Jungle News (and Stillwater Trout Fishing)

Jungle News (and Stillwater Trout Fishing)

Paul Arden | Wednesday, 4 April 2018

I'm covering for Bernd today who has disappeared for a month of Imaginary SW fly fishing. Actually Tropical SW isn't quite nearly as imaginary as I once believed, and I plan to do rather a lot of it in the future. The prospect of living on a yacht sailing the open oceans has great appeal to me, and is principally why I started a fly rod business. Short of becoming a pirate, buying a sailing boat is my best option. And if things don't work out as planned I always have the beard to fall back on.

I'm back "in the jungle" in Northern Malaysia, which is my current "home"/ base/ fishing location. I was in the city of KL last week organising paperwork. It's ironic that one of the reasons that Ashly and I got married on the Great Lake, Tasmania, was so that we could avoid getting married in an office (here in Malaysia couples get married in offices) and yet since we got married I seem to be spending a lot of my life in offices organising long term visas, Malaysian marriage certificates and so on!

It will be interesting to see if or when we decide to spend more time in Europe, whether it will be so simple, the same or harder to organise Ashly's long term (spouse) VISA. Mind you, I don't fancy living in the UK, and it might be very challenging in the future to live and work in Continental Europe. Time will tell...

Anyway, that's enough of UK politics - as you may recall politics don't reach the jungles of Belum... so let's talk about something far more interesting: Stillwater Trout Fishing!!!

Many years ago when I was 25 (three or four years ago) I decided that I would like to teach fly fishing. Back then I thought it could be a full-time job, which if a diet of beans and potatoes is your thing, then it most certainly can be. The reason I thought I would like to teach fly fishing was because for the previous 10 years I had been working as a fishery bailiff on Ardleigh Reservoir, mostly in the fishing lodge, and from time to time part of my job was to teach customers. 

I'll be honest with you, I thought I was a pretty shit-hot fly fisherman back then, in this area, and I was certainly known as the "local expert". I'd been fishing Ardleigh Reservoir since the age of 11 and there were not many days that I didn't fish. I'm not sure if I had done my 3000-days-to-be-an expert in this field by this point, but I must have been very close. By then I had had four or five summers in NZ as well.

Now in order to teach fly fishing I realised that I was going to have to teach fly casting. I got a couple of lessons from the now late Henry Lowe on flycasting, read (also now the late) Peter MacKenzie-Philps' Fly Casting Handbook and took the Salmon and Trout's National Instructor Certificate in Trout. And passed of course! That's where I first met Ally Gowans and Jonathan Tomlinson, who were both taking it at the same time. 

The flyfishing courses at Ardleigh, which I ran from that point onwards, were one-day events, with usually around 10 participants. Part of the course was fishing - in the afternoon. The mornings were taken up learning fly casting, tying knots and so on. So I decided I should write some fishing notes for reference, because it was a lot to cram into one day. These notes ended up becoming a small book.

I printed 1000 copies, used to sell them for 5 pounds a copy (free for course students) and when the first print run was used up I never printed any more! For a while they appeared for sale in Hanningield and Anglian Water fisheries. Being only 25 years old I didn't know what I know now, and made the mistake of calling the book "A Beginner's Guide..." when I should of course have called it "The Essential Guide..." Innocent

I don't know how much more I would add to it nowadays. Maybe some sight fishing tactics for NZ and Tasmania. Some stuff on kayaks and float tubes. I would most certainly talk a lot more about currents. However all the tactics I wrote about 22 years ago still apply today, and if you are interested then you can read the original book here on Sexyloops... http://www.sexyloops.com/stillwater/ 

(The navigation is on the left hand side bar).

Some of it is wrong by the way - for example this page; http://www.sexyloops.com/stillwater/aftm.shtml is outdated because we know better.
As you can see in the April page http://www.sexyloops.com/stillwater/april.shtml  I question the existance of God - very important information!

However the "Methods" (Tactics) out-lined in this book has stood me very well for all my stillwater trout fishing career. They have worked for me in the USA (I had three or four summers fishing Montana around West Yellowstone), they've done well for me in Canada, New Zealand and of course Tasmania.

I hope that you find it useful. Be sure to ask on the Board if you have any questions... http://www.sexyloops.co.uk/theboard/ 

Have a great day!

Cheers, Paul