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Sungai Tiang

Forum for discussing fisheries conservation and other environmental issues related to fish, wildlife, watersheds, and aquatic ecosystems.

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Paul Arden
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Sungai Tiang

#1

Post by Paul Arden » Wed May 20, 2020 6:52 am

I’ve agreed to develop, manage and market a Mahseer fishing project in Royal Belum state park that is owned and operated by the local Orang Asli village community. We have a river that was virtually wiped out of fish and two years ago the park closed all access. Last year I was approached by the park manager if I would be interested in creating a C&R fly fishery.

I visited the river, thought about how to proceed and put forward a proposal. Today it has been accepted. I’m thrilled to be part of a project that both preserves and advances a wild jungle Mahseer fishery and creates guiding jobs and income for the local Orang Asli community.

My first task will be to teach fly fishing to four Orang Asli boys who will ultimately become the guides on this river. I also have to explore the river fully myself, name the pools (or find out what names that have been given!) and set up a jungle camp with a view to having our first guests in August. So that’s my next two months taken care of :D

I think this is going to be a very successful project. Mahseer are a fantastic fish to fish for, a lot like trout in behaviour but fight like a saltwater fish. The fish at the moment are up to around 1KG, but in not very many years to come, if this project is carefully managed, we should see 3 or even 4KG fish.

It’s great to be given the green light, because I can really get things moving now. I think this will be a great project to be a part of and I’m looking forward to making new friends in this community. I may even learn some new jungle skills!

I hope some of you, maybe even all of you, come and visit this place. It’s remote, it’s wild and it’s the Real Malaysia! It’s the northern part of the lake where I live and fish.

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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James9118
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Re: Sungai Tiang

#2

Post by James9118 » Wed May 20, 2020 7:35 am

Sounds great. What caused the fish loss two years ago?

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Paul Arden
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Re: Sungai Tiang

#3

Post by Paul Arden » Wed May 20, 2020 8:32 am

Completely fished out, netting, overfishing, selling fish to market. I was talking to the local Orang Asli and there was almost no fish whatsoever. Well it is now stacked with fish! Lower down they have a sanctuary where the fish are fed. Upstream has been closed to access for two years. The only people to travel through were the occasional conservationist staff and Orang Asli hunting parties. I was fascinated to see how it has recovered so fast, indeed the locals were surprised too. It will take time to reach its full potential, but if it's properly managed, as it will be :pirate: I think it will be amazing. Mahseer growth rates are about 1KG every two years. It's important that the project creates an income for the entire village. Mahseer in this country are a highly sought after table fish and fetch a high market price. However this river is remote and in order to reach it you have to pass the village. The Orang Asli have actually blocked off access to the river mouth further down the lake, preventing anglers from even reaching the river. Perfect - I really like these guys already :D So I really want to make this project work for them and will devote a lot of my time to helping them.
1.jpeg
Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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Geenomad
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Re: Sungai Tiang

#4

Post by Geenomad » Wed May 20, 2020 10:58 am

Sounds good Paul. Nice project to be working on. Hope it works out well for all concerned.

Cheers
Mark
"The line of beauty is the result of perfect economy." R. W. Emerson.
https://thecuriousflycaster.com

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Paul Arden
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Re: Sungai Tiang

#5

Post by Paul Arden » Thu May 21, 2020 10:15 am

I am looking for tackle for this project. I’ll start off by training four Orang Asli to fly fish. But I also want to get the village children fly fishing too. These will be the next generation of fly fishing guides. I will provide some gear but it’s too large a project for me to provide it all. I’m writing to a whole bunch of connections I have in the industry and I’m looking forward to success in this. But if anyone has some old tackle that they have no wish for then I would be most grateful for it. Vices, fly tying material, boots, old reels, sunglasses, even old rods, nets - you name it, we’ll take it!!

Thanks!!! :cool: :yeahhh:
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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Viking Lars
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Re: Sungai Tiang

#6

Post by Viking Lars » Sat May 23, 2020 2:07 pm

What are you looking for in terms of rod lengths and line weights?

Lars

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Paul Arden
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Re: Sungai Tiang

#7

Post by Paul Arden » Sat May 23, 2020 6:14 pm

I’ll take anything we can get mate. Everything will be used. From teaching kids to training Orang Asli to be Snakehead guides. For the river itself 8’-9’ 3-7WT is optimal but we are not restricted to this by any means.
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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Paul Arden
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Re: Sungai Tiang

#8

Post by Paul Arden » Sat May 30, 2020 10:14 am

I had a really nice meeting with Sungai Tiang village today, along with State Park officials. We plan to start this project week after next. First up - lots of fun; teaching four Orang Asli to fly fish! I will spend the first four weeks teaching them casting, fly fishing, fly tying, catch and release methods etc. In this time we will explore and map as much water as possible. I've been looking at the map; it's a long river! During this period we will figure out what else we need to do when it comes to tracks, camp, pit toilets facilities etc. I'm planning to accept Malaysian guests from August and Internationals next year or when travel is permitted.

So far we have a fly tying vice and a full set of tackle (rod/line/reel) coming. Thanks guys!

Any gear can be sent here:

Sungai Tiang Fly Fishing Project
Attention Paul Arden
Tingkat 1,
Kompleks Bangunan Kerajaan Negeri Perak,
JKR 341 Jalan Sultan Abdul Aziz,
33300 Gerik,
Perak
Malaysia

We definitely need more rods and reels, forceps, you name it! Fortunately I have about a million hooks so no shortage of those (currently!).

Cheers, Paul :cool:
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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Harps
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Re: Sungai Tiang

#9

Post by Harps » Sat May 30, 2020 4:15 pm

What a great project to be involved in!
I’ve seen more of these local supported fisheries popping up in media and I think they’re a pretty amazing way to balance resource protection, use, and local profit.

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Paul Arden
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Re: Sungai Tiang

#10

Post by Paul Arden » Sun May 31, 2020 9:07 am

If it wasn’t for COVID I wouldn’t have the sort of time needed for this project. I’ve pretty much written off the rest of the year to hosting Snakehead trips for International visitors. Originally when I looked at the project I realised it was going to involve a lot of time (and exactly at a time when I’m building my Snakehead trips) and so was trying to put Flavio in as adviser on the river. But he’s stuck in Switzerland so that’s not going to work now :D

Anyway I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of fun for everyone involved. I’ll initially spend the next 2 months full time on the project. 2 days in, one day out, two days in, two days out. There will need to be some extended trips to see what’s upstream. But let’s teach them fly fishing first!

I’m planning for first guests in August and September. I’ll be there for these of course. The trick is to have everything set up, so that in years to come I can extract myself from the project leaving them fully in charge. In the longer term we will need to find someone capable of answering enquiries, taking bookings, and uploading photos and videos for marketing on a weekly basis. Right now I’ll do all of that but I’m acutely aware that I’m creating a position for someone else!

I can see an opportunity to combine my business (Snakehead/ Gourami/ advanced flycasting on the lake) with Orang Asli Mahseer flyfishing in the jungle. It will give an extra fishing opportunity for my guests (and they will definitely catch fish and have a great time on the river!). It will also generate extremely useful feedback for me on how well this river project is working and on ways to improve it.

I see it as a five year project for me tapering off to complete extraction by which time it will be completely self-running and generating significant income for the village with regular clients and a regular marketing program in place to generate a stream of new ones!

All really rather interesting. I’ve always believed that fly fishing can make a difference to people’s lives and so I think that this is a great project for fly fishing as a whole. We will be able to say that fly fishing has brought income to a village in poverty, created guiding jobs for the local indigenous community, created jobs for their children in the future AND has restored and protected a fish population in a river for future generations.

And if we can make this one a success then others will follow.

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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