Nothing in the world gives me more pleasure than casting a
line into the wild waters. Here I was right in the middle of
nowhere for yet another fishing adventure, at a place I
fancy the most.
I have been fishing since age eight and at that time I never
imagined I would ever get this interested in this sport.
As I walked down towards the pool I was going to fish, a
number of things struck my mind. The natural wonders of the
Govind Sagar Resorvoir have a charm of their own. The cool
breeze blowing through the trees. The silence of the foothills,
and the sparkling blue waters refresh the eyes.
The route to the Resorvoir takes me 110 kms from my home
city of Chandigarh. The dam which produces the resorvoir is
the Bhakra Nangal dam, one of the world's highest dams.
The trip there is very beautiful as you see the Punjab
countryside in lush green fields on either side of the road.
I was planning to plug fish for the Golden Mahseer. The
Govind Sagar Resorvoir is most definately a mahseer fishing
paradise. It is also home to other varieties of monster fish too.
But, of course a take from the mahseer has a thrill of it's won.
The clear resorvoir waters offer a variety of methods for fishing
mahseer. Fly fishing, bait casting, lure fishing, and even trolling.
I intended to fish the whole day, first one lures, then
When the British first started mahseer fishing in India,
their main game was on the fly. It was considered a sport of royality.
Even the Prince of Wales did not miss the chance of
playing this fish. In his first visit to India he went mahseer fishing.
As all these thoughts struck me, I also eagerly awaited
hitting the water where my ghillie was waiting for me. He is
a local net fisherman. On reaching the waters, he guided
me to a pool which was untouched by any fisherman. We could
already see the mahseer jumping!
The main key to success in mahseer fishing is in not
letting the fish know you are there. We approached the pool
observing total silence. The first cast resulted in a mahseer.
A rather small one around one and a half pounds.
It was 8:30 a.m. and all I had landed were three small
specimens. Maybe it was time to change the lure. I could
see big schools of fish chasing the lure, but none of them
biteing. I was carrying a rappala flat plug, red in colour with
a pinch of black and silver. I had never used this plug before
and I did not mind giving it a try.
Exactly 15 minutes later the drag screamed and I was into a
fish. The fish ran far away so it was difficult to tell how big it was.
More difficult, it had wound the line around a rock!
I had to be very careful as the friction against the rock could
wear out the line at any moment.
Luckily the mahseer freed itself from the rock and was
landed after a few more minutes. The 8 lb. line was very worn,
but due to no error it was intact. The fish was released back
after reviving among handshakes and grins. It weighed three
and a half kilograms. Unfortunately I lost the plug a few casts
later, due to a bad cast.
It was the hot month of June and the heat was killing.
Dehydration, back ache, but most of all the heat made me
surrender at 2:00 p.m. Nine hours of intense fishing. My eyes were
burning and my skin itching due to over-use of sun screen lotion.
But I was definitely a happy man. There is something at the
Govind Sagar Resorvior which makes me come back for more.
The legendary and majestic masheer..
My fascination for the mahseer has made me learn many things
and one of them is the spirit of sportsmanship.
Five hours later I dropped flat on my bed after a cool bath
The Mahseer, King of Indian Rivers
The mahseer has been fished many years, by a lot of anglers. It got its
name due to the incredible strength of the fish. 'Mah' as they say
in the local language means great, 'seer' means head.
The mahseer makes full use of a rivers current. It's extra
strong pectorals help it in gripping the silt and rocks moving in the
current. The head is also very strong due to the regular excercise
it gets while moving against the current. It also has an equally strong
jaw and tail. For anglers who look for the ultimate fresh water game
fishing, this is it. The biggest fresh water game fish in the world.
American fighter Jim Corbett compared this fish to the
tiger and said, "This is a sport fit for kings!"
It is very sad that this fish is being poached at an alarming rate.
India's wildlife act doesn't even mention fish. Thus, very little
is being done to protect this fish. It is only the voluntary organizations
of various Indian anglers who are taking steps for conversation. The
fish which has been known as the king of Indian rivers is heading
In India, the mahseer is found in the following rivers: The upper
Ganga, Cauvery, Beas, Bhramaputra and it's tributaries,
Satluj, and Saryu. The mahseer is also found in Thailand,
Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The record for Mahseer was taken in
1946 by J.deWet Van Ingen, and was 120 pounds.
Mahseer Fishing in India
You need to plan ahead. India is not an expensive place, especially
if you pay in rupees and not in dollars. There are a lot of options
when you come exclusively to fish for mahseer. The north is full of
the golden mahseer and it is also a great way to get familiar with
mahseer in the sub Himalyan ranges.
For free and expert guidence on where to fish in North India, you can get in touch
with me: Misty Dhillon or
House No. 4-b
Chandigarh - 166047
I shall tell you where to fish, who to contact, how to successfully
encounter the mahseer, where to stay and maybe even accompany
you for some mahseer fishing.
The city where I live is Chandigarh, 250 kilometers from
Delhi or a 5-hour drive. For information on what kind of tackle
to bring do contact me.
The close season for mahseer fishing starts from May 15th to August 15th.
The best way to get around comfortably in India is by car
which you can rent in Delhi. However, the more adventurous way is
by Enfield Motor Bike, which you can also hire in Delhi. Make sure
you are carrying the right kind of tackle for a motor bike.
Tackle, whether fly fishing, spin fishing or bait casting should
be the toughest for fresh water, or bring salt fishing gear. Camping
gear is also a must. Remember to have only mineral water, and do
check the cork before buying the bottle.
Take care of a few things and you shall most definitely enjoy
your fishing holiday. I look forward to seeing you here!
~ Misty Dhillon