Inner Demons

Inner Demons

Martyn White | Tuesday, 31 March 2020

I've just got back to Japan after spending the week in the Malaysian Jungle and I'm already thinking about when I can go back. Hopefully I'll manage to make it later in the year, although the covid-19 situation might get in the way - it already made getting back to Japan a bit of a struggle!

I had a great time, and managed to hook up with 2 toman but unfortunately didn't land either of them. One due to a leader failure,  either a slipped slim beauty or the wire cut the nylon, which  I think is most likely and there will be some testing this week to see. I'll probably  experiment with some different nylons/wires too.  The other hooked fish managed to put me in a stump which was frustrating. The power of these fish is absolutely incredible, especially for a freshwater species-they're certainly stronger than the snakehead I've encountered here in Japan.  I also spent a frustrating hour trying to get a shot at some gourami feeding on flying ants. Of course it's not just the fish that make this place so special, the surroundings are amazing and waking up in a hammock to the sound of gibbons whooping pretty special. The chance to see wild elephants and groups of otters all just add to the experience, it's much better than watching it on TV.  The battleship is just going to make all this more comfortable and add the rooftop lumoline practise after dinner which is top fun.

One thing that really became apparent over the week was the effect the mind can have on performance. There were shots I fluffed while in the boat with Paul, not because I couldn't make the shot, but because I didn't make the shot.  For me, and I think for more than a few others,there's a strong internal pressure that comes from having someone watching. I don't know why this is, but I do know that it definitely causes missed opportunities. Other than more practice and more shots to build automaticity I don't know what the solution is and I wonder if it's ever the same as being alone.  The days I fished by myself, the shots that I had felt much easier even though they weren't, I just wasn't  pressurising myself in the same way. Still, I'd rather be floating around in the jungle worrying about making a cast than in a the city.

So now I have to get back to practising in the hope of solving this problem or at least mitigating it. Fine, I actually feel like it might be a bit floodgatey once the first fish makes it to the boat, we'll see.