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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Road To Becoming A Fly Fisherman

My fly fishing rod had only been sparingly used ever since I bought it some weeks ago. Today, I wanted to do more pracitising at it and went to LPR after D's swimming lesson.

It was hard to find a big enough area where I would not pose a danger to passer-bys with my flying hook and line. My technique was still quite raw and I couldn't do my cast properly and spent like half hour trying and trying. It was Roll cast and False cast practises. Even though I had a fly at the end of my line, it wasn't catching anything. I was mainly focusing on the casting part and didn't try to animate the fly too much.

Fly casting was hard work and I worked up a good sweat under the hot sun. But the weather took a turn and suddenly, rain appeared to be coming. I stop my fly casting and changed to my spin rod. With the charlie that was given by Jimmy, I tossed it out. But the execution was miss timed and my lines didn't go quite far. But to my surprise when I started luring it, I got a hit immediately. It was as though that the PB was eyeing it and when it started moving, it decided to go for it.

It was a small PB and I quickly put it into a plastic bag, thinking to give to ZW later. I brought it home and put it into my temporary tank. But I made the silly mistake of changing the water entirely thinking that PBs were quite hardy. But I think there must have been a drastic change in the PH, and the PB died shortly after. (after 3 hours)

Late afternoon, I had to run some errands of returning library books and all. When all was done, it was around 6. I had the urge to run to a reservoir to attempt to get a fish on my fly rod. OC said can because I bought her a new scissors, so I zoomed to macritche and started on my fly fishing.

I hadn't successfully got a fish here except for the big one that got away before I could photograph it. I used the fly that I had tied as a demonstration at LSR. The passer-bys were all eyeing me like some alien from outer space. I heard many people asking "what's that fellow doing?". Casting away for around 20 minutes, I suddenly had a nip at my fly. To my delight, there was a huge PB just about 10-15 metres away from me. I hastily tried to cast over to the region again but my fly line got all entangled in my Kan cheongness and I had to waste time unraveling it. When I next cast again, I couldn't see the PB anymore. But after trying for 2 times, wham! and I got a hit. I was so excited that I shouted out to A and everyone walking pass. But the excitement was short-lived. I was holding on to the fly line and didn't know how to control the fish with it. The fish exerted a strong pull and broke my 8lb leader! I was dumbfounded. First time I had a PB breaking my 8lb leader.

But the whole episode gave me hope although I was sore from the chance of scoring a first on my fly fishing rod. I hastily tied another fly, this time using the gotcha that Jimmy gave me.

It was back to casting and casting again and my hopes were raised when I saw some smaller PB giving chase. But it was only another 15mins when I got a hit again. This time, not a small one as well. Again, I was inexperienced at how to control the fish. In my clumisness, I accidentally released all the spare fly line at my feet and the fish had a moment of free run with the hook in the mouth. This would usually be a critical mistake for fishing. But luckily the slack didn't cost me my fish and the hook up was firm. I shouted for the camera and slowly coaxed the fish to the bank. Holding on to the leader, I had landed it.

With that, I have now become a full fledged fly fisherman :). All without much lessons or coaching. It was also the first time I had a fish photographed at Macritche resrrvoir. My previous attempts here were quite fruitless but my opinion of this place had changed. In a short time alone, I saw so many PBs. There would definitely be more sessions here to come.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

KFC - Rakit Kong Kong

This rakit was discovered last week and I was all curious to go try it. The weekend, seeing that nothing was planned, ZW and I decided to pay it a visit. A last minute call to TC saw that he was interested too. Another call to IZ, and he was on as well. I was hoping that the water here would be better. If you look at the map, this place is further south of the Rakit at Sg Layang and nearer to the open sea at Tekong. Reaching there around 8am, we were rather early and there wasn't much people at the restaurant. We saw an uncle and asked him on we could get over to fish at the rakit. Luckily Jean was with us and the communication problem was solved. Very soon, we boarded a small boat that took us over in less than a minute.

How much the fishing cost

Machiam some rock band

Aircraft carrier style Rakit

This lady...everything also catch!

The Rakit was a longish one and at the centre, was a sheltered area for shade and cover from rain. We were the only ones there at that time although more people came to join us around 12pm. That day, it was quite overcast with a hint of rain. But the rain didn't come and the fishing was again rather pleasant under a shady sky. Water was however of the greenish type with lots of cloudy sendiments. We also spied lots of jelly fishes swimming around. Not very good sign for fishing waters.

My stingray!

Yay, no more naggin about stingray

Stingray letting out the babies in the stomach

However IZ had a surprise catch and got a smallish brown stingray. Jean had been nagging about stingray from him for the longest time and today, the command was fulfilled. We were thinking that the stingray was a baby one and had actually wanted to release it. But the hook was swallowed deep and we couldn't save it. And then right before our eyes, we saw the stingray releasing its baby from itself before it died. I remember reading about this and seeing it happening was quite a touching experience.

This boatman had a long net cutting across the river :(

This girl can catch anything!

No one knew what fish this was

After that, although the fishing wasn't too good, Jean scooped up plenty of interesting little fishes to our amusement.

TC had a run of catches of catfishes at a particular sport. His rod was always the one with the bells ringing and him running to the action. Although catfishes were not rated highly in terms of catches, they do put up a decent fight. He also caught one or two stingray as well as some of the other folks. It looked like stingrays of this specie was quite common here.

Interesting way to harvest clams

This doggie is so scared of people

1 stingray to his record

Hey, there is a Kelong there!

Bye bye Rakit.

The tide came up and then went down without the water improving. We were puzzled how it was that the water would be better at the layang rakit? We were thinking that it might just be this particular timing that the fishing was poor.

The house of the durian plantation

At 1.30pm, we decided to call it a day and packed and left the place. From there, we went to do some recce and even found a kelong nearby. We shall try it out soon. Driving further, we also came across a durian plantation. We were told that the season was in August. Come August, we might give this place a visit.
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

KFC - Kong Kong Rakit Recce

Used to be able to fish at the Jetty for free under the old restuarant management

Rakit with the white roof

We had always detoured on the Kong Kong road towards sg layang. Actually, I had been to Kong Kong many years back and even did a spot of "boat" fishing there. There is a resort/restaurant at the end of the road. They also provided facilities like rental of boats for people keen on going fishing.

I decided to revisit this place again. The management here had changed hands since and when i asked around, I was told that the boss would not allow people to fish on the Jetty. However, the staff there was ok to close one eye. But better still, there was a Rakit just minutes around the water, and there, we could fish at the cost of RM15 per pax. According to him, there were good catches there. Definitely a place for future KFC visits.

Fishing village of Kong Kong

Bustling activites here

I left the resort and went to the village Jetty to have a look around. To my surprise, there were many people holding rods and fishing stuff and boarding on boats. I was naturally curious and went to ask around about the fishing here.

The Jetty Quaint Coffee Shop. The Goreng Pisang here is damn good

Uncle telling us to contact him

We had some drinks at the coffee shop and started chatting to some guys there. However, the information was quite inconsistent and rather suspicious. According to the uncle, the boat could bring us to the rakit at the cost of RM120 per trip for 8 persons. And there will be another fee of RM120 on the return. The cost at the Rakit, would have to be checked with the Rakit owner. We asked for the Rakit contact but the uncle gave us his instead.

When asked about where the people going, they replied that they were going boat fishing. Somehow that didn't seem right as I even see small children boarding the boat heading towards the many Rakits on the water.

Map of Kong Kong

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KFC - Attempt at Fly Tying

My recent venture into the rarely attempted pastime of fly tying had infected fellow KFC members and naturally roused certain interest on how to tie fly. While I am not yet so experienced, I think I know enough to try to teach them how to tie a fly. We gathered at LSR this morning to attempt to have each one of us tie and fly and then testing it to see if it would work and get us a fish.

My lousily tied Chennile Charlie

People passing by must be thinking we all siao!

Another use of a fly tying vise

Luckily for us, the vise fitted nicely on the LSR park bench chair and we improvised to convert it into a fly tying bench. With the required materials that I brought, I briefly went through the process of tying a chenille charile. However, I did quite a bad job and the resultant fly wasn't too professional looking. But it was good enough as a demonstration.

Weird variations of the Chenille Charlie

The others quickly had a go at it and each came up with their own version of the fly. I told them to be free to improvise if needed. There wasn't any need to follow any steps to the letter.

With my newly tied fly, I went down to the rocks to have a go at it. And Wham! First cast, I hit a PB. How's that for Proof of concept? :D. However, the PB shooked loose nearing the bank and I lost it. At first I thought the PBs were around in numbers. But we found out later that while the water was clear, the PBs were not readily around. It took me quite a number of cast to get 4 bites later on, while the others were mainly still zero.

Finally another notch on his fishing accomplishment

ZW as normal was the first to score a good hit. He caught a big one at the corner and from where I was standing, it was putting up a good fight. Soon, a big fellow was proudly seen displayed. His fly had passed the acid test.

Patrick was still getting nothing on his 2nd attempt here at LSR. However, he kept trying and trying. And heaven rewarded his persistence and he too hit on a good size one. I was about 100m from him and I could hear a yell that he had got a PB. But he made the mistake of not setting the hook properly and the PB was lost just as he was about to lift it up to the grass patch. We all saw it and yelped in despair as the PB swam away. Too bad that he did not manage to get a pic of it. But he too passed the fly tying test :)

Pat trying out my fly rod

I also brought along my fly rod and let the guys try out fly rod casting. I was not good myself but from what I read, I tried to teach them how to cast a fly line. Most agreed that it was pretty fun.

The children that gave us power.

Man who caught the Earth Eater

ZW and I continued our PB fishing into the afternoon at Kranji after lunch but was badly put to shame by baiters that scored 3 good size PB in just 15 minutes. We had been like cast our flies for hours with no bite whatsoever. Water was still that greenish murky look that was common at Kranji. On the way back, a baiter (on worms) caught a beautiful earth eater. When can I get that on fly? :(

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

KFC - Ah Chong Boat Fishing

It was a chance meeting with Patrick at Team 7 while I was doing my tackle shopping. I had known Patrick from a previous Pekan Trip. When he mentioned that he would be going to local offshore, I told him to let me know about the next. So one Monday morning, I got an SMS asking me if I would be interested to try Ah Chong. Knowning that ZW was also keen in trying out boat fishing after the last try at Inu kelong, I asked him too.

Old friends and new friends


The date came and ZW picked up me with Chew and Patrick. We met their other friends Mike and Roger at the Terminal. Another couple joined us, Jonathan and his gf. We were soon on Ah Chong's boat moving off for our day of local offshore fishing. From my previous experience with Ah Fong, I wasn't expecting too much and only brought along my light tackle of a Black Rose. During breakfast, when the conversation got to the big monsters and heavy tackles, I was feeling rather underequipped for the battle ahead.

Spot near Seawall
Raju's boat


A huge catch at Ah Fong's Boat. People taking photos in the boat


But first spot that Ah Chong brought was to a location beside a rocky seawall. The current wasn't too strong and with a small size 2/3 weight, it was sufficent for me. I had the advantage of being more sensitive with my lighter tackle. In fact, the other boats, Ah Fong, Ah Long and Raju were also there. But the morning fishing was slow and nothing much was biting. However, the other boats caught some Queenies, and Ah Fong got one that was huge, a 7/8 kilo monster. ZW scored a nice Yellow Tail (Fusilier) on prawn meat. The rest using live prawns wasn't getting anything until Roger had an outstanding catch of a Golden Snapper, which was of a good size too. (around 2kg). After that, everyone soon started to get something.

Spot near Tekong


We changed a couple of spots until we fished mainly at the enclosure near to Tekong. With the slower current, somehow the fishes abound there. The weather was excellent with overcast clouds and a spot of light raining in the noon time. But nothing too heavy and it was still fishable. Naturally, there was very little scorching sun which made the fishing quite cool and relaxing.

ZW's catches


My catches

Surprise catch of a good size Grouper (Ah Chong said "green eyed" grouper)


Fierce fight with Parrot on my light tackle


At the end of the trip, I scored a nice around 1Kg Grouper, and a 2lb (measured on boga) Parrot fish + some misc small catches. ZW scored 1 Yellow Tail, 2 small ACK, 1 Puffer. Jonathan scored an outstanding kilo plus Kaci + small fishes. Mike scored 2 or so nice snappers + others. Roger was the champion of them all with the above mentioned Golden Snapper, a nice grunter and others. Only Patrick and Chew were fishless after the trip. Patrick had a close miss with a probable Chermin at the Chermin spot.

Jonathan Catches

Powerful Kaci


Ah Chong said this is Ang Kuay


Mikes's catches

Nice ACK


Roger's catches

(champion 2kg Golden snapper)



He said "next fish is grunter" and it was



Total catches


Steam Parrot Fish. Yum!



All in all a nice outing fishing and making new friends. In the car on the way back, we were toying with the idea for a Rompin Trip in the near future. Well, my dusty heavy gear could see some action soon.

Old friends and new friends

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Fly Me To The Moon

My latest acquisition:-
2nd hand set at $300. Rod: 3 pcs Harvest (Korea made), Reel: Orvis BattenKill 3/4 Large arbor. Line 4 weight.

I had succumbed to the dark side, where anglers fear to thread. Although not yet officially a fly angler, my gears are ready to rock and roll. Just need to add fish.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

What Happened To My Flies?

Last week, I had quite a number in the group going to LSR to test out my wonder flies that I was so lucky with. I had tied some flies before hand and handed it out to them in anticipation of them catching plenty of PBs. However, that time round the fishing was very poor. Unlike the previous week where we could see small PBs chasing the flies, this time the flies were just swimming and getting wet without any action. Water also didn't look as clear with kind of a murky look. However, there were some experts at the Jetty and they got some impressive catches of a big PB and later on a humongous Mummy Toman. Seemed that he was using Yozuri surface cruiser.

"I am taking video arh"

"How shall we cook this fish arh?"

This week, ZW and I went LSR again to try flies one more time. Unfortunately, again the water very bad. And it started to rain. We all moved to the Jetty shelter. Kind of repeat of last week. After the rain stopped a little, I cast out my clouser again and got a big take. Up came a good sized PB. So my flies still got a bit of juice and can still work. I noticed that the fishes would bite after the rain. ZW got some small ones and managed to bring back one to put into his aquarium.

A father and son team were fishing on our left side and the boy was very lucky today. They were casting out a float rig with a fly (white feather with bright yellow body). The boy caught a two palm sized PB and later topped it with another big PB. His father was certainly very proud of him.

Friday, April 03, 2009

KFC - Ed Pro Pond

It was recently made known to me that there was a local fishing pond at Pasir Ris farmway 3, near to the places where there were many aquarium and dog farms. I was asked by a forum friend to meet there so I stepped into Ed Pro Pond for the first time. They were doing fly fishing which I heard they had 3 takes but didn't manage to control it to land.

Ed Pro Pond consisted of 3 areas, one salt water pond, one prawning "pond" and the last and the biggest, the fresh water catch and release pond. I was quite surprised that the pond was a rather popular one well visited by people. In the short hour or so that I was there, there were numerous catches and mind you, big ones too. It was possible to catch the famous Mekong catfish without having to fly to Thailand to do so.

That night, I asked ZW if he was interested to pay it a visit. I didn't check out the price that afternoon and from what I saw on the internet, it was $50 for 5 hours. Rather expensive. But we went down anyway to have a look see and not thinking to touch water at all. When we arrived, we read on the notice that it was possible to fish for 2 hrs for $15 at the C&R pond. That wasn't too bad and we paid the money and was soon fishing for the first time at a local fishing pond.

While we were paying the money, I had a chat with the worker and discovered that flies wouldn't work at night. As for lures, it would need to be debarbed and converted to single hooks. So asking what would work, he recommended us chicken liver. Well, I had never tried this before that was as close to "fear factor" as you could get in terms of bait. But the bait was cheap at $1 a big pack. So we decided to do fresh water "baiting". Something that you could not do legally in singapore.

1st Landed Patin ever (helper said 5kg)

My 2nd Patin that was lost

True enough to the worker's words. I had barely parked my rod for 10 minutes and out shot my lines. I had anticipated it and had purposely loosen my drag. If I hadn't done so, my rod would have flown into the water. The fight was hard and intense and soon (about 5 minutes), a Patin surfaced. Wahoo, my very first Patin ever. Helper came over to lift it out for photo taking and soon it was released back into the water. I re-rigged and toss out to the water again. As I was helping ZW with his rig, my rod again "flew" a little before lines went spooling out. Wah, another take. I fought it but it felt smaller this round. It was yet another Patin. Seems like Chicken Liver = Patin over here. But as it was near the edge for us to lift up, it sudenly thrashed and splashed into the water again. And this time, the hook came out and I lost it.

ZW got a take

ZW was impressed and soon he too was on one. But his lines were not tied well, and the hook came off. His second take, he didn't fight well and tighten the drag too hard. The mainline broke (20lb) and fish was lost. 3rd time, he was better trained and he finally managed to land one. But as I was helping to try boga the fish for photo taking, the helper came over. I thought he was helping us but he just unhooked the fish and let it go. Argh! Poor ZW didn't have any photo to show for that catch. But it was videoed, luckily.

Helper with the 6kg Pacu

Time past very quickly and our 2hrs were up. As were were leaving, the neighbouring group (which was rather quiet) had a big hit. This time, it was not a Patin but a huge 6 kg Pacu. It was definitely an interesting short session, and a very good training ground on how to handle big catches. At $15, I think it was quite worth the experience.

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