The lingering end of the Rainy Season has many rivers still running dirty. However, head-water streams are clearing and fishing is possible! Hey, after 5 months of no river fishing, we’ll even go fishing in dirty water!
Yesterday, adventure beckoned and we set forth in the 4X4, spirits high and camp beds wisely stowed under a tarpaulin in case of a shower. An hours drive, and we reached the turn-off onto a dirt road that climbs high over a series of mountain ridges. Seemingly endless teak forest vistas give way to patches of agriculture, and eventually, the road descends into the most beautiful little valley.
Hidden Valley – Karen Village & Mountain Stream
A picturesque Karen village is situated on the bank of a delightful mountain stream. Does it have fish, you ask? Well, indeed it does!
Some pools have a lot of Mahseer!
Close up and personal, this is a lovely piece of water – a classic mountain stream, noisy and boulder-studded, with water deeper than you’d expect in places!
Catch anything? Ah, yes… its pretty water, and the fish are not unwilling… There are gorgeous fish in here, no doubt about it! Their behavior mimics that of big Brown Trout. They sit on similar lies, and take nymphs / dries with reckless abandon. Fishing upstream with a #6 Royal Wulff dry indicator, and a #16 nymph, and #6 to #8 weight rods, long leaders in clear water…
The main difference is that fishing through a Karen village section means you’ve got a fascinated audience – the locals had never seen fly fishing demonstrated before!
Fly Fishing in Thailand – A Spectator Sport?
The rice paddies evident in the first image offer stunning pastoral scenes
Rice Paddies almost ready for harvest.
Wherever we go, there are always kids – and this is the last week of the school holidays, so the arrival of strangers in the village attracted lots of interest. Keeping the noisy small boys well behind you is important – they just don’t understand the need for stealth when fishing!
Growing up in a remote village is not all bad…
We spent the night at the house of the village headman – ate and drank with the gentlemen of the town and retired to the sound of gentle rain on the roof… Next morning, we left for home, with the headman for company as far as the highway. At his suggestion, we enjoyed an unexpected detour to a sink-hole / cave and underground stream…
Big colorful hole in the ground…
Now this WAS a surprise – the rock colours were not apparent in the gloom!
Crystals on the Rocks