It all starts now

It all starts now

Paul Arden | Monday, 22 March 2021

We are just coming into prime time for catching parenting Giant Snakehead and we are not all that far away from Freerisers and surface-feeding Gourami. This is typically the beginning of my hosted trips season (mid March is kickoff). However international borders are closed and even interstate travel is restricted to work only. As a consequence of this there is virtually no one on the lake apart from me and the local Orang Asli – and so I really should have a red-letter season!

This week I shall be heading to one of my best fishing locations and I hope to catch a few! I’ve been seeing some very big fish around. I had a chase from a Snakehead that I would estimate to be over 8KG. I never like to guess too optimistically – “heat of the moment” and all that – and prefer to actually weigh them, but it’s certainly not the only lunker I’ve seen so far this year. And between me and you, I feel that I’m quite ready to wrestle a 10KG Giant Snakehead!

I suspect that the next six months is again going to be just me fishing. We have no local Covid cases here, however if interstate travel is permitted again any time soon, then I expect the virus will return. And then of course the lake will shut again! So despite the lack of business, it is perhaps for the best that borders remain closed until vaccinations are widespread. At least this way I can fish. I’m sure that the Malaysian government will be bearing this important consideration in mind.

The Zoom casting lessons have been brilliant. They don’t replace guiding/hosting but it sure helps and they are great fun! Also Sexyloops has been selling quite a few rods this year, which for me is always a good indication as to what is going on in the crazy world. Last year was a tough year and if you survived then I think you’re doing ok!

I’m working on my flies at the moment. Trying to get a better hook up ratio. Gary and others on the Board have been giving me some great ideas and I’ve basically taken Vince’s Loud-mouth Popper to pieces! For my first version, in a moment of enthusiasm, I replaced the size 1 hook with a 6/0. Don’t ask me why I did this, but I can tell you that it did not cast at all well, on my HT8, and had a mind and direction all of its own! What I’m using now is much more user-friendly and is not too dissimilar to what I was using before... at least is has the same bits in the same sizes.

What I particularly like about this dislocated fly is that it is extremely quick to tie. Also I suspect the that the hook is going to last rather a long time! Normally I fix existing flies by redressing them. With this alternative design I can simply replace worn parts with new ones.

However before I go mad and tie a bunch of heads and tails I’ll first make sure it does what it’s supposed to do and hooks properly. Currently the fish appear to be slightly lethargic. This is the hottest time of the year and we have had highs of 37C this week. Believe me in the tropics there is a huge difference between 33C and 37C!! The only way to deal with this is to swim regularly and drink lots of cold beer at night.

OK busy week for me this one. Have a good one! If you are interested in a Zoom casting session please email me on

Cheers, Paul