Pancheshwar has always been the prime destination when it comes to Golden Mahseer fishing. The Junction of the Saryu and Mahakali rivers has produced many specimen sized fish and there have been legends of uncatchable beasts which have left anglers spellbound.
The river Saryu
The River originates from the Nanda Kot In Kumaon. Nanda Kot is a mountain peak of the Himalayan range which is located just outside the peaks enclosing Nanda Devi Sanctuary, Just 15 kilometers south of Nanda Devi mountain itself.
The Saryu travels 130 odd kilometers before it forms a confluence with the Mahakali river at Pancheshwar. The river can be characterized as rainfed and runs clear throughout the larger part of the year. A clear exception to this is during the monsoons when most of the rivers in northern India would be in spate and heavily colored. However so even during the summers, the river can get colored during the infrequent heavy rains which do happen once a while.
Mahseer Fishing on the Saryu:
The Saryu on its own can provides excellent fishing opportunity. The river is easily accessible from our Eco-camp. In fact, at times, you can see fish rising early in the morning from the comfort of your safari tent. There is also good potential upstream. Depending on the season and prevailing conditions there is a possibility for a specimen size catch especially after the monsoons when the fish are returning from their spawning run. We can also arrange for a float trip with rafts from a destination of 50 kilometres upstream. Through this approach, we can cover more water and explore the countryside.
The river Mahakali or Sharda
The traditional source of the (Maha)Kali is the pond of the Kali temple at Kalapani. The geographic sources, however, are some five kilometers further north and about thousand meters higher. The streams are emerging from glaciers along the watershed with the uppermost Humla Karnali. The river can predominantly be termed glacier fed. This is a mighty river with a strong current and rapids of grade IV- V. The Mahakali generally tends to run a little milky due to the snow melt and it tends to get milkier as the day progresses. The river is also renowned for whitewater rafting, there are outfitters who can arrange for multi-day rafting expedition for those who are so inclined.
Mahseer Fishing on the Mahakali:
Our focus, however, is on the fish and the river system has produced some unstoppable monsters. There have been many anglers who have returned to camp with battered tackle, bruised egos and incredible stories. Then there are also those also who have experienced the exhilaration of landing the fish of their dreams.
The river Saryu forms a confluence with the Mahakali just below our camp and many record size fish have been caught in this exact location. The mixing of the waters from the two major river systems creates something special. It could be the difference in water temperature, currents, coloration, feed available, water composition and host of other reasons. Most of the major confluences within India hold a religious significance and Pancheshwar is no exception. There is old temple which is located right next to Junction. Normally any activity related to fishing would not be allowed near places like these, however knowing that anglers and outfitter here adopt a catch & release policy, the village elders have kind enough to allow access to anglers.
Mahseer Fishing on the Junction:
The location certainly holds fish and the conservation effort has paid off. What is incredible, is that the local village population has not only participated but actually led the conservation effort from the front. A mixture of these incredible circumstances has created a very special fishery.
Despite the inherent advantage of the location and conditions, the Golden Mahseer is a tough and clever adversary. They have seen many lures and flies being cast at them and fooling them is not easy, so tactics and planning play a crucial role.
Hooking on to a Mahseer is a challenge and landing one is another story. There have been many battles lost due to crushed hooks, snapped lines and at times even a broken rod. Last year we witnessed gentlemen getting spooled out of 200 meters of fishing line in a matter of seconds, the fish was unstoppable! at times irrespective of the results, it is experiences like these which make a memorable trip. Our guides will help you out with everything from gear selection to watercraft and will also take that picture of yours with the fish of your dreams!
So, come on over, we can hook you up with a Mahseer fishing adventure to remember!
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