Challenging Fishing

Challenging Fishing

Paul Arden | Monday, 1 February 2016

The fishing on Temenggor is very challenging at the moment, I think this is because of the increased water clarity. Normally it's not possible to see much more than half a metre, so intense is the algae growth, however currently I can see three metres. Normally this would be a good thing, but I think in terms of Snakehead it makes life harder instead of easier. The Toman see you, they see casts coming in, and I think they just feel more vulnerable near the surface. This applies to fishing for Toman off babies as well - and there are very many sets of babies around at the moment, and more appearing daily. This means that the best time to catch free-surfacing Snakehead is dusk and the best opportunity to catch Snakehead off babies is when there is a ripple.

However the other thing we get at this time of year, particularly in the evenings is good rises of Jungle Perch. There are quite a lot of bugs around (although a lot less than you would think), a few duns, quite a lot of sedges and some very small (I mean like size 24 small) light green buzzers. This is also the Terrestrial time of year - and a great year for Cicadas. I'm convinced that large Gourami will eat Cicada but I haven't witnessed this yet. These are the biggest Cicada I've ever seen and not like the baby ones in New Zealand. And finally, this is also the time of year when you get to see very many colourful butterflies, lots of trees are in bloom and the jungle feels revived after the wet season.

It's been a long stint this one, coming up on seven months now. It's been an real eye-opener of a trip too and I've thoroughly enjoyed the Snakehead fishing. The highlight has still been the 4.4kg Gourami I caught while Stumping just prior to the Wet Season and the lake levels rising. I've learned a massive amount this year - to the extent where I even feel comfortable guiding the southern part of the lake and have started doing so. I know this extensive water like the back of my hand (actually I know it better than the back of my hand - I have no idea who came up with this expression, what sort of person could recognise the backs of their own hands in a line-up?) and I have no difficulty navigating the lake in the dark through thunderstorms (although this not without risk of hitting a floating log or getting struck by God). But there is still so much more to uncover, such as catching Toman on sinking lines, trying smaller flies for Gourami and really setting about the Jungle Perch... and I'm starting to get interested in the Mahseer which live in the rivers that flow into the lake. I think there is a lifetime of fishing to be had around here.

It was kind of an interesting trip too, because I managed to completely run out of money at one point! However rod sales have been pretty good this month (phew!) and the guiding has helped a lot. It's good to know that the last quarter of the year doesn't work for sales when I'm living in a jungle! This means that a sales trip to Australia and New Zealand will be in order for next Nov/Dec. I have six weeks left here in Malaysia which I'm sure will go pretty fast (I wish I had longer) but it's soon time to guide, teach and sell rods back in the UK and Europe.

Anyway, it's obviously a time when people start thinking about purchasing rods for the upcoming season. So let me recommend the Hot Torpedo! You will love the blank, in fact I think you will love everything about the rod. There is no question in my mind that the HT4 should be your primary go-to floating line rod for stillwaters. The increased sensitivity that the lighter line gives while buzzer fishing is a major advantage and the butt section of the rod has been designed to throw long casts (most 4-weight rods are too soft in this region IMO). Anyway I'll be based on Anglian Waters this summer, so if you want a casting lesson or a day's fishing, or a cast of any of our gear then be sure to get in touch. It will be great to meet up and have a chat about fishing!

And finally I have a new addition to my tackle selection; safety glasses! Great for stray backcasts, especially in the late evenings and perfect for navigating the lake under power when there are flies in the air. Looks cool too, in a nerdy way.

This week on the Board... Mr Bruce Richards!!

Cheers, Paul