Paul Arden | Monday, 11 March 2019
Guiding season is kicking in next week first with a friend I met at the Malaysian Fly Fishing Show, Martyn White. Martyn has written a few pages for Sexyloops and is a hell of a fly tier. Hopefully by next week I’ll be landing fish again! We’re in the middle of a major heatwave at the moment here in Malaysia which is excellent because it’s bringing the lake water fast to free-rising Snakehead temps. While one may be left with the conclusion that the warm air temperatures have been to blame for the recent challenging fishing, nothing could be further from the truth and the lake water temps are not quite yet high enough for “summer” action.
After Martyn, I have a week with my good mate Tim Kempton who fishes with me once per year and then I have some special guests from Germany. If you are interested in some very challenging and therefore highly rewarding fishing, coupled with some casting training and just general good times, then think about having a fishing holiday over here. I am going to launch a separate Belum Fly Fishing website, but I’m still writing it! Drop me a line however because I still have at least one free week every month between now and the end of July. I can take 1, 2 or maximum 3 guests.
This is of course the time of year when you may be thinking about buying a new fly rod - because you can never have too many! Sexyloops manufactures some of the world’s most exciting fly rods. Quality of rods is about design, materials and build quality. I’m going to let you in on a secret, most fly rods aren’t designed - most are in fact sampled from a range. That’s not what we do; we build them from the ground up. It’s takes me a while to get it right, but I think it’s time well spent.
Sexyloops Hot Torpedo shirts are going out today. We have quite a few variations here including collars, different sleeve lengths, different fish images and even a hoodie! I’ll be taking some photos because all of these variations are available in the tackle shop.
Lots happening here. Loads of new content for Sexyloops. Some tremendous Front Pages this year, I’m starting to make regular short fly fishing videos again, guiding season is kicking in fast, man I’m going to be flat out soon - and best of all I have some real fly fishing problems that I’m trying to solve!!!
As you’ll see from this week’s video I lost a big Gourami - we are talking big - certainly over 10lbs and possibly over 5KG. I had a couple of nice Snakehead munch my fly too; the biggest being about 4KG. On a fishery where one fish is the difference between a great day and another day I need to start turning more of these opportunities into fish in the boat.
Not sure what can be done about the Gourami. If it’s on the outside of the mouth you’re not going to land them anyway. If it’s properly in the mouth, out in open water like that, then you really should land them.
The Snakeheads are tough. On Thursday afternoon I had four shots - two eats and two other chases. Friday I did not make a shot all day. And then Saturday afternoon I got one shot, and that’s the last fish you see. It’s so difficult to make changes with so few opportunities. This will all change and very soon - the fish will be more surface active - but I would definitely like to up my success rate at the moment.
To that end I’m going to try a few things - bigger flies for Snakehead on bigger hooks, braid instead of mono leaders, sunk flies, possibly a different hook shape, less buoyancy in the fly (if it’s too buoyant they can spit it out). I think it’s important to keep ringing the changes when it’s not going to plan.
You can only make one video without a fish landed!!
The weather has broken here by the way. We were on a very long dry spell, since mid January. Now we are into what I call the “summer”. This means a heavy thunderstorm every third day. Thunderstorms means Termites, Termites means Gourami. Two years ago was the best Termite year I’ve had here (last year was Year of the Ant and three years back, Year of the Cicada). It will be interesting to see what we get this year!
So yes, get in touch if you want to come over. I charge approximately 300GBP/day for guiding and 100GBP/day if you want to rent the Ronan and head out on your own. We are planning to buy (or build) a houseboat very soon and when we do the charge will be 100GBP/person/night including feasts. These numbers are not completely accuracy because the currency here is Ringgit and not Pounds but this should give you the idea.
Believe me, you will leave here a much better fly caster than when you arrive. I can’t guarantee fish - it’s far too hard a fishery for that - but I can certainly guarantee that you will improve your casting game, have a great time and experience some magical and a times truly hectic fishing. It’s an extremely fine line between elation and curses - and it’s very, very addictive. Without a shadow of a doubt, this for me, is the finest fly fishing on the planet, bar none. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t.
Come here and learn. If you need easy fishing then don’t come here at all! There are no easy fish here and luck doesn’t feature at all. You can either do it and make it happen, or like me last week, you can’t. But fuck, I was close. I’ve never fished anywhere that’s this intense.
What the video doesn’t show you is this is all sight fishing. Fast, furious, intense sight fishing. On a good day you might get 10 good shot opportunities. Hell that’s an amazing day! And soon, maybe this week, maybe next, it might happen. On Friday I fished from dawn to dark and didn’t make a single cast. Those days are rare - thank goodness! - and I don’t expect another day like that between now and the beginning of the Wet Season (November).
Anyway just bear all that in mind, because I think with this 2-minute format you will see some amazing moments, every one of which was worked for incredibly hard. The day is about hunting - scouring the lake looking for fish and trying to get into the right place for the shot. When it all comes together and you get an eat - then that’s a thrilling moment - and then you have a real fight on your hands, especially if the fish is hooked near stumps.
I can’t wait to get back on them. I came back to watch the rugby! I’ll get the shirts out today, tie some fluff and head back out there. Have a great week!
PS You can always mail me on: email@example.com