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Thread: Hook, Line & Thinker

  1. #21

    Default the Obedient Consumer

    DATELINE; NATAL WITNESS 23/2/2008




    ©Wolf Avni 20/2/2008

    Is life funny, or what? As if bare existence were not sufficiently dire, fraught with entirely real issues of survival at it most fundamental level - with unspeakable despair at the universe’s refusal to make the least concession to any individual set of circumstances, or the experiential roller-coasters that are a natural part of the most ordinary and mundane of lives, we (Homo sapiens) actually go in search of grief. I mean really! We turn
    it into entertainment.

    A quick scan of any current crop of tv soaps, or movies, or best selling titles, or indeed actual lifestyles, throws up a charnel house of gut-wrenching fantasy peopled by characters who at core are emotional and functional train wrecks, as if the reality of our world were not horrific enough, sans fictional embellishments.

    The picture of humanity, as painted in its own media, pretty much consigns us to a non-stop horror show. There is of course a great deal more to any human life experience, certainly in its potential, if not in its fact . But you won’t find it in the marketplace, where commodities are valued high, and life is valued low, except in the parody that offers ‘product’ as placebo and placenta. This exception, though hard edged, is an entire illusion.

    My philosophic warp is offered as an antidote to a debate raging in the realms of fly-fishing consumerism. Its subject is the relative merits of various fly-fishing rods offered by the competing aspirational brands. The fervour with which otherwise mostly rational individuals espouse their preferred high-status brand, attributing to each some semi-mystical attribute, is more a measure of the aggression imbued in the brand marketing
    than any inherent quality of one brand over another.

    One particular brand, currently enjoying a position of pre-eminence among these aspirational brands is Sage. From the tone of postings in the discussion raging on one popular web forum, it seems there are anglers out there who would sell their virginal daughters for a rack of such.

    Anyone that desperate for a Sage is welcome to come scuba one out of the lake at Giant's Cup. It's a strange thing, but over the past 20 odd years a small fortune of gear has been lost overboard here. That I know of, there are at least the following rods preserved deep in benthic mud for future, as yet unborn, archeologists;
    1x Hardy split cane Sovereign.
    1x Orvis XLS
    1x T&T (can't remember exactly what, but the dude that turfed it in cried like a drain).
    A Reddington and sundry Stealths, Explorers, and other equally plebeian brands, one or two of each, and wait for it... ABOUT A DOZEN SAGES.
    The way I figure it, is this ~ Whatever the differences between the aspirational and the ordinary, it counts for little once it’s buried in the benthic ooze. Any peace to be had comes from within, not off any trail of acquisition.


    The overwhelming preponderance of Sages lying in the mud can only be ascribed to one of two factors;
    A; people who fish Sages are such stumble-phucs that they don't know how to maintain a grip. Solution; GET A GRIP!
    B ; People who fish Sages wander the country side secretly looking for ways to divest (bit like BMW owners) of the impediment. The thing is (just like BMW's) the mere possession of the item marks you as so tasteless, that to acknowledge the bad judgement inherent in the initial acquisition is just not the kind of thing one admits to in polite company. And so one blusters on. Anything else would be tantamount to losing complete face in the eyes of one's equals.... no, make that betters. Solution? Get a grip, Oh, and a
    half-decent fly-rod.

    I have no doubt that a horde of outraged Sagophiles and other yuppie-poofter-scum, apologists of the intolerable, will outpour a veritable torrent of counter invective. Bring on your worst. I can take it. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. For thou art with me (***? Neptune? Poiseidon? Nemrod? Triton? Odin?
    No es importante). My rod (an Orvis) and the staff (my ghillie) will comfort me.

    Yours sagacious (get it?) Scribe .



    Sorry Guys,
    inspired by the thread last week, I made it the subject of my weekly column.~ Surly G

  2. #22
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    PK

    I am haunted by waters - Norman Maclean

  3. #23
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    Well done Wolf!

    I'm an Orvisophile of old as well - mainly because Roger and the other PMB dudes stocked nothing else of note in the 80's!! All my Orvis rods, 1 wt to 6 wt, are well-loved members of my family, each with his-her own little story to tell! Being a Pom it was hard for me to adapt from Hardy split-cane to this Yankee space-age stuff, but it became rapidly apparent that the UK companies were fast lagging behind their bruvvas/sistas over the water in rod innovation. Since then I've been lucky enough to visit Manchester (Vermont, not Red Scum) and feel some of the great Orvis tradition. Mary Orvis Maybury's 'Favorite (sic) Flies And Their Histories', first published 1896 and reprinted by Lyons in 2001, is evocative of that era. It also exposed me as being a then narrow-minded Anglophile chalk stream/salmon river flyfishing ponce!!

    It's good to see the big players in the UK have caught up, and we're all now privileged internationally to simply amazing products emanating from all over the world - more especially pleasing - from sunny South Africa!

    Keep the articles a'rolling, Meneer Surly!

  4. #24

    Default Star Quality

    DATELINE ; NATAL WITNESS 8/3/2008

    ©Wolf Avni 7/3/2008


    Have you ever heard the expression ‘star quality’ ? It refers to some happily indefinable characteristic supposedly possessed by some, but not by others. Certain people just come across well when in the public eye. Looks, personality, self-confidence; they all play a part, but in themselves, or in combination, do not entirely explain the phenomenon.

    The elusive attributes of ‘Star quality’, though somehow tied to type, go beyond pure photogenics. Many a film star and mega-Diva is downright plain, if not actually ugly. Take Brad Pitt. Though he may own a virile chin and a face so fine-chiselled that it might have been sculpted by G0D, the man is barely taller than a midget, yet still is regarded as a sizzling property. So too, George Cloony; the dude is a weed, almost anorexic, and when he opens his mouth off a film set, his characters spew banality, yet every time he draws a breath he draws with it more income than you or I are likely to see in a year of sweat-off our-brows. Examples there are aplenty; Mother Theresa , for instance; in her breast may have beaten the heart of an angel, but her face, by the kindest of accounts, came from the realm of Potatodom. Small children and sometimes even other vegetables would run away, screaming, to evade her embrace. I make the point, not to diminish any of these worthies, but to explain how it came to pass that my humble self, too, rose to breath this same heady air, and you, my humble readers were in at a glorious birth. Apparently I have IT, in abundance. I shall explain.


    Last week Italy came to town, you know, the birthright of Sophia Loren, Fellini, Franchesco Sinatra, Al Pachino, Cinematic Avant-garde, et al. Well not actually the whole Roman enchilada, but a certain popular and long running Italian national TV magazine program, Linea Verde. They came to seek me out in my hidden valley in the foothills of the Drakensberg, where I was minding my modest business and eking my menial life out, as is my wont. They arrived in an armada of vehicles, oozing importance from every pore; twenty eight various personages ranging from lowly camera gaffers, grips, go’fer’s, continuity girls, wardrobe masters make-up artistes, right the way through to fat-cat producers, directors of every type , and the lovely, lovely, Veronica (who incidentally, I think has fallen in love with me). Veronica (who surely is in love with me) is the presenter, an iconic Roman hottie around whom the entire program is built, she of the flashing temperament and improbably turquoise, green/grey eyes.


    According to the script, I, me, your new Hero, was to reveal the innermost secrets of two millennia of fly-fishing, and of trout and the century of their presence in the headwaters of the Umzimkulu catchment, high in the Drakensberg. “No es un problema,” I told them in my best Spanish. (The fly, it turns out, was in my Spanish).


    And so events unfolded. The gaffers, gophers and grovellers rigged my boat with a remote-controlled movie camera, and I, with the winsome Veronica, suitably ‘miked-up’ embarked on our journey of romance and discovery, where, within the first 30 seconds of Veronica picking up a rod, it was not only my heart that had been impaled. “Howa you call’a theese, pesce-de la mosca?” she asked, snaring my throat with her cunningly contrived cast... or at least she might have had I not ducked inside it with all the nimbleness one might expect of an movie action-man hero. “Si,” I told her, “pero per favori, Signorita bellisima, un poco mas pianissimo”, which is kind of pigeon-Italian for “cool it, chick”.

    “Shyou hev vera, vera, beautifula eyes, molto azule” she told me, clearly in love and unable to restrain herself any longer .

    “Snap, honey,” I told her right back, ‘ and you’a a’like break’a my heart, carpe diem, si?”.


    And so, in about eighty takes spread over three hours give or take (which no doubt will be edited down to about 3 minutes of TV fame), I taught Veronica, mi amore, everything there is to know about fly-fishing, the Drakensberg and its 200 million year old geology, trout biology, and how to cast with a fly-rod.

    Clearly, although the program has not even aired yet, other, equally famous fly-fishing filmmakers have heard about my remarkable cinematographic presence, and now Gareth George, he of Wildfly fame, has engaged my services for all of next week. I am to be the glue that holds his upcoming program on trout in the southern Drakensberg together. So if you are looking for me next week, don’t bother. I will be comporting my irresistible camera persona somewhere twixt the thin flows of the first order lotics that feed into the mighty Umzimkulu. Patience, my loyal devotees, soon I and my perplexing camera presence shall be coming to a screen near you.

    What can I say to you, my future adoring fans, other than “Molto, molto bene, Ciao,” and “Voulez-vous kushec avec moi”?



    Ends

    836 words



    Caption; a movie star traveling incognito, masquerading as me?
    Last edited by Surly Ghillie; 07-03-08 at 09:46 PM.

  5. #25
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    Kushec?? Is he one of the Czech flyfishing team?..

  6. #26
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    PS I hope the Ities gave you a presentation Gatti rod and reel as a 'thank you' to go with your Orvis collection?

  7. #27

    Default

    They came to 'take', not to give.

    To quote Frank Zappa; (with a name like that I would guess he too is of Italian descent) ~
    'some take the bible for what it is worth,
    where it says that the meek shall inherit the earth,
    but i heard that some sheik bought New Jersey last week,
    and you suckers (with an f) ain't getting nothing'

  8. #28
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    Ahhh, Frank Zappa - another good man!

  9. #29
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    More Zappa!!

    Don't mind your make-up, you'd better make your mind up.

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry.

    There are three things that smell of fish. One of them is fish. The other two are growing on you!

    Tobacco is my favorite vegetable.

    There is no hell. There is only France.


    I always wanted to be somebody,but now I realize I should have been more specific.
    Alcohol is the anaesthesia by which we endure the operation of life. GBS

  10. #30
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    A very cerebral dude!
    The more you know, the less you need (Aboriginal Australian proverb)

    Only dead fish swim with the stream (Malcolm Muggeridge)

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