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I spend the vast majority of my time on my own, there's the occasional free-spirited woman with whom I hook up for a bit, but on the whole there's just me. Which I like; I wouldn't do it otherwise. And the thing I've noticed about women is that they don't fart, apart from the Australian ones of course, but even Aussie women don't fart like Sean does in the bush.

Of course Sean and I didn't have a “thing” together – there were no intimate campside moments or long meaningful looks over sandfly tea; instead we did man-stuff. You know that male-bonding flyfishing thing that we all enjoy so much. We shared big fish and even bigger fish losses. We were adventurers, hardened souls in search of the big fish experience.

And together we roamed New Zealand in search of six (and twelve) pound trout. This six pound trout thing was becoming a bit of a problem – for Sean – and so we raised the stakes to twelve pounds and Sean promptly caught more six pounders that he could wave his bendy stick at. Or something like that. He did at least catch one and came pretty close to a double figure but struck about three years too early. And why not, I say? If you're going to strike early, do it like you mean it.

There is a place here in NZ, a secret place of mine, which I think may be the most beautiful place on Earth. I'm not even going to describe it, because one of its attractions is its solitude, and I've learnt my lesson when it comes to my secret spots. As well as being perhaps the most beautiful place on Earth it is also quite possibly the best trout fishing in the Universe. Not the biggest trout, nor even the largest average size – the average size is around six pounds and I can think of quite a few headwaters where you could almost double this figure – it's the style of fishing, sight fishing with dry fly, nymph and Terminator, coupled with the most incredible fights that make this place truly unique.

But like I say, where it's at is a secret.

Sean got blisters here. And sandfly bites. We lived on dried food and Sean farted a lot. It's just one thing after another in the backcountry.

And it's one thing after another in the Red Herring too. We're on our way – travelling very fast (Sean's driving) – up to Picton so we can spend our last night together fishing another secret spot of mine, for some sea trout, before Sean catches the Ferry over to the North Island.

Here Sean will be meeting with our friend (and manager), Lisa, in Turangi, who will have arrived by then and is over for three weeks of fishing and sightseeing. Fishing mainly, if I have anything to do with it, and I will. Lisa's largest fish so far has been a four inch Lolita. So there's plenty of opportunity to expand on this.

I can't begin to tell you how great it is to be fishing all the time again. My personal contribution to Sexyloops will begin to reflect this. I've worked – I consider Sexyloops to be work by the way (not many do, but I've got to have something) – pretty hard for the last five years and most of that work has revolved around flycasting, which has been interesting, and I really notice it when I go after a fish, but it's only interesting for so long and the priorities have now shifted. Although I think you may have already realised this :-)

Sean said: “I really fucking hate sandflies.”
“But Sean, they really like you.”
“Look at my left leg; it's all swollen up and looks like a giant red sausage!”
“I'd rather not, thank you.”
“And what's the point of them? They just bite me, that's all they ever do, and they never seem to do anything useful. I mean you don't do anything useful either, but at least you're not biting me.”
“Don't think I haven't thought about it, Sean.”
“Are they biting you too?”
“No, I find that after a while, if I don't kill them, they stop biting me.”
"You're kidding right?"
"Not a bit of it; they're only biting you because you believe they're biting you. For me they don't even exist. In fact they're all your sandflies."
"You know Paul, no one actually likes you."
"Look! Not one bite!"

I'll have more to write about Sean, once he's gone...

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
A sexy catch...

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