For some time now I've been managing my life to become the best fly fisherman I can become. Now I can't tell you why I'm doing this, because I actually don't know! I think it was a two o'clock in the morning decision. My way of doing this is to immerse myself in one type of fishing, really try to master it and work out all its elements, to learn the fish species, all the techniques and keep thinking about it, practising it, experimenting with it, until the learning curve has petered to the point where learning anything much worthwhile takes a very long time.
Once you've reached that point of course, then it's really all about moments - you're fishing for moments. That's when I make the shift to a different type of fishing, another part of the world, something completely new where I'm back to being a novice again. Of course the trick is to apply lessons you've learned elsewhere to shorten the learning curve.
I like being on a steep learning curve and I'm on one right now I can tell you. Fishing here in Malaysia is extremely challenging. Gourami - which is my current obsession - really are an incredible fish. I've never seen a fish that spends so long inspecting a fly. I think this really is my ultimate challenge. I've worked out how to find them (more on this tomorrow), I've had to rethink my tackle, I've had to learn a new fighting technique (and I need to modify this slightly - more on this tomorrow too!) but ultimately I will master these fish, add a bunch of new patterns to my box and a new set of skills to my armoury.
I don't know how long this will take. It certainly won't take the 20 plus seasons I put into UK Stillwaters fishing every day, and it won't take the 18 seasons in New Zealand. But I do regard Malaysia as being my central base until it does happen. It will take hundreds if not thousands of Gourami, Snakehead and Jungle Perch. I really need to start cranking the numbers up. I'll learn Temenggor like the back of my hand, find a way into Belum and then once I've learned it, I'll move on! The next plan is to live on a sailing boat and sail and fish the oceans...
In the meantime, next summer, I'll be back in the USA and Canada - if all goes well. It will be interesting to see how my river fishing lessons from the Balkans work for me in North America. I reckon French Nymphing techniques will nail the Madison.
I hope you're getting some great fishing moments this weekend!