Seize the Moments

Seize the Moments

Paul Arden | Monday, 3 July 2017

I think many would agree with me that fly fishing is very much about moments - I know Ronan would anyway! Here in the jungle you really have to seize these moments because more often than not it's the difference between landing a spectacular fish and catching bugger all. Temenggor really is a one fish a day fishery for me, at least it is if we're talking sight fishing. There have been days with more than one fish of course - I've had two Gourami three times and two to four Snakehead many times, but playing the numbers game really isn't what it's about here; it's about trophy hunting - trophies that appear and disappear in the blink of an eye. It's technically hard, it's exciting and totally addictive.

Temenggor is a large lake and I make the effort to fish all of it. I have divided the lake into four zones; fishing within 5Km of Banding Island (Internet coverage in the evenings), fishing the central basin and its bays, fishing east and fishing the far south. Each location really merits a full week of attention but I try to do two zones each week so that I fish each zone at least three days every two weeks. I have no "pool" of fly fishers' information to draw upon because I'm the only fly fisherman on the lake, so I have to be everywhere!

This is Flavio's final week here in Malaysia - we've been fishing together  a long time! It's been great fun fishing and camping with Flavio, who is desperate to land a Giant Gourami and has lost three so far! I can't think of a more technical fight than a 4-5KG Gourami hooked in the stumps. We're currently using size 10 Gamakatsu Bonefish hooks that straighten at around a 9lb pull (in our tests). Flavio has straightened on all three fish - often when I unhook my fish I find the hooks partially straightened too. So it's definitely not easy. 

Chuan joins us next weekend. Chuan has yet to hook a Giant Gourami and doesn't yet know how much fun is in store for him. And Stuntman Ronan is joining me for two weeks at the middle of the month (Ashly and I bought a second boat last week for when more than one guest visits ie for times just like this!). 

Following an idea from Flavio, we tested a shorter rod for quick Snakehead shots and the first trials have been very positive. So I'm going to take the idea further and develop a 7'6 #10 Hot Torpedo (I already have a 7'6 #12 in development for a friend). I think the HT feel and action will really suit these short rods. 

A question that was asked recently on the Board is how many times do you throw a fly at fish when it's being ignored? This is actually a really good question, because I'm sure we've all been in the situation where we've carried on fishing with the same fly throwing at fish all around us while catching none! 

I try not to make that mistake nowadays and took an oath long ago that if I was sure that the fish had ignored my fly then I would change it - you know, the fish passing up on the "Money Shot". However for this to happen you must be able to make that cast and preferably first time (no problem for you guys of course!), I also believe it's important that the leader is hidden below the water surface and of course the fly must behave in the appropriate manner (no drag for example). 

Well if all that comes together and the fish still doesn't eat, then it's time to change flies (and hopefully it happens first cast, in fact if it does happen first cast I break my oath and do it twice). And I make myself do it too. The problem then is what to change to? But that's a whole different question and a very much longer answer!

Cortland recently sent me a bunch of fly lines to fish. I'm actually fishing their 4 and 10WTs. I haven't used Cortland lines for many years, despite the 333 and 444 being my preferred lines back in the late '80s. In a few weeks I'll let you know how these stack up in the jungle - so far they've been excellent!

Last week I visited my friends

in Belum Adventure Camp - lakeside chalets on the North of Banding Island - and I noticed they use a simple gravity-fed water purifier that is available at the local supermarket. It turns out that through this filter they've had no problems drinking the lake water!

The last time I fished the Far South Temenggor Zone, Flavio and I carried over 40 litres of water in the boat and had an interesting time when a storm cut the lake up rough and we shipped a lot more water before striking land. So last week we bought the same purifier for a staggering 50 Ringgit (only about 10 quid!). However we managed to break it one day later, and now it's not working - in fact Flavio doubts it ever did! So if you have a good contact in the portable water purification department then please let me know. It's simply crazy to be carrying a boat full of water!

And finally, last but certainly not least - thank you very much for all your Hot Torpedo competition entries so far. Round 1 is now complete. Round 2 begins! Here is a quick summation of the competition open to all Hot Torpedo owners: Write a story featuring your HT rod, along with photos and video as you want, I will publish it in the HT Owners Club and finalists will be selected every second month. Out of the four chosen finalists one lucky guy or girl will win a custom HT rod of their choice and the three other finalist will all win some goodies too. 

If you are an Instructor with a HT rod then please email me a short bio and a photograph of yourself and I will give you an Instructor listing here on Sexyloops.

Life is good. Hope you're all having a great start to the week. Hopefully this week both Flavio and Chuan catch their first Giant Gouramis on fly. May all your fish be over 5KG.