A Day To RememberSome time ago.
Four Old Fly Fishermen met at the usual time to fly fish at the usual big Temensis Peacock Bass spot. I brought along my Rick Cunningham 8’ #4 weight bamboo fly rod.
Patrick, Peter, Ronald and me. Ronald was a school teacher from my old primary school. Peter is his younger brother. Ronald and I went over to our lucky spot where we both almost always caught a fish. Peter and Patrick stayed around the Chempedak Tree where Peter had caught most of his big Temensis Peacock Basses.
Ronald and I caught a few 1 to 2 pounders at our lucky spot.
Ronald, my Primary School teacher, with a decent size temensis.
1 Pound Temensis Peacock Bass on the Cunningham Bamboo Rod.
As the sun begins its setting, Ronald and I tracked slowly back to meet up with Peter and Patrick. Peter was at the jogging track trying to entice a mama Temensis Peacock Bass to snap at his fly. I scanned the water with my polaroid glasses while Ronald watch Peter’s persistence in annoying the mama Temensis. I saw a pair of big Temensis swimming towards me.
But at that moment, just as I pulled some fly line from the fly reel to cast at the mama Temensis, Peter was shouting,
“Tio Tio Tio”.
His fly rod was bending as if it will break anytime soon and the fly reel was screaming a sound so pleasant to a fly fisherman’s ears.
The joggers stopped dead in their track to watch. Some tourists taking a stroll at the park stopped to snap photos of the commotion. Even the golfers who were always irritated by our loud talking when they were teeing off stopped and watched.
The big mama Temensis did several runs before Peter brought it under control. Patrick helped Peter land the mama Temensis with the Boga. A big 8-pounder. After some quick photo shoots, Peter released the mama back into the water.
“Wow, my hands are tired. This mama put up a bloody good fight.” Peter said.
Fish on and reel screaming.
Peter moving to the area where Patrick can help him land it.
Patrick waiting for Peter to bring in the mama Temensis.
The mama trying another run.
Gripped by the Patrick's lip grip.
Patrick's weighing scale hanged.
So have to use the boga to weigh the Temensis.
I went back to the spot where I had caught sight of the big pair of mamas to see if I too can catch one myself. Peter was casually casting his line on the water to stretch and relax his tired hand.
Then it happened again.
“Tio Tio Tio.”
In the few minutes that he was trying to stretch and rest his tired hands, he had managed to irritate another mama Temensis with his fly. The mama snapped and took off with his fly. Pulling the fly line off the reel in a matter of seconds.
Another hard fight and several more hard runs. Peter was running out of breath and his arms were sore. Again Patrick help boga the mama. Another 8-pounder. Patrick refuse to let Peter pose with the fish for a photo and released it.
“Same fish lah….. No need take photo again…”
Patrick called out as he released the big mama.
I took some quick shots of Peter’s second mama temensis before Patrick released it.
Peter's second 8-pounder.
Patrick landing the mama Temensis.
Pat getting the scale ready to weigh the Temensis.
"8-Pound" Pat called out.
I continued to scan the water with my polaroid glasses. First I saw some temensis fries surfacing. Then I caught sight of the big pair of mamas. Well okay. I think the other one must be the papa. But we’re so used to Peter’s usage of words to describe the big fat Temensis Peacock Basses.
“Peter, let me and Ronald try this time okay?” I begged.
Peter’s fly is a very potent weapon for the mama tememsis in this area. He had somehow managed to find a formula and had tied a fly that will irritate the mamas here and he will catch the mamas if his fly were in the water again.
“Okay, go ahead.”
“I need to take a rest too.”
Peter gracefully allowed Ronald and me to chuck our flies at the two big mamas.
All the mama Temensis did was used its head to bump at my Ugly fly.
Ronald was casting beside me. No luck.
Maybe our flies were not irritating enough.
Remembering Peter’s persistence, I tried again and again and again.
My fly reel whined.
And it didn’t stop screaming until the whole fly line was out of the fly reel.
The big fat mama Temensis took off with my Ugly Fly.
Next to me, Ronald was shouting, “ I also Tio! ………”
I had no time to look at Ronald.
I could only hear someone muttered, "Alamak................."
The big fat mama had taken the whole fly line off the reel with its first run away from the edge of the reservoir and wasn’t going to stop. Ronald’s mama followed it and the 12-pound leader he was using snapped like a dried twig. Then the pair turned left and headed for a weeded patch about a hundred feet or more away from the first run. Ronald was to my left and I could not move with the mama’s run. The fly reel screamed again.
“Wind back! Wind back!”
Patrick was calling out instructions to me to prevent the mama from getting into the weeds and losing it.
I followed his instructions and frantically wind the fly reel with my tired hand.
“Wind! Wind! Wind!” Patrick was worried.
If the mama were to wedged itself in the weeds, I would not be able the land it.
I kept winding even though my left thumb and index finger were already very tired from the winding. But the reel was not taking in the line.
I looked at the fly reel.
ALAMAK! HORROR!! DIE!!!
I was almost at the end of the backing.
I could see the metal part of the spool of the fly reel. There must only be about 10 turns or less of the backing on the spool. I was cranking as fast as I can, but the backing just refuse to come in.
The spool on the fly reel was moving, but the backing was still going out. The loop-the-loop connection had lost its grip on the smooth surface of the shinning metal spool. I loosen the tension on the mama and used my fingers to put a few more turns on the spool and wind again.
Once the backing was coming in, it was pulled off again by another run by the mama. I don’t know how much backing I have on the reel. But knowing that I could see the metal part of the shining spool, there wasn’t very much left.
Another run by the monster would peel everything off and break the backing, fly line or leader or tippet. I apologised to Ronald and moved quickly towards the weeded patch. His fly line had entangled all over my feet.
“Wah lan! Don’t let it get into the weeds!” Patrick getting more worried.
And got into the weeds it did.
Finally I was able to get the fly reel to take in the backing. Winding quickly, I was able to get the mama out of the weeds. I don’t know how long it took, but it seems like eternity with my tired fingers, I was able to get the fly line on the spool of the reel.
Then with coaching from Patrick, pumped and winded, pumped and winded, the monster got nearer and nearer. At last with help from Patrick and Peter, we managed to bring in the big fat mama to the edge of the reservoir. Peter went to the edge of the water to boga the mama.
“Okay! Landed” Peter called out.
I couldn’t believe I could have landed this big fat mama after it got into the weeds.
I was prepared to lose it, when even the backing had ran out.
“WAH!!! More than 13 pounds!” Peter called in excitement.
Somebody said, but I didn't know who.
Peter was tired fighting the two 8-pounders and is now holding the heavy big fat mama. His hands are tired and he is long sighted and has poor eye sight reading the boga on previous occasions. I took over the big fat mama from Peter’s trembling hands.
“11.3 pounds only lah.” I told the excited gang.
“11.3 pounds ONLY? "
"11.3 pound you still not enough?”
I could imagine what Uncle Wong would say if he had heard those words. Hehehehehe…………..
Patrick put the boga on his electronic scale.
“12.17 pounds.” It read.
After deducting the weight of the boga, Patrick said the big fat mama Temensis weighed 11.5 pounds.
Ronald was looking disappointed. It was the first big mama temensis he had on the line and he had lost it. We estimated it to be about 10 pounds. He could have joined the “10 Pound Club”.
This “10 Pound Club” is Peter’s creation. Those who had caught a Temensis of 10 Pounds or more on a fly rod is an automatic member. It is a very exclusive club. But there is no membership fees to pay. He is the Chairman, President and Secretary-General and all. So far I am the one and only member. Hehehehehehe………….
Peter reading the boga. "WAH!!! ......More than 13 pounds"
Took this shot with the macro feature of my Canon Digital Ixus.
Patrick's electronic scale is working now.
Me with the Mama Temensis Peacock Bass and the Rick Cunningham Bamboo Rod.
Patrick took this for me.
And this too. Patrick's photo always look better than the ones I took.
Tememsis and Cunningham.
Today is a special day to remember.
Four lau-hee-low (Old Hero), four big fat mama Tememsis Peacock Basses.
While we made our way slowly back, Patrick pointed to the beautiful orange and red altocumulus clouds against a dark blue sky. These beautiful altocumulus had replaced the nimbostratus clouds that had filled the gloomy sky late in the afternoon.
I took a snapshot of the beautiful sunset.
Reminded me of a movie when four cowboys walked into a beautiful sunset at the end of the movie.
We’re not cowboys, we’re Fly Fishermen, and nobody was around to take a photo of the four of us walking into the scarlet sunset.
But there was immense satisfaction walking into a beautiful sunset after battling four big Mama Monster Temensis Peacock Basses.
A Special Day to Remember, indeed.