A survival year with promise

A survival year with promise

Paul Arden | Monday, 7 December 2020

It’s been a bit of a survival year in most businesses. No government funding to stay alive out here but that’s ok! Teaching/hosting fly fishing trips is down 95% this year. Tackle sales down about 50%. I’ve really felt the pinch at times however I know people who have lost their livelihoods, I know businesses that have gone bust, I know of people who have unfortunately lost their lives or loved ones. When you look at it like that then things really aren’t too bad. Lockdown, after having to move from the lake to the house, was pretty damned depressing; I live outdoors! Even although we currently have a restrictive movement control order in place here in Malaysia, with zero International guests, I am at least allowed to be on the lake and, most importantly, I can fish.

On the other hand, the really good news for me, is that you’re going to get to see me on TV next year, looking rather hairy! This is something I’ve wanted to do since the age of 17. It’s taken a while :D I’ve always wanted to show non-anglers what fly fishing is really about. I can’t explain it, but I’ve always felt that TV is something I’m supposed to do in life.

I suppose all things come in time. The last time I appeared on TV was a pilot show on US Discovery Channel, with Stuntman Ronan, some ten years ago. I’m not currently at liberty to tell you which network I’ll be appearing on later next year, but I’ll let you know as soon as I can. This time it’s a “season” of six episodes, which hopefully will be the start of something even more exciting.

One of the episodes will be filmed in Sungai Tiang, the Orang Asli fly fishing project where I’ve been assisting this year (and no doubt for some years to come). This should be great promotion for the project and I hope that International travel will resume next year, so that you too can visit this incredible place.

It should also accomplish a couple of other objectives too, promoting fly fishing as a fun and fish-friendly thing to do, particularly with regards Catch and Release sport-fishing in Asia. Also it will help promote Malaysia as being a fantastic fly fishing destination in its own right - which it most certainly is! The Malaysian jungle, in particular, is one of the most beautiful places on Earth and the challenging fly fishing here is truly out of this world. But there is more to fly fishing Malaysia than just the rainforests...

I very much enjoy working with the production team; they are excellent company and genuinely good fellows. I think that makes a huge difference when it comes to a project such as this. After all, fly fishing is fun and so too should be making the programmes :D They normally make undercover hard-ass documentaries, so they have some great – and often thoroughly shocking – campfire stories to tell.

It’s also perfect that they don’t know the first thing about fly fishing. Most of our viewers won’t know either, so that really helps to make me explain what is happening and why I’m doing what I’m doing, when I’m doing it.


We’ve had a busy few weeks in the Sexyloops workshop with rod sales. I mentioned last week, that if you are in mainland Europe and you want to avoid the Brexit chaos, that could very well occur for the first three months of next year, then we can still currently get rods built and shipped out in time to avoid it. But you will need to be fast! After this month I’m not sure what will happen and we will make decisions based on the landscape that is finally revealed...

And finally - the lake is fishing well at the moment and there are shots at Snakehead parents to be had, if you can get here. Today’s POD fish is a 4KG Toman caught this morning. Have a great and very fishy week!

Cheers, Paul

As always feel free to email me on paul@sexyloops.com