Jungle Perch fly fishing in northern Thailand. Found in lakes and rivers throughout Thailand, Jungle Perch can attain a size of 4 kilograms.
Jungle Perch (Transverse Barb, hampala macrolepidota) are regularly caught on both light spinning tackle and fly fishing, the biggest Jungle Perch are usually solitary fish, found in deep pools in local streams. They are also present in large numbers on some reservoirs and dams, such as Mae Ngat, north of Chiang Mai.
Great scenery, clear water and floating lake-side restaurants make for a pleasant day out. There are even floating accommodation rafts for overnight rent, an interesting option for a couple of days recreational fly fishing. Another sports fish may also be encountered – the Giant Snakehead is a serious predator that hits poppers and streamers hard.
Hiring a local boat operator, we quietly cruise the lake’s shorelines in search of rising Jungle Perch. The best technique is casting near a rise, quickly stripping a streamer fly to coax a strike.
Jungle Perch are said to occur mainly in clear rivers or streams with running water and sandy to muddy bottoms. Found in most water bodies, ‘except small creeks, torrents, and shallow swamps. A migratory species that readily enters flooded forest, they breed throughout the rainy season. They are abundant in catchments of the Chiang Mai region. A predatory fish, adults are mainly piscivorous but their diet also includes aquatic insects. Source: Fishbase.org
A handsome fish, the Jungle Perch have large, silver scales and orange fins. For the river and stream fly fisherman, they like bead-head Woolly Buggers in black or olive. They fight hard and are fun to catch on light tackle. Fishing for Jungle perch is similar to fishing for bass in North America.