The Ladyfish of Langkawi


Southeast Asia is arguably one of the last few, little-explored fly fishing frontiers. Probably because it is somewhat well connected in the global transport system. And one might not be wrong to assume that fly fishing is difficult in such a metropolitan region of the world. It is not everyday that a destination in Southeast Asia comes onto our radar that is has phenomenal fishing, and at the same time activities for the whole family. Langkawi just happens to be one of them.

Langkawi is one of the most unique and dramatic destinations in Asia. Saltwater fly fishing out of a panga, with a backdrop of rocky outcrops, tiny uninhabited islands, lush hills and mountains, while still having activities such as island hopping, shopping, and snorkeling for the non-fisher.

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All year round, there are several species of Trevally (Giant, Bigeye and Bluefin), Queenfish, Threadfin Salmon, Dart fish, Torpedo Scads, and a host of other species prowl the rocky outcrops in search of struggling bait fish, trapped in crosscurrents, and attacking any flies that cross their paths. Surveying these rocky outcrops can be compared to streamer fishing in a larger western trout stream, except the fish pull substantially harder. The GT’s that live in Langkawi have been described as pound for pound, the strongest GT’s in Southeast Asia. Expect your 8-weight to be doubled over as even a 2 pounder will ensure your hands are full.

 

In the spring months of March through June, throngs of Ladyfish congregate in the waters off Langkawi Island to feed on the seemingly endless schools of juvenile fish while on their migration. Where they go? Nobody knows (and there seems to be no research). Although the Ladyfish fishery has been known to be unpredictable but we are fortunate to have been able to partner with a Langkawi local, Beq. A quiet, but experienced and patient guide, he has figured out this tide-based fishery.

In our experience, the Ladyfish frenzy has two stages. When the frenzy begins, the fish feed in huge schools in an area that can be as large as a basketball court. At this stage, we prefer to fish topwater patterns such as gurglers. Although small streamers can be deadly, it’s hard to beat watching a Ladyfish slurping down a surface fly with reckless abandon. Anglers should be prepared to try different retrieve speeds and fly patterns in order to figure out what the fish are keyed in on that day. Towards the middle of the tide, these massive schools break up into small group. They show themselves, often in the rips, with short bursts of intense feeding activity on the surface in a small area. These fish have a tendency to be a little selective and a bit more technical. Long and accurate casts are almost always a requirement to catch these selective fish. 

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This destination is ideally suited to the angler who is at least an improving intermediate, is armed with a double haul, and able to cast 50 feet in light cross winds.

The rate is 350 USD/day.

Includes:

About 7 hours of Fishing, weather permitting. Beq has been known to occasionally break the fishing day into two parts (tide permitting) to allow for a rest or a siesta at the hotel after a morning of hot Ladyfish action, before heading back out for Trevallies.

A selection of premium, proven, hand tied flies from Straits Fly Shop

Leaders

Non- Alcoholic drinks and a local lunch

What you need to bring

8 weight rod

Matching reel with a quality drag, loaded with preferably 200 yards of backing

Floating line

Fast sinking line- Rio Leviathan 250gr or 300gr preferred

16 or 20lb tapered fluorocarbon leaders

30 and 40lb fluorocarbon shock tippet and for commitment rigs

 

A trip booked through Straits Fly Shop will also include a US$100 selection of our favorite flies for Langkawi. 

To make a reservation for this adventure, you can either contact us or Beq at +60 19-505 9258