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21/03/03 - The Vortex

I'm shagged.

I don't normally get jet lag; maybe it was something I ate. Of course this explains why the Monday newsletter is appearing here on Saturday: food poisoning. And I've just had a long weekend of fishing and camping, which didn't help of course…

Emma says, 'Flycasting is such fun; you get to wear cool hats'Feeling sympathetic yet? Didn't think so.

Anyway what a fantastic season I've just had in NZ. One of the best ever. Lots of great fishing, superb company and a wonderfully uncomplicated time. Thanks to Tom, Karin, Herb, Ian, Mark and of course Camo-Guy. And a special thanks to Deano for helping me get settled and for running over my flyline.

The last week has been pretty wild and it will take me quite a while – possibly the entire UK season – for me to recover, but I've just understood some flycasting instruction stuff that had been escaping me. And possibly some life stuff, which had been eluding me. And I'm back on the chase...

I think NZ is one of the most beautiful places on earth, it's becoming quite a bit more touristy, which is worrying, and I've never been into that sort of package tourism, and all I can say is thank goodness for all the rain and the sandflies. If you're thinking about going to NZ and are a bit plastic, then remember you'll have a miserable time getting wet and bitten. You'd have much more fun staying at home and working for a living.

Recently I've been accused mis-spending my adulthood, this is completely true and I encourage none to follow my footsteps. Stay at home, get married, have some children. You know it makes sense; after all that's what life is all about. All the other animals do it. And as for work, well I positively think it's the best thing you can do with your time. Especially working for someone else. That's freedom, that is.

So yeah, tied down to my travelling existence, no woman – women yeah, of course, lots of them – but woman, nope, no kids either, no job, not much money to speak of, just doing whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like doing it. Life's a bitch. I long for that plastic existence. Give me a 9-5 job, a small semi- somewhere and a girl lacking imagination, take away my fishing rods, give me freedom, that's what I say…

Becky says, 'Flycasting is a blast; this is the real double haul'And that's why I came back to England of course, well that and the Brinkhoff demo. Don't reckon I'll be around here for very long mind.

Oh, and so if you want a lesson, drop me an email.

The Blast

Last week I tried showing Camo-Guy just how effective saltwater fly is in and around the coasts of NZ. This of course was a complete mistake. Guy had read up on the outstanding Kahawai fishing I've been experiencing lately and wrote to me saying that he'd like to see it in action. I of course readily offered my services, categorically stating that it would be one of his greatest life experiences, as it was mine too, and that he would need a powerful outfit in order to handle these brutes.

Camo-Guy said: “I've been looking forward to seeing just how saltwater fly really works, and you're the man, Paul”
I said: “Guy it's pretty straightforward really, you just bung a rabbit out to where the kahawai are feeding and in no time at all you'll be hooked up. Hope you're feeling strong”

What I should have said, of course, was that saltwater fly was impossible and that I had simply made the whole thing up.

We fished the mouth of the W, near Invercargill, and although we caught nothing, Guy said he could see possibilities in the technique and that next year he'd hammer the fish senseless. I pointed out that he'd need a new camouflage ensemble and Guy seemed quite excited by this too.

I like to get people into Saltwater fly; it's an adventure.


Paul says, 'Flycasting is great; it heightens the senses, here I'm feeling for... something'So yep, the tackleshop is still shut. I've made a couple of mistakes now, especially over one of my suppliers, I'd like to get it right this time and although we have plans in place and we can see where we want to go, we're now being justifiably cautious.

We are slowly turning Sexyloops back into a fully-fledged commercial site (although with integrity) and we're taking a completely different tack this time and we're about to do something very different.

Flyfishing Brinkhoff

I'm looking forward to demonstrate again, haven't done one in a while. Incidentally here's a little trick, if you get anxious about this sort of thing, every time you think about it, instead of getting worried, turn your thoughts into something positive, visualise yourself doing really well and then get excited about it. I actually get a real buzz out of demonstrating now. Although I'd still rather be fishing of course, and I can tell you right now, that there are a lot of wild women in my visualisations. Funny that.

And I'm actually seriously considering not demonstrating for a while. I suppose it depends on Sexyloops, but both this demo and the one in Denmark are like fixed posts in my life. I have to be somewhere at a certain time. Now I know what you're thinking, you're thinking, “bloody hell Paul, two commitments in one year, you have to be in Germany for two days and again in Denmark one month later for another two days, and for the other 361 days you can do what the hell you like, frankly it's no big deal, get a grip man”

Sarah says, 'One thing I have learned today is the importance of a high backcast'But hang on, it's no big deal when you are there, you know, just happen to be in the neighbourhood, fancy doing a demo, that'll be fun. But when you happen to be the other side of the world, living day by day, fishing, having fun, tied down to that travelling existence, dreaming of plastic women and mortgages, getting bitten by sandflies – it's hell man I tell you – having to wander across the globe to do some funky flycasting just sucks.

Day by day, just another day, letting it happen: that's not freedom, and don't let anyone convince you otherwise. Especially me.

New Season

Well it doesn't seem that long since the last season, what's it been now, three, maybe four days? Didn't get to tie many flies. Too shagged. Anyway this season is going to be different for me. I just can't get excited about stocked stillwaters anymore and so I won't. Instead I'm going to get into some serious UK saltwater action. Some people think it's impossible, this saltwater lark, and it is, but I'm going to do it anyway, and I'm already pretty excited about it. That and carp fishing. Carp are pretty good fighters and they take flies. I'm committed until the end of May, after this I'm undecided about which way to turn. I was pretty keen to head over to the US at one point, still am; we'll see what happens…

That's it! Going to have a shift in the way the site functions, and the Saturday newsletter, which we are thinking of calling the “Vortex” by the way, is one of those shifts :)

Have a great weekend!!

Essential Bush Skills

The start of any flytying good flytying sequence involves squirting superglue 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 part 17a; the third hand
Notice my hat here, it's quite important
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
The finished fly: A Lunn's Particular

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