The world's best flyfishing site.

December 1999


Humble, humble, humble apologies.

My server, Force9 (not a plug), let me down at the start of this month, bouncing my emails. I've complained bitterly: but the problem is that they are too big. Big companies tend to suck on the service front. They don't care about the 'smaller' user, only the bigger issue. Whereas smaller companies worry about all of their customers.


Of course this is a small minded, short-sighted view. Take Reebok for example (and this is not a plug either). Let's say, hypothetically speaking, that you were to buy a pair of Reebok running shoes. You know, the ones with air cushioning. And one week later they 'exploded'. So, with great difficulty, and at your expense, you replaced them, but one week later the same thing happened again.

Four pairs of shoes later, after much bitter complaining and time wasting and standing in shops (Athlete's Foot - Australian sporting chain who have the 'no customer service philoshophy'; as practiced by the Maroochydore branch) arguing with (idiot) managers: you decide that you want a refund, but they won't refund because by now you are dealing with Reebok direct and you didn't buy from them - you bought from a shop and besides they don't give a... So you just end up changing brand and buying Asics.

So what is the net result: one lost customer? No great loss. But I think it's worse. The true result is one very-pissed-off customer. The sort of guy who goes running and sees people wearing Reeboks. Runs after them and tells them that Reebok sucks. And then overtakes them. The sort of guy who goes into sports shops the world over, telling everyone how bad Reebok is. The sort of ex-customer who points it out on his website.

Now a small business, on the other hand, would have looked at this unfortunate customer and seen an opportunity: they'd have said, 'this poor guy, let's kit him out: make him into the Reebok Man, because there is nothing worse than bad service'. The real truth behind all this is that bad service travels further than good service.

Which brings me back to Force9! Currently I am looking into the options; one option is simply to change ISP, another is to become an ISP... but then again there's this small ISP in Australia who I know offers good service...

Noosa Triathlon

Having talked about it for many months I have finally competed in a triathlon. Some of you even emailed me to ask how I did, of course a certain amount of this mail bounced, no doubt leading you to believe that I had died out there...

2 hours 21 mins 53 secs. Which is for what was hoping. Swim was a bit slow (29 mins for 1500m) and a notoriously rough start. I figured that I could either start behind everyone else (being a novice like), or get stuck in with flying elbows and flailing feet. So I got stuck in. Actually it wasn't as bad as expected. The really rough time was when the following wave-start overtook me!

The bike section took 1hr 11 mins for 40K, which was OK considering I did it on a friends hundred dollar bike! The bike had some old-woman's saddle with two large coiled springs. I bounced my way around the course.

The 10K run took 42 mins, which I was reasonably happy with (it was 28 degees after all). Now I just have to do more of them, and much longer distances...


Just before we left Australia we had our car stolen, containing all my fishing and camping gear. The car I could live without, it was uninsured, but also a bit of a bomb. The fishing and camping gear was replaceable. The lost flies were not. Included in the various boxes were special experiments, both tried and untried. Flies from as long as 15 years ago. Special flies given to me, such as Donald Down's Tea-bag Sedge. Irreplacable stuff.

Two days later we found the car. Undamaged. Amazingly, we also found everything else, nothing was missing. The thief even overlooked the Tea-bag sedge. It was almost as if we had parked it and forgotten where we had left it (done that before).

Lake Taupo District

Fishing. Had to get around to it sooner or later. I haven't been in Turangi for about 18 months, but you wouldn't know it. At the start of the month there were still fish running the Tongariro River. They are smaller this year, only about a four pounds average (whereas last time I was here, they had a seven pound average. Natural fluctuation).

The runs now have pretty much ceased. However the fish in the lake itself have begun smelting around the edges. And so that is where I'm spending most of my time right now. It's a bit like fry-feeders only a little less dramatic. There are also rises to Green Beetles, if you know where to look.

If you are in the neighbourhood pay me a visit. I'll be adding a large section to this site over the next few months all about fishing New Zealand DIY. Techniques, tips and where to go.

'What I want for Xmas'

I'm selling a hell of a lot of Vector Suunto's at the moment... perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I have been promoting it on my index page for the last couple of months, perhaps it's got to do with some recent reviews, perhaps it's just because it's a great product. Whatever, this little gizmo should be on everyone's Xmas list.

Another great product I sell is the Leatherman tools.

If you need tackle advice then please email me.


By far the easiest way to order is through my Secure Order Form. If you'd prefer then just send me a fax. However please give me either your fax number or your email address, so that I can contact you quickly if necessary.


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