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Ronan's report

Thursday 21st June, 2014

Fly fishing is not as complex as it is perceived. To most newbies it is. I always tell them it is not like learning a new religion or something like that, piece of cake really. Two paramount things in fly fishing one must master to be successful. First is to cast the line the way it should be, in whatever given circumstances and this comes with practice. Of course most of the novice would start casting on the field before moving to little streams, rivers or put-and-take ponds. That would be ideal. Second, to enjoy fly fishing one must catch fish. This is when it gets interesting. This subject may sound elementary but truly, it is the bedrock of fly fishing.

Watercraft as we all know is the art of finding and catching fish. Matching the hatch, charting the tide and water temperature etc. are part of it. The single most important thing to learn is fish spotting. Of course for over 20 years we have been aided by polarized glasses and sonar technology and what have you. One would be a better fisherman if one masters this I am sure. Inadvertently, with technology too, we deplete the fish stocks. I don't know with other countries, but here in Malaysia we consume hell a lot of fish compared with most other countries. Report suggests that the global consumption of fish is 20 kilograms of fish per person per annum. We eat over 55 kilos of these poor sods per year, more than the Japanese actually. Then again scientists say eating lots of fish will make you clever doesn't it? But how come Malaysians cannot drive cars properly like anyone else? Actually, I think it is just not the fish we eat in excess of everyone; we eat everything in excess of everyone.

Research shows that the Malaysian waters could be barren of fish by about 2050. We will then be criminalized by Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia! We could be labeled 'fish murderers'. Therefore, I would not be surprised if Watson and his Sea Shepherd would turn their butyric acid bombs at us after they are finished with the Japanese whalers in the southern seas.

Anyway, back to the watercraft in fish spotting, I read that there is an old way of doing it. Not by looking but by listening. A dying art practiced by a handful of fishermen in the east coast here. It is done by clinging one hand on the boat gunwale and the body submerging in the water, eyes and ears wide open listening to fish talking to each other. It is a multi sensory application in real time. Apparently they can differentiate the types of fish too. In science it is called "sonifery". Soni what may I ask? I can imagine a fishing guide soniferies himself at the bow of the boat whispering to me - ten GTs at fifty feet down, two barracudas following. I probably would still ask him - any bonefish?

Lovely Jubbly
Irhamy the Guv'nor, Kuala Lumpur

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