The Compleat Indian Angler by John Masters circa 1800
The Indian sub continent's most famous large inland sport fish the Mahseer, is considered to be one of the finest fighting river fish offering great adventure and excitement. Diefied by anglers since the days of the British Raj the famous quote above is just one quote over the last century and a half, testifying to this great quality.
Known to give a good fight, and reaching 101 pounds + ,it is found in rivers situated in the Himalayan foothills in northern India, in North eastern India, and in the hills of Southern India.
The Mahseer is the "great tiger" of Indian rivers ,the name deriving from the Sanskrit "maha" or great,and "seer" or "sher" the tiger.
Mahseer is a natural inhabitant of Indian waters and is as long as five and a half feet weighing over 50 kilograms
A migratory fish the Mahseer moves into side streams for spawning during the monsoon at elevations upto 2000 m.The bigger fish are found above large rapids and in the pools below the falls.
There are four prominent states offering the best Mahaseer fishing in India today - the Himalayan districts of Garhwal and Kumaon, part of the modern State of Uttaranchal , the Northeastern state of Assam and its remote sister tribal state , Arunachal Pradesh, and finally Karnataka in southern India.
These regions, as well as others such as those in Kashmir and Central India have been traditional stomping grounds for the hardened angler since the 1800’s and the stories of not just the catches but also the expeditions, adventures and grandeur are legendary .Luxury fully staffed camps, wildlife encounter with bear, leopard and tiger or elephant, crossing paths with these anglers of yore, being some of the vignettes of the angler’s experience in India.
Naturally with the march of the modern world, its techno infrastructure the mighty impact and shock on an incredible layered social hierarchy and and equally diverse set of eco systems, has impacted the existence of the mahseer as well.
Now seeing the tremendous success of the Karnataka example and the huge demand from the international angler, but improving greatly on the quality of fishing, and with a unique grassroots approach, a dedicated voluntary body is bringing back the “Might” to the mighty mahaseer in a location both idyllic but renowned and strategic as well.
Fishing Trip Description
“The mahseer is one of the finest inland sporting fish, found only on the Indian Sub Continent. There are three recognized areas for the best Mahseer fishing. The first of these are the Himalayan districts of Garhwal and Kumaon in the modern state of Uttaranchal, north of Delhi and once part of Nepal which it borders. The other are the North Eastern tribal States of Arunachal and Assam, famous for tea. The last is southern India’s Karnatak state.”
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