China Fly Fishing Festival 2017

China Fly Fishing Festival 2017

Paul Arden | Monday, 18 September 2017

It was my first visit to China and it certainly won't be my last! When I applied for my VISA I was given a 2yr multiple entry business pass and so I will most certainly be visiting a few times in the next couple of years. The fly show was organised by Wang Yong who is China's first FFI Casting Instructor, and was well attended by instructors and fly tyers from Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan. Apparently there are some 5000 fly anglers now in China, which for such a large population is a relatively small number, but it is quickly growing and I hope that many of them will find the time to fish with me in Malaysia once Ashly and I have set up our fly fishing guiding business over there.

The level of casting is excellent amongst many of those who attended, and they can fish too! For the first two days I gave two half-day Intermediate fly casting class, covering distance, accuracy, single handed Speys and the important presentation casts. And on the second afternoon I gave a half-day workshop for future fly casting instructors who are preparing for their exams next year in Malaysia.

After the workshops we fly fished the local river for grayling. The fishing was rather hard, possibly because electo-fishing is a popular (and illegal) method of catching fish - I encountered an electro-fisher on our final day. But that said, the fish are very beautiful, if on the smaller size! I fished hard and only managed to land one fish on each of the first two days and two fish on the third day. I missed a few, but not many. Every fish that I found rising ate my fly. I nymphed many many pools but only landed two fish on the nymph.

The scenery in this part of he world is beautiful, in the mountains about 5hrs North East of Haerbin, and Autumn was just starting to make its colourful appearance. Which meant for few mosquitoes, but cold nights (for me) at 4C - although in the winter the temperatures plummet to -30C! I also very nearly missed my flight on the way home, arriving at check-in desk 3 minutes before closing! That was certainly a very exciting adventure and I had actually given up making the flight after I was dropped off at the wrong terminal with slightly less than ten minutes to make it to the right terminal! However an enthusiastic taxi driver managed to skid and swerve his way there and together we ran up the stairs and across to check-in just in the nip of time.

The Chinese were very kind and I have a couple of beautiful gifts; a framed fly tied by Wang Yong and a beautiful fish image made with fish skin, also framed, both of which I will put in the future Sexyloops houseboat. I also received a split cane fly rod which I will cast this week. Finally I was gifted a number of very cleverly designed fishing flies courtesy of Hiromasa-san which I think are absolutely amazing. I'll post some photos when I get the chance.

All in all it was a really wonderful time, thank you to all who attended, thanks to the fantastic work of the organisers, particularly Wang Yong and the great times fishing and catching up with friends - particular mention to Leonce who dramatically launched himself into a belly flop while fishing - and especially my fiancee, Ashly, who I haven't seen in a month!

Very busy times here, it will be great to be settled back into the Malaysian jungle again, having had the feeling that I've been running on a treadmill at full speed for the past month, what with Singapore, UK, China, Singapore and now finally back to my boat. Lots of new stuff coming up on Sexyloops, more videos for as well as a new flycasting section full of fly casting videos and the latest in instruction. And I have a couple of new fly rods soon to be released. We are still very busy, however fly rods are now taking only about 3 weeks to deliver (which is the quickest we've been in a while!). But first my good friend Tim Kempton is visiting for four days of Jungle fishing.

Have a great week!

Cheers, Paul

Here are some photos from the event...















And look who I came across in Singapore..!