Upside down

Sudesh Pursad, hot from the Frontpage of Sexyloops:

I was fishing 2005 National Championships and had drawn a guy by the name of Jacques Marais as my boat partner. Now Jacques is an amazing angler who had incredible skill and mental toughness, so I was lucky to draw him as I could “steal with my eyes” as we fished. […]

So Jacques and I set out on a pontoon boat. After fishing the first one hour hard, we still had not a take between us. Really hard going, even though we knew up front that Lakenvlei is a tough beat. The water was dead calm and the serenity of the valley that we were in must have got to Jacques. He just lay across the pontoons facing the sky, and then tilted his head backwards until it was just above the water surface. Puzzled and completely fishing focused, I thought that this was rather strange behaviour – in the midst of a fishing session as well. “Try this”, he suggested. Not intending to miss something, I did…

I cannot accurately describe the view and the feeling; suffice to say that it was nothing like anything that I had ever experienced. The upside down world, with mountainous cliffs, the stillness of the water, the sweet sounds of a few birds, a very gentle breeze all reflecting off the smooth water surface just seemed to be amplified by it many times over. I was awestruck. In those moments of peace and tranquillity in an upside down world, calmness drained away the tension created by the stage. WOW!! We savoured every moment for at least ten minutes, lying there on our backs with our heads just above the water.

Where’s my boat? I need some perspective.

Tail

So it seems one can also throw a tailing loop in life.

Mine just collapsed as a big pile of shit, which is not cool. I may need some time to roll cast it straight again. Meanwhile I may post somewhat less than usual, but stay tuned: as soon as I don’t feel like to puke and/or to kill someone any more, I’ll be back with tons of exciting stuff I learned with the gang in London.

A first step

I’m in London. Today, I’m taking a first lesson with a couple of great great guys from the Sexyloop wild bunch. We’re there thank to Mark Surtees, who organized this meeting to raise some funds for Knut Syrstad. The preliminary rounds of beer went reasonably well, Mark, Steve, Mike and Vince being all jolly good fellows indeed. One hour from now I’m hitting the lawn, and for the first time in my fly casting life, someone will really know what he’s doing.

Actually, I will quite possibly be the only one not knowing what he’s doing. I expect to learn a lot, although no one seems to know what. After the fourth round I’ve been assured that most of my casting faults were to be solved in 5 mins top.

Now that would be grand. I’m more excited than Blair Waldorf on Cotillion’s day.

Titanic

I’ve a bucketful of objections to hero shooting, and and a couple more to self hero shooting, but this guy just deserves a mention

I just wonder when will pop out on the tubes the first vid from the gopro of a dead guy who drowned BradPitting. I don’t see much of an ethical dilemma (obviously the relatives may be a little upset, but that doesn’t make them right). After all the guy would have gone to his death to be the hero of an action movie. But life isn’t Hollywood and sometimes the good guy dies.

Spanked

Gigantic knock on my head this week end. Few fish, when the old hands were doing relatively well (or not bad). Not skunked, but sufficiently close to warn me that my game is far from being tight enough.
(Painfully obvious) lessons :

1. learn how to tie a proper fly.

2. learn to make a proper leader.

I the fish are not crazy biting, it may save your sorry ass.

This thing is full of big fish. Who have seen billions of flies. And think mine are ugly. And my leader full of coils. So they won’t bite. The bastards.

Now, let’s go for the alphabetical credits.

Big thanks to Ed, Eric, Goulven, Guillaume, for making the Rodhouse FFD 1.1 so cool.

Thanks also to the Refendus fine team for their hospitality to a homeless trout bum: Christian, Jean-Pierre, Philippe and Yves. Fantastic wine and stories, some of them were even about fishing ^_^.

Last, not least, huge thanks to the fantastic crew at the Salamandre/Coyolles domains : Céline, Vincent and Bertrand. Bertrand went out of his way to try to show me and Philippe a couple of tricks. People, if you are anywhere between Paris and Lille (and beyond), go fish there. These are first class people, they will treat you well, and the water and the fish are superb.

I’ll be back soon, guys. With a new leader.

Bead party

I’m tying a couple of flies for this week-end. Tomorrow I’ll meet the boys for the Rodhouse gang at Coyolles, and we’re in for a day of test casting a heap of rods, and secondarily trying to catch a trout. It will be tons of fun. Then Sunday I’m fishing the Salamandre with a couple of friends from the club. There I will be experimenting with Greg’s float tube. It’s my first time with the float, I expect it to be an adventure. And of course, I plan to catch all the big trouts of the lake. Possibly on my 3wt.

So, since my tying stuff box is rather anorexic, I’m going the creative way… My love reluctantly allowed me to plunder the super cool box of glass beads she uses with the girls to make girly things.

Fantastic flytying potential, I say.

Excellent to make all kind of buzzers and chiro nymphs, etc. At some point I thought “My, this would make an amazing body for an emerger, let’s make one with a big thing to float it and the glass body hanging under… I could use the float as a bobber, and hang a buzzer under it.”

That’s me being crafty at the vise.

The problem is that the bead, although not big, are not small either, so to get a good looking abdomen I tied it on a 12 B-100 hook. Cool. But that’s a lot of hook, plus the 5 glass beads to float. I needed a sizeable device. First I tried with a styro bead, but it lacked buoyancy. Somewhat inspired by the Teardrop loop wing seen at Marc’s, I resorted to a kind of loop wing in foam and a parachute hackle.

Looks good to me, but it’s still not enough: most of the wing is under the film. It floats, but way too low. I have to try with less beads, and something buoyant for the thorax also.

This translucency is seriously cool. The fish should agree, or they know nothing about cool looking flies.

Wish me luck.