The world's best flyfishing site.

04/08/03 - The Convent

If you bang your head for long enough, you sometimes get through. But mostly it just hurts more. Coming to the States has been a lot like that. For one thing I've been trying to get a rental car for the last ten hours and with an expired credit card. I've got to the point now, where whatever the outcome, I'm going to keep banging. I'm quite prepared to stick it out for a few more days – they don't know that yet, but I think it may be dawning on them.

Of course, more organised people wouldn't have ended up in this situation in the first place and would be fishing the Snake by now, or drinking fresh coffee somewhere and not losing their money in the machine. Others would have given it up long ago and caught the bus: “They won't take an expired credit card, period. You're busted Mister; take a bus, remember the whole world's a box”

Idaho Falls

But in this instance I'm going to hire this damn car, even if it means pulling a midge net over my head and sticking up the place. I have to in fact, because if I don't get this car today, right now in fact, then Charles is going to get to Idaho Falls before me and catch my fish – and it's a big one.

That's the problem with flyfishing convents, there's always someone out to catch your fish.

The other thing about America is that they drive real s l o w. Having just spent the past month in Germany, where they drive real fast, this is going to come as a bit of a shock. And it's not that you find yourself cruising at 200K that's the most worrying part of German driving – you get used to that, after a while – it's that someone's still trying to pass you.

Not that I've driven in the US for a while myself. All I've seen so far of the US, on this trip, has been Salt Lake City airport, and only a little of it at that.

Little tubes

It's been rather exciting however; lots of little tubes pass me by. You know, the ones that suggest fly fishing rod. That's exciting. And some of them are even being held by women. That's exciting too. Not good looking women either, more the sort of women who hostess American Airlines. Good wholesome middle-aged women. It's the American Way, and one I fully appreciate. You don't want good looking women fishing the rivers; that would be a distraction. Keep them to the bars, the discothèques and the beaches. Not that I'm easily distracted by such frivolities myself; at any rate, not when I'm in the Zone, or when Charles is after my fish.

If I had to single out the most memorable part of flying AA – you know like someone may ask me – it would be the queues. They love queues; they make you arrive two and a half hours before take off because that's how long the queue's going to be that they're going to give you. And then, when you arrive in America, you'll have to queue for considerably over an hour to have your passport stamped and then, after all this, just when you thought you were getting somewhere, they make you queue up all over again so that someone can examine your luggage and check your shoes don't explode (hey, taking them off is far more dangerous).

After this they don't make you queue, instead they make you run. They announce that they're holding the flight for you, by your name, over the intercom, but only for another three minutes. If this happens to you, take your time, there's no hurry anyway, cos you're going to have to wait 12 hours for your bloody rental car.

“Glad you could make it Mr Arden”
“It wasn't easy and my head hurts”


This is going to be interesting for me, this US trip. I've been to the US before of course. Travelling mainly, Seattle, California, Southern States (in one three month hit), Massachusetts, Canada (of course that's not the US and they let you know it) and it's an interesting place to be. Although this is the first time I've been here on my own, you know without a woman. Reckon I'll get some more fishing done this time.

I wouldn't want to live here of course, and I'm always surprised that people do, mind you I don't really want to live in any one place in particular, so I'm just a visitor. Here today, gone tomorrow. And there's a lot to be said for that, wherever you are, the gone bit. If it doesn't work, change it. If it doesn't change, work at it, or accept it.

Mike Connor

And Mike's gone too. Although there's not a lot to be said for that, rather about it, and yesterday in one of those classic columns, Sean did just this. I hope Mike will be back again soon, for not only were his articles highly informative, but in the year or so Mike's been active on the Board, I've always enjoyed his contribution immensely and come to think of him as a friend. Of course I completely disagree with him at times.

And I never really understood his poetry, but all poetry is above me anyway. Although I did like the cat-fishing poem, which I'll dig out when I'm back in the UK and post it somewhere. It's quite appropriate for another reason.

Anyway I'll thank Mike; I felt he gave Sexyloops a real balance especially when we were steam rollering the new content through. So thanks for making me laugh, think from another perspective and realise that there was more to Saltwater than just a few impossibilities. I look forward to seeing you online again soon. And I'll drop in again next month when I'm back in Europe.

The Mould

It's funny really, how these things work, the Sexyloops mould is changing. Mike's gone. Steve's been busy on other things the last few months. Lars is moving house. Sean had been away, but now may actually be back again (and thank goodness, I love Sean's writing, because you know what he's thinking). Ben's busy on the board, with The Fly and tying some mean teabag moths. And I've got myself an assistant, because believe me; I need one and she offered.

Next time I come to the US, she says she'll arrange it. Sounds more like a boss than an assistant actually and I definitely don't need one of those ;-)

I'm writing this from the side of the road, just outside Idaho Falls – I won the car in the end. I'll be staying with Simon “bring me some English food” Gawesworth, along with Charles Jardine. I'm expecting an excitement packed week. I've lots of people to meet, none of whom have been able to contact me due to the recent Mailbox Fiasco. So I'm going to just let it all happen. And that it will.

While I'm here, and assuming I survive the rest of the trip, which I'm beginning to doubt incidentally (on the way up I was caught in a flash flood, and another car reversed into me – no damage, that would have been too much for just one day). The world may in fact be coming to an end and if it does I'm going down fighting with my 5-weight.

This week the front page will reflect whatever happens at the Flyfishing Convent. I'll run an old pod series this week. That should free up about 1hr each day – yes really.

Have a great week!

PS at one point I believe I almost touched 85 and consider myself to be the most reckless driver in America.

Essential Bush Skills

The start of any flytying good flytying sequence involves squirting The Light of Apgai on your polyprops
Both alarm and curiousity set in when the polyprops start melting
Putting the lid back on the jar to stop *that* happening again
The flytying proper is underway
Notice the composure, that's true class that is
A difficult bit, you can tell that from the vacant expression
Essential bush skills: the third hand
Notice my hat here, it's quite daring
Snip, snip
I'm not quite sure what I'm doing here, but it's cool
Trimming an oversize hackle that appears to have become trapped in the whip finnish manoevre
Delicate precision work, the hallmark of any good flytyer
A sexy catch...

Return to whence you came
Return to home page