Sunday, December 30, 2007

Adi's Sebarau

Adi’s Sebarau
My mobile phone alarm screamed and my wife’s shadowless leg kicked me awake before the beeping woke up my youngest kid. Quite a cool day today and a light mist blanket the road towards the reservoir. The joggers and cyclists were already doing their usual Sunday routine when I manoeuvred the bus onto the grass verge near the entrance of our destination. Adi and Uncle Wong arrived too at the syncronised time. The valve technician had done his duty and the water was flowing at full force. The sound of the rushing water was like Kitaro’s music to a fly fisherman. The spider cameraman was early today. He had already set up his equipments and waiting to shoot the insects.

My first peacock bass was a small little fellow. I was just trying to use the pull of the water to straighten the fly line and this little bugger whacked the fly. Uncle Wong was trying for the sebaraus. Adi was at the “No Fishing” sign and the peacock basses were hitting his fly with a frenzy. Thick skin me pretended to take a few pictures of him with the fish and unsportingly squeezed into the small space between him and the tree and got my second peacock bass. Uncle Wong as usual was catching most of the fishes. The water was crystal clear today. “Clear as Gin”, Uncle Wong agreed. I could see every peacock bass that chased the fly. Even a huge soft shell turtle could be seen chasing its prey. Adi was thinking of turtle soap when he saw it too. A sebarau wickedly missed my fly and made my heart stop. But it was again not the time for me to catch a sebarau. I went further down stream to try my luck at Uncle Wong’s spot. Next thing I heard was Adi had caught a sebarau and the fly rod was bending as if it was going to break. Adi sportingly posed for a few photos for my blog before releasing the fish tenderly back into the Gin clear water. Thanks Adi. He always made my day by catching something special for my camera.

Adi with his Sebarau.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Gift

Christmas Gift – I Could Walk
The ghosts of the Hungry Ghost Month had long gone home. My right leg had finally gathered enough guts to help carry me out of my house before sunrise. Uncle Wong and Adi had agreed to meet up at the White House for a fly fishing session. As I drove towards the destination, I kept the windows of my bus opened to smell the cool sweet misty morning air along the reservoir road. Reached the car park just in time to watch the silhouettes of Uncle Wong and Adi disappeared behind the bushes. I was full of energy, but was careful not to walk into anything which will injure the right leg again before it heal completely. I like to rig up my rod and reel as I walked towards the fishing grounds. But today I had to be extra careful. So I rig up my LeoRod and Hardy Bougle at the car park before walking down the slope to the flood gates to join Uncle Wong and Adi.

Uncle Wong was kind enough to leave a spot more accessible to a handicap me to fish. He took up the spot at the peninsula. Adi took a spot next to me at the granite rocks. Splash!!! A peacock bass bend Uncle Wong’s LeoRod. Splash!!! Again, another peacock bass hit Uncle Wong’s black fly. I took some pictures of him. Adi and I salivated while Uncle Wong caught all the peacock basses. Then, like he was reading my mind or he could see the saliva dripping from my opened mouth, he asked me over to take the spot. Sure enough, I caught my peacock bass for the day and gave the spot back to Uncle Wong. He caught many more. Adi caught a few too. I missed a few take because my rusty arm was not fast enough to strike when the peacock basses nipped the fly.

Time’s up. We unrigged the tackles and made our way back to the car park. Ah Hoe’s as usual, but he was closed for the holiday. We had Kway Chap for breakfast and shared the usual fishermen’s lies. An enjoyable day to begin with. Merry Christmas to all.

The empteen peacock bass which Uncle Wong caught this morning.

One the way home, I put my right hand on my the right leg and drove slowly, reminiscing on the trip I made with Uncle Chui to Tampines Quarry. Some supernatural things that happened there. The words of the fortune teller about my misfortune during the Hungry Ghost Month still echos in my ears. The fortune teller had told me that I had stepped on something dirty. Dirty to him means something from the other world. It reminded me of what Uncle Chui had called out when he murmured “ Siam Ahhh….” when he pee into the bushes at Tampines Quarry.

Uncle Chui was trying to calm my nerves when something unworldly was moving the plants and leaves, in broad daylight. I tried to snap some pictures with my camera but most of the pictures came out blank. I could only get one and half the picture colours were weird. After that the camera just died. But it came back to life later when I brought it out to take pictures of the fishes I caught.

Wise words from Uncle Chui.
“Billy, I know you are scared of the ho-hiah-tee.”
“But don’t worry.”
“When you come to these ulu places, don’t scold bad words and don’t curse anything.”
“When you pang-gio, you tell the ho-hiah-tee to siam.”
“Nothing will happen to you”

I asked him, “Then pang-sai how?”

“Billy ah, ler si-peh ti-kee hor.”
“One day you kena then you know.”

Now I kena liow lah…………leg broken.
On the morning when I was so eager to test the LeoRod, I forgot to say “siam” when I made my way to the rapids at the river. But thinking back, I was lucky not to have a full bladder. Something more valuable might be broken instead of the right leg………..hmmm…… young guys like me should listen more to the older people.

Uncle Wong gave the spot to me.

But before that, he tried to catch a lah...kekekeke.
A peacock bass released itself and the fly line sprang skywards to the tree.