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Ronan's report

Monday 20th October, 2014

The monsoon clouds are closing in fast in the Far East now. Here, it rains heap loads when it does. The monsoon season starts in the Indian Ocean sometime in May and like a clock work it moves east passing the Malay Peninsula from roughly now to January. Further east in the Pacific, the sea rages with typhoons and at times these winds pack a triple whammy on the coastal regions - wind, storm surge and flooding. Malaysia however is fairly sheltered geographically and even in the worst of weathers we carry out our lives hunky-dory.

The arrival of monsoon also means season over to the new found darling of saltwater fly fishing here - the sails on fly. For the first time I had the chance to fish these sailfish beauties three weeks ago and boy! if that wasn't an adrenaline pumping exercise I wouldn't know what was. Known as one of the sailfish capitals of the world, the spots in the South China Sea off Kuala Rompin is the place to fish during the summer months in the northern hemisphere. If one is after a searing hot sun, sea and sails, one almost cannot go wrong here. But getting the right guide for catch-and-release in Malaysia is the key. Nowadays at least a lot of guides are eco-tourism inclined so the place is somewhat protected and catch-and-release is widely practiced. Essentially, the method is no different from any other places - the sails are teased up into the feeding mood by rubber skirts, just like they do with the marlins or king mackerels. If you are into fly fishing only, you must tell the guide and the skipper that is what you want to do. Otherwise they would be the devil advocates egging you into trying other corner cutting methods some of us would find them very riff raff or downright offensive as if we cannot do pick up and lay down cast 40 feet out with our 12 weight rod on a moving boat. The flip side of fly fishing only would be the higher fuel and maintenance costs to the skipper of the boat. He will pass the costs down to you inevitably. Unless you just want to catch one or two, take touristic photographs then that's okay to just use whatever method to land one.

The catches vary from a couple of kilos to a monster size of ninety kilos but I should be happy with a brace a day of the teens or twenties. As I caught my first sails on the first visit I am not a sailfish expert yet but having been fly fishing for over half of my life I could learn things fast. One must be wary of the striking techniques in that setting in the hook is not by lifting the rod but by pulling in the line and rod. When a sail grabs the fly it takes a couple of seconds to hook it or lose it. If it is a specimen size and well hooked you are in for the time of your life. It runs like a train on steroids, it jumps and it dances on the water with the sail wide open. Your jaw will drop, you will make silly sounding noises and grimaces worst then your best orgasms. If you are a white man, a few days of sail fishing out in the South China Sea you will come back a brown skinned man like me. Go home and you will get laid, girls will love you!

Lovely Jubbly
Irhamy the Guv'nor, Kuala Lumpur

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