A Day at Dream Lake, Chiang Mai

We had planned for quite some time to visit Chiang Mai again, before the weather became unbearably hot and smoggy.

In our report on the most popular fishing lakes in Thailand we had reported about Dream Lake Fishing Resort, and we now wanted to combine our planned trip with a day at Dream Lake. We had already contacted the operator a few weeks before in order to reserve a bungalow. The friendly advice of Reiner, the operator of Dream Lake, was that his venue could not be compared with lakes such as Bungsamran in Bangkok, where catfish can be caught almost constantly. Such prolific fishing was impossible here, but we  just hoped that we could have a great time at Dream Lake in a beautiful setting beside a lake, which nevertheless offers us the chance to catch different fish than are found in Udon's commercial and natural waters. So, the goal was clearly defined: to have fun!

After 11 hours of driving we arrived in Chiang Mai and checked into a newish clean and cheap hotel. After a quick dinner and a couple of beers we retired to bed early as we'd planned to arrive early the next morning at Dream Lake. Reiner had told us that the early hours of the morning often provided the best fishing.

At 5:40 the next morning we checked in at Dream Lake. After a very warm welcome from Reiner, we had a quick look at the lake, and took the luggage and equipment round to our chosen bungalow - now the fishing could start.

Bungalows Dreamlake Resort Chiang Mai  

Reiner explained a A few rules when it comes to handling the fish and fishing methods, everything communicated in a friendly and professional manner Reiner.

Barbless hooks, no free-lining, and some extra advice when it comes to dealing with captured arapaima, Siamese carp and alligator gar - no problem!

Reiner informed us that he had been feeding a couple of spots for several days, in the vicinity of our bungalows, with pieces of salmon. This would slightly increase the chance for us to attract one of the lake's monsters out of hiding, and so it proved before too long.

So we cast out our rods: one with a small lead, and a steel trace with a large hook baiter with salmon, the other with a cage feeder with bread on the hook. I had my new Shimano Cardiff multiplier reel and new rod on the left hand side with the salmon, and, a lighter rod with a baitrunner on the right. My friend was set up similarly, but with a 40-year-old Mitchell reel on one rod, one that he's had since he'd started fishing as a lad.

Reiner and I were chatting, when my new rod with the Shimano gave a medium loud bang, then the rod-rest bent forward and the whole set-up launched like a torpedo into the lake's depths. Reiner commented briefly and I was quite stunned - I'd forgotten turn on the ratchet after casting out and tightening the line. Idiot!

Reiner made his way to the main building of the complex and came back shortly afterwards with a rod and a lead with a triple hook and spinner. In addition to my tackle which cost about 150 euros, there was the inestimable value of the unknown fish that had grabbed my bait. Reiner gave his best, casting his rod around the lake again and again, in the hope that he could snag the few metres of line which connected the rod to the hook. Except for a greedy Pacu that took a fancy to his spinner, he was unlucky.

So I was fished on, and meanwhile my colleague had caught a beautiful Rohu, which was photographed and returned to the lake.

I got my replacement fishing rod, with a very old spinning reel which had already taken a lot of abuse, and baited it again with salmon. After an hour or so I was rewarded with a nice red-tail catfish.

Rotschwanzwels am Dreamlake Resort Chiang Mai

As the day wore on, we had some tilapia on both the bread and the salmon, and then my fishing friend decided to wander down to the other end of the lake. We ordered some sandwiches from the kitchen for a light lunch whilst still fishing, then redoubled our efforts by using a variety of other baits and methods. All was quiet!

A little later I looked over to my friend as I heard him shout. He was holding a nice pacu which he slipped back to it's watery home after I'd seen it. I decided to wander down to him to ask what bait he was using. He met me half way with a fishing rod in hand and a big smile on his face. What bait did you catch the pacu on?, I asked - Shimano, came back his, and only then I noticed that the rod in his hand was the rod I'd lost a few hours earlier. The fish had been swimming along towing the rod and line behind it, and it had given my friend a glorious bight and a great fight, even after hours in the lake with a fishing rod in tow.

I had my equipment back, the fish was in good health and back in the lake again. What a day!

Dreamlake Chiang Mai

As evening fell we were expecting friends and my wife to visit. As we were now very thirsty and hungry we reeled in our rods and made our way to the restauran on the other side of the lake, where there was a welcoming atmosphere and a tempting menu.

Reiner had even asked us when we arrived which beer we preferred, because the beer we would actually drink in Udon is always Leo beer, but in Chiang Mai that's not necessarily the most consumed beer, but Reiner had filled the fridge with it for us.

The food we ordered was excellent! All of us - both anglers and non anglers, enjoyed it too the full, as there would be no more tomorrow. After the excellent meal there was some nice conversations with Reiner, who brought some moonshine from the mountains around Chiang Mai to the table. Reiner is a true master of his art. A more experienced angler who knows not only his private lake, but also and especially the waters around Chiang Mai, it would be difficult to find.

We returned after a few hours with full bellies back to our bungalows - we had to rest! My friend had set his alarm clock for 3 am, and, I got up an hour later. The temperature had now fallen to around 14 degrees. In the hour that my friend was ahead of me, he had caught some tilapia, but no bigger fish. I sat down for 20 minutes behind my fishing gear, pulled out my camera, put up my tripod and took some night shots.

Dreamlake Chiang Mai bei Nacht

Dreamlake Chiang Mai bei Nacht

Dreamlake Chiang Mai bei Nacht

At about 5 clock again I said goodbye to my friend and went back to bed. In the morning we enjoyed a few hours on the lake, had a delicious breakfast and paid our bill before we made our way into town.

Dream Lake was a wonderful experience - we didn't catch anything spectacular, but the monsters were there without a doubt. Our only request of what could be improved: please Reiner put new wheels on your luggage cart! :-) Thanks to Reiner and his wife, for their hospitality, the delicious food and the lovely time. We look forward to returning soon, when we do you will read about it here.

posted on: 07.09.2012 - last update on: 22.05.2015

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