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Friday, August 28, 2009

KFC - My Birthday Present

Looks very NZ isn't it?

We almost didn't go this trip as ZW wasn't sure if the trip was confirmed. SMS was sent to me at 12am to ask if the trip was on. But that time, I was already in ZZ land and only woke up to check for time at 1am. That was when I saw the message. That morning, seeing no reply to my SMS wake up call, I called in only to find him sleepily on the other side of the phone. "Trip is on", I said. With that, he hastily got his things together and came around to pick me.

First PB that fell for my shrimpy

He was so hasty that when we reached the location, he discovered that he had forgotten his reel. Alamak! Therefore he ended becoming my fishing ahmad and helped me with my photo shooting. It was still quite dark when we arrived. To our surprise, the spot seemed very quiet and still and there wasn't any disturbance on the water that would excite us. I tried around a few places and didn't get any reaction. But thinking that the place near the canal would be best, we parked ourselves at that area to keep casting.

This one has a golden sheen

How to look cool while fighting a fish

Unusual greyish tone PB

The sun keep came up quite shortly and soon it was bright as day. Quite a number of early morning joggers came by and there was even a woman sitting there meditating. Then, we saw some fly fishermen coming to our location. I recognised one of them from my last trip to NSLK. But this bunch were rather experienced and only a few cast later, they had big splashes on the water. I was impressed and tried to edge nearer to them to get to the fishing zone where they got the fishes. But actually that didn't matter. It seemed that the PBs all just woke up and started coming out for breakfast. I soon started to hit on one after another all over, as good as the fly fishermen were doing. PBs here are no smallies, and quite a number are of decent size.

Ho Ho...I finally got you!

Hee Hee...Hee...Hee...

It felt like holding a pure silver ingot

When are you done with the photos? Asked the Sebby

I was doing like about 6 PBs already when my next fish hit on my shrimpy fly and pulled out my reel for a few seconds. Wow, that was certainly a fish on steriods. To my surprise then, when it surfaced, it had the characteristc black mark on the centre of the boday over its silvery gleaming scales. It was a Sebarau! I had quite a bit of difficulty to land it as it's thrashing was quite uncontrollable and I was most fearful of losing the prize catch of a lifetime. Seeing the danger, I quickly held on to the leader and lifted the fish up high on the ground away from the water. It was securely landed. Gleaming gleefully, I couldn't believe my good luck that I had finally had this rare specimen of a catch in Singapore waters. This was the best birthday present I have had. "Take a few more pics!", I told ZW. It was definitely not an everyday reservoir catch.

Last one for the road

AR, the fly fishermen that I recognised came over to talk to me and fish along side after that. He finally recalled seeing me at NSLK few weeks back. It was fun to make new friends when one goes fishing. We have a common goal and that is what make us ticked together.

I totalled 9 fishes that morning before I decided to leave. It was certainly an exhilarating morning. Well worth all the trouble to wake up early and deprive ourselves of our warm beds. Every once a while if you try hard enough, you would be rewarded with a catch to remember for a lifetime. This is just a moment. More stories for my grandchildren and my fishing buddies. ZW was so full of regret that he had forgotten his reel. However with results like this, we will be back.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

KFC - Fishing at Semenyih

Hazy days are back

We passed through some town

Sukida Resort came to my knowledge after reading some posts by people who has been there. This place has been well visited by fly fisherman, including the famous Uncle Amin. From their catch reports, all very nice catches. Since I picked up fly fishing, I started to go catch and release pond to train myself in this new fishing art form. All I had caught now, were just the various PBs from our reservoir. So, with the long weekend coming up, I planned a trip to Semenyih (Sir-men-nee) for some Malaysian style pond fishing. For this trip, it was just my family and TC that came along. I started the trip at 4am (ungodly hour) due to the expectation that the checkpoints would be jammed. Indeed it was, and at 4.30am, we were stuck in the jam for half an hour. Not too bad. From woodlands checkpoint, it was all the way to the NSH, and then a direct drive to Machap for breakfast.

We are here in Semenyih

Arriving at Tan Sri Haneco

Dirt road to what we thought was Sukida. (Turn out to be Fish Valley)

Nearing the entrance

The food at Machap was downright terrible, and the other Yakun-styled Kopitiam was not open (which was more decent). I threw away my first plate of rice as the chilli tasted too sourly to be edible. The second food, was unpleasant and I pushed it away too. I finally had some simple sandwiches and be done with it. From there, our 2nd stop was at the Ayer Keroh KFC reststop. There, the food was better and we had some waffles. And then from there, we went the remaining portion of the drive then we hit the GPS spot for Sukida Resort. We reached there arould 11am.

The route that my GPS indicated was a rather longish way. My maps were not updated, and the GPS didn't know about a new expressway that could have shorten the driving distance. On the way back, I relied more on TC's GPS as the routing was better. In fact, all the way up, my GPS went bonkers and it was showing my car driving in reverse gear. And at every exit, it would recalculate. Later at Ayer Keroh reststop, I did a restart of the phone and it was fine. When we arrived at the place, after talking to the owner, we found that the place we were at was Fish Valley instead and not Sukida. The rates here, RM20 for fly fishing, and RM30 for bottom fishing. From 12pm, Bottom was RM20. Cost was for 2 rods. They open only till 7pm, and don't have resorts for overnighters. In fact, they are constructing it now. The owner was downright friendly and didn't mind that we were going Sukida instead. In fact, he directed us the way there. [This month rod & line, it was said that Fish Valley had plabuks (the cat fishes similar to those in Bangkok Bungsumran.)

Lunch at a Construction site coffee shop

We followed the instructions but didn't manage to find it at the 5km distance mark that the Fishing Valley guy told us. Along the way, we had to passed by a row of Cemetaries, called Nirvana or something. It seemed that this was an area designated for this memorial purposes. We backtracked and decide to do lunch at a coffee shop built next to a construction site. It was big and clean and we also found the food to be not bad. We managed to get further directions from another group of customer who thought that we were Taiwan tourist. (Hm!).

Some kind of waterfall park here. Once we see this, we have overshot Sukida

At Sukida Resort. No Signage here

Badly maintained Signage

All the fishing cost

Tentage for functions

Scenic view to sip Kopi at the main pond

Another angle

The toilet

We finally did find Sukida Resort and it wasn't like what we expected. It was a little run- down, but the pond were quite big and natural looking. Even the signage was a smallish one, and not very visible from the road. There were a total of 3 ponds that were fishable. There was another pond where the water was full of weeds but very clear waters. I did try a little there but looks like no fishes at all. But the place was nicely layout and it didn't feel too Pondish. Fishing was only RM10 per rod. We asked for fishing dough or bait but they only had bread. (Surprise). The man said that they only encourage natural fishing here. The chalets were at RM70 and RM100, but it was fully taken as there was function going on. The lady said we could try Sri Bayu which was next door. The rooms there were at RM40 each.

A Hut near the 2nd pond

View of the 2nd pond

Sukida Ponies

We parked ourselves here

Me doing fly fishing

A wooly bugger that no fish was interested in

So we were kind of upsetted with our plans. We could fish here but was wondering how to settle the accomodation problem. Anyway, we left that aside and decided to just fish and worry about that later. My recce around the pond, I did see some small haruans at the edge of the ponds. There were some occasional big swirls in the water, going after the loose pieces of bread that others have left over. TC went on to do baiting, whereas I setup my fly rod and went about casting here and there. Despite all my efforts, there were totally no bites at all. Even dangling the fly right in front of the small haruans elicited no response! They probably showed me their haruan middle finger before swimming away. Good thing though was that my fly casting has improved. Over there, it was quite spacious at some spots and I could extend the full reach of my fly line. I tried all over the ponds, but didn't manage to get any reaction. The bread fly that I had tied at home didn't work well as it was sinking. Back to the drawing board!

TC was sitting one corner and doing boring bread fishing. The results were bad and he caught nothing as well. But the malay guy on our left side did score a small Patin. He has some kind of rig that could toss a good chunk of bread (which wasn't bought from the resort) quite a distance away. TC had some red thread multi-hooks contraption and he copied his method. But it didn't work as well probaby due to our in house brand bread. Around 4pm, I gave up my fly fishing and setup my sakura and joined him in bread fishing as well. We sat there for the next hours, and to our exasperation, nothing at all. The fishes here seemed well fed from all the loose bread and were quite smart in discerning what is edible and what's not.

Ponies liked the bananas

D scared to go near to the Ponies

Next time bring me more bananas ok?

Later in the afternoon, the resort Ponies were let our for a walk. D had some fun with the ponies that kind of roamed freely around the resort. They like the bananas that TC had, and even accepted our bread and leafy grass. Actually, for the bad fishing, they were quite entertaining us quite a bit.

Opposite side, a whole stretch of cemetary ground

Around 6pm, we decided to call it quits. From there, we aimed to look for a cheap motel/hotel to spend the night. Since we are already here, we planned to just spend the night somewhere and return to Fish Valley to give it a try. But for some unknown reasons, all the hotels/motels were fully booked. We found one that was zero star one but decided against it as it was run by an indian (got smell) and didn't look too clean. We broke off the search and went to Metro Point, a shopping mall, to have dinner first. Dinner was done at a place called Noodle house and it was quite good actually. After that, we did a spot of quick shopping and I managed to buy a car charger for my phone that worked just for RM8. Wah, my dopod has a special requirement for high current at 1000mA and most charger wouldn't even work.

We went into the wrong entrance for Sri Bayu and ended up in a construction site

A Semenyih ghost in white

After that, it was more searching for places to sleep. Finally, we decide to go back and find Sri Bayu as the Sudika owners had suggested. But the problem was that the road sign for Sri Bayu lead us through a cross-road terrain into a deserted location. But we passed by a makeshift sort of coffee-shop. We tried to ask for directions but couldn't quite understand what the people were saying. We made some wrong turns and was skirting a new looking fishing pond that had nobody and some wild dogs. We made a second pass at the coffee-shop from nowhere and had A to ask this time. We were then told that the entrance was from another side.

Backtracking to the entrance, we went to explore another way and ended up seeing excavators and bulldozers and long haired woman in white. That couldn't be right and then we went back to the signage to see if there was anyone to call. Indeed which we manged to reach them, we were told that that entrance was to a new branch and not ready yet. In the middle of the, a long convoy of vehicles came out of the darkness. TC and I were shocked and we thought we were just there and it looked pretty deserted! The old Sri Bayu as further down the road at another 5km away. We were also told that there was one last room available and we could have it. Whew, that seemed to solve our problem with a place to stay.

Finally! Found Sri Bayu

We finally arrived at Sri Bayu and found it to be more crowded than Sukida and there were plenty of people having fun fishing there. The room was paid and we were given the keys to the chalet. But when we reached there, it was just a small room with a double deck bed inside. That was quite alright but the place was quite dirty and smelled of bird droppings from the dough that people used for fishing. And all around us, were people fishing just in front of the chalet. They were smoking and making a lot of noise. How then can we sleep in such a place. While A and D went to have a bath, TC and I discussed and decided to return the room. We will then make our way back to Singapore. Problem was that I was already dead tired. The night before, I only had 2 hours of sleep. And after a hectic day, I wasn't too sure if I could last for the 4 hours drive.

All the fishing cost. This is not catch and release pond

Looks nice, but the chalet interior was stinky

The chalet

Someone caught a Patin next to our chalet

Anyway, that seemed the best course of action, and we then made our way back to Singapore. During the drive, indeed I almost dozed off while driving. Even gulging down a can of Red Bull didn't help this time. It was so bad that I was hallucinating from the lights in front of me. Sensing the danger, I decided to ask A to take over the wheels. Good thing was that she had been sleeping the whole day and did mange to let me sleep for an hour or so. The NSH at that time wasn't too busy and was managable for her.

We arrived in Singapore and by the time I sent TC back home, it was about 4am. That concluded a 24 hours drive up to Semenyih and a visit to 3 fishing ponds, all in a day. It was a bad fishing day, but a rather adventerous drive up to Malaysia Pond fishing Central for this trip.

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Monday, August 03, 2009

KFC - Nanyang Fish Farm 3rd Visit

My car servicing was up and I had to run into JB to visit my workshop. Pat had a stretch of leaves and joined me for the trip. We were planning to do some simple fishing after my servicing. I thought to go to Kulai Nanyang Fish Farm again. The last two times there, I had returned with a substantial zero. And it wasn't that the place has no fish. They are there in fact, and will sneer at me every once a while with some big splashes in the water. The local folks there seemed to know how to catch them and they were landing them quite frequently, right under my nose.

The last time, someone was doing fly fishing and was pretty successful, I must say. The short two hours there, I saw him landing about 4-5 Patins on fly. At that time, I wasn't into fly fishing and didn't think to observe how he was doing it and what fly he was using. Today, I had packed along my fly rod and gave it a try. As the farm wasn't too crowded, I had ample space to do my casting. All the flies I brought along, I tried. But all I caught were some branches behind me once a while.

Pat wasn't doing too well for his float fishing either. When we arrived, the man only gave us bread to fish as he didn't have the kng then. Although there were some bites, the fish quickly released them before we could react. But the local certainly know how to catch the fishes and was regularly bringing them up. It might be due to their customised concoction of the kng they had prepared.

After an hour plus or so, the ladies got bored and gave us another half an hour to fish. I admitted defeat for my fly rod and switch to my Sakura for some float fishing. I had a brief bite on the last minute but the fish was smart and released it quickly. Pat too had a nugde but again didn't connect. We left the place defeated. But while chatting with a local chinese guy beside us, we were told that there is another catch and release pond nearby. When we heard the word "arapamai", we all dripped saliva uncontrollably. On the way back, we did a detour to find the place but missed it. But with a carload of unhappy ladies, we better head for shopping and food else we won't be able to return in 1 piece.

Information about the fishing pond

He should be a teacher, with a whip like this

All the magic flies that I tried. None worked

With my fly rod

Back to baiting...guys opposite us having a field day

Com'on....bite please

Serene pond

People beside us got one

Took a while to coax it into the net

About 5 kg

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