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Window of Opportunity

I kind of lost interest in fishing there at the beginning of last week; my hand was sore, my casting ineffective and I had no flies. So I decided to hang out with Ronan for a few days, and catch up with another mate, Chris. We didn't do anything spectacular in the way of fishing but my enthusiasm returned and I'm insatiable once again.

In the past week I also came to the conclusion that, although the streamside kit concept is a good one, it is necessary to carry a few flies with you as you go and so I'm going to try the combination of both over the next few weeks. I reckon I'll need a box of ten patterns plus kit. I mean let's face it; you don't want to have to tie up a Black Woolly Bugger in the dark, just for a few quick parting shots. And you don't want to be tying a Suspender Royal Wulff when the sandflies are all over you, in your ears and up your nose. So I do need a bit of both.

One of the most appealing aspects to leading this nomadic fishing existence is that there seems to be a higher than normal number of chance encounters. It may be an inside-out way of looking at things but I reckon I'm doing the right thing when I meet people with whom I really click. Whether we're supposed to meet each other, or whether it just happens, I have no idea, but I do know that I don't get this very much when I'm not on the move, even though I may be surrounded by people.

Ronan said: “Paul, do you ever get the feeling that you would like to jump through a window and run into the street yelling at the top of your lungs?”
“All the time, dude.”

Sometimes I get that feeling in the morning and take off, not really knowing where it is I'm going, but going there anyway. I often find myself sitting at a crossroads and waiting until one direction feels best. There may be some truth in the proverb that, “If you don't know where you're going then any road will do” – but I like to think it does matter and if it doesn't, well then that's fine too.

Ronan reckons that it's a feeling of needing something but not knowing quite what it is. I don't know, maybe it's a feeling of just being alive – you know, like being really alive.

Anyway, just before discussing this in the pub, I had made the mistake of spotting a fish and deciding it would be a good fish to catch for Sexyloops, instead of just catching the thing then and there. I've done that before, last year with Deano, when we spotted a good brown trout and figured that we should “save it for later”. Never save a fish for later. I should have learned that lesson, hell, I did learn that lesson, and even thought about it while making the decision.

But instead off I went to collect Ronan so we could try for some fishporn video. When we returned the fish wasn't really going for it like he was when I first found him (I was off running – I often spot fish this way – and he was really going for it back then) and although I got the take, I missed the strike, having made the stupid stupid error of fishing just a nymph and not a nymph and dry combination – the water was snowmelt and really murky-like, but did I think about that? Did I think to myself, “Paul, how are you going to see the fish open its damn mouth when he moves to your fly after you've cast it in the wrong place because your hand hurts?” No, I didn't, instead I put on one of Lars' green caddis patterns and flung it out in a reckless manner and into the wrong spot. Of course the fish chased it down and disappeared after it into the murk. I thought, “Ah-ha” – and struck, blindly, more in hope than good judgement, and pinged the fly and then cursed my ineptitude – and everything else – solidly and loudly for the next twenty minutes.

The next day we returned and once again I got the take – this time to a dry – but the bloody hook broke on the strike (it was one of Ronan's, not that I hold this against the sod, I'm just pointing out that he was kind enough to lend me one of his blowfly patterns – how was he to know that the hook had rusted beneath the dressing? Was it his fault that he'd stuck it in his box wet or left it out in the rain before giving it to me? Of course it was, but I don't blame him for being an arse; it's not like he's being an arse on purpose – he was just born that way and hasn't sorted himself out yet) and the flies pinged into the trees above me, hooking Lars' nymph into the branches, where it still lies by the way (Lars).

Of course I returned the following day but the fish had buggered off – not that I can really blame him of course; I think I would too. This is now a marked fish and he could well be a double. Hopefully I'll get another shot soon and do it properly next time. Or maybe I'll do something different like fall in and break my rod.

I'm down in Invercargill getting my hand sorted out. They're going to give me a bionic hand so I can cast 140 feet (Rick). There's new content going in all over the place, including PoDs from the last few days and some from Carlos as well. Now I just have to find a window I can jump through.

Have a good week,

Related links: Vortex archives

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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