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Ronan's report

Monday March 17th, 2014

A few weeks ago I asked a few questions on the Board:

1) Can you swim?
2) Do you swim regularly?
3) Are you a strong swimmer?
5) Would you have any difficultly in swimming 5km in open water with waves?
and 6) Have you ever had professional coaching?

My history on this is pretty simple, I learned to swim at school (and hated every minute of it), was rescued out the ocean at the age of eight by a lifeguard (not Pam Anderson), learned to swim "properly" at the age of 27 when I wanted to take up triathlon and now have absolutely no problems swimming 5km in open water with waves (assuming the water is not winter cold) and have done so.

Swimming is 90% technique, 10% effort. For anyone thinking that 5km is a Herculean task simply doesn't have the technique. It can be no more effort than walking the same distance. Of course if you don't have the technique in place it is hard work. No question there.

I indirectly know two people who both tragically drowned. One was a young man in his early 20s at Ardleigh Reservoir who slipped off the dam in a flat calm day and went down after panicking - friends of mine tried to save him but they were too late. I didn't know him very well but I had chatted once or twice and sold him fishing permits. He was my age at the time.

The other guy was the son of a work colleague when I was working in Turangi, New Zealand, who drowned at a Lake Taupo stream mouth while swimming on a warm afternoon. A family man in his late twenties or early thirties.

I don't think anyone spends more time on, in and around the water as much as anglers. If you think you'd have any difficulty in open water swimming 5km in waves then I would thoroughly recommend getting some professional coaching. Swimming is not a natural skill; it is a learned one. It is an empowering feeling to know that you have it at your fingertips and to be honest, open water swimming is great fun too!

My answers are 1) yes I can swim. 2) yes I swim regularly when the water is warm and clean enough (rarely in pools if I can avoid it, because it's boring and I'm allergic to chlorine - but every day in open water for at least three months of the year). 3) I don't consider myself to be a particularly strong swimmer. 5) no problems whatsoever. 6) yes I've had professional coaching and have spent quite a lot of time analysing the technique.

So if you've ever considered getting some proper swim coaching I can recommend it 100%. I think it's one of the best things I've done in life.

Jungle News

I had a rather chilled-out week just recently. The fishing was becoming a waiting game (i.e. waiting for the weather to change!) and so I took the opportunity to tie some ugly flies, catch up with a mate from last year, train hard on the weights and in the hills and keep up to date with Sexyloops. It was all rather enjoyable and this weekend I was without doubt the undisputed Pool Champion of Royal Belum!

Pool is actually quite a fascinating game and there are many parallels to flycasting. I think I might buy a table for Latohegy...

Just under two weeks left now in Malaysia, it's been a good time although the fishing was only a patch on last year's efforts. We have a week of storms forecast - temperatures are dropping to more a more normal 33C instead of the 38-40C daily heatwave (which while I like, the fish don't!) and hopefully this should liven things up somewhat in the areas I'm fishing. I know there are big Snakehead here and it would be nice to pick them up before I leave.

Next year I'm thinking of taking Squeaker up through Malaysia and across Thailand - we shall see. In the meantime I have a mad summer lined up. The first critical date in the diary is of course the Scottish Meet in Spain. I'm looking forward to this. Currently we're up to about 15 of the "Scots" confirmed so far and an unknown number of Spanish! I'm guessing we'll have around 40-50 total which is the perfect number and should be a hell of a bash! Everyone is welcome so if you want to join us please email me!

Yesterday Anvar wrote about Ugly Flies and the various Russian categories for them. On the Board (and Facebook) we're running competition and the two ugliest flies will both receive a Sexyloops Thunderbolt fly line of their choice. Be sure to get your entry in by Wednesday if you haven't done so already!

OK that's it for now. The only known change from the regular schedule this week will be that Mark's ZA is covering for Ray on Friday. Have a fantastic week!

Paul (Undisputed Reigning Pool Champion of Royal Belum - or indeed "Palu" as they call me here!)

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