Sungai Mes, Royal Belum – 26 AUG 2016
Finally a chance to explore the northern part of Royal Belum. This trip has been planned for about 3 months now, and we have gathered 11 anglers and 3 boatman to explore Sg Temin and Sg Kejar. Myself, Asrazi, Badrul, Fadzly and Zahir will head in on Friday and Azrul’s Team on Saturday. Pretty excited about this outing after it has been a year since I did a FW trip with my buddies. Catch report seems good over Sungai Kejar, however 2 weeks before our trip, the water level was said to be very low.
So we all know that Belum-Temenggor lake is actually powering a hydroelectric dam for power supply. Back in 2015, the big flood causes massive damage in Royal Belum, water level rises so high that it floods the Sungai Kejar Base Camp. La Nina has been haywiring our weather pattern and the expert predict that its going to be another major flood this year. As a precaution, they reduce the water level beyond the usual Jul-Aug average depth to be ready for the monsoon season. Thanks to this, boat now cannot head up north and reach Sg Kejar as our base camp. Thus after intense discussion before we set off, finally we decide to set up camp in Sungai Mes, Royal Belum.
We leave KL around 12am after pickup all team member and reach Gerik around 5am. It was a very tiring journey and we rendezvous with Zahir who was already been staying in Gerik over the past 2 day. We rest for a while and I decided to sleep in the car while all of them have an early breakfast before we continue our last 44 KM to the Banding Jetty. It felt really good after an hour of sleep haha. and finally we reach the jetty at 7.30am. An orange line, can be seen across the beautiful Belum-Temenggor valley. Splitting the lush Green jungle and the greenish lake, a sign that water level has dropped even further.
Light rain caught us in the morning while we were loading all our equipment and supplies in the boat. We stopped by at one of the houseboat and had our breakfast, again haha. The office only open at 9.00am and we need to be there to furnish the park ranger with the proper permit and document. The journey took us 1.5 hours to reach Sungai Mes, a very long way from the Banding Jetty. We went pass several Native People or Orang Asli settlement inside Royal Belum. Always something interesting happening on the water. People’s fishing, we came across Hornbill and other wild animal like the Freshwater Otter and Wild Boar. Not forgetting the beautiful valley of Belum who has never fail to captivate people who has been here.
As we move further up north, the width of the lake starts to shorten further and further. That means we are near the source of water that forms the Belum-Temenggor Lake. Soon, from an open space of a lake, we maneuver ourselves along a twisty section of the main river. We passed one of the Jahai People settlement on our left hand side and finally we reach to one of the section of stream that flows into Sungai Kejar.
Since the water level has dropped to a record minimum level, Sungai Mes turns out to be a small stream. The river bank was so soft and muddy, thanks to the rapid dropped in water level. When I first landed on my feet, at least my feet went into the ground until my knees haha. Not what I expected to be honest haha, the river banks were covered with tall grass and our base camp will be 10m from the Sungai Kejar River. We followed the small stream and our base camp was perfect, with tall trees that act like shades, and the area was very clean and only covered with short grass. We have a great view of Sg Kejar and Sungai Mes from our base camp. No time to waste as we set our base camp and cooked our lunch before we start our fishing session.
Once we complete our setting up our base camp, me and Badrul decided to stay back and cooked our lunch while the others already locked and load and went down to do their fishing along the river. It was a nice setup, some can go further out while Me and Fadzly would focus 100% on bait fishing. It was not long when someone were screaming for camera, that means they caught something already haha.
Our bottom fishing in the evening was ok, with 4 Baung for dinner haha and the boys out fishing on the boat landed 2 Toman while Badrul lost one. They were saying the Toman was on a frenzy hitting all sort of Topwater lure but they only caught 2 with countless misses. First day was always gonna be a short session as we need time to set up the whole thing and hopefully it will be better tomorrow.
We had a simple dinner during the night, only Asrazi’s original Green and Super spicy Red Hot Sambal filled our stomach. We were too tired to cook and even that humble dinner out here in the jungle was enough. We sleep in early as tomorrow, we will move further up and begin our fishing in Sungai Kejar. To Be Continued…..