The Endless Days Of Living Afloat

The Endless Days Of Living Afloat

Paul Arden | Monday, 13 February 2017

When I tell people that I live on a boat, with my girlfriend, I'm sure they imagine something larger than a 12ft condom! And while I too imagine living on something larger some day, when the tarp is off it feels vastly more spacious than 12 feet, because of course, the stars are my ceiling and I'm without walls. In fact it's living indoors that to me feels like a prison. Even the largest mansion can never compare to living outdoors on a floating bed!

(If you're not seeing the loops you can download the file here: )

I've been lucky in life; many times I've felt completely free. I've been travelling abroad since I turned 21, have been sleeping in - and sometimes under - 4x4s for virtually all this time, and of course, most important of all, I fish 6 or 7 days a week. I can't imagine living an alternative life!

There's no security, no children, no steady income but also no mortgage, no rat race, no problems that can't be solved around a campfire. It really is a wonderful existence, this life of travelling and fly fishing. Given that, I really don't understand how I appear to be the only person living this way! There must be others of course, but I haven't met any, perhaps in other walks of life but even then not really. It's the greatest mystery in my world, why it is that I appear to be living a unique existence? Of course I have a girlfriend now living as I do, so now there are two of us!

Ashly is doing very well as a flyfisherwoman. Of all the places I've ever fished this has to be the toughest. A good day is one fish (Snakehead). A good week is one fish (Gourami). The Jungle Perch can be caught in greater numbers but not off the top water - they're only at the surface normally around dusk and dawn and this is also your best time for the other fish species which for me are of greater importance. It's something I've been meaning to get into but I'm still too fixated with the water surface to get very excited about stripping streamers on High Density lines 20 feet down.

However she also needs to catch fish too, and it's something to learn here, so next month I'll buy a sounder and some Hi-D lines for the 6WT HTs. It will be an interesting exercise to revisit the entire lake, this time fishing the depths.

I'm writing this on Friday night; the fishing has been extremely hard of late. There are few free-rising Snakehead and no Gourami visible to take shots at, so all the fishing of the past week has been taking shorts at parenting Snakehead and for some reason they've all been spooking! The fishing is always a bit hit and miss at this time of year, but generally when you find parenting Snakehead with the very young babies, it's almost a dead cert that you get an eat (assuming you put the fly in front of their face and quickly enough!).

However recently almost every fish has spooked either as the cast comes in or when the fly lands. I've had a few chases but those have all spooked too. I don't know what makes Snakehead spooky - maybe it's tied somehow into barometric pressure as my friend Irhamy has suggested, but I do know one thing; it can change any moment and when it does it will be truly fantastic, for this year has been a great breeding season for Snakehead!


PS This week's video is 90ft distance carry practise from this morning!