Paul Arden | Monday, 30 November 2015

Anchored out on the Condom Titanic in yet another Wet Season thunderstorm! I might switch to helping out by running a mate's rainforest bar in the evenings and growing my beard and fishing hard in the mornings. It's great fun because I get to meet lots of people and talk about fly fishing! Also there is the annual Belum World Masters Pool Championship to be taken seriously. We're refurbishing the table for this great event. Last year I let Des win because I was feeling sorry for him. This year, however, I'm going to kick his arse.

It's good for Sexyloops too, because this gives me a lot more online time and I have a backlog of Sexyloops work to be done. The fishing up until recently has been outstanding; I've learned great things in the past four months. The jungle fishing is still good but evenings are a complete washout and this won't change until January. I don't mind fishing in the rain - Christ I grew up in the UK (born in Jersey) - but when it rains in Malaysia it's a bit different, because it comes down in buckets, and sleeping in a wet bed is only slightly more appealing than sleeping in a muddy ditch.

Now it's coming up to Christmas and no doubt you are all wanting a Hot Torpedo fly rod in your Santa stocking . If you want the HT8 then you should order today, because I have to order some and this would be my last chance to make some in time. All other rods we have in stock. I am having a love affair with the HT4. I'm not sure how I managed it - it's an amazing rod. When I say 4 is the new 5, I really mean it! This rod will do everything that a 5WT can do, but better. I've been trying to make a 5WT for the US market ever since I started this project. But instead of doing this, I'm going to sell the HT4 to our American friends - they all have enough 5WTs anyway! And it is a true 4WT IMO. I use an old SA DT4. Any rod that is sensitive enough to fish tiny dries and nymphs on .10 tippet, yet can chuck a streamer 100ft, and land 4.5KG Gourami by standing them on their tails, has to be taken very seriously.

Now I know our rods are expensive, quality always is! Sorry - we haven't skimpted on any part of the production! Our flylines are well-priced and you should check them out. I'll have some 4WT and 8WT Thunderbolt lines manufactured in the New Year and some new Intermediate Lumilines. SHOOT - our flyline lubricant, I've been using extensively here in Malaysia this trip. I've been squirting a few drops on the reel every time I move location. It's revolutionised my quick-shot "sharp shooting", so much so in fact, that I'm going to research larger refill bottles. Just another thing on the long list of exciting things to be done while at the bar!

It's been a really great four months of fishing, especially the first big push that was to fish for six and a half days a week, essential shopping the other half day and putting fishing above all else. Of course I ran out of money many times! I even ran out of food a few times! But I never ran out of petrol and had to paddle the boat Smile The learning was immense. I've learned more in the last six months about flyfishing than in the past six years. It's been really great: new hard fish-fighting techniques, improved quick-shot sharp-shooting, using braid for tippets, Gourami on dry flies, really sticking it to the Snakehead. I actually feel I'm getting to know Lake Temenggor pretty well now and have fished over 95% of the lake. Maybe this will lead to some guiding/hosting opportunities and I'm researching this at the moment. I'll need an echo sounder/fish finder, but that's another story!

I've been researching Sexyloops T-shirts and other clothing, to be manufactured here in Malaysia by lots of little children (only joking!). I should have something available in a week or two - perhaps in time for Christmas. But hey when you're fishing it's Christmas every day, right? I really like the God is a Gourami T-shirt two-in-the-morning idea and I'm going to start with this. Sizing is going to be interesting too because they'll be printed on Malaysian-sized T-shirts. I've found a local shop who are well priced with top-quality shirts and fantastic printing. It's on the list!

Life is about fly fishing. Don't be one of those sad people who say, "I wish I had fished more!" No one ever says, "I wish I had fished less!!!"

Anyway, I was watching the "Fly fishing in the Yemen" film for the second time around. Ashly brought it up from KL so we could watch it in Thailand together, but she didn't like the ending and got grumpy for half a day and didn't take it home. I watched it again on my own the other night because it was either that, the Matrix, Taken 3 or Eddie Izzard again and again and again. Anyway... I don't understand why the salmon fly scenes showed a floating salmon fly - but the most curious thing for me was that "Fred" made a Snake Roll to take the gun out of an assailant's hand and they called it an "Essential Cast" and laughed merrily. Was that an attempt at an instructors' joke I wonder?

Prior to this I had a campfire on Monkey Island (small islands usually have no elephants - wild elephants can be aggressive; anyway this one has monkeys). To collect the wood I was going to wear my boots, which I haven't worn in months - there are snakes and scorpions around! - but it turns out that the ants - who are currently living with me on the boat - have nested in one of them... and so I went barefoot instead. Jungle fly fishing is always full of interesting surprises.

Incidentally I'm fed up with seeing fly fishing on TV! We've had "A river runs through it", "JR Hartley 006" and now "Fred, the lost sensitive soul, fishing the Yemen for stocked salmon while making Essential Casts." Who the hell do these people think we are?! Where is the man fishing element? Roughing it, starting campfires, getting into fights, living life-on-the-edge fishing that we do?

And finally, we have started selling Sexyloops products through Daniela and Mauro Misteli's fishing shop in Switzerland. So you can try out the HT4 and HT6 here! Incidentally the great photos of the flylines that are now appearing in our shop have been taken by Daniela! I've been trying for ages to get great product shots - so many thanks Daniela!!

Right, time to stir up the Board Cool

Cheers, Paul