Rain is part and parcel of our sport. No matter how well we plan our trip, we’re bound to get rain one time or another.
Especially in tropical and equatorial countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and such where it can be raining everyday at times.
But as long as the rain doesn’t pose any safety risks, we’ll just have to suck it up and face the challenge it presents to the fishing.
Put on the thinking cap and up your game. We will always be something to learn and experience to take away from the situation.
Rain, Rain, Go Away.
Overcast skies can be seen hovering over the horizon as soon as we arrive in town.
Two third into our boat ride from the jetty to the raft house the sky opened up and we got a good cold drenching.
Day one turns out nearly as expected. The river we went to is also the muddiest of all the rivers so no surprises here. The water in the river mouth is totally brown as we approach.
Although the water clarity kept improving as we trek upstream the fishing did not improve much. Few fish were caught and nothing significant.
Heavy rain is forecasted for day two but turns out to be bright and sunny.
Fishing is much better than the previous day and water clarity better too compared to the muddy waters of yesterday’s river.
The fishing just keeps getting better as the days progresses through the trip. We are actually quite lucky as the rain that came subsequently fell not at where we fish and at times that did not affect us too much.
On our fourth and final day of fishing it practically rained non-stop from late afternoon till the next morning. Although we got a good drenching on our long trek out of the jungle and plenty of leeches to accompany us, our fishing is done and is fairly successful.
Memorable Mahseer Moments
A memorable moment for me is spotting a 50cm (20in) mahseer holding atop a small waterfall. I quickly squat down, keeping sight of the fish while stripping line out from the Sage Click reel while I estimated the distance to the target. Quick casts must follow in case the fish swims off. The chernobyl ant landed with a small plop about 6 inches to the fish’s left in the fast current, my heart stops watching the fish turn toward the fly and eats it!
The current takes the fish down the waterfall and it shoots down river. My Sage Method bends and the Click reel screams like most clicker reels would but just loud enough.
The mahseer tries to head into some cover but luckily I was able to turn its head.
Aznir later catches an even better fish, a beautiful golden mahseer that came in at 55cm (22in).
That fish ate a nymph in a deep pool just behind a big rock. The fight lasted well over 5 minutes as Aznir tries to be gentle with it and not wanting to break off the tippet. A very contrasting fight approach comes to mind looking at David Samuel battling his fish. David’s is a no-nonsense grip-the-line-tight-point-the-rod-straight-at-the-fish style. Works for him!
Expectedly, Aznir is ecstatic when the fish came into the net. It is a beautiful fish indeed.
Some of us ventured far upriver on some days and some fished the tailwaters. Everyone caught fish. Everyone had their misses, some which are possibly good fish.
Over recent years the rivers are seeing a lot more pressure from anglers for sure. The consolation is there are still plenty of fish in the rivers, both tailwater and headwater as all fish are released. At least we hope that’s what other anglers are doing as well.
Fly fishing is clearly less damaging to the fishery and we hope all anglers will use landing nets instead of dragging flopping fish onto rocky and sandy riverbanks. And certainly no lip-grip devices should be used on this toothless and spikeless fish.