It all starts

It all starts

Paul Arden | Tuesday, 26 April 2022

My first International guest arrives tomorrow. Dirk! Yay!! Dirk has fished with me many times before, has had some good-sized Snakehead and an excellent-sized Gourami. What Dirk is most famous for however, is not the Giant Gourami that he caught, but the one that he didn’t catch and instead inspected his fly for over five minutes… before refusing it :)))

One of the best things about running an operation like this is the fishing friends I make along the way. I’m sure that over the next 8 days Dirk and I will have put the world right around campfires :)))

I had a small disaster on Saturday with the boat’s electrical system, when all my batteries apparently died! I had recently bought a 12V fridge and it was just too much for the electrical system in place. Actually it transpires that out of the 7 truck batteries, 3 are still functioning – phew. So I took this as a sign that it was time to invest in deep cycle batteries. However it was too late to courier them up, so it would involve driving and of course the only supplier we could find for such batteries was in Melaka, a 5.5hr drive each way! But the chap said he would open for us on Sunday and so we went.

5.5 hrs down. A Zoom casting lesson in a park with Karel in the Czech Republic and then a 7.5 hr drive back! The roads were wet coming back and we had to make a detour to avoid an accident on the main highway and buy a pizza.

Five 100ah deep cycle batteries weighing 28KG each and one 200ah battery weighing a whopping 62KG!! Anyone who has fished with me will know that my access stairs to the lake is a dangerously exciting assault course. Luckily I’m in Ironman training!

Everything is nicely set up now and all seems to be working fine. Thank goodness it happened when it did and not with a guest here. It’s actually a real blessing in disguise and I’ve been thinking about setting up such a system for some time now. The Battleship now has three separate electrical circuits, each with their own dedicated solar panels. Engine starter is one, boat electrics (lights, pumps, USB slots) is another and the fridge has its own circuit and battery too. This way if something goes wrong it doesn’t affect everything else :)))

Final job now to prepare for Dirk’s arrival, is a petrol, drinking water and food run. Then I’ll tie a fly or two and we are off fishing!!

Dirk is here for 8 days and then it’s possible I have a back-to-back trip straight after. And then after that Mika and Satu arrive. It’s all happening here! In fact I’m flat out now until the end of the first week in June with guests (and filming). This is how life is supposed to be, not two years in lockdown hiding from the authorities :)))

There are two options for fishing here with me. One is that I guide/teach you in the Rocket C, which you will definitely need at first. This is my core job here right now. The second option is that I host you, pick you up from the airport, cook splendid feasts, direct you to the best fishing grounds, casting lessons in the mornings, tips and advice and basically we fish together with you in our second boat “The Ronan” – which has a brand new 15hp Yamaha, a brand new thruster motor and now a brand new battery!! It’s a nice set up and actually a more nimble boat for fishing solo, now that I’ve build a casting platform at the front and positioned the thruster motor on the bow.

The second option is obviously a more economical one, but it’s not just about the price because it’s an option many (not all) anglers ultimately prefer. Even I have difficulties being in my own company for a week :))) But really, you get to experience the jungle and the fishing at your own pace. If you want to stop fishing and film elephants for an hour you can. If you want to try sinking lines and experiment you can. I will be around and usually within sight. We are basically fishing together using two boats.

This was always my intention and has been a long-term clever plan of mine, so that I can go fishing too!! But you do really need to be guided and taught first. It’s not straightforward here and there are things we do differently.

I must be getting close – or indeed may have passed – the magical 3000 fishing days level on this lake now and so that’s the experience you are learning from me. It saves you 3000 days of fishing on your own to learn it. That’s basically what fishing guides are for; to accelerate your learning (as well as create an enjoyable and confident atmosphere!). So when you are fishing with me, I am not simply trying to put you on the fish, but I’m actually teaching you every element necessary so that you can go out there and recreate the same opportunities on your own.

Not all guides do that. But the best ones do. And it’s far more interesting to teach than just create shots.

I should have a couple of weeks available in mid to late June. And then October to the end of the year is currently free – but with enquiries. It’s not worth visiting for less than 5 days – and a week or more is best. Now that we have the fridge we can make even longer trips. We are in the middle of writing a dedicated website for Belum Fly Fishing and I should have some time to write the pages over the next week. Ashly has done some great work in getting the site ready.

Finally… after two years of waiting, it’s great to be working again!

I have six Zoom casting students at the moment.  and I’ve just taken on one more this week. That’s now my limit. Otherwise there is no rest for the wicked! Come June I will have another small intake. I enjoy this teaching very much and it’s transforming everyone who is doing it. But realistically, particularly with all the “in-between teaching” via WhatsApp and so on, I have to keep the numbers limited.

Very busy with rod sales too at the moment. Thanks for that!! :)))))

Have a great week!

Cheers, Paul