World Wide Fishing!

I Love This Sport!

A Day at the Govind Sagar Resorvoir

By Misty Dhillon Misty Dhillon

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 on baits.

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 and meal.

The Mahseer, King of Indian Rivers

Lucky Lady and Mahseer

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 towards extinction.

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.

Malasian Mahseer

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
Misty Dhillon
Sector 44-A
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

More Fly Fishing in India:

The Mahseer of India
Fly Fishing For Trout In the Himalayas
A Day at the Govind Sagar Resorvoir

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