Hotels in India » Adventure in India » A Fishing Fantasy

A Fishing Fantasy

Immortalized in the stories of Jim Corbett and Rudyard Kipling, huge dark shadows of a great fighter have lurked in the deep waters of the mighty rivers of the Indian subcontinents. The Mahseer, found only in India, is the toughest fresh water fighting fish in the world. Weighing over a hundred pounds, four varieties inhabit the Indian river waters: the Golden Mahseer, the silver Mahseer, the Silver Grey Mahseer and the Black Mahseer.

Today, in India the sport of angling is combined with conservation. As per the existing Indian protection laws the fish is allowed to be caught but must be released. The average time taken to land a Mahseer is in ratio to its weight-5 minutes to 5 lbs. With just enough time to record its weight and preserve your moment of glory with your prize catch of film the fish is revived and released otherwise one would be left with just another fishy story of the great one that got away!

The challenge and thrill of an encounter with the Mahseer attracts anglers from all over the world. It offers a holiday with a fish which not only rules the Indian waters like the tiger does the jungle, but fights the way nothing else can.

Guided by local gilly boys and experienced anglers cum naturalists, you are taken to ideal beats along the river banks be it the undulated terrain of the lower Himalayan foothills or the Southern Deccan Plateau. Huge boulders and narrow gorges cause the rivers to form rapids and the pools in between are excellent habitat of the masher.

The countryside is wild and beautiful, covered with lush forest. An encounter with wild elephants or a glimpse of a tiger or a leopard, deer and monkeys, and excellent bird life promises to make your holiday a memorable one.

Ideal fishing beats: Ramganga and the Sarda rivers in North India and Kaveri river in South India.

Recommended accommodation: In North India, near the Ramganga, forest rest houses at Bijrani and Gairal are the best options, though tents can also be pitched. In the south the Kabini River Lodges is the popular choice.

Best season: September to March.

Trout fishing in the rivers and ice-fed mountain streams is a great sport. You may put your wits against the wily trout-both brown and rainbow-and catch the excitement of hooking a rainbow. Solitude seekers can spend hours in quiet contemplation of the beauty around. The upper Himalayan fast flowing clear water streams and high altitude lakes are excellent for trout fishing. Spinning and fly fishing are both allowed.

Himachal Pradesh: Streams feeding the Beas river in the Kullu Manali region are well known for the Brown Trout. The cold mountain streams are well-suited for trout and some of the biggest trout can be found here. The best beats are at Larji valley, situated on the counfluence of the river Larji and Tirthan. The Sainj, which is also a trout stream flows on the other side. The here can be arranged at the Larji Forest Rest House or at Kasol, a beautiful hamlet on the banks of the Parvati river. If you choose to rough it, tented accommodation along the river banks is also an option to consider.

Uttar Pradesh: Dodital Lake nestled among the snow-clad peaks in the Uttarkashi Himalayas is a fresh water lake and a tempting trout pool where you can mange to get a good catch almost always. The forest rest house at Dodital and Barkot are ideal for the nights stay.

South India: The upper lakes of the Nilgiri Mountains, Mukurti and Upper Bhawani, offer pristine surroundings for the Nilgiri Tahr, a blue mountain goat, and the golden-faced black langur. The best season to go trout-fishing in the south of India is from April to September. There are forests bungalows and camping is always a pleasurable experience.