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Fly Fishing Singapore
There's so much activity going on in the center of urbanization, that it's hard to believe you can go fly fishing Singapore. Alas, you can. Opportunities are incredibly limited, meaning you shouldn't go to Singapore for the sole purpose of fly fishing, but if you do find yourself idle while in this Southeast Asian country, you should consider fly fishing. Here are some helpful tips to guide you.
Fly Fishing Singapore Laws and Legal Fly Fishing Spots
Despite having 197 kilometers of beautiful coastline, AKA angling heaven, the Singaporean government places very strict regulations on all water activities. And by strict, we mean STRICT. You could get a thousand dollar fine for chewing gum in the wrong place, so fly fishing in the wrong place will definitely get you in big trouble.
The government has an agency (PUB) that handles every water activity, from sports, kayaking, all the way to fishing - they even have a program called ABC waters or Active, Beautiful and Clean waters. To say they're committed to preserving their water will be an understatement. Before rushing to the nearest fly fishing Singaporean store to grab a new gear, you need to know where you can strut your equipment. The places legally allowed for fishing are:
The Bedor Reservoir
Kolam Ayer ABC waterfront
Lower Pierce Reservoir
Lower Seletar Reservoir
The Marina Reservoir
The Pandan Reservoir, and a few others
If anything can be inferred from this list, it's that the government wants you to fish in their reservoirs and not in natural waters. The PUB publishes their designated lists of fly fishing areas, so it's good to actually check their site before casting your fly - their fines ain't cheap, and can go up to SGD 3,000.
While you're reading the list, check the rules that apply to each legal fly fishing Singapore water, in terms of the allowable fishing flies. Be extremely careful where you go fishing because the locals jokingly refer to their country as "the fine country". Even if you can see a huge trout give you a come hither smile and a tail wiggle, check the legality of catching it before you get your gear.
Singapore has a catch and releases policy, so you're to return your catch as gently as possible if you don't plan on eating it. Pack up ALL your stuff once you're done - including the trash - so you don't pollute the area. Okay, the legal tidbit's making fly fishing Singapore seem like a chore - onto the good part.
Getting Your Fly Fishing Gear in Singapore
As we've already said, Singapore's not exactly the first place that comes to mind when one thinks of fly fishing in Asia. Malaysia comes first, even Thailand's a good spot for anglers. So it's understandable if you didn't pack your fly fishing gear along for the trip.
Now the problem with the government's almost obsessive control of the waters is that it doesn't exactly promote a thriving fly fishing culture in the state. This means few shops pack the right stuff. Thank heavens for delivery though. The Coho fishing tackle is one of the few fishing shops that cater almost exclusively to fly fishers in Singapore. Practically legends. You can probably find gears that suit the local game - either rent or purchase.
What Can you Catch?
When people think about fly fishing in Singapore, they usually think of Peacock Bass. Thanks to the government's anal attention to legal limits and restrictions, these peacock bass grow to trophy sizes. Unsurprisingly, these peacock bass are in the reservoirs. The general rule with regards to catching them is that you only catch what you can eat - they're not for sale. This means when preparing your gear, you have to make sure you're as gentle as possible because you don't want to return injured fish into the water.
Just because peacock bass is the main breed you'll find, doesn't mean they're the only ones. There are snakeheads as well. However, most of the other breeds you'll find life in illegal fishing waters. So again, even if a fish does a "come hither" wiggle with its tail, keep off them. If you must fly fish something else, best cross to the nearest country for a fly fishing mini trip.
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