Paul Arden | Monday, 16 March 2015
I've had an absolutely wonderful time for the past four months in Malaysia. It wasn't the trip I had planned - late December flooding prevented that - and while the fishing has been extremely hard this time, I've still had a blast. I lost a large Snakehead yesterday in a tug of war when the nail knot slipped. So I now have a loop in the flyline, whipped and glued in three places, four feet of 70lb leader with a Bimini Loop one end, five feet of 40lb, Bimini Loop/Slim Beauty to the 70lb, six inches of 30lb Tyger Wire, Slim Beaty to the 40lb, and Lefty Loop knot to my fly. If this doesn't hold a Snakehead then I just don't know what will.
I've found a bay with a lot of Snakehead, unfortunately I leave the Jungle on Wednesday! I'm back in the UK this Saturday - I have rods to sell and a new destination to fish! I haven't fished England properly for many years, but I hope to get some good stillwater fishing in this time around. It's shaping up to be a busy summer, lots of European commitments, then fingers crossed USA/Canada in the second half of summer, a wine harvest in Hungary in the Autumn, and then I think NZ or Australia for a few months before returning back here. I'm born to travel, if you know what I mean. Also I appear to have met a crazy girl, and she's on a crash course into the world of flyfishing, because she's already worked out that if she doesn't flyfish then we have no future! And I think she'll make an excellent caster, she's small because people in this part of the world are, but strong... in a couple of years Malaysia may have their first world champion entrant! Time will tell.
Curiously Bernd and Ronan now have flyfishing girls. I don't know if Bernd's girl was a fisher before meeting Bernd, I do know that Iza wasn't a flyfishing girl before she met Ronan, and by all accounts she's doing fantastically well. (Hell she is fishing with one of the best anglers in the world - that's got to help you down the fast track!). And that's something I worked out; it's no good looking for a woman who already flyfishes, I've been flyfishing for 34 years and I've only met a handful, and they've either been married or not serious enough or simply insane. Oh and of course there is another problem with trying to find a woman who fits; namely I travel. A girl who doesn't travel, and isn't prepared for a wild time of sleeping outdoors, campfires, getting lost in the jungle, and meeting everyone - is just simply is not going to work out.
When I had this conversation with Hairy in Tasmania (Hairy's girl, Bronwyn, flyfishes and often goes out on her own when Hair is busy), he told me, "you just have to find one and train her up". So that's the plan! And the other great thing about her, is she's so small I can hide her in my backpack. She can't cook of course, because I've never met a woman who can - and I just think that's a myth.
So this trip I've had a handful of Snakehead, a handful of Jungle Perch and no Gourami. However I've got pretty bloody fit - I lift weights and run 10Km up and down hills in the jungle every day (I'd do more, but running 20K in the jungle heat makes recovery for the next day difficult), I've become a MUCH better pool player and have learned strategy as well as nailing more shots, targeting, better tracking, spin shots and so on - and I don't fuck up on the black now but instead make a lot of clearances - three months on a bar table has helped this! I've got a good boat and my truck is running well now, and I think I may have found a way into the best fishing in the protected area - I shall work on this while I'm gone. And maybe best of all, I am now confident in the jungle, when I first came here I was worried about the wildlife, but I'm cool about it all now, and next trip will see me bush bashing chasing Mahseer. I can't wait!!!
But now I have two more languages to learn: Malay and Cantonese.
Have a great day and I hope to see you in the UK for some lessons, or to go fishing, and of course we have the Scottish Meet first weekend in May. That should be a great event! Busy times coming up!