I'm getting close to that feeling of what's next? I have one month to six weeks left in the country. This has been a long stint, 10 months in Malaysia, most of which has been time spent living on the boat in the jungle, fishing for Snakehead and Giant Gourami. I have learned an immense amount this trip - as I hoped I would. I've refined my tackle, my flies, have learned to play fish harder than ever before, have turned a few Gourami over and worked out at least three types of their feeding behaviour, have at times really got on top of free-rising Snakehead and have fished and camped now ALL over the Southern part of the lake (apart - mysteriously - from one bay, which I'll explore before I go).
It may seem strange, not least because I'm still here, but I'm looking forward to getting back! I'm going to set up a small business, guiding people onto this fishing, which is a great way to learn the most difficult casting shots of all (tomorrow's front page) but also I want my time here to be paid, apart from which Ashly needs a bigger boat for shoes! So the plan is to organise something a bit more luxurious than my 12ft tinny, that guests can stay in, get access to the protected Belum area and I can spend even more time doing this fishing.
To make that happen, I need to sell even more rods! I have a trip planned to Europe. A week in the Kola, a course with Bernd in North Germany, a course in Jersey, Channel Islands (I'm competing for Jersey in the fly casting World Championships in Estonia, and I'm going over to see if there is anyone else in the team!), a course in Switzerland with Fischen.ch , time spent fishing in Bosnia and Croatia and the First Hungarian Fly Casting Wine Harvest! This week I'll be busy planning as many casting and fishing courses in Europe as humanly possible...
And I'll also be making a cool movie about the Sexyloops Hot Torpedo fly rods! :)
You might recall many years ago I discussed a plan that I would like to have a number of homes? Well I've now ring-fenced Hungary, Hungary needs to stand alone, a small wine business and a couple of casting courses should pay its annual upkeep. Any additional income from that venue can go towards improvements, guest accommodations and so on. I've ended up putting quite a bit of money into my home at Latohegy. I don't need to see a return on that because it's a cool thing to have, but equally it now has to pay its own way.
This is very important actually, because I'm setting up my second home here in Malaysia next. None of that will probably make much sense to most of you, but for a few of you I've found it particularly useful to separate my businesses. In other words I have a number of incomes. Guiding - this is my bread and butter at the moment. Casting Instruction - my bread and butter in Europe and various other places. Sexyloops Tackle sales - stays in the Sexyloops business for development of new tackle and web development. Ultimately I'll take money out to build a house boat (or similar) in Malaysia and start a guiding business, but that money will then go back to Sexyloops. Hungary - a stand alone business that pays for the upkeep and development of the Hungarian lands.
It's taken me a while to work out that these things need separation but having done so it's really freed me up. My only question now is which business pays for my airline tickets?! I'm actually thinking of setting up a separate fund for this alone. Maybe T-shirts for example! First samples should be around next week.
Anyway, for those of you in a similar situation in this fly fishing business, who are guides and instructors, then maybe there's some useful advice there. It's very hard to build a business in the flyfishing world, it's hard enough to make ends meet in flycasting or guiding business alone. But I think one key is to separate your income streams and work each business as separate entity.
I might not be getting any wiser - and I might not be getting any older - but I'm definitely getting uglier! However right now, I need to catch some trophy Snakehead....