What followed was a fantastic weekend with a couple of mates from KL. We went camping and fishing (of course), had a campfire in the jungle and talked the usual bollocks that people do around campfires. At one point Kamal did a stunt. Eddie and I were attending the fire at the time, when Kamal decided that he would leap dramatically into lake, from a high steep rocky bank, managing to disappear through a small gap close to my boat. He did this fully clothed and in the dark, and I just wish he had forewarned us so that we could have filmed him. But apparently he only decided to do it after he had started.
No fish were caught, either by Kamal jumping on them, nor by Eddie and I by chasing them with more conventional fishing tactics. I had two shots all weekend. Very strange actually because last week I was finding enough sets of babies to make it interesting. It won’t be long now though; this week or maybe next and I reckon we’ll be in game properly. I’ll be back down the lake again tomorrow for another hit of fly fishing action. Two years ago this was the week when Flavio became Snakehead King - today’s video.
I have a few things to talk about today. The first is a quick one. I’m busy uploading all the original APP videos that are now the Flycasting Video Manual. For those of you who purchased the original APP then please do email me, because you can now download these videos in HD for free.
The second thing I’d like to share is that I’ve been using some excellent foam cutters for about six months now. Basically what happened is over the last few years I’ve been using foam bodies to float bonefish hooks to catch Gourami. I have ant and termite patterns tied with such foam. Also of course I have the Vince Loud-Mouth Popper which has a large foam tube. If you’ve ever seen the prices of foam tubes (it’s like £2 for five small tubes FFS) then you’ll understand how excited I was to see an advert for foam tube cutters in FFFT mag. I thought “I need those!”
And there is an additional aspect to this too. For years I’ve been looking at some of the condensed foam packaging that we have shit loads of in our lives. Apple packaging for example - the company not the fruit. Excellent foam for poppers and ants, if only you have the right tool.
So with the Upavon foam cutters you can recycle foam packaging and turn it into flies. They also sell foam that is perfect for the job in good sized blocks. I can thoroughly recommend this product - excellent service - and it’s nice to add a electric drill to your fly tying kit!
I couldn’t remember exactly what I had bought, so I asked Ben at the company for details. He writes:
£30.00 for foam and 6 cutter kit, includes 6 stainless steel cutters (2.8, 3.5, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 9.0mm) and 8 blocks of high density foam blocks (white, black, red, green, beige, orange, yellow & pink). +£4 UK 2nd class signed for p&p or £6 international standard.
£18.00 for the set of 6 cutters (2.8, 3.5, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0 and 9.0mm) , + £1 UK 1st class p&p or £4 international standard.
Alternatively you can order up to 10 individual foam blocks of any colour at £2.50 each.
So yes an excellent product and I thought I’d give them a little plug.
I received some fantastic news last week. Stefan Siikavaara will be joining me in April in the Belum Jungle for some intense Snakehead Action. Now what follows is a detailed packing list of things to bring.
Tackle arrangement for Gourami. We are using hooks size 10 or 8 normally. So 5 or 6 WT outfit is about right. A tropical floating line is preferred - the original Thunderbolt line was semi-tropical and is what I currently use. But I’ve also used standard cold waters lines and actually they work fine dressed with plenty of Shoot. Don’t worry about the leaders - it’s complicated. (I appear to be about to buy 200KG of Shoot incidentally).
Tackle arrangement for Snakehead. 8-10WT outfit. My go-to is the HT10. I can actually use the rod butt a little in the fight. With an 8WT it’s all direct hand-lining. The SA Redfish line is a good one. RIO’s Technical Tarpon is also good. I’m currently fishing a prototype SA Permit line on the HT10 and a Bonefish 8 line on the HT8. If you don’t have lines then bring reels!
An addition rod to bring would be an 8WT with a sinking line for Jungle Perch. You need to sink the fly 15ft. I haven’t found a decent line for this task yet.
Other things you will need - a sleeping sheet. Maybe a lightweight sleeping bag, but I can lend you a blanket. A head lamp is an essential item. So much so that I recommend two head lamps.
For fly tying I have a communal kit. Only one vise for some reason, so please bring a vise. For Gourami Gamakatsu S13S-4H46 Bonefish hooks 10 and 8. For Snakehead Gamakatsu B10S Stinger 1 and 1/0. These are my go-to hooks. Rooster saddles in variety of exciting colours and CDC feathers in black and dark grey are always in short supply around here. The kit could also do with more dumbbell eyes and rubber legs - I might get a trip to KL between now and then to restock. Fly tying is still very much at the experimental stage here and any ideas or weird materials that you can add to the pot is very welcome. Things waiting to be solved is freshwater shrimps swimming just under the surface at night, a fig pattern that actually works, better patterns for “stumping” Gourami and a range of sunk flies for deep Snakehead.
Real coffee powder, liquorice, cheese and snuss cannot be sourced locally. And since these are essential items for life, then you may want to bring loads!
Apart from that it’s the usual fishing gear. Polaroids, stealth wear, beards, sunscreen, raincoat.
I‘m working on the HT7’6 3/4WT. I now have two fantastic prototypes and I need to take them both fishing. I’ve been meaning to investigate the jungle streams flowing into the lake for Mahseer and so I shall start doing so this week. Look out tigers!