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19/08/03 - Leaving me out the crowds

It was great to get out and about again; I always like roughing it a bit. Mind you the Sheriff didn't like me roughing it, said I wasn't allowed to do that and that I had to move the car. I don't know about you, but I figure sleeping in the car isn't camping. Camping involves tents and is much more inconvenient when you're moved on.

I figure I've spent more time sleeping in cars, four-wheel drives and vans in the last 15 years than in beds. Considerably more in fact. And I like it and often would rather sleep in the car. I actually sleep easier in a car now than I do in a bed sometimes. So it's not just that I'm a cheapskate.

Cheaper than a tent

Of course I didn't have any choice either. If you want to have a look round Yellowstone National Park during the summer, and camp, then you have to be organised, book ahead, arrive early, probably in the springtime and generally have you're whole life mapped out. I didn't even know I was going to Yellowstone Nat Park until I bumped into it. I was going to go to Montana, until I realised that Montana was big, you know in the way that Australia is big.

So I went to Yellowstone instead. And it was a lot of fun. Of course there were tourists, lots of them, and I can't stand tourists, even if I am one myself. Which is ironic, especially since they were mainly American tourists and there is nothing worse than an American tourist, apart from a German one perhaps, or maybe those Japanese ones in Australasia or the British lager louts in Spain. Actually those are the worst.

So I didn't see the Old Man. The prospect of waiting for anything up to an hour and a half for a geyser to erupt, surrounded by big people talking about hamburgers and moaning about the 100 meter walk just didn't excite me. And I'm easily excited, so you might find that surprising.

Instead I went fishing.

The fishing distance

Funny thing America; the fishing is cheap in terms of dollars and without doubt absolutely stunning, and the fishing itself can be quite good too (so I'm told), but it's also extremely popular. I mean like really popular. And at every car park there would be a couple of fisherman and their families. I can't handle that, not in a river. I like to fish alone. And would rather catch smaller fish, less fish, and even no fish, in order to do so.

Fortunately most Americans either can't or won't walk for more than a couple of hundred yards. It may be the bears of course. In NZ we'll walk 10 miles some days. That's the sort of fishing I like. Take me away from the crowds.

I did fish a particularly lovely stream one afternoon, and found some nice cutthroats, which was a new experience for me. The return walk in the dark was one of the most interesting I've had as well. You're not supposed to walk about in America after dark (for fear of being mugged by a bear).

Of course America wasn't really supposed to be a fishing trip, I travelled over to meet some of the Sexyloops Board members, cast with them, join the FFF Masters and generally get a feel for the place. I haven't travelled the US for years and never really the trout fishing parts.

It's now my intention to spend next summer in America. It was my intention to do so this summer, but the Sexyloops infrastructure hasn't been in place to allow it, and besides which I've had to spend more time working on Sexyloops than I'd originally thought. I think I may have found a way to free myself up entirely; I'm only really myself when I'm on the road.

The 5-weight Fight Club

On Thursday I met up with Lance Egan and Jim Gunderson. This 5-weight distance casting really is a small world. In two weeks I spent time with Ian Walker, Rick Hartman and both the Rajeff's. I have videos of almost all of them (unfortunately I didn't get a video of Tim really going for it). I think I'm correct in stating that these are the finalists of the last ISE championship.

Anyway I've watched them all cast, learned from all of them and come to the conclusion that all things being equal, final hand speed is what counts the most and not necessarily the stop, and I have some interesting observations about that as well. Also of interest is that most of them throw lower backcasts than I think ideal. I'm going to post these videos soon hopefully this week along with my thoughts. Next year I hope to give them some serious competition, unfortunately the ISE comp is too early for me to realistically make.

There's lots of other stuff happening at the moment, and we are about to move some of the ideas behind Sexyloops to the front. It's an exciting time and a lot like turning our socks inside out; you never know what you'll find.

Have a great week,
Paul :-)

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
Sheep make good flies too

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