Winter Training

Winter Training

Paul Arden | Monday, 10 December 2018

It’s been a very long time since I’ve experienced a full winter and I hope never to do one again! Here in tropics it’s hot and humid all year. “Seasons” such as they are are Dry, Wet and Very Wet. Or as I like to call them, Spring, Summer and Wet but no one else understands this distinction - and here in Malaysia it is even more confusing because different parts of the country experience the Wet at different times. Anyway whichever way you look at, the part of Malaysia I am in, is currently either Wet or Very Wet.

Here however we have year-round fishing. The Wet, ie now, is good for Jungle Perch, but it’s not wet enough yet! The Dry (which I call Spring because the trees blossom) is good for Adult Snakehead with their babies - especially the large adults over 5KG - and the Summer period is good for surface feeding Gourami and Free-rising Snakehead. 

But - and there is always a but - when the monsoon is tipping it down in buckets it’s best to be indoors, or under a tarp, tying flies and drinking beer. 

This may be different to where you are. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere all good; you are coming out of Spring and anticipating Summer. This is my favourite time of year to fish New Zealand. If you are in the Northern Hemisphere however you are moving rapidly from Autumn to full blown Winter. This is my least favourite time of they year! There is fly fishing of course; winter Grayling, Pike, Zander and Hucho Hucho all jump to mind. 

Me, I used to do two things during this period. One was to tie lots of flies and the other was to fish for Cod off the East Anglian beaches. For a couple of Winters my life was digging worms, being nocturnal and fishing the cold windswept beaches. My body-clock was tuned to the tides. 

One thing I never did back then was to practise my fly casting! However it is something that I am going to suggest to you now, because I know better. One of the many excuses for not practising fly casting is that we would rather be fishing! Well if you are not fishing at the moment then perhaps some dedicated training would be a good idea. 

Here at Sexyloops we launched the Essential Level Fly Casting Challenge This would make a great starting point to organise your training schedule. These are casts that have been chosen because they are fishing casts. All you will need is your normal fly fishing rod, a nine foot tapered leader with some fluff on the end (or a hookless fly), a measuring tape and a 2 metre diameter sized hoop. 

If you are keen to develop your fly casting skills to see a noticeable increase in your fish catches and less time unhooking your fly from trees, or unknotting tangles, then this is for you! 

Alternatively, maybe you are a designation salty? In which case I would still recommend the same casting programme but with the addition of line management for quick shots. You may have little use for the Presentation Casts in the Salt but they give a degree of Rod/Line control that is well worth learning. 

Finally another excellent two areas to practise are Competition Accuracy and all-out Distance. But don’t forget to practise the Essentials! 

I will be back in the UK from Dec 23rd to Jan 12th for Xmas. If you fancy a winter casting session or would like to pop around to test drive the Hot Torpedo fly rods then let me know! For lessons I’m charging 60GBP for one hour lesson and a 100GBP for two hours. If you buy a Hot Torpedo rod then I will give you the first hour free!

Can’t say fairer than that :) Here in Malaysia we are very busy setting up both flycasting and fly fishing teams. If you are a member of a club and would like to compete against us then here are the Malaysian results from this month: We’re hoping for more before the end of the month. 

I’ve posted a slow motion video of the 170-style in the Fly Casting Distance module of the Video Manual. You can watch this here: 

And finally there is still time before Xmas to order yourself a nice new Hot Torpedo fly rod. We have all models in stock and can post same-day. 

I hope that you are having a nice season wherever you are in the world!!!

Cheers, Paul