ENTRY NUMBER 2 – Tim Kempton CI

Hot Torpedo and Snakehead – Tim Kempton CI

I spent some days fishing with Paul for Snakehead on Lake Temmengor on the Condom Titanic.   Unlike its namesake, this boat did not sink!.  It rained like buggery when we arrived and the lake rose 1-2 metres. That made the Snakehead sluggish.

These Snakehead don’t make fishing for them with fly very easy.  They were rising and diving again very quickly and were not aggressive.  I was getting close, but not close enough. Snakehead do not turn around, and landing the fly near their tail, or too far away does not work.  No time for false casts and land the fly on a dinner plate within 2 secs. And…decide which way the fish is going to turn so you cast in front and not behind. And… decide which fish if both rise.

I was feeling like a beginner.  Slow perfect loops in the park did not crack it.  Frustration and deep sighs!

So the casting lessons and practice began.  Pick up two metres of line from outside the rod tip and cast 60-80’, and land on a dinner plate with no false cast says Paul.. Show me says I, and so he proceeded to hit leaves at 80’ at any angle. Righto…I think I will take up bowls.

Finally, the perfect rise. The male and female rose together, I cast at the female on the left (Paul says wrong side, as he only saw the male on the right).  I said, no I picked the big one…lol.  An aggressive chase, a massive explosion and fish on.  These fish are incredibly strong and you have to point the rod at them and effectively handline them to avoid high sticking and busting the rod.  A beautiful 5 kg fish came to the net. A quick photo and back.  What beautiful colours. Celebrations and a big sigh of relief.  Thank you Mrs Toman!

The leader was 80 lb butt section, with a 40 lb tippet tied with a Bimini Twist and a Slim Beauty. This is the strongest knot combination.  We also had 8” on 40 lb AFW camouflage wire as the tippet, then a gurgler. I tied on more wire this time…the fish I hooked last year bit above the wire and through the leader…fish lost!.  I started with a nice blue Sage Xi310 WT and a 10 WF Tarpon Technical line.  This Sage rod was stiff , had little feel and was giving me a sore wrist. I then tried Paul’s new Hot Torpedo 10 WT…completely different feel, much easier to cast and less strain on the wrist and arm.  He has spent years perfecting these rods and you can certainly feel the difference.  My HT10 is on order to go with my HT4, HT6 and HT 8 rods. ..the complete set!

Tim and his 5KG Snakehead

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