Kuala Rompin 2014 Fly Fishing for Sailfish

fly-caught-sailfishAfter years of hearing about the place I finally got to Kuala Rompin in Malaysia.I travelled with a bunch of mates, all blokes I knew were good fly fishermen but would also be a lot of fun and would enjoy an adventure – there were 8 of us, Alan “Fish” Philliskirk and “Notso” Bright from Weipa, Rod Van Beek, Mark Joseph and myself from Sydney, Hooky from Melbourne and from Perth Craig “Noddy” Radford and Leon Normore on 2 boats. We flew into Singapore, spent a night in that great city, and were picked up from our hotel for the 4 hour drive north to Rompin the next afternoon.

We fished with Dominic Pereira of Fishzone and the second boat had Ian Pinto as the main teaser man. Our accommodation in Rompin was in a new 4 bedroom air-conditioned house in a side street just a few minutes out of town, it was very comfortable. The food was outstanding. Dominic has settled on a couple of restaurants and we feasted every night on a range of incredible dishes from wild boar to kampong chicken curry, fish, prawns and all kinds of great tucker. There’s a wine shop over the road and a range of beers available from the restaurant.

The fishing was exceptional. We had slower days and we also hit a run of exceptionally small fish that were in one area. The slowest day on either of the boats saw ONLY 12 fish raised, but the average for the 7 days was 34 fish raised each day. The best day was 58 fish raised by one boat, mostly raised in one afternoon of furious activity when we hit one of the greatest sailfish “Hot Bites” I’ve seen in my life. These were in the bigger class of fish between 25 and 35 kilos. It went on for 4 hours and we landed 5 great fish all over 25 kilos and went through 6 rotations.

We missed a lot of fish. Their mouths are rock hard and I have come to the conclusion that even chemically sharpened hooks need to be touched up. If you get the fly in the right place, and if the teaser man has set the fish up properly for you, the takes are usually instantaneous and ferocious. Put the fly too far from the fish and they lose “the heat” and hit the fly from the side making a good connection more difficult. We fished a mix of poppers and sub-surface flies, I think the subsurface flies, especially my pattern the Klingon, out fished the poppers.

By the end of the week our total stats were;

Raised           Cast         Takes       Landed

478                 205             147               35

In those stats after the takes there were many jump offs and more than few break offs. Closing the gap between takes and landed is the goal and we learned a great deal on this trip. The teamwork between teaser man and caster is critical, the fly placement is critical and the hook choice and sharpening is also critical.

We used #10, #11, #12, and even a #13 rod, (all Sage rods and mostly Sage reels – it was a Sage heavy crew). My line of choice (I preferred sinking) is Rio’s Leviathan and I also used one of their new GT lines for fishing sailfish popper flies. I’ll be back in 2105 for 2 weeks at the end of September and have booked with the same operators. These are the most experienced fly crew in Rompin. See my hosted trips page for information on those trips.