The world's best flyfishing site.

The Management

Happy New Year!

I don't think I've ever made a New Year's resolution, and I'm not all that sure I believe in them. Everything changes, so why be a constant? One of the abilities we all share is the power to start again. It's the ultimate draw card and like saying, “fuck it, launch the woolly bugger”. Mind you when your internal flow goes against the mainstream then you've got to wonder. Of course sometimes what appears to be the mainstream is just another eddy. Well that's what I reckon.

"It's a big eddy with tidal flows"

Ultimately every single worthwhile decision I've ever made has ended up being a feeling. I guess like most people who stop to contemplate things for a while – and hey, I spend a hell of a lot of time on my own – they start to work out who they really are, and then once they've done that they start to work out who they want to be. You know like moulding oneself. So the question arises, which one am I? Am I the changer or the changed? Anyway, I don't want to go into that, not least because it's very complicated and somehow, quite unimportant, apart from which I have absolutely no idea.

"And I've got a snorkel"

So why am I talking about this?

Sexyloops has grown to a point where it's definitely not just “mine” anymore. I'm not entirely sure it ever was really, although I remember quite clearly a point when I detached from it. Ironically, or indeed because of this, it began to evolve.

Sexyloops was “invented” five and a half years ago. Wow. (I just spent ten minutes working that out incidentally, working through various ex-girlfriends to come up with this startling figure. How else do people work things out?). Anyway, for the first six months it was simply a one-page advert offering flycasting instruction. The name was of course a complete piss-take. Something which many people appear to have forgotten.

There was quite a damning discussion about me on a German board, some of which I translated for the Sexyloops Board, which stated that the reason I resent authority (and left the EFFF) was because I am independently wealthy. Or words to that effect. I know where it came from – I managed to borrow a Merc this summer, which was a great fun, despite nearly flipping it a number of times.

While it is true that I have always rejected authority, elitists, politicians and egotists, this is because I'm of independent mind and spirit and I actually believe that it's a basic human right to make decisions for oneself in every single area of life. The voice within is the only one that really counts. And I'm sure you'll all agree; I certainly hope so.

If I were independently wealthy, which I'm not by the way, I would hope to be the person I am now. For although I may be many things, I am at least aware of whom I am.

The truth is I haven't been out of debt since I was nineteen and I've always had to work, or face dole, and I've been there a couple of times as well (believe me being on the dole in the UK really sucks – there's no respect). I've done all sorts of meaningless jobs from labouring to cleaning hostels and I scraped my way around the world for more than a decade.

Eight years ago I started teaching flycasting, I was in the trade for a couple of seasons and for the last five years I haven't had to dig any holes or clean any toilets. But even so, Sexyloops was never about money. I'm looking for something else – I don't know what it is of course, and that's half the fun.

There was an interesting discussion on the Board last week when it was asked “was the purpose of flyfishing to create fancy shapes with the line in the air or to catch fish?” To which I replied to “does it have to have one?” And that's kind of how I feel about the Sexyloops evolution; free of any real purpose, only an idea.

Recent visitors to the site may be unaware that we attempted to enter the mail order market on several occasions, although not in the last two and a half years. Still, through failure comes experience and we believe we now have a working model. We have 80,000 readers. That's more than any other European flyfishing site. If we can't make a thriving mail-order business with this readership, and the people involved here, then no one can.

Don't misunderstand me; we're not suddenly going to bombard you with in-your-face sales tactics. We are simply going to offer you the best mail-order service we can. After all, this is the site that invented the “Anti-sell”. We will be trading again this season.

My good friend and Sexyloops partner, Steve Foster, has returned after a summer break, full of fresh ideas and programming skills. And it's great to have him back – he's certainly been missed!

But the most exciting news of all, and the reason for this week's Vortex, is that another key player has joined the Sexyloops' fold. I've been looking for a business manager for a while and through a series of coincidences and good fortune I now have one. A very good friend of mine well versed in business – and in particular European business – with experience in the tackle trade and an ability to make things happen, will take control over this aspect of Sexyloops.

Lisa Davidian has spent the last year telling me all the ways in which I should be making money, including the sponsorship programme, and her ideas are so well defined and thought through, that I've simply said that she has to “come and work for me and sort this bloody site out”. She starts working for Sexyloops tomorrow, Jan 2nd.

We now have the makings of a very serious team indeed.

Personally this is the most positive time in my life; Sexyloops has evolved to the stage where it can stand alone. I'm now going to do the other cool things I've been meaning to do, such as write books and produce videos. Ironically, you'll actually see more of me in Sexyloops, now that my workload has been lifted. And it's about to get better…

It's time to launch the woolly bugger.

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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