Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fishing Malaysia

Hello, I am Hank Collins, a 65 year old Ex-Pat, DAV, living in the sunny Philippine Islands.  Fishing here is of course a very big sport. But Fly Fishing is almost non-existent. I recently received a Life membership to IFFF.  I have wanted to learn to fly fish for as long as I can remember but I never took the time to learn. I even took a fly tying class when I lived in Arizona about 12 years ago. But I just never took the time to continue the sport. Now I'm fully retired and have the time but had no access. I can't even find a place here in the Philippines that sells fly rods, reels or line. After an exhausting internet search I found the closest group of Fly Fishers to me was in Malaysia. When I went to the Amazon website looking to buy a Fly Fishing gear, almost all the ads I saw said, "This item does not ship to the Philippines". I started asking myself, whether I was living on another planet. Early this month my best friend here, another American, invited me to go along with him to Malaysia on a business trip. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to finally pursue my dream. The following is the result of that trip.

The first contact I made was with Riki Liskandarsyah. Dr. Riki is a 36 year old retired MD.  This 'Lucky Dog' decided one day to give up chasing riches and chase his passion, Fly Fishing. He's a IFFF CCI, Guide, Globetrotter, and one hell of a nice guy.  He has an online fly fishing store and guide business, the KL Fly Fishing Shop For two weeks before my trip we exchanged emails discussing what I could expect from his casting class and what I needed for gear. I picked out what I thought I wanted from his website and then deferred to his knowledge and experience for guidance. I told Riki the kind of fishing I would do here in the Philippines would be fresh and inshore saltwater.  After several revisions we finally agreed to the following:

1)Casting Class
2) Echo Ion #7 Rod
3) Airflo V-Lite Reel
4) Acme Porta Kit (Tying vise and tools)
5) Cortland 444 WF7I Line
6) Cortland 444 WF7F Line
7) Airflo Dacron 30lb Backing
8) Zenth Streamer II Fly Box
09) 5 Saltwater Flies
10) 5 Freshwater Flies
11) Frog Hair Leader/Tippet Materials x 3 spools

Sunday morning Riki picked me up at my hotel and after the usual greetings we headed to the park for the casting lesson. I knew I liked him right away.  Riki told me prior to my arrival that I needed to commit to about 6 hours of lessons. His normal class runs for 2 hour at a time over 3 weeks. This gave his students time to practice on their own between classes.  We spent 4 hours at the park casting. By the time 1pm rolled around I was exhausted. Malaysia is 2 degrees north latitude and man it was like an oven. I hadn't experienced heat like that since the Arizona desert. But I was ready to fish when we left the park. Riki told me that he had been very apprehensive about how the lesson would go. I was the oldest student he had ever taught to cast. But, he assured I was ready.

I couldn't sleep that night in anticipation of using my newly acquired skill at the pond the next day.  At the pond I was so nervous. It didn't help when Riki told me we had to change the line on my reel from floating to sinking. He warned me it would be a different experience than at the park and I might have some difficulty at first. He was right. I couldn't get the line to shoot more than 5 or 6 feet, when the day before my casts where 20 feet or more. I started to get frustrated but I finally settled down and the results were fantastic.
Friends, The proof is in the photos. Having spent 4 hours the day before in sweltering heat learning how to cast a fly rod;  I caught 5 fish, 2 Barramundi and 3 Groupers. Pictured here are 3of the 5.  I had a great teacher, 2 great days and memories, and a sport that will last a lifetime. I am a Fly Fisherman! If you are looking for a guide for your next fishing trip, (Fly Fishing Only), check out Dr. Riki in Malaysia.

Hank Collins and new friends

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