I went trouting from the 17th to 21rst March to Nagini , with the family. Started out at 7:00 am though the initial target was 4:00am. Delhi-Panipat was a breeze under an hour and a half, Karnal-Ambala is slow with the construction, Ambala-Chandigarh is 140+ Kmph, Chandigarh-Kiratpur is tedious with all the frozen-in-time construction, Swarghat to Bilaspur is Trucker Hell, Barmana-Aut is worth all the crap, you have to go through, to drive this patch, Aut-Banjar is pure anticipation.
I had called christopher from Sunder Nagar at 4pm to tell him i will try to catch the evening boil. Reached at 5:45pm. Jumped out of the car and headed straight for the black rock pool with Deepak, my favorite guide. The rods were primed within minutes and i was dry-flying on the river while the wife/baby were still getting out the car and the stuff was being unloaded. Since we don't understand the concept of driving light we pack guitar amp ,electric guitar,baby pram(not used ONCE!), enough clothes for a small army, heavy duty ipod dock among other regular things. I had decided to use three fly rods this time, an 8 weight, 5 weight and 4 weight, all hooked with different flies. While I would be done with casting one rod, Deepak would quickly change the flies and I would get more time to cast different flies. It worked like a charm. I fished till about 6:45/7:00pm ..right into the twilight and caught 2 brown trouts and a pregnant barbel within the first hour of being there on my spring fishing trip :) . the barbel was a surprise since they usually never take flies...it was a first for me.
The Pregnant Barbel
Brown Trout #1
Brown Trout #2
Second day I was at the river at 6:00am....freezing my ass off..and fished till 9:30 or so. Got a couple of big bites while nymphing but couldn't set the hook in time. There was no action before sunrise (in the valley), but i caught one 6" brownie around 8:30 or so on a "pistol pete" nymph propeller fly. Second session on the river was post breakfast from around 11:30 to lunch, around 3:00. Lots of action with dramatic takes off dries and nymphs both. The river has a lot of bugs right now so the fish were readily taking the flies that matched. A lot of patterns worked, including prince bead heads, elk hair/october caddis dries, buzzers, and olive attractors. I caught 3 brownies and Neelu(another guide, a spinner specialist) caught 6 or 7 on spinner. My wife also got into the action and caught 2 brownies on spinner. We were fishing upstream of the old fishery, which got destroyed in the '05 floods. The river bends into 3 big pools at the end of the fishery and becomes inaccessible after the bend till Sai Ropa. I decided to wade through the pools and check out the action right after bend. I found two decent pools and cast with my favorite october caddis dry fly. Bam! instantly i hooked onto a rainbow. after a 5 minute reel in with lots of dramatic jumps and pulls, i got the fish to the shallow end of the pool where i was standing ( in the middle of the riverbed). The damn fish had swallowed the fly all of way in...making it impossible for ME to dehook without killing it. So i signaled to Neelu, who was atleast 300mts upstream to come help. While Neelu came I started casting with the second rod with a beadhead prince nymph. I was casting along the seam and bam! another bite...and tug..and run...i figured it was a rainbow again...I could only reel it by the neelu came and this one had swallowed the fly as well! No release possible on both counts...but the fight was definetely worth it. Another first for me though...trout gulping down flies...they usually spit them out instantly. Anyway we ended the session around 7:00 pm.
Preeti's First Brownie for the Trip
Preeti with her Brown and my fishing hat
Another one for Preeti
Brown on Spinner being reeled in
11" and 9" Rainbows..the ones that ate the flies
Third day was Deori in the morning. Again, big bites in the morning but difficult to land them. I hooked one that felt atleast a 0.5 kg/14" but he jumped and got the hook off. I had debarbed some of my fly-hooks this time to up the difficult level a bit...give even an inch of slack and these guys will run off in a split second. Afternoon/Evening was in Sai Ropa. The first big waterfall pool gave my wife 2-3 brownies again. I didnt land anything big but the fish were going nuts in the evening during the boil. They were feeding on some bug i couldn't find in my extensive flybox but the pools looked like they were exploding with jumping trout.
Parking at Deori
Waterfall Pool...Big Boils in the evening
Quick setup while the baby naps. Don't even ask how the carseat got there :)
Fourth day was fishing picnic in Bathad after a Morning session at the BSNL pools with a couple of browns landed. Afternoon/Evening sessions after a nice trek to Bathad/Tilla. Another first for me...hooked a fish in the eye with a buzzer nymph. unbelievable. I did manage to release it though.The river is Palachin, the valley is very tight and narrow. The terrain is difficult but the fishing is insane :)
Halfway to Tilla from Bathad...its not a walk for the fainthearted
Beer break before heading downhill to the river
Thats christopher accidentally hooking into a big trout while retrieving his line.
a british guest from thailand, Ian, sat in this pool all through the 4-5 hours we were there.
Me and Christopher jamming late in the night
ok tata bye bye time with amit mittal (fly fisher from delhi), the Chimas and the Mitras...see you next time!
Incredible and refreshing trip. I got to use all my new flies and got tonnes of experience with casting. I love fly fishing. I get to spend hours on the river in pristine locations. On an average i spent 8-10 hours fishing. The air and the excercise is definetely good for me....and the thrill on spotting a trout, figuring its diet plan for that moment and making that cast that hooks it...i wish i has words to describe it. Also the "funny stuff" on this trip : Hooking myself in the forehead with a caddis dry while false casting and changing direction, hooking a big one while loosing my puma polarized shades to the river only to loose the fish as well, falling face first on the rocks while jumping across the riverbed...among others that i'm sure ive forgotten!!!
Total Count : Gautam - 1 Barbel, 10 Browns, 2 Rainbows ranging from 6" to 11". Preeti - 7 Browns. Released - All but the 2 that ate the flies.