The Season Starts Now!
Monday, 18 March 2019
It's now officially the start of my fishing season here at Belum Rainforest. I know that you are probably thinking, "well what were you doing the last few months, Paul?" Nothing serious! Just figuring a few things out, trying to put the yearly pattern in place, catching the odd fish and so on. But March 15th is when it all starts to happen around here. My guests start to appear after the middle of March and not before because it's too "hit and miss". And so it's not just the start of my fishing season proper, but also the time of year when I start to show others this incredible fishing.
Tuesday, 19 March 2019
No fishing for me this last weekend: I spent both days in bed fighting my way back from an attack of the influenza bug. It hit me on Wednesday and felt like a wall fell on top of me. I managed to limp into work on Friday but needed Saturday and Sunday to complete my recovery. Getting out and lawn casting on Sunday afternoon felt like a celebration.
I have an unusually busy schedule for casting lessons coming up. While this is possibly my busiest period each year, for some reason I’ve gotten a lot more requests than in the past. On the one hand, it is nice to see some repeat students: it makes me feel like they thought the previous lessons were worthwhile. But, on the other hand, I have this nagging suspicion that I am not getting the job done. In the preliminary discussions I’ve been having, where I ask what the students want to focus on, I keep hearing the same concern. Tailing loops always are at the top of the student’s lists.
Studying Line Set Ups For Zander
Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Last week I was testing some extreme line set ups in order to get the best contact between my fly and me.
Practice and Patience
Thursday, 14 March 2019
It’s getting close to the first BFCC Meeting of 2019 – Devon on Saturday 30th March – and I’m looking forward to it as it’s my tenth year of competing. Back in 2009 I entered my first ever casting competition and cast 71ft with a 5# outfit. It wasn’t my first visit to a BFCC event though as it took me a few meetings to feel comfortable to cast in front of others, some of whom were (and still are) amazing distance casters. The other casters were so welcoming that I eventually had a go and then got tuition from some amazing instructors (you know who you are).
It was slow progress as I don’t consider myself a natural caster, though with lots and lots of practice (both on fields and whilst fishing) I was eventually able to cast around 90ft with a 5#, once I learned to double haul. I reckon I stressed out a few instructors who tried to teach me this as it took a few years for the double haul to feel normal – learning techniques to develop my dexterity helped. James and I are quite competitive at fishing and this improvement has definitely paid dividends with my fishing; when bonefishing James used to catch ~4 fish for each one of mine, that ratio is much more even these days
Out of connection
Friday, 15 March 2019
I was four days snowmobiling in Russia. It is total wilderness and nearest town, Pääjärvi, is about 80 km from lodge. In Pääjärvi there is mobile phone connection if you need one. Lodge have restaurant and they have wifi so you could make whatsapp calls and they have also somekind of old fashion phone connection. But if you go just few kilometres away…. you don’t have any connection to world. And I think most of us are use to have connection all the time. (well not Paul because he is jungle man). And that made me think about emergency situations when fishing remote places or any outdoor activities you do out of connection.
The Imitation Game
Saturday, 16 March 2019
I've recently spent a lot of time looking at pictures of winged termites and hoglice (sow bugs for our American friends) trying to dial in some better imitations than I've seen so far. For termites there's not alot out there so there's a lot of messing around trying to get something that will look edible to a wild gourami. Because of Paul's input on gourami being very hard to fool and termites being a new imitation, I'm giving it much more time at the design and willing to allow the individual tie to be much longer than a trout fly would take-if my new hoglouse takes more than about 3minutes to tie, it's not acceptable when a Ray Charles will do largely the same job most of the time. So why bother? Well, it's a combination of things for me, a bit of confidence, a bit of giving them something different and just the enjoyment of spending time playing around at the vice, picking out the key features that I think will trigger a positive response from the fish before getting them on the water to test.
Sunday, 17 March 2019
Every now and again I have strange little insights about the peripheral experiences of fishing, and the effects they have had on my adult life. Most recently it was a random epiphany about the role that "Gates" had on me as a young man. I know that sounds a bit strange, but bear with me....there are deeper metaphors and meanings here.