The Dawn Patrol

The Dawn Patrol

Paul Arden | Monday, 5 June 2017

For those of you who know me rather well, it won't come as too much of a surprise to learn that I don't consider myself to be a morning person, and nobody else does either! It's not that I don't like mornings, so much as I just don't do them. I mean we all have to sleep at some point and it really doesn't matter when that is, so long as you get enough - if you don't get enough then you go mad and that could be a bummer. I've always loved night fishing, particularly for trout, which are predominately nocturnal during the summer months (as well as at all other times of year, which many people don't know yet) and this has always been great for me, because most people are sleeping when I'm sneaking around and fishing.

However night fishing has been a virtual non-event here in the Malaysian Jungle. True, I've caught a few Jungle Perch on dry flies after dark, both on moonlit nights as well as complete blackouts. But I have yet to catch a Snakehead after dark, and while I've encountered a few Giant Gourami feeding (slurping), I have yet to hook any in the night. I haven't given up on the idea yet, because I still believe that I'm missing an important piece in this puzzle and darkness here is a long 11 hour affair. There are Catfish around too, but I have failed to catch these accidentaly (but I'm not too concerned about this fact because catfish are ugly slimy creatures!).

All said, however, I'm not about to get involved in yet another night fishing stint this week - far from it actually - and instead I'm going to become a morning person, dividing my sleep pattern into two. I've done this in the past (once) when, for a UK summer, I fished Ardleigh Reservoir starting at the ridiculous hour of 4.30am every day for two months. I was considerably younger then, not any less sensible than I am now, and it was painful.

The real reason for doing this, is not because I don't fancy the evening fishing - which has been rather good of late, for Giant Gourami - but because my good friend Belum Des is on holiday in India and has asked me if I'd look after his Rainforest Bar while he's gone. And never one to turn down a beer or an opportunity (and because I must fish every day) this means that I will fish the Dawn Patrol.

The Dawn Patrol here, means one of either two things; 1) fishing sinking lines into deep snags for Jungle Perch - which really interests me at the moment not least because I have no idea where they live exactly but I have a sounder and 2) fishing dries for Giant Gourami, which has to be great at the moment, and often is anyway (watching the big hump head of a Gourami cruising around the lake surface is quite sublime). So that's my fishing plan for this week.

Flavio returns to join me at some point too, so that's going to be exciting. We'll be doing "Man Fishing" (Ashly is in KL) and Flavio will be hanging around until he's fed up! Also I have a big week doing Sexyloops work in the afternoons - and also the evenings when the bar is quiet. I have a lot of projects on the go at the moment and so don't be surprised if you receive an email from me if you're a Hot Torpedo owner. Sexyloops is currently eating into my fishing time but so long as I fish at least once or twice every day, and at prime times, then all is good!

We have some interesting threads on the Board at the moment; Hauling and the 170. The Future of Sexyloops HT Rods. An interesting thread started by Andy Dear - Great to have you back on the Board, Andy! Some flycasting questions - add your own here!

And last but certainly not least, we have new "Jungle Fishing" gear for our trip - Lawson Hammocks. When I posted a photo of the hammocks Ashly and I were using on Facebook, one of my friends, Jonas, recommended I try out these hammocks. One thing has let to another and we're now sleeping in the trees using them Smile Flavio and I will be building a Lawson Hammock Man Camp very shortly. Life is what you make it and for flyfishers it is great!

Have a wonderful week!


Here's a morning article I wrote more than 20 years ago for FFFT magazine: 
I haven't been up early since Tongue Out