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The Project

I tie flies to catch fish. My flies are not imitations of the naturals, they are flies tied explicitly to catch fish. And they catch a lot of fish. In the last twenty plus years I've caught somewhere between 25 and 30,000 trout. Ok so I don't do anything else apart from fish and I've always put myself into the lucky position where I can fish pretty much all the time, so that figure is meaningless apart from one thing: I've been tying for as long as I've been fishing and I so do know what works. Many of the flies you see in the shops or in magazines may look very pretty, and they may even catch a few fish, but they are not true fish-catchers.

The best flies don't imitate insects; they suggest life. And my flies are the way they are because that's what the fish want. I've used “exact” copies before, and don't get me wrong, the tyings require amazing skill, and they look fantastic, but they just don't work as well as those indistinct, scruffy, insecty flies which breathe life.

So I have a project lined up, which I've started, and I'm happy to announce it because although others will undoubtedly copy the idea, no one else will be able to copy the content. 101 flies for trout fishing the world to cope with every situation with complete fishing instructions. Basically I'm rebuilding my flybox and from the ground up. I've written down 100 odd flies and it's a very realistic list and covers everything I've had to cope with in the last 20 years of fishing. From UK stillwaters, to West Country streams, to backcountry rivers, fishing in Norway, USA, Spain, complex rises, triggers, knock 'em out flies – the works.

These won't be pretty flies for fancy tyers, these are the flies that catch fish and have been tested on fish and under almost all circumstances. It's a good idea and should simplify flyfishing. And a few of these flies are unknown. I'm not going to teach you how to tie them of course; that's Ben's job!

So that's the first thing.

I'm also pretty broke at the moment, no hang on, that's the biggest understatement of all time. In bringing Sexyloops to now it's cost me money and I owe 20 grand. Which considering I only have about 4 or 5 in assets is a considerable amount. Credit cards to the max, all accounts over the limit. Hey it's early season; I'm always broke at this time of year.

But the point is that I've got to start making enough money to survive. One of the ways I'm going to do this is charging for some Sexyloops' content. Not very much, probably only a tenner or so. I think that 101 project fluff will go straight into this section, which Steve Foster calls the Golden Cunt by the way.

In addition, there will be some first class flycasting instruction. On Sexyloops there are now 3,500 pages of free content, that won't change. This is a big step for us, but I'm announcing it so we can talk about it and so you know what's coming. I've had regular readers actually asking to pay (Al and Moose for example, and that was before they got drunk).

So yeah, let me know what you think. I'd like to give something back to my fellow contributors, take them fishing somewhere. Perhaps somewhere imaginary.

This is the first Vortex in a while. The last month in New Zealand was madness; I was working on another project which I'll tell you about soon. This one is a secret.

Without doubt this has been my best NZ season. It started well, then became wet, and finally went out with a bang. I finished with quite a few really excellent five and six pound rainbows. Nothing enormous, but tremendous fishing. I really fell in love with life over there. Living on the road, fishing, travelling, camping out. It's an amazing existence. Ironically without Sexyloops I would be doing this full time, like I used to. Sometimes it's really tempting.

Thanks to all my great New Zealand friends! I look forward to seeing you guys again next November. But first I have to catch the Big Pike. I don't have any plans, but if I did I would be basing myself in Germany for the next couple of months, with a couple of trips back to the UK and one to Spain. I'll be in the US by July. I may have to swim there.

You can book a lesson, it will be perhaps the best thing you ever do in life.


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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