There are a great many fish which seek the title of the world’s toughest freshwater fish and the Mahseer is without doubt one of the finalists in contention for this trophy. Although it bears a visual resemblance to the Carp and it can be equally wary, that is where the similarity ends. Heralded as the aquatic Tiger of the Asian sub-continent, it is a formidable opponent. Golden armour-plated scales line powerful flanks and bucket-shaped fins provide it with immense power both to hold its position in the fastest of currents and equally to strip line from a reel with unstoppable, finger-burning speed. Its voracious appetite and sheer strength has given it an almost mythical status, allowing it to obtain weights in excess of 100lbs. Even in the colder, faster-flowing rivers of Northern India it can obtain sizes in excess of 50lbs.
Traditionally Mahseer have been caught using either bait or lures fished with heavy-duty fishing tackle. It is fair to say that these methods have unquestionably accounted for the largest Mahseer. By contrast, fly-fishing for Mahseer is a relatively new concept and techniques are still very much developing. The team at Himalayan Outback who host our Indian trips have embraced this concept with complete belief and total commitment.
It is now possible to catch Mahseer on fly with greater consistency than on spinning gear using both surface poppers and sunk flies. For those who wish to fish with conventional fishing gear the options are still totally open. Spinning for Mahseer with lures remains a very effective means of catching them. For those with a pioneering outlook, exciting possibilities await in breaking new boundaries of what is possible with the humble fly. The current record for a Mahseer caught on a fly was very recently broken in May 2011 but with each trip new techniques are being learnt and we are confident that the record will continue to topple as techniques improve and the conservation work continues.
Our Indian fishing holidays are arranged with our partners 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 or his partner who have 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.
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.
One can hardly imagine a country with greater diversity than that on display in India. If you are not on a tight schedule it is strongly encouraged to look at some of the options available to extend your stay either before or after your trip. As part of your holiday we will happily help arrange sight-seeing in Delhi, stays at some of the fabulously grand Hotels such as The Imperial, overnight trips to Agra to view the Taj Mahal and a whole range of associated other activities. All our trips to India are bespoke in nature so please just let us know your time constraints and we will ensure that either side of your fishing trip you get to experience a flavour of the rich diversity of the Indian sub-continent.
Delhi is a city that consists of very few middle of the range Hotels. For that reason most guests on a standard fishing trip use our recommended ‘Home-Stay’ option, a 4 bedroom family house with all the amenities you would expect from a small hotel.
We do however also recommend that guest consider staying one or two nights at one of the fabulous 5 star Hotels within Delhi and our favourite is the remarkable Imperial Hotel which overflows with colonial elegance and will transport you to another world.
Day 1 - Delhi
Tour of New Delhi: Visit the 11th century Qutab Minar, India Gate and the grand government buildings, the President's House, Red fort, Mahatama Gandhi Memorial. Also visit the Lotus Temple and the Laxmi Narayan temple popularly known as Birla Temple.
Day 2 – Delhi to Agra
Drive to Agra with your private guide, driver and vehicle. En-route visit Fatehpur-Sikri, a perfectly preserved red sandstone "ghost town" which was the estranged capital of Mughal emperor Akbar. On arrival in Agra settle into your hotel followed by a tour of the tomb of the ‘Akbar the Great’ one of the best known Mughal emperors.
Day 3 - Agra to Delhi
Visit the Taj Mahal at first-light one of the “Seven Wonders of the World” where 20,000 men laboured for over 17 years to build this memorial to the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. After lunch drive back to New Delhi.
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The opportunity to fish on the Saryu River in Northeastern India was truly a dream come true. As a child, I had eagerly read about Jim Corbett’s exploits hunting the great man eating leopards of India. When The Angling Report announced they were seeking volunteers to evaluate this fishery, I immediately jumped at this ...
Since I was a little lad in short trousers, winkling a procession of hapless tiddlers from the Grand Union Canal, the Mahseer has been swimming through my feverish, fish-filled dreams like stardust. My younger brother, Olly, and I caught the fishing bug early, and armed with the crude tackle that we acquired at the local pet ...