Paul Arden | Monday, 28 September 2015

"Stumping" is a new fly fishing term I've just invented, which means when a fish is going up to a tree stump and sucking in the algae/weed growth with a loud kissing/sucking/popping sound - i.e. "The Gourami were stumping well this evening". It can also be used to mean the process of fishing for these fish - i.e. "I went stumping for Gourami this morning". It's a handy new term if you're doing this sort of fishing, but since I'm most probably the only person who is actually doing this fishing, pioneering the way forward for everyone else as it were, then you're probably not. However if you ever do go on a "stumping" trip of your own, then I'm sure that you'll become totally obsessed by it, as I am now, and for you "stumping" will become a handy descriptive term.

Since last week's fantastic 4.5KG Gourami capture, I've hooked and lost three more, two I thought by playing them too hard, so I dropped the pressure and got "stumped" on the third. "Stumped" is when a hooked fish snags you on one or a series of stumps, with the probable outcome that your leader pops or, as in my case, your hook is reshaped from its original shape into something perverted.

So, I went stumping for stumping Gourami and got stumped. You heard it here first.

Gourami are territorial by the way. I'm sure this was a common knowledge - I'm just confirming it for you. And while they undoubtedly reposition themselves according to water level, I've found the same fish stumping in the same areas all week long. This has been interesting too, because I've been able to throw at the same fish several times this week. Two fish that I lost I've since thrown at again, both refused after an incredibly long inspection. Quite fascinating.

I've also started getting up around dawn again to get two stumping sessions - the morning and the evening - each day. I'm finding that a little bit of ripple is OK, and in fact quite useful if you can set up a drift running parallel to the shore line. Too much ripple and the fish won't be stumping, so that's a bad thing. We have a full moon coming up and - if the sky is clear and the lake calm - I'm hoping for a bit of moon-lit stumping. I've heard these fish stumping at night although it's going to be very difficult and I'll tie some glow-in-the-dark flies (my foam-backed spinner patterns could take a luminous strip quite easily, which would be perfect because then I can see it and the fish can't - however maybe they'll eat luminous flies anyway. Certainly there are flying naturals on the lake here that actually do glow at night. OK so this means a fly tying session is in order!

Talking of which I'm enoying TZ's FP series. TZ is the second flytyer I've read who recommends drawing a fly's design with a pencil before tying it. Roy Christie is the other. This reminds me of my school days when I used to doodle fly drawings instead of listening to the teacher. Curiously my drawings do look like the flies I tie...

flies drawn by paul

Right, it's Saturday afternoon at the time of writing and it's siesta time on Lake Temenggor. Three more Gourami sessions before this page goes up. I wonder if I'll actually land another Gourami in these sessions?! Incidentally on the Board there was a discussion about the properties of braid and it was suggested that braid would break easier on snags. Diameter for diameter I certainly don't find this is the case at all. Every time I've been snagged/"stumped" using mono or that bullshit material, fluorocarbon, my leader has parted. My latest Gourami loss snagged the line, and twisted open a Gamakatsu B10S. This was on .23 Spectra braid. I've been using .22 Samuri monofilament on Gourami and it only has to look at a snag and it breaks! I've yet to break braid.

In short, Gourami kick arse!!! In fact they've kicked my arse many times up to now.


Ah-ha! It seems I can do a bit of arse kicking of my own too! I finally managed to deceive, hook and land another stumper. "Stumper" is a fish that eats by way of stumping. So... nah forget it.

Third stumping session coming up then it's off to the bar to upload this week's FPs.


Bar closed!

Cheers, Paul