“I don't care what happens today I am not wearing that stupid lifejacket. I'm Sean Geer, my own man and I don't believe in their stupid rules.”
And so my day began at Grafham.
“So you don't think they are just covering their arses then?”
“No Paul, and I'm not kissing them either, it's about time someone stood up against their power games and it's going to be us.”
So with a rebellious air we slung our lifejackets to the bottom of the boat and took off across the lake wearing nothing but our T-shirts and a look of devil-may-care. Sean may even have had a slight sneer about his countenance. We laughed happily and talked about how reckless we were. There may even have been some talk about the revolution.
Out the corner of my eye I spotted a strange man jumping up and down, waving his arms about wildly obviously trying to attract my attention. I pretended not to notice and applied some more throttle. We had what appeared to be a good 200-yard start and I was fairly gunning it now. I figured that if we could make the other side we'd lose him in amongst the other fishing boats.
The first boat they launched was another like ours. No way would they catch us. It was like that last time, although they did catch us then, but only because we weren't ready for them, this time we were. Very quickly they changed their minds however and launched the big boat.
“Look Sean they're after us”
“And they've got the big boat this time… the bastards”
“We're not going to make it”
“Quick! Put on your life jacket!”
The big boat pulled along side and a voice said, “You must wear your lifejackets at all times; those are the rules”
“It's Okay, Sean's an anarchist”
So having had a lecture that in order to fish Grafham it is a requirement that we wear lifejackets at all times the bailiff took off back to the dock and we took off our life jackets and sat on them.
The fishing was interesting. The fish were hard on the fry and not particularly easy to catch. We messed around at one end of the lake and I caught a couple and Sean lost one, but it wasn't until we had a look at another part of the lake did we start to see more fish. I had a particularly nice trout on one of Lars' saltwater flies. It's nice to take a fly that normally catches nothing in its intended environment and put it to practical use elsewhere.
We returned to the fishing lodge for some lunch. Sean said: “I'm a man, I've been a man for a long time now, I was born into this, no son-of-a-bitch is going to tell me to wear a lifejacket when I don't want to.”
I however put mine on, call it a tactical manoeuvre if you like.
Hardly had we gone thirty yards and some people started running along the bank and a man started jumping up and down, waving his arms about. Sean muttered something unintelligible beneath his breath. Of course he hadn't taken into account the deafening engine noise nor the fact that sound carries across water and what was unintelligible to us in the boat was more than intelligible to the bailiff. We were summoned and the conversation went along these lines:
Bailiff-dude: “What did you say?”
Bailiff-dude: “Just now”
Sean: “I said that I was just about to put my life jacket on…. See?”
Paul: “He's an anarchist”
Bailiff-dude: “You have to wear your lifejacket at all times – those are the rules”
Sean: “I am wearing my lifejacket”
Paul: “Why does he have to wear his lifejacket at all times?”
Bailiff-dude: “Look guys, don't give me any hassle; I don't make the rules, sure I enjoy telling people what to do, it gives me a feeling of power, makes me feel important in this difficult world of ours, it's why I took this job in the first place, so I could tell people what to do, but these aren't my rules, I'm just the guy with the stick and the next time I catch you not wearing your life jackets I'll ban you”
A little bit later, whilst sitting on our lifejackets and contemplating life, Sean said:
“Can you believe that we pay fifty quid to come here and be treated like children?”
“Sean, water is very dangerous stuff, remember we both drink AND swim in it”
“Do you think many people have died here?”
“And they keep saying that it's in case I fall out of the boat and bang my head – you'd save me if that happened wouldn't you?”
“Well I might be busy playing a fish or looking the other way or something”
“How come you have smart-ass answers to all my questions?”
”Sean, the best questions have no answers”
Peter Sutton, AAPGAI instructor, wants answers too. The flip-flop cast had been bugging him for a while, being a puller of the rod, and he said: “Paul, this flip-flop thing of yours; I'd like you to show me what it's all about”
And so on Thursday he drove down with what I would fairly describe as one hell of a lot of rods and a pair of sandals.
“Nice shoes Pete”
Peter is an old hand with shooting head outfits and among other things had brought along three of them. Casting them was actually something of a revelation. I came to the conclusion that they require a completely different stroke and this might be the reason why there's so much confusion over pushing/pulling and life in general. Of course this has all gone to intrigue me and get me more interested like and no doubt I'll be getting seriously into it.
I got Peter doing the flip-flop style and he seemed quite happy. It's a primitive sort of pulling and has a caveman/mountain man sort of feel to it (often when teaching I'll say something “think like a caveman dude, then you'll get it”), there is little wrist snap and the action forces a deep flex into the rod; it's a different feeling altogether and not at all unpleasant.
I asked Peter what he thought. “It feels like I'm wanking with my left hand, Paul”
We are currently undergoing something of a revolution here at Sexyloops and are working hard to bring you the stuff that no one else can. Steve is bringing the code behind the site into line so that we can deliver you the sort of content that the web does and not the sort of content that magazines give. Other people may be missing the point but Steve and I are going to deliver it with a barb.
Last week I spent quite some time trying to take movies of loops, which I did, and some of them were certainly good enough to put on site, if only I could get the 7 seconds and 25Mb of flycasting down in size without losing the quality, which I can't. And so if I can't change the size I'll change the background.
I've been asked many times now to upload mpegs of roll and switch casts; another sexyloops mission. I should have something for you this week (although I was hoping to have something last week as well).
I might be about to re-write Stillwater. It's not that I don't like it; it's just that when I read it I know that I can do better. It's five years old now and in that time I've learned a few more words. I know that this may run contrary to general opinion but I figure what's the point in using one short word that makes sense when you can use four long ones that don't?
Transsexualising devilish tinselling extraordinaire.
I can't fully explain why but these words were preloaded into my word document when I started out on this newsletter. It could be a sign of things to come. But I rather hope not. It's either the life jacket or the straight-jacket for me.