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Ronan's report

Sunday 10th August, 2014

Last week was a good week for me. I woke up at 6 A.M. and went fishing until 3 P.M. before I go to the office and work until 6 P.M. This went on for a week, while others were on holiday! Yes, last week was the long Eid ul Fitr holiday here in Malaysia and I had to work because most of my Muslim staffs were on extended holiday while my company's operation was on 24/7/365. I told my staffs and my shareholders I was working every day throughout the holiday filling in for them but will take a long leave in October as compensation. Of course I didn't tell them I only worked 10 minutes a day and browsing online tackle shops for another 3 hours! Anyway, it was not the short work hours but long holiday compensation that made last week good. It was the fact that I fished here in Kuala Lumpur, every day, for a week is that made last week interesting. The last I fished in the city for so many days in a row was more than 10 years ago...

If you are living in a densely populated city in a developing country like Kuala Lumpur, finding fishing spots within an hour drive from the city is not easy, more so if you are doing fly fishing. The rivers cutting through the city, while still hold some fishes, is also highly polluted and on and off you would hear news about dead human bodies being hooked up by anglers at these rivers. The scary part of this news, although some are probably just stories, more often than not we would hear the fished out bodies were of anglers who were robbed and chopped by Indian robbers. These stories always have Indian robbers in them. I have no clues why these robbers have to be Indian because I think any race in Kuala Lumpur or even foreigners like Paul have the potential to becoming a robber, but somehow in these stories the robbers are almost always Indians.

I am not interested to find out whether the ethnicity of these robbers is actually Indian or not, since river fishing in the city is out of the question for me anyway.

I am not a great fan of private stocked pay ponds (as we call them here), so I went to the next best option, the abandoned mines and water catchment lakes next to rivers instead. We have quite a number of these lakes in the city. Kuala Lumpur was a mining town before it became a city just before the Poms left us in the 50s. These water-filled, abandoned open tin mines and flood control catchment ponds, are quite large and contain some native fishes that came in from the rivers and also introduced species released by unknown souls.

Some of these lakes are safer than others. The safer ones were those that have many other anglers all the time. Other, less crowded, but equally safe lakes, are those where I can park my truck very close to the bank so that I can see very far ahead of me, from my truck, to the nearest structure or bushes where the mystical Indians can hide and anyway, I always have a three-foot machete in my boat.

Last week I fished at four of these supposedly safer lakes, at times with a few other friends, but most of the time alone. Fishing was quite good actually and exceeded my expectations. Over the week I landed more than a hundred fish, mostly peacock bass of about half a pound and a few larger ones of about a pound. They are good fun on 3 weight glass rods. I also landed few juvenile snakeheads of between two to four pounds. Not great fishing but not that bad either, considering these lakes are overly fished and not stocked. Had a few shots at some the very large snakeheads but I guess they are very smart fishes which otherwise would have not got to grow to size in such heavily fished waters.

I am going to fish more in these lakes from now on. My only hope is these lakes will continue to be abandoned and fishing will still be allowed, even although some large corporations bought their surrounding land. Over the last two decades I have seen at least 10 to 15 of these lakes being reclaimed and turned into housing estates, since the price of land in the city sky has rocketed. It is quite obvious most these lakes will disappear soon...


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