Back to Belum

Back to Belum

Paul Arden | Monday, 16 September 2019

It’s been an excellent trip to Europe. 1/2 Ironman in France, week’s family holiday, Stuntman Ronan’s wedding in Ireland, catching up with Peter and threatening to shoot my lawyer in Hungary and now a couple of days of casting and by the time you read this I’ll actually be back in Malaysia.

Reading Mika’s page on Friday once again made me realise how lucky we are to have such a diverse pool of Front Page writers. Mika is a fishing guide in Northern Finland, just inside the Arctic Circle. I’m a fishing guide too, but just North of the equator in the Malaysian Rainforest! My season is longer! But he gets the Northern Lights and reindeers. Superb chap and I’m thoroughly looking forward to visiting him and Satu again next year!

And if you look at the rest of our current FP team, we have Gary in the Everglades, Bernd in the German Baltic Sea, James and Tracy in Northern Wales (and often the Bahamas), Viking Lars in Denmark, Andy in Texas, Martyn from Scotland and living and fishing in Japan and of course Stuntman Ronan who is a fishing guide in NZ. That’s truly fantastic - guides, instructors, all serous anglers and all great friends.

If you go back through the archives you can see we have had writers from all over the globe... South Africa, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, France (and Chile!), Russia, Hungary, Serbia, Spain - that’s just off the top of my head - there are many more... What an amazing world of fly fishermen Sexyloops truly is. Unique, to my knowledge.

It was funny, Ashly sent me a video of a marriage proposal on a roof top of the resort she manages over in Pahentian Islands. We got engaged there too, although not actually at the resort but instead whilst swimming in a place called “Fish Gardens”. Ashly is not a very good swimmer so I knew she had to say yes :D And then of course - as you’ll probably know - we got married quite literally on the Great Lake in Tasmania. What a lucky woman she is! And I’m an even luckier man! :D

So I’m looking forward to seeing her again later today. She is driving our new truck down - I hope she can reach the pedals! I was persuaded to buy a white vehicle because we live in the tropics (and black absorbs the heat). The only two they had left with the 2.5l engine was a silver D-max in manual and a white one in Auto. Decisions decisions!

I hate silver! So I did the research and Autos now are ever bit as good off-road, especially if you have sand (I don’t have sand - well not very often; just when off-loading a boat onto a beach in Thailand every second year) and it’s also an easier version for Ashly to drive. Which is definitely something I really want her to feel comfortable doing - I plan to do the airport pickups of course, but sometimes it’s not always possible. For example if the fishing is really good at that particular moment I might have to be on the lake!

Next week Flavio (the Snakehead King!) returns for a three week visit to Malaysia. We have a lot to do, apart from catching a load of Snakehead and Gourami, I’m planning to spend more than a few days investigating some Mahseer fishing. An option has come up to assist in the management of a Mahseer fly fishery in the Royal Belum. And I am thoroughly going to assist!!! I think that this is a truly excellent opportunity to both help both the locals and the fishery.

I’ve always believed that fly fishing can be used as a tool to help the environment AND locals. Half the profits go to the guides and the other half goes to the local village. So this is of great potential benefit to the Orang Asli community. And it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if we end up with the best Mahseer fishery in SE Asia - that is most certainly my plan.

My wife is also quarter tribal. She’s from Sarawak where they used to chop their enemies heads off and adorn their walls with them. You can look it up on the Internet if you don’t believe me. Iban Tribe: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iban_people

The Mahseer fishing all kicks off sometime next year but first I need to explore the water, go hard and fish it into the ground. Boots and flies on the water is required now. Then I’ll know exactly what I’m dealing with. I’m really very excited about the future here.

I do believe that everything happens for a reason. I also believe that you are in charge of your own destiny. And whether or not either of those are true it’s best to life life as they are. I do thoroughly believe in both... and that’s precisely why I’m going to catch a 10KG Snakehead, a 7KG Gourami and a 5KG Mahseer all in the next month!

Goodbye Europe. Hello Malaysia! Look out big fish!

Cheers, Paul