Pacu-Pachu !

-‘Pachu’ is how this fish is pronounced in Malaysia-

“Pacu (Portuguese pronunciation: [paˈku]) is a common name used to refer to several common species of omnivorous South American freshwater fish that are related to the piranha. Pacu and piranha do not have similar teeth, the main difference being jaw alignment; piranha have pointed, razor-sharp teeth in a pronounced underbite, whereas pacu have squarer, straighter teeth, like a human, and a less severe underbite, or a slight overbite. Additionally, full-grown pacu are much larger than piranha, reaching up to 0.9 m (3 feet) and 25 kg (55 pounds) in the wild.”
1st Pacu ! Borneo 2014 m.fauvet:tlc

as for their infamous balls-biting reputation i can’t really add much as i fished from the bank.., however Wiki has this to say about this tender subject-
“In 2013, a pacu specimen was found by a fisherman in Denmark. This led to media reports mistakenly warning that the fish could attack male testicles. The reports were based on a joke that was not meant to be taken seriously.” 
which in a way, makes me think that if i was a tropical fish stuck in the cold Scandinavian waters i’d probably want to bite off a few as well…

“In Appendix B of Through the Brazilian Wilderness, Theodore Roosevelt advised, “For small fish like the pacu and piranha an ordinary bass hook will do.” Concerning the pacu, he added: “A light rod and reel would be a convenience in catching the pacu. We used to fish for the latter variety in the quiet pools while allowing the canoe to drift. We fished for the pacu as the native does, kneading a ball of mandioc farina with water and placing it on the hook as bait. I should not be surprised, though, if it were possible, with carefully chosen flies, to catch some of the fish that every once in a while we saw rise to the surface and drag some luckless insect under.” 
well Theodor wasn’t in the least bit wrong. this little fellow fell for a black leech imitation just as it hit the water a certain unknown distance away. (we where fishing in the dark)(an activity that’s quite unusual for me as local regulations prevent it)(that made it even more funner!) but, the most important was this little Pacu was a first for me and one of two new species to add to my ‘caught’ list. the circumstances leading to this catch make it even more special. C.K. ‘Doc Ling, Ling Pacuing m.fauvet:tlc 2014new friend and Master Certified Casting Instructor with the International Federation of Fly Fishers picked me up at Kuala Lumpur airport and before even being out of the doors asked me if i was up to fishing just after dinner. conditioned reflex said ‘SURE !’ without even thinking i had spent the last 30 or so hours traveling…

nevermind sleep, tiredness and weariness. when you’re completely engulfed by fishing mojo it all works out in the end !
Pacu Mojo ! m.fauvet:tlc 2014
even at this size they put up a great fight. nothing like the typical jump up and down, left and right and all around as say, a trout or largemouth bass will generally do but these guys are strong, fit and pull hard. fine-fine sport on a lightish wt fly rod. i’ll be back for more.

a nice hot shower.

’twas a real treat for this season’s first wet-wading session. there where a few masheer involved, i’ll post pics when i find the memory card…

Borneo Stickman 8wt m.fauvet:tlca big thanks to Dron Lee for the awesome grasshopper imitation !

click the pic for more info on the Stickman T8 Evil Black

Borneo Bugs

hi folks ! the somewhat promise of semi-regular and live updates of my trip to Borneo written about on the previous post didn’t pan out so i’ll start here little by little.
its hard to decide what subject to choose when just about everything on the trip was new, exotic and equally superbe on all levels, so, on a whim here’s some really trippy-beautiful bugs that where all around us at the Mannis-Mannis ‘RoofTop of Borneo’ lodge in Crocker Range National Park on the island of Sabah. i always miss TLC when i can’t log on so, it’s good to be back. anyhow…

i hope you likem’ big !

borneo bug 8 m.fauvet:tlc 2014
borneo bug 6 m.fauvet:tlc 2014

this one had a thing for ‘Smooth‘ Naveen’s tats.borneo bug 5 m.fauvet:tlc 2014
borneo bug 2 m.fauvet:tlc 2014

borneo bug 4 m.fauvet:tlc 2014

borneo bug 14 m.fauvet:tlc 2014

Sabah bug 1 m.fauvet:tlc 2014

it’s like tripping 24/7 !borneo bug 15 m.fauvet:tlc 2014
approximately 35cm span.borneo bug M.fauvet:tlc 2014fur detail: was as soft as it looks.borneo bug 10 m.fauvet:tlc 2014
accessories for scale.borneo bug 12 m.fauvet:tlc 2014
25 cm minimum span width.
borneo bug 3 m.fauvet:tlc 2014
borneo bug 16 m.fauvet:tlc 2014

this one likes creamer with its coffee.borneo bug 13 m.fauvet:tlc 2014

toilet paper dispenser stalker.borneo bug 7 m.fauvet:tlc 2014

interestingly enough, being in a jungle and all, with all its reputations of swarms of blood-sucking critters i didn’t get bit a single time by a mosquito. however, this lovely wasp decided to land on the back of my neck while i was peeing at the lodge.
not knowing what it was, i absentmindedly brushed off the ‘whatever‘ and as they always seem to do when panicked, left its long and pointy dard under my teeshirt collar. a little Neosporin took off the edge.

borneo wasp m.fauvet:tlc 2014

coming up next (as soon as jet-lagging completely wears off… ) are tons more photos of new friends, fly casting hot-shots, some first-time fish, several product reviews, the promised contest and who knows what else. in the meantime, enjoy !

Borneoing

imagehi folks ! I’m somewhere here on this map enjoying a spicy breakfast, listening to fancy birds and happy to have caught my first ever Pacu last night. otherwise known as the ‘ball eater’ fish, I fished from the bank!

i had planned to post a slew of things for you to read and even a new giveaway contest to keep you busy while I’m trying to not get get my balls eaten…. but, contrary to what the travel brochure said, I wasn’t able to connect once to wifi throughout the 25 hour trip. hopefully this won’t be the same on the way back. anyhow, hugs to all and see ya soon !

 

Fly Casting- the Cunning-Ling

an Off-Tracking Curve Cast demonstration by ‘Doc’ CK Ling

to me, ‘Cunning-Ling‘ sounds a lot better than ‘Off-Tracking Curve’ but let’s just say that the latter gives us the idea that it’s a presentation cast and not something else…
i had come across this cast several years ago during line layout research sessions and it sure is nice to see someone perform it so well on video for all to see.
easy to do and easily repeatable, this short range curve cast works well with all leader and fly types. this brings it into the world of real fishing casts and not show-off ones that are of little if any use on the water.

anyhow, back to tracking and off-tracking:
we know that to cast a straight line we need to track the rod straight. this is what we call the 180° principle and it’s one of the hardcore foundations of fly casting. once we’ve learned to track and cast straight (and learned it well), the next step in the evolution of a fly fisher is to learn to go freestyle and be creative with what we previously learned and one of those, and in my opinion a very important one, is to learn to cast the line in voluptuous curves that will dazzle the fish. (well, the fish aren’t supposed to see any of this so not really but it’ll for sure put your ‘linear’ friends to shame and you’ll catch more fish and have more fun and satisfaction at the same time)
to do this we need to break away from the ‘2 Dimensional’ aspect of straight line casting and go straight into ‘3D’ mode because we’ll need to move the rod tip out of plane, what Ling refers to as Off-Tracking.
what we’ll see below is on the final stroke, the rod tip swings around behind him going from (his) left to right and this makes the line end up going from right to left after the casting stroke. when ‘off-tracking’, it’s good to keep in mind that line layout directions will be the reverse of what the rod tip did.
we’ll also notice that this and some other presentation casts take up a lot more aerial space to perform them, something we’ll need to take into account and check feasibilities before planning it’s execution.

another aspect i really like with this particular curved line presentation is that it’s composed of both a cast (the curved front part of the line is created during the casting stroke) and a mend ( the part of the line closer to the rod tip is repositioned after the casting stroke).
the mend part allows us to place the back part of the line judiciously to either avoid obstacles or to position it in an ideal manner to reduce or increase drag.
clever indeed and just another demonstration that there are a lot more efficient line layout possibilities than most fly anglers might think and all it takes is to break out of the box. (and a little practice !)

CK Ling is an IFFF-MCCI (International Federation of Fly Fishers-Master Certified Casting Instructor) from Malaysia. both Ling and Dron Lee are responsible for the UFO (United FlyAnglers Organisation) Malaysia (cool name) International Fly Fishing Festival. i was invited last year to demonstrate presentation casts but wasn’t able to go but the invitation still stands so…