisted sense of humour, when he made a very memorable advert for his shop!

One thing for sure; Stu has character, is a character, and I respect him for both! I’ve always thought that it’s best to be different, interesting and totally yourself, especially in this fly fishing world. All the serious fly fishermen I know, are more than a little bit crazy - I actually believe that fly fishing makes you this way! But maybe it’s just that I meet the crazy ones through Sexyloops? But hey, if you are going to live - then really be ALIVE!!!

Anyway, I wanted to hang out and fish with Stu, so I invited him out to fish with me in the Malaysian Jungle and, sure enough, out he came! We had a thoroughly enjoyable three months camping and fishing together. While over a campfire, Stu told me of his dreams to become a fly fishing writer and I’m delighted to see those dreams are now to be realised. As a result of his trip, he has written a book called “Jungle Blues” - which is based on his time here.

From what I’ve been given to read so far, you’ll find it to be a hilarious and insightful fly fishing adventure. In order to get the publishing off the ground he has a kickstarter page, where you can make a “pledge” and order a copy of his book. Have a look here - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cicada/jungle-blues-is-an-adventure-travelmenoir-book?ref=clipboard-prelaunch

Stu is now very close to reaching the required amount to get his exciting project rolling and the books printed, so I hope you can help him by ordering a book for yourself. I have a feeling it’s going to be a flyfishing book to remember - I’ll be ordering more than a few copies and I think they’ll make great presents! You may also get some insights into me and what it’s like for friends who visit me here; I do have a tendency to just let them get on with it! :D

Here is a small “teaser”...

 

How I first met Mr Sexyloops

There was a car in the car park of my fly shop, in middle-of-nowhere New Zealand. It was a dirty, beaten-up, four-wheel drive, olive coloured Nissan.

I wondered who it belonged to, as it had just been left in the car park and no one had mentioned they were leaving it. There’s not much sightseeing to do on foot near my shop and no reason to leave a car there so I presumed it was someone I knew, who’d been picked up by someone else and they’d gone fishing. I walked around the car trying to gauge who it might belong to. It was full of stuff and I could see it was a fishing bum’s car – a fishing bum being the kind of person who comes from overseas, buys a car and travels around New Zealand in it, sleeping in it and fishing as they go until their visa runs out or they get deported.

I knew the fishing bum stereotype too well – I too had come to New Zealand as a trout fishing bum and had loved every minute of my time doing it … until I got deported. But that’s another story.

I peered through the window of the car. There was a pair of girl’s knickers on the back seat and a colourful rucksack. Going by the size and skimpiness of the knickers, they belonged to a small-framed woman or a very skinny cross-dressing man. The wing mirror on the driver’s side was cracked and a pair of socks...

I'm pretty sure those panties belonged to Stuntman Ronan - and you want to find out what the socks were doing, you’ll have to buy the book!

This book is a little bit like Star Wars incidentally. Jungle Blues, which is Stu’s first book, is “volume number 3” - possibly in a “four-part trilogy”? :D So check it out and order yourself a copy!

Cheers, Paul