Paul Arden | Sunday, 9 May 2021

It’s all about to happen. I had issues last week with the battleship’s electricity supply. I still haven’t solved this yet but I am working on the problem! It’s a bit of a mystery. I (now) have three solar panels on the roof and two control boxes for four truck batteries in the battleship and two more for the thrusters in each of the aluminium fishing boats. However I have managed to blow something up and am in a process of elimination to determine what it is exactly. I’ve been moored in a sheltered bay for a week and there are termites after the afternoon/evening rains…

TERMITES!!!! Oh yeah!!! Termites are a bit like ants but they are not ants; termites are a different species. But like ants they take to the wing and land on the water en masse. I’m not entirely sure why they do this, only that many colonies must land somewhere else too otherwise this species would be long-extinct by now.

When they land on the water they land upside down, get their wings stuck in the film, and eventually their body disconnects from the wings. Over land this is fine and they crawl away – although I doubt it’s much use over water. Who knows? I’m not sure that this has been studied – maybe they are damned good swimmers! Anyway it’s all good news for Giant Gourami who feast on them.

If you have ever experienced the thrill of fly fishing for trout in windlanes on Stillwaters then you’ll know that this is some of the most fun fly fishing there is. Just substitute 1-4lb(?) Trout with 3-5KG(!) Gourami and you’ll be imagining what I’m seeing. But Gourami are a little bit different; they move faster, are more erratic in direction, they really need the fly landing (like the wings flapping on the water) to pick your fly from the others, and when you hit them… you hit a train.

You might find one feeding fish. You might find 15-20 fish (oh yeah!!). Can catch none, one or two fish. I’ve never landed more than two, but often two. I think I will, maybe, land more, but I haven’t yet. But for me this is one of the most exciting fly fishing events I’ve ever experienced. But it’s unpredictable.  Firstly you need an afternoon thunderstorm, then you need a Termite hatch that lands on the water, you need to find it, you need this to happen in an area that actually has Gourami and finally all this needs to happen before dark (I’ve never found them feeding after dark, I think I will, but I haven’t). When it all comes together, any angler who is fly fishing for them, is standing on top of the world with the Universe looking in.

So you don’t want to fuck it up!

Good news: I’ve just fixed the electric. It was one bad battery. How on Earth one bad battery causes 300W of solar power to disappear and prevents three other batteries from charging I have no idea. But I’m a fly fisherman and not an electric engineer. One of my Zoom guests is a fly fishing engineer so I will know the answer next week.

Have a great Sunday :)

Cheers, Paul