Mahseer Fishing - The Saryu River

The Saryu River is the sort of powerful and dynamic waterway that will set anglers expectations on tenterhooks. It majestically snakes its way down a steep sided and densely vegetated valley, meandering from glassy pools to white water rapids before emptying at the confluence with the mighty Mahakali River. Although at times during the season the water will have good clarity for the most part it carries a greenish tinge typical of glacial runoff.

India: Mahseer Fishing In The Himalayas: Saryu River Camp <<< Click here to find out where Saryu River Camp is.

Fly Fishing for Mahseer

Fly-fishing for Mahseer is constantly evolving so techniques and styles are always changing. Unlike the Ramganga the Saryu welcomes the salmon angler with a double-handed rod and the ability to cast a reasonable line although much of the fishable water can also be covered with a sturdy single-handed rod. Fast sinking lines on Skagit heads with any number of sculpin or minnow patterns are popular whilst poppers or crease flies fished with floating lines have also been very effective. Early morning and late evening are key fishing periods with midday being best left for lunch and siestas. Fishing for Mahseer on the Saryu requires a salmon anglers perseverance with a Trout fisherman’s ingenuity. Mahseer are challenging however when the arm wrenching run comes from a good-sized fish all else will be forgotten.

Saryu River Saryu River Saryu River

Spinning for Mahseer

Anglers should not feel that fly-fishing is the sole preserve or technique practiced by guests with the Himalayan Outback. Spin fishermen with Rapala’s and similar lures are welcome and certainly account for many of the bigger Mahseer.

Float Trips

Depending on the length of your stay guests will either be accommodated at a fixed tent camp in the lower middle section of the river or the trip may be a combination float trip that can be extended to include the Mahakali River. Available options for the season can be detailed on request.

Location & Environment

Getting to the Saryu River is a trip in itself. Located in North-eastern India anglers travel by train to Kathgodam prior to snaking across the mountainous passes by 4WD until you arrive at the confluence where the Saryu meets them much bigger Mahakali River. On your journey you will witness the visual spectacle of rural India. The route is punctuated by bustling towns, countless small villages, views of the snow-capped Himalayan ranges, mountainside terracing on a biblical scale and people going about the daily toil of life whether they be battling with livestock, their crops or antiquated vehicles.

Saryu River Saryu River Saryu River
The scenery and surroundings of the Saryu is nothing short of breath-taking

The Himalayan Outback Staff & Saryu Camp

During your stay you will be hosted by the Himalayan Outback who have made it their mission to know more about Mahseer fishing in Northern India than anyone else. Most of the trips are hosted by Misty Dhillon who has either hosted or advised most of the well-known TV programmes and celebrity Mahseer anglers who have fished these waters. The emphasis during your trip is on colonial style comfort. In terms of manpower you are unlikely to find an operation with quite as many dedicated staff on hand to assist you. At times you will probably wonder what they are all doing however this is India and manpower is in ample supply! Each guest will have an individual and highly experienced guide who will be able to assist with all aspects of your trip.

Each angler will be accommodated in an individual and spacious tent that is furnished with the very best British campaign style furniture with a classic British army cot bed, used by generations of soldiers and adventurers. These cots are outfitted with 4” thick cotton mattresses, linen and Russian down pillows. Meals are served in the main dining area and a variety of continental and local Tandoori cuisine is on offer including freshly baked bread, pies and cakes, all set amidst a breathtaking backdrop of the lower Himalayan ranges.

Our Testimonial

"Was the trip a success? I would say yes on so many levels. I certainly caught many mahseer, and one trophy fish. I also lost several that were likely even bigger. The mighty mahseer needs to be added to your fishing “must do” list, and The Himalayan Outback’s Saryu camp is absolutely the place to catch a trophy golden mahseer."
David Frances Oct 2010 - Read His Full Report Here

The Experience

Any remote fishing lodge can confidently say that they offer an experience however a trip to India is a step beyond most and Mahseer fishing in the Himalayas is far more than a fishing trip. You will be immersed in the local culture and surrounded by astounding scenery and wildlife. This is a chance to see and experience remote Northern India in all its beauty. On your journey some of what you see may be shocking, all will be eye-opening and enlightening and most of all it will be a true adventure.

Alternative Activities Whilst in India

Click here to see full information regarding alternative sightseeing options whilst in India

Crowded streets of Old Delhi
Crowded streets of Old Delhi
Indian Old School Elegance-Entrance to the Imperial Hotel-Delhi
Indian Old School Elegance-Entrance to the Imperial Hotel-Delhi


Best Times to Go

The autumn Mahseer season in the Northern Himalayas follows the Monsoons and runs from Sept to mid-Nov. Skies are typically clearer and nights colder although the days remain a very pleasant temperature. During the spring the season runs from Feb-May with March-May being very warm.

Getting There

Guests fly to Delhi where they will be met on arrival by a representative from the Himalayan Outback. Most guests overnight in Delhi prior to catching a train to Kathgodam followed by an overnight stop and a drive the following morning to the river. It is also possible to take a charter flight from Delhi to Pithoragarth.

Availability and Pricing for the 2015 Season

Season: The season runs from Feb-May & Sept-Nov
Rate: From $2,600 US Dollars for a 8 day fishing Trip
Trips are individually priced to meet schedules and requirements. You will be provided with a detailed itinerary and quote on application
Package Includes:
  • Price includes accommodation.
  • All transportation on arrival at Delhi International Airport.
  • All meals and drinks.
  • Itinerary is subject to change - Full details on request.
Note: Price does not include gratuities.

If you would like to know more about India, please contact us and we will provide you with more details. For availabilities, prices, pre trip information, booking form etc. please contact:
Justin Maxwell Stuart Justin Maxwell Stuart

Mobile: +44 (0)7711 519 857
Office: +44 (0)845 603 1552


Online Enquiries

Background reading for your trip:

"Circumventing the Mahseer" by J. MacDonald

Our Comments:

Major A St J MacDonald is the doyen of Himalayan and Burmese angling and his book is recognised as a classic on the subject. It is now reprinted for anglers who would like to relive their golden memories of "Ye Fine Fishing of Ye Past" and for the younger generation of aspiring anglers who need to learn all there is to know about the magnificent mahseer.

US customers: Buy at

UK customers: Buy at Amazon UK

"Man-Eaters of Kumaon" by Jim Corbett

Our Comments:

A fishing trip to the likes of India is not just a trip in pursuit of a particular fish but a complete experience. If you really want to get a feel for old school India in the days when man-eating Tigers were the dominant rural authority then reading any of Jim Corbett's books should be considered an essential bit of background reading.

Jim Corbett was an author of great renown. His books on the man-eating tigers he once tracked are not only established classics, but have by themselves created almost a separate literary genre. Man Eaters of Kumaon is the best known of Corbett's books, one which offers ten fascinating and spine-tingling tales of pursuing and shooting tigers in the Indian Himalayas during the early years of this century. The stories also offer first-hand information about the exotic flora, fauna, and village life in this obscure and treacherous region of India, making it as interesting a travelogue as it is a compelling look at a bygone era of big-game hunting.

US customers: Buy at

UK customers: Buy at Amazon UK


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If you would prefer to speak to us directly regarding a trip to India, please contact us at the following:

United Kingdom Office:
Justin Maxwell-Stuart
Mobile: +44 (0)7711 519 857
Fax: +44 (0)20 7352 0942

United States Office:

US Country Code: +1
Telephone: 646 797 2945


Or alternatively email us via our Booking Enquiries Form to request more information.

Online Enquiries
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