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23/12/02 - The Blast

just a nice pictureThe hidden fear…

My Austrian companion of the last month has just taken off back to Vienna, everything was going fine until I told her what I did for a living – I hunt the Mugwai – and she said that she could put up with all sorts of excitement but Mugwai hunting was too much, even for her, and she was quite adventurous, she said, but she had friends and family to think of, and they would never forgive her if she disappeared or got herself eaten alive, such is the fearsome reputation of the Mugwai.

The con revealed…

The big news this week is that I have now proved conclusively that Saltwater Flyfishing doesn't work and is in fact a Manufacturers ploy designed to get you to buy more things that you just don't need. That I proved this fact in three days and not the week, as originally anticipated, is surely one of the greatest flyfishing achievements to date. Full story follows.

Real men don't wear waders – they wear camo…

It's not a real fishing trip unless you either break a rod, get wet, or get bogged down. Mugwai Hunters know this; indeed it's what they live for. So far on this trip, I have been bogged twice and gotten wet more times than I've caught fish, but have yet to break my rod. But it's early days and I have high hopes for this week…

Get down and dirty…

And I've found myself – you know this other person that we're all trying to discover and understand because it's who we really are inside – for a while I thought I was motivated by sex; it's not true – I'm motivated by dirt. That's why I'm here.

Emerging with a bomb…

And finally: it's hatching… The New Deal. Bringing it to the UK – with a sock.

The Mugwai

fresh from the saltwater blast and ready for anythingIn spite of the Blast that is Saltwater Fly, I have turned my attentions to something even more exhilarating, although perhaps less understood, and with less certainty of results: The Mugwai. I tried to explain to Austrian Karin that the Mugwai was a fearsome fish, and that if she were to stand any chance of catching one, she would need to learn the path of the Sexyloop, and forego all attachments and exist on a diet of Chilli-beans. That it would take many years, perhaps several lifetimes, and that The Path was fraught with untold dangers, that it would be no picnic, in fact it would be bloody hard – because Mugwai Hunting is like that, that no one even knows what they eat, and so fly selection has to come from within, that no one can help, because The Mugwai is The Path and The Path is The Mugwai, and that Mugwai Hunters get down and dirty.

Karin said: “Paul, it's been really nice getting to know you, you are a lovely person, really, but I do have to be getting home now, maybe we'll see each other again one day – on the moon perhaps.”

And with that she took off for Vienna, forgetting her hat in the process.

The Blast

While we were up in Coromandel – a place known for its saltwater – I realised that you are more likely to catch a sheep on the fly, than a saltwater fish. That I didn't catch a sheep on the fly, and have never caught a sheep on the fly, proves this completely. If you are thinking of getting involved in this blast – and I think you should since saltwater flyfishing allows you to explore your mind: boredom is a trance state, albeit not one which allows you to walk on water, as I have discovered on a number of occasions – then there are several things you will need in order to go saltwater flyfishing.

1. Some saltwater.

If, like Karin, you live in a country without saltwater, you can make your own. Simply fill up the bath of your choice with fresh water, first being sure to make sure that there are no fish in it – remember saltwater is poisonous to fish and they will die if they come in to contact with it – and then pour some salt into the water. There is no need to go overboard here, a few teaspoons should suffice.

2. An inability to think.

Contrary to advice offered from elsewhere, and even on this site, by Charlatans, when in engaged in the Saltwater Blast one should not concentrate at all times. There are in fact two correct states of consciousness:

For the novice there is the Shallow Trance State. In order to enter this state, the correct stance is to lean against some supporting structure whilst semi-closing one's eyelids. A slight frothing at the mouth, although it will feel strange at first, is actually an early indication of trance entry and is to be encouraged, in moderation. Fully fledged dribbling should be avoided at this learning stage, and in any case is something best left to the professionals, especially in either very hot, or cold, climates.

Saltwater Blast Deep Trance State is a deeper state of consciousness. In order to enter this state safely, it is recommended that the participant lies flat on his back and well away from the water, especially if a longer blast is expected and the water is tidal. The angler entering this state should be given as a wide berth as possible, and under no circumstances should he be disturbed – one should not for example throw a bucket of cold water over him – and although it looks like death to the uninitiated, it is not; death is a release.

3. Some big flies.

Saltwater flyfishers require big flies, and preferably with lots of tinsel. Karin asked me whether they were for Christmas. They are. It's what makes Christmas special: The Saltwater Blast. Many people eat and drink their way into the Deep Trance State, and yesterday Sean mentioned another route, one involving acid, but for the Saltwater angler, there is no stronger medicine than 5 quick minutes chucking big flies about, and for the true addict, with years of experience under his waders, all that is needed is to turn one's thoughts briefly to some aspect of The Blast and a Deep Trance State will quickly follow. Even years later an innocent and well-meaning comment can trigger a Saltwater Blast flash back, or coma.

Wet, Boggy and Broken

up to the axles; it's a real fishing tripIt was Karin who said, “Paul, I've been dry for most of my life, I want to experience what it is to get wet now; teach me to flyfish.” And she was right. Flyfishing is about getting wet, and here in New Zealand they understand this simple fact better than anywhere else. It's why they don't wear waders, but long johns. Everyone knows that long johns won't keep you dry, and that's the point: getting wet is cool and by wearing long johns with shorts over the top of them, you don't just look cool, you look funky.

It's the same with getting bogged. Getting your car bogged down to the axles and then spending the next four hours getting it back out again is real on-the-edge flyfishing. How do you expect to find your limits if you never pass them? Twice, not once, but twice the Pulsewagon has been bogged down, and I'm a flyfisher.

“Excuse me, I need help: I've got the Pulsewagon stuck”
“What's that?”
“The Pulsewagon is a hot van with sexy small wheels and it's stuck over up there”
“Jesus, how did you manage that?”
“I'm a flyfisher”

Carl reckons you can pull the Pulsewagon out by wrapping rope around the axle; I'm not so sure that you can, especially if you don't have any, and in fact we snapped two ropes trying to get the thing out, but it's worth a go, and I'll try this technique next time. Although DaveB seems to have a better plan.

Get Down

wet wading 'kiwi style'It's not about sex. I thought it was – you know flyfishing is sexy, and so I thought that's why I got into it, but no, it's the dirt. There are two sorts of people in this world: clean people and dirty people. I've been going through my life trying to make things dirty: clothes, cars, anything, you name it. This makes me one of the dirty people. It's something clean people just don't get, they want stuff to be clean, “organised” – they want to make sense of the world. “Sense?!! You want to make sense of this place? This is the Universe; it's not supposed to make any sense. And we're here to get dirty”

And actually it's a dumb thing to do. You know it's not about not caring, because I do care. I want a dirty car, and consequently look for muddy puddles to steer into and drive all the dirt roads and the 4wd tracks. If the puddle looks clean I'll avoid it, hell that might wash off the dirt and if it's raining I'll park under cover.

It's something I know you'll understand, because you're a flyfisher too and although the Pulsewagon is not a 4wd, it's actually just as well since it's possible to get those things stuck up mountains.

The New Deal

Tired of getting ripped off? Looking for something better? Fed up with the middlemen? The New Deal is on its way and it's coming with a sock. “There is no protection anymore”. Sexyloops: delivering fresh original content, The New Deal, and socks.

And they thought it was Christmas…

Have a good one :-))

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