Muddy Confluence

Muddy Confluence

Paul Arden | Monday, 2 April 2018

I'm down in the city organising a) our wedding being official in Malaysia - tick - and b) my Spouse Visa - today. Each of these seem to take an incredible amount of time, sitting in offices, driving back to pick up some form that we didn't have and didn't think we needed, photocopying everything imaginable, and spending money. But everyone is friendly and it feels like an adventure of sorts. I'll be back in the jungle soon - thank goodness! I find it hard to sleep here at night, with all the traffic noise; in the jungle the only noise that can keep you awake is the elephants and Hantu Tetek. However as always it's nice to catch up with many friends; including Nick Ooi, Irhamy and the Doc. I'll be back next week to pick up my passport and pay my Spouse Visa bond! All in all, it's actually quite straight-forward despite being a little time-consuming.

Something interesting happened last week. As many of you will know I was born in Jersey, the Channel Islands, and I compete for Jersey Island in the world fly casting championships. The Channel Islands are putting together a combined Channel Islands fly fishing team and so I thought that I would apply (The Channel Islands are Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, Alderney and Herm - there are a couple of others too but they are really just small unpronounceable rocks).

I've been thinking about competition fishing for a while, since many of my friends compete, particularly in the Balkans, USA, Hungary, UK and Australia. And so I thought it would be interesting to have a go (I competed in my early through mid-twenties). Nothing raises your game quite like competition in fly casting, and it also applies to fly fishing. However despite being born in Jersey, having a Jersey Passport and having spent considerable time growing up there, the Channel Island Fly Fishing Association has a rule of their own that one must have been resident on the Islands for the previous two years to be eligible...

That certainly doesn't apply to me; I've been travelling for the last 27 years and the closest I can think of as "residency" at the moment is my 12ft aluminium boat in the Malaysian jungle which has been my home for the past five years. FIPS-Mouche on the other hand require competitors to be citizens of the competing country (for me that's Jersey), and in the case of Malaysia would take me about seven years, which is more time than Ashly and I intend to spend here.

So that's a shame; I thought it would have been good for both sports to combine fly casting competition with fly fishing competition here on Sexyloops (and in Tasmania there would have been an opportunity to do rather well - after all, of my 8000 plus days spent fly fishing at least half has been spent fishing stillwaters for trout). Perhaps I'll go along as Malaysian Team Manager - I still have the Western Lakes to explore!

This week Single Handed Spey Casts will start to appear in the Sexyloops Video Manual. They apply equally to the double-handed dildo as well of course. In all there will be Spey casts from both shoulders, covering Single Spey, Double Spey, Snake Roll, Circle C and Snap T - all performed to both 45 and 90 degrees. So there are rather a lot to come! Once you have learned them all - something not many have realised - is that they can ALL be aerielised. This will enable you to do the "Free-style" casting video above! And just imagine the fun you can have doing this with the Sexyloops Luminous fly line. This is how I spend moonless evenings in the jungle by the way - it is rather hypnotic - although I have no idea what the aboriginals make of it!

Thanks for the orders for the Tonic Eyewear. I'm sure that you, like me, will find these to be the finest fishing polaroids that you have ever owned. I will never use a pair of polycarbonate lenses again! Whilst the Tonic sunglasses are heavier than polycarbonate, the scratch resistance being glass, as well as the far improved clarity that Tonic gives, truly beats everything else hands down. Compared to other glass sunglasses out there, they are 1/3rd lighter, the clarity is incredible, the "mirrors" are inside a layer of glass, and so won't scratch away, and price-wise they are outstanding value. It's not surprising that they are number one in Australia.

I have quite a few bookings this month for jungle fishing, so that's exciting! As I wrote last week, if you want to join me off the front of my boat the charge is 1000RM/day and if you want to hire the "Ronan" ship, the charge is 500RM/day. 500RM is approx 80GBP and includes petrol, a thruster and a full battery. Houseboat coming soon! In both instances I'll teach you to fly fish for free-rising Snakehead, parenting Snakehead, Giant Gourami and we can also fish for Jungle Perch (but this is usually not sight-fishing, and I much prefer sight-fishing). Both packages include casting instruction - you will need this! - and if you are staying with me, I can even be enticed to cook you a beans and potatoes curry. Fly fishing is on a Catch and Release basis - we have to set a good example - apart from which, the fish are very poor tasting, even the Gourami which in other places taste well. For some unknown reason here they have an appalling taste and may even make you very sick. Sealed

For Gourami I use a 6WT rod, a Hird-Leader and Braided Tippet. For Snakehead I use a 10WT rod, a twisted leader with 40 or 50lb point and a wire bite tippet of 40lbs. For Jungle Perch an 8WT line and a full HiD sinking line - however I'm experimenting a lot with JP and have caught them on everything from poppers, to streamers to dry flies. I'm starting to think that just sub-surface night fishing tactics imitating shrimps and small night fish might in fact be the no.1 approach, but currently this is very much work-in-progress. I've decided that this year I really have to dial in on the Jungle Perch because compared to the other two species they are significantly easier to catch with regularity and are not nearly so demanding as a fly caster. The big difficulty I face with regards JP is the sheer size of the lake and I'm doing this virtually on my own. (I had written "on my Todd" here but Ashly didn't understand it).

One final piece of news, I've discovered another prime area for "stumping gourami" and will be investigating further this week. Curiously the Snakehead are free-rising but in completely different locations to all other years! More to learn...