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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fly Fish with Mel: First Post for 2007, First Post in a year

It's been a year since I last posted my series on my Maldives trip. Since then, I've been on another "pilgrimage". In the last year, new ties have been made while some old ones were severed. In a small country like Singapore where the fly fishing community is small and the number of fishing holes even lesser, it never amazes me how difficult it is to unite ourselves for a greater cause.

I hope that 2007 will be a better year for us. There are rumours that another reservoir will be opened soon for fishing.

"Isn't that good news?"

Maybe not.

" Why not", you may ask?

Well, there are a few simple reason.

For one, if the idea of opening up the reservoir for fishing with artificials is to restrict us to a 50m wooden fishing platform, as was the case at Bedok Reservoir, then it might be better off that it remains closed. Not only was the platform not conducive for lure or fly fishing due to the awkward height of the handrails that flank the platform, it was also built above land instead of over water. I can go on and on about the flaws of the design but I guess, I should keep that as a separate post on 'How to design Platforms for fishing with Artificials'.

Besides the inadequacies of the facilities, there is a serious lack of proper rules and enforcement to maintain a productive fishery to keep the fishing interest going. What good does it do to have rules that ban the use of livebait when hordes of fishermen are still using 6" live catfish, live shrimp, live goldfish, chicken liver, etc at 'legal' fishing areas while lure and fly anglers are stopped by enforcement officers for fishing just 500m off the legal areas.

Personally, I've tried calling the authorities to report the use of livebait. But instead of getting an immediate response, I was told that they would have to call the 'relevant' authority to send their officers. Leaving my contact number, I went for breakfast and after two hours. When I passed by the fishing jetty on my way home, there they were, the same bunch of fishermen happily dunking their live and wriggling offerings.

In the US of A; in Europe; downunder in Australia; fishing is good because there are proper rules that dictate what can be taken and what has to be returned to maintain the fish stocks. Fishing licenses also provide finances to employ and train qualified rangers to enforce the rules. the money also contributes to re-stocking programs that ensures that there will always be a good supply of fish to keep anglers happy.

Indiscriminate keeping of under-sized fish and also potential breeders by local recreational fishermen, add to that the audacious use of drag nets by Thai and other foreign workers have worked together to greatly diminish a once fantastic fishery.

So it really remains to be seen, if the opening of yet another reservoir is going to be a boon or bane for our local sportfishermen.

Well, it pains me to have to re-start my blogging with such a negative note but perhaps, in my coming updates, I can provide some insights into what a fly angler or sportfisherman is looking for in the earnest pursuit of our passion.

1 comment:

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