Waters & words

Posts tagged “Marc Petitjean

You really have to watch yourself

I read somewhere recently that the character trait in which one favours nostalgia, is in direct contrast to to the trait in which one seeks new adventure. Put another way:  If you spend your time in fond reminiscence, you are less likely to be trying new fly patterns, and new tippet rigs and heading out to new fishing destinations.

It had me thinking. I have to watch myself!

I am a nostalgic. By that very definition, I am at risk of being an old fart.

So to comfort myself I stay abreast with things and keep my mind open to new tricks and new fandangled tackle and methods. Its how you hold back on the old fart label. And it is about as effective as holding back the sea with a fork.

Just last week I had the good fortune of spending time with Marc Petitjean. As we chatted I was in a state of mind in which I was open to learning and new things. Marc is the epitome of new things in fly fishing.

As we chatted, the subject turned to a visit to South Africa some 20 years ago by Darrel Martin, Lee and Joan Wulff, Taff Price, and Gary Borger.  I told how Darrel had given me a packet of CDC all those years ago, and how, at the time, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with that packet of fluff. I gave Darrel a packet of Klipspringer in exchange, thinking to myself “Well, at least he can do something with that!”.  As I relayed that story, Marc excitedly showed me the small multi-tool on a lanyard around his neck. Darrel  Martin had given it to him 25 years earlier! Darrel was also a great support to Marc in the years in which he  first espoused the use of CDC. He included it in his books, and apparently he gave packets of CDC to people across the globe.

I mentioned that I had recently been on Skype with Darrel, and immediately Marc said “We have to take a photo of you and I and this multi tool….I want Darrel to see that I am still using it after all these years”. 

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After the photo I took out the penknife that my father gave me 25 years ago, and I started to regale Marc with stories of all the times I lost it and found it again, and how I still have it after all these years.

The next morning I coudn’t find my precious talisman anywhere, and I searched high and low…..I have since found it, and upon doing so, I turned it over lovingly in my hand and reminisced all over again.

I really have to watch myself!


How to count fish

As fishermen, we can sometimes look down on people who count their fish.  There are those who take a little toggle counter pinned to their vest, and ratchet up numbers long after dark while everyone else is around the braai fire. (Not my type!)

Then there’s the guy who says “oh …I got enough of them to make me happy”. (Bloody irritating! …but I think I have said stuff like that before)

I have to count my fish. If I didn’t, what would I write in my logbook?  I know…I don’t have to have a logbook. But I do have one, and I am a slave to it. I am  however, a happy slave, so I keep counting my fish.

Apparently I am not good at it though. On a recent fish stocking foray, I was accused of being out by about 16%. I have tried to defend myself, by pointing out that I wasn’t the guy counting….It was the hatchery bloke. My protestations are in vain it seems. My buddies are sending me fish counting literature like this:

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I just know that when the hatchery bloke doled out the fish at the penultimate destination, he asked me “Where to next?”, and “How many fish for there?”. After my answer he peered in the tank, and that’s when the colour drained from his face.

He had been counting in millilitres. That is how it has to be with these things…you can’t count two inch Browns as “one…..two…..three….”.  The hatchery bloke’s wife does that, but that’s an entirely different thing…she does it in German, and she wasn’t there that day. It’s a bit like my brother in laws idea for counting sheep: Take a tally of the number of legs passing through the gate and divide by four.  It’s damned accurate, and not only in theory.

Marc Petitjean explained the other day about counting the number of times you must spin your fly tying silk in a dubbing loop. “Its exactly like salt on your pasta” he said. “How many grains of salt?”  You will never know, except when you’ve over done it.

But enough of salt and sheep. Back to Trout and counting fish volumetrically…….. you can spin out rather badly, but one thing you can be sure of is that Trout go into the water.

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It does however occur to me, that if you ‘find X’, you will discover  with absolute certainty that the fish on the day in question were either smaller than they should have been; that each prior dam got more than we intended; or that the water between the fish was more dense on account of the rising atmospheric pressure.

That’s the sort of precision I like!

 

PS…to my buddies:  You can stop sending me fish counting literature now.