The guiding season seems to be a long way away and now that I finally have some time to myself I've had a chance to catch up on emails and send photos etc. to a lot of my guests and friends. Not sure if anybody has checked their emails lately but I haven't got one reply which is odd. I thought this was the time of year to reflect on the past angling season and start making plans for next year but haven't heard anything back yet....from no one....nope not a thing. HELLO OUT THERE!!!
So in the meantime I'm tying flies, streamers mostly but some prototypes to bring over to Thailand in the next month. Looking forward to getting there and visitng the flood receding Kingdom and enjoy a lot of what it has to offer which is great food, good people, warm climate, ambient restaurants, Buddhist values and high level of service. The Thai's know that as a foreigner you'll never totally feel at home in their country, it's culturally too different, but as a tourist you'll experience a level of hospitality in all facets of service that will make you feel as welcome as you possibly. I've also got a few cool new patterns to pass on to my tiers for production for next year's fly bin.
I'm feeling that next year will be a good year for us at Freestone, we've had some early interest on some big trips and our fly shop in the Stanford Inn will be re-opening again along with the Indian kitchen next door which was closed this summer due to the illness of chef Cashews wife. As far as I know her health has returned to normal and the restaurant will feature it's full menu. Beers and curries on the patio outside the shop and the restaurant overlooking the Elk River has been a favourite of our guide staff and guests over the years. Our guide staff and customers are colourful to say the least and some of the alcohol fueled banter flying around that table in the evening is priceless.
I organized my fly boxes yesterday and it was an interesting venture. For those of you who have seen my boat box, you would probably understand what kind of undertaking this would be. I have an undetermined number of flies in there and as the season progressed more patterns were introduced as some were taken out and in the end I had a melting pot of patterns intermingled throughout the box's various compartments. It was a total shit show. The mess really progresses when I'm hunting for that right pattern. The one that seems to be the one and only of that day. During one such hunt for a Mahogony Dun, I pretty much upturned my box to salvage the last few and managed to scrape by on the remnants of that pattern. Then about two weeks later I actually upturned the box entirely in the middle of my boat and certainly lost a few but manage to 'stuff' most of them back in randomly.
I could post the top 10 patterns of all our guides and it all likelihood about 7 of the 10 would be shared amongst the 5 or 6 of us with the other 3 being made up the 5 of that favourite dozen. As I add patterns to my fly catalogue I am generally staying within the formula of that top dozen, changing things like hackle wraps for better buoyancy or wing colour for better visiblity. It always seems that when I bring in the 'new' stuff the patterns that the guides and fish eat up the most are the ones that are only slight variances of that top 12.
I would love to list them for all of you to see but that would be like Belichick posting the Pats playbook on nfl.com. Not a great idea. But if you come into the shop in the Stanford next year we could sell you a couple of them ;).
Off to Thailand at the end of the month for some tying and some eating in sweet Old Siam!!