A trip to the Indian Himalayas in search of the fabled Mahseer fish is far more than a fishing trip. The Mahseer is a selective eater and a challenging opponent, a freshwater Permit to place it in context. But the journey, the mystical feel and environment make this a piscatorial challenge like no other!
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 the seductive greenish tinge typical of glacial runoff.
For a dedicated fishing trip, with the best chances of good results whilst fly-fishing, the Saryu offers the best opportunities.
Fly-fishing for Mahseer is constantly evolving so techniques and styles are always changing. Unlike the Ramganga River 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.
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. The confluence where the Saryo river joins the larger Mahakali is one of the hot spots for the larger fish, feeding in the turbulent waters where the rivers meet.
On arrival at the Saryu you will make camp at the main base camp, one mile up river of the confluence with the Mahakali River. From here each day you will explore and fish the surrounding area by foot, vehicle and boat within a 20 mile radius of the camp. During the week you will also move to the mobile fly-fishing camp. This will allow the best access to the most remote fishing areas and exact locations will vary depending upon the fishing conditions. Regardless of the camp location you will always be treated to excellent service, assisted by the army of camp staff and helpers.
This will involve floating 60 miles of the Mahakali river, the dividing boundary of India and Nepal. The journey down-river is as adventurous and visually interesting as the actual fishing. You will be hosted throughout in true style, attended by a seasoned staff of cooks, service personnel, housekeeping staff and of course the experienced guides. Ideally suited to both fly and spin fishing, the coloured waters of the Mahakali working best with larger lures. Along the way, you will make camp at a number of locations, including the Mahakali/Saryu confluence, where you will have good opportunities to fish the clear, emerald-hued waters of the Saryu River.
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. Many 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. 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 and 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.
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.
Getting to the Saryu River is part of the experience. On arrival into Delhi you will be collected and overnight in Roseate House. The following day you will fly to Pantagar, met on arrival and chauffeured to Te Aroha, a 3 hr drive. The following day it is a 5 hr mountainous drive to the border of Nepal and your first fishing camp. Although the journey is a long one it is a 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 are battling with livestock, their crops or antiquated vehicles
Arrive into New Delhi
Transfer to Roseatte House
Domestic Flight to Pantnagar
Drive to Te Aroha
Overnight Te Aroha
Drive to Base Camp (5 hrs)
Afternoon/evening fishing session
5 days guided fishing staying at 2 camps
Drive to Kathgodam Train Station
Train to Delhi
Overnight Imperial Hotel
The season runs from Feb-May & Sept-Nov
From $2,600 US Dollars for a 10 day fishing Trip
Trips are individually priced to meet schedules and requirements. You will be provided with a detailed itinerary and quote on application
- Price includes accommodation.
- All transportation on arrival at -
- Delhi International Airport.
- All meals and drinks.
- Itinerary is subject to change - Full details on request.
Price does not include gratuities.
The fishing is either side of the Monsoon Period. May has previously produced the largest Mahseer but it is also the hottest month. Water levels over the autumn season are best suited to double-handed rods.
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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 ...