I think I've pretty much got the handle on surface fishing for Snakehead. I don't foresee any huge advancements unless I change tackle - I've been talking with Bruce about some specialist lines which I believe will make a big difference. So we'll see what comes of that. But when it comes to what I'm doing now with regards surface fishing for Snakehead, in this place, I think I have most of the important stuff dialled in. I may see some tactical advancements, there are certainly new locations to discover, but for the most part now, I'm just trying to make it happen, with all the dramas this entails.
The Gourami - I think - have shut down and changed feeding behaviour. The water level has risen and all the stumping action has gone... at least I think that's the case, but I may be wrong here. There were some stumping fish late this evening - I can't imagine what was going on to make this happen and it was too dark to get a handle on it. Anyway, when it comes to vast amounts yet to be learned, Gourami are right at the top of my list and I would like to land some very big Gourami. My experiments with braided tippets and straight line fighting techniques seem to be the answer here, and of course there are very many subsurface approaches to try. Tonight I'm anchored in a very big Gourami area so that's my target fish first light and then I move to Snakehead territory mid-morning.
Tim Kempton from Australia is joining me this week. Tim's a good mate of mine and we fished together in Bosnia a couple of years ago, as well as Australia on the Great Barrier Reef last year and indeed here in Malaysia three or four years back. That's Tim's photo of me holding a Snakehead on the FP and Facebook. I thought that was a pretty good fish back then! I'm hoping Tim catches a bigger one... hopefully at least twice the size! There's not really enough room for two of us to sleep on the Boat together, so we'll stay at the Belum Rainforest Resort and motor off early each morning. 6.30am starts. Not a problem for Tim of course. Tim's planning on shooting a video of Snakehead fishing as well as one of me talking about the Sexyloops Hot Torpedo flyrods.
I'm going to make the final decision this week, but I think I'm going to fish the Wet Season here in Temenggor. The Indonesian created haze - which is really smog - is very bad at the moment and if the Wet is anything like last year then I'm gong to be soaked for much of the time, but by all accounts it's the best time of year to fish for Jungle Perch, and Temenggor - which is the water I'm living/camping/breathing smog on at the moment - has some very very big Jungle Perch.
There's still not much in the way of insect hatches but the season is changing... [edit: today I saw many termites on the water and black sedges in the evening. I was hoping to see some Gourami action - but no. And curiously I think that the Jungle Perch were eating just-subsurface freshwater shrimp. It will be interesting to see if that happens again tomorrow because I have some estuary trout experience of just the same thing.]
I'm starting to feel that I'm getting to grips with this water. There's a major arm or two where I need to spend more time - or I might shift over to another lake a couple of hours from here. There's certainly much to be learned from fishing the same water day-in day-out. I know this from my UK Stillwater years. To really know a lake takes very many years of fishing it on a daily basis. Ardleigh took me in excess of 15 years, 7 days a week - mind you I was learning to fly fish back then at the same time too.
If I can find consistent Jungle Perch fishing with the odd trophy thrown in, then I'll feel that I've made a significant gain. I was right to come here and set up Malaysia as another base. While it might be tough to make sales while I'm based in a jungle, I can tell you that flyfishing-wise I've moved up a notch. And there's so much more to learn here yet.
This page will be going up in advance, so Tim's fishing report will be live next week. Have a great week all!!