It is extremely difficult to explain the anxiety that arises from the fear of ‘not fitting in’.
With my mates Jan Korrûbel and Terry Andrews leaving to fish with Jimmy Baroutsos in New Zealand in a few days I thought that I’d conduct some research to enable them to pack appropriately.
Now I know that we’ve all seen the hideous too-short denim shorts that were ubiquitous in every NZ video not too many years ago.
Those things were like a budget hotel – no ballroom. Why they were a staple in the 80s God alone knows. They fortunately seem to have reduced in popularity and the fashion-conscious angler no longer needs to take scissors to his favourite 501s to fit right in (not that they fit right in at all and tend to dangle alternately from one leg or the other).
Having maligned the cut-off jeans it is necessary for me, in the interest of balanced writing, to record that they are not all bad. Neither Andrews nor Korrûbel however have the figures to pull off this rather pleasing effect.
In fact, full length denims seem the way to go of late. They’re going to stay wet for hours and your walk upstream will sound like a jogger in corduroy trousers, but they should protect you from nettle stings.
As in our own country the cast-off rugby shorts are, as far as I can gather, still ubiquitous. Again, I’d be at a loss to explain why. Just don’t wear them with Crocs. Please don’t. The nation begs you.
With regard to short trousers, and in a twist of fate stranger than fiction, our cousins from the colonies tend to wear their shorts over their wives’ yoga tights. I don’t understand this singular preoccupation with the choking of their nads in altogether inappropriate clothing. Perhaps that’s the reason for that slightly nasal accents? I’m no anthropologist, but it’s worth a look. Or it’s not, but it’s worth some study.
We all know the nature of the streams in the antipodes and the necessity for stealth on the part of the angler. There is no argument there. I put it to you though that this may be pushing things a little far.
If this modern camouflage outfit is either of you guys’ thing you need not limit yourselves to the waders. Very little effort and remarkably little expense could see you in the entire ensemble. Just don’t pass out on the bank – you’ll never be found.
You could always really save some hard-earned cash by buying your camo gear at a surplus store. Be warned however, this stuff is heavier than denim. Not only do you look like a night watchman but if you fall in you’ll need one of these to pull you out.
Helicopters aside, your biggest concern is going to be getting your gear through international airports. Try explaining the following outfit to the counter terrorism task team. Put your rod tube over your shoulder as you do it – I dare you.
Right, let’s sum this up.
In order to assimilate yourself with the anglers of New Zealand all that you need is gear that is either
- Too short on your thighs.
- Too tight around your home entertainment center.
- Camouflaged but murderously dangerous to your wellbeing.
If all of this doesn’t meet with your favour remember that true gentlemanly style is timeless.
If you ask really politely I’ll even lend you a pipe.