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29/08/03 - Double Heckle

Well what a fantastic weekend. These Flyfairs are really great: gathering 40 odd tyers from around the globe, sticking them together in one room and saying “right, go on and amaze me”. And then they do.

This year they didn't ask me to tie, which was a little bit disappointing I felt. I think I have something to offer the world of fluff; I've invented several new techniques, for example, including the Whipfuck and some of my flies are truly unique. In fact they all are. And I have a “thing” for public hair; it's one of my specialities you could say.

We casters discussed it; I mean why should the flytyers have all the fun? They're indoors, where it's not raining, much, and we're outside standing in our waders (I always wear my waders now for casting demos, it makes me look so much more respectable – even if my hair does look like a Shipman's). I was all for tying up some flies there and then and as part of the demo. You know roll cast… snakeroll… public hair nymph… uses for tailing loops… cock hackle surprise (that's another of mine)… double haul. I think it would make for a more interesting demonstration, and Charles might have done something like that; I know that his demo did in fact involve fluff at some point because he told me.

In the end Paco couldn't make it, which was a shame because I'd been giving him a few tips – teaching him, you could say – and he was just getting the hang of some of them. Mind you I hadn't introduced him to delights of public hair, that's always an adventure just finding the damn stuff. Especially in Spain, where there's a shortage.

I suppose at some point I should actually cover these events, you know like properly, but I just never seem to get the time, and let's face it, I'm still really only known for my flycasting, and as yet an undiscovered flytying talent. I quite like that of course, you know the anonymity of it all ("Do you tie flies, Paul?" "Oooh yeaaahhh"), but some day I'll be discovered and the world will never be quite the same.

Carlos was brilliant. Unfortunately he could only do one of his slots (Saturday), which was a pity, still flycasting's like that; you never know what will happen. I learned quite a lot in Carlos' demo, and I was particularly impressed with the precision placing of slack line; often right up close to the leader where it really counts. I'm going to work hard on this. I like being inspired like that.

Lasse filled in for Carlos on the Sunday, mainly on dealing with the wind and a spot of teaching, throwing some wicked loops in the process. The standard of flycasting just keeps getting better and better.

Interestingly in my final demo I had a heckler, which was really strange. He tried telling me that I was wasting energy when double hauling. Eventually he buggered off, and left us in peace. Later we discovered that Paul Whitlock had also a heckler, telling him his flies were "models" and not flies. Paul Whitlock's flies are simply amazing. We ran back the video footage and it was the same bloody guy! I wonder how many other people he tried to piss off! PoD series will follow :)

Following a couple of poor demos in Denmark I was considering giving up demonstrating for a while, and making this my last season. But I've really enjoyed these last ones and I may actually be getting better at this. There aren't that many opportunities to demonstrate and so it's difficult to become polished. But one thing I've realised is that what I once considered nerves I now consider to be excitement. I'm not sure how that works exactly, but I don't get nervous any more; I get excited and have turned something which was once quite negative into something which is not only positive but also addictive. I think that's a result of continual positive visualisation. But it may just be bollocks.

Oh and I was wrong by the way. You know all that stuff I wrote about relationships and families; I think they're wonderful. A close friend of mine told me how she loved someone enough to want to have children with him. Now I just haven't had that sort of love in my life, and I don't even want children, and so it must be amazing. Really. So I take it all back.

There, that was easy.

And another thing that's been bothering me recently is this whole “God-thing”. If everything, or indeed anything, happens for a reason then there must be a God. Can you imagine how terrible it would be to know and see everything that happens in this world? And then be the blame for it? Well I know one thing, if He exists it would be a shame to be here and not meet Him. For one thing I have a few questions about Saltfly that I would like answering.

So anyway, back to the Flyfair, just before I left I gave Steve Thornton one of my special flies (no public hair, Steve) and he said he was very impressed, after the ability to speak had returned. Steve probably has a few questions of his own now.

This week (what's left of it), there's last weeks fly pic to upload, “also when wet”, there will be a movie of something or other, I'll be continuing with the most disjointed Pod series ever and there will be lots of other spontaneous thrills.


Related stuff: A reputation for Hackles, The Whipfuck

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...

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