The Search for Gourami

The Search for Gourami

Paul Arden | Thursday, 10 September 2015

All up I only managed to devote perhaps two and a half full days to Gourami Hunting last week. Although I was on the water every day, making sure I was around at prime time. On Monday I had a very interesting experience with a Gourami that I spotted in the very early morning. I watched him cruising just subsurface - they're hard to see in low light conditions - before taking a spent fly of some sort - the only one I've seen in a while! I threw at him naturally. He came along and discovered my fly, inspected it for at least a full 10 seconds, slowly pivoted around the fly, so he could inspect it from 180 degrees, and sat there for a further ten seconds, made a full circle back to his original position, fully encircled the fly a second time, this time from a 18 inch radius, and finally buggered off!

Apart from two small ones which don't count, that was the closest I came. But to be honest I've had to spend time with a terrible disease called work and in addition there has been a lot of tropical storms which have kept me under the tarp. I didn't chase Snakehead last week, but will set about them this week. It's fantastic to have three completely diverse fish species to work out! I don't think this is the best time of year for Gourami...

Now, I've actually come up with a genius marketing plan, which might surprise you, as it has me, but I was reading a marketing book, which was rather good, with the assitance of both Jungle Juice and Seal's Fur. Normally such revelations are only good for as long as the night, but in this case it looked good the day after too and so I'm going to run with it. I don't like hyped products, nor the falsities that marketing consultants appear to have brought to our sport. I realise that's what they've been trained to do, and that it obviously works, but it's hard to imagine it working over a long term. We're not that gullible! But even so, I do have to establish a unique position, and I now know what it is.

That wasn't the clever part incidentally, but I'll keep this bit under my camouflage cap for now. However one thing I will say, is that next week we are going to have a price increase. Currently there is no margin if I sell to shops, and I am very shortly going to start doing this. I have a lot of friends in the trade and I don't want my friends to see me as competition. I'm going to make some small changes to the finished product too - not the blanks - but we will be going over to the COMP wraps of grey/orange on the PRO series as standard, the reel fittings and spacer are going to be black on all models, our stripping guides will be Titanium - they have been for a while now actually. There will be a few other changes as well. I'm really trying very hard to make a rod standard for ourselves - which has been difficult; we've been making HT rods now for over three years, in that time one component manufacturer went bust, another changed their product line-up after being bought out, various components have been dropped by other manufacturers and we're now on our third rod builder! Anyway, while our product has been gradually improving, it's not all exactly the same - and moving forward I would like it to be.

Of course one of our selling points is that we also manufacture to order. If you want H&H Snakes for example, we can fit these for no extra cost. Custom work is essentially free, or at the wholesale cost difference of components. Anyway the short story is, if you want to save some money then you had better order your HT before next Monday!

Ashly is visiting again this week, which I'm really looking forward to. After reading last week's FP she said I should change point 3, the one where I said, "Fly fishing will always be more important than you, but don't be jealous it's a fish and not another woman..." to "What woman could live like me?" And that probably sums everything up better than anything else. I've had to modify my life slightly to accommodate Ashly, namely I wash in the lake every day (when she's around). Not just a man of action, but also a man who can compromise when it's a strength - that's me. We're going to try eating Snakehead this week. Only a small one, maybe 2KG. I've heard mixed reports, so that should be interesting. And the best thing is, she's cooking!

It's been nice in the jungle this week, even with the storms. Next month it will be much wetter, which will see the Jungle Perch entering the river mouths in preparation for spawning. This is regarded by many here to be the best fishing on the lake. I'll have to border hop at some point to renew my passport, whether this means Thailand, Singapore or Australia has yet to be seen.

Finally, I've developed some spinner patterns with foam strips along the back for heavier-weight hooks. If they every work then I'll let you know.

Have a great week!

Cheers, Paul