Fishing Trip of a Lifetime - Himalayan Golden Mahseer

Over the past 12 years I have travelled many times to the foothills of the Himalayas in Northern India trying to catch the elusive Himalayan Golden Mahseer. Fishing for Mahseer is not easy, it’s a bit like Salmon fishing; you have to be in the right spot at the right time.

On previous trips I have caught some really nice fish to 26lbs, but never landed one the legendary monsters that I know inhabit these Himalayan Rivers

After losing a very big Mahseer in 2015, I was keen to go back and try again. So in May 2017 I boarded a BA flight on route to Dehli for a 3 day journey back to the Himalayas. I was meeting up with my good friend Bobby Satpal, Head Fishing Guide for the Himalayan Outback. I was again fishing on the Indo-Nepalese border where the spring fed Sarju river joins the mighty snow fed Kali river.

At this time of year the fishing's a real gamble, spots are limited due to the Kali snow melt water and the Sarju can often flood due to early monsoon rains. It can be worth the gamble though as at this time of year large numbers of Mahseer migrate up the Kali and hold position around the junction area. They are waiting for the monsoon rain to arrive so they can run up the Sarju and spawn.

For once, I had got my timing right. On arrival, the Sarju river was coloured but had the perfect amount of visibility for lure fishing. On that first morning I had the most fantastic lure session using simple spoons and plugs. I caught three beautiful specimens of 20lb, 18lb, 14lb in quick succession, what a start! I didn't think the day could get any better when my plug got hit hard by a big fish on the main river. This was a good fish and was instantly ripping line off at an alarming rate. The creature went straight down a big rapid so I had to follow, what a fight. I ended up landing the fish 500yds downstream from where I had hooked it.  It was a stunning Himalayan Golden Mahseer of 30lbs.

The following day the Sarju had really coloured up making lure fishing impossible so I decided to try live baiting on the main river. As we arrived I saw so many Mahseer rolling in the coloured water and some real big ones too. My bait had only been in for one hour when I had a violent take. As I struck into the fish I knew it was a good one. 20 mins later I was cradling a fin perfect beauty of 32lbs. I was keen to get a bait straight out again and it wasn't long before I hooked another one, this time slightly smaller at 24lbs.

After those fish the river went quiet and it wasn't until the evening we saw fish rolling again. My bait was in a perfect position and I just knew I was going to get a take, it felt so right. Sure enough it happened; the water exploded over my bait followed by a screaming take - Fish On!  By the take I knew that this was a big fish and as I struck I felt the weight and power straight away. I played it for 40mins and it put up a great fight with multiple unstoppable runs. Fortunately it stayed within the main pool and didn't go down the rapid and my guide Bobby did a great job of securing it when I eventually got it close.

I was in awe of its size. It had scales the size of beer mats and large powerful fins. It was one of the legendary Kali monsters rarely seen these days. It weighed an unbelievable 61lbs! I had finally done it after 12 years. It was great to share the moment with Bobby. I had caught the fish of my dreams in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

The rest of the trip was quite laid back. I lost a couple of really big fish on the lure and caught a few more to 25lbs before it was time to head home. I had experienced the most amazing fishing trip ever which I will remember for the rest of my life.

For more information on Mahseer fishing in the Himalayas contact Misty Dhillon at the Himalayan Outback.


Lure Setup:

Whisker 11ft Spin Rod

Saltiga 4500 Reel 65lbs braid / 30lb mono leader


Bait Fishing

Tournament Global Rod

Saltiga 6500 Reel direct with 30lbs mono