Paul Arden | Monday, 27 January 2020

I’m often asked what religion I have - “um ah, atheist, Santa Claus, evolution, don’t really believe in Gods...” but it’s a conversation that doesn’t really go anywhere and I always feel that I’m coming across negatively, even if it can be quite a positive thing. It can be quite empowering for example - “taking back control”, something I’ve heard a lot recently - but it can be worrying for those hoping for immortality. And so I’ve decided to create a religion that’s more appropriate for people like me, or indeed just me.

This religion will be based around the Giant Gourami Gods. Not one Giant Gourami God - I’ve been looking into the religions quite extensively for this article and the more interesting ones have many Gods. The Romans and the Vikings for example - they would have been completely different people had they only had one God. Before Christianity arrived in Europe we also had many Gods. And I think this is more sensible position to take - many Gods makes more sense than one and it is a powerful position to have. “You have one God; I have twelve. If one of mine dies I still have eleven left!” Also, if you only have one God, then criticising him or her is a bit risky, but if you have twelve chances are they don’t get along all that well anyway.

So the 12 Giant Gourami Gods I’ve invented, are: Love, Fire, Fair Weather, Storms, Time, Energy, Unexpected, Fate, Strength, Magic, Temptation and Fertility. Doesn’t that sound like an interesting combination?

“The reason we had a thunderstorm today was because the Giant Gourami God of Storms was having a fight with the Giant Gourami God of Fair Weather.”

“The reason I drank that extra beer was because the Giant Gourami God of Temptation made me do it!”

“The reason I fell out the boat was because the Giant Gourami God of the Unexpected was playing a trick on me - such a joker!”

A difficult question that will come up is “Giant Gourami as a fish species have been around for only a few million years (I actually have no idea how old they are), the planet is 4.5 billion years old and the Universe 13.8. If Giant Gourami Gods created ‘everything’ then why did it take so long to produce a fish species that looked like themselves?”


The answer to that is actually quite simple: Giant Gourami Gods did not “create” the Universe. What actually happened is that the Universe created the Universe from nothing, which was quite a nifty trick. Gourami Gods are not anything like as old as the Universe. In fact Giant Gourami Gods are only a few million years old. Prior to this we had Dinosaur Gods but they killed each other off in “The Great Dinosaur God Battle of 65 Million Years Ago”, hence the extinction of the dinosaurs. And lucky for us that was too - hooking a stegosaurus on your backcast would pose a significant health risk nowadays.

OK it’s work in progress...

You know sometimes when I look at the clouds I see the heads of Giant Gourami looking back at me. There’s your proof.



Pretty busy here. Just had Chinese New Year - they have LOADS of Gods by the way. They even have a God of Wealth. Hmmm should have thought of that one... Maybe the Gourami God of Strength makes you richer as well as stronger?

So for CNY - Gong Xi Fa Cai by the way - I’ve been visiting Ashly’s family and eating. Before I knew Ashly I always used to visit Irhamy’s friends who own a couple of Chinese restaurants and I thought CNY was about hard drinking and gambling. Since I’ve known Ashly, I’ve realised it can also be about food, family, food and food.

I’m pretty busy at the moment. Hoping to take delivery of the Sexyloops Battleship soon. I can’t wait to have a better home on the lake. Then I’ll be fishing 350 days/year again. Perfect.

We also have news on the Fly Casting World Championships in Sweden this year, courtesy of Joakim..


I’ll be training for this one most days with a 5WT distance set-up cast from the roof of my new boat and floodlit accuracy rings targeted either from the bow of the boat or a floating Orang Asli bamboo raft. This is my evening entertainment taken care of - and it’s going to be entertaining!

I also have a indoor cycle trainer for the boat - wow these are amazing nowadays; can cycle around New York, London, Utopia? - so that I can train for my triathlons this year after nightfall, or during lunchtimes, or when it’s raining. Basically whenever I’m not fishing or working on my casting.

As we say at Sexyloops: it’s all about to happen!

Cheers, Paul

Ps no serious discussion about religion should exclude mention of Sweden’s Captain Stefan Siikavaara and his great grandfather and his flying ark...


If I wasn’t a professional fly fisherman (whatever that means) then this would have been the perfect religion for me. Sex and beer. Genius.