The stars were conspiring again. Second weekend in a row was getting canned, by spontaneous eruptions of odd errands and serious duties. I had no choice, I HAD to break the jinx. So it was decided on Wednesday morning that I'll drive down to IG's camp that night, after attending a wedding reception, for a fishing run on Thursday, to be back in Delhi for dinner on Friday.
As the day progressed, errands kept piling on and I kept delaying getting off work. At the back of my mind I knew I had a long night ahead, and my fishing gear was lying all over the place. By 6:00pm I knew I had no time to sort the gear so i had to take ALL of it. Got home by 8:00, got ALL the gear packed in the car AND got ready for the shaadi by 8:30. By 9:00 I was at the reception and by 9:30 IG was there, to accompany me to Bhakra. A quick change from Kurta-Pyjama into Shorts/Tshirt sure had the durbaan confused. Super-Angler to the rescue ( allusion to Clark Kent ).
Anyway we were on our way from Delhi at 10:00pm and Reached Nangal by 3:00am. Instead of sleeping and resting , we decided to open the scotch and wait for dawn. Sure enough, it was a very pretty, though a bit hazy, sunrise. We were on the water by 5:30-6:00, watching the Mahaseer chase the chilwa right upto the bank and beating them into their mouths on the stones. The chilwa were streaking some 20'-30' on the water surface. I'd never seen anything like that on freshwater, yet.
As the day moved, we got progressively into some serious fishing and some very SERIOUS sun. By noon we had trolled ourselves a couple of nice 4-4.5 kg Mahaseer. The wind had died and everything went still. Everything but the chilwa bait bowls. These guys were having a field day on the Ghats, but the 'Seer was off the bite. There is so much life in our waters, especially once you start noticing it.Its a beautiful sight, life within the water both within its form and within its body. Its a shame us city-dwellers miss this, all our lives. Such beauty, tantalizingly beyond our reach.
By Lunch time both IG and I had had enough of a boiling. The chilled beers weren't chilling and the 42 degree doldrums had sapped us out. The fact that we had both been up for over 24 hours didn't help. A couple of bites or SOME action at this time would've surely helped but it just wasn't to be. So we headed to the shoreline for some oily bread pakoras. While waiting in the boat, I saw some chilwa being chased by the 'Seer right off the boat. I got my flyrod out lazily and start chucking in some steamer patterns. The chilwa went NUTS! They would attack my clouser the second it landed, and on quick retrieves they would chase it to the boat. Sure enough, the 'Seer saw the commotion and started inspecting the fly every time it was retrieved in front on them. I started casting the fly some 60' away from the boat and waited for the pack to show up again, timing the fly to intersect their path. Sure enough they would come and check out the fly, not taking it but testing it surely. A couple of fly patterns down and BAM!!! Thats right, Mahaseer on the Fly. Chottu guy ( Kilo or so), but who cares, right?! You heard it right....'Seer on the fly!!
Anyway long story short, caught a few more fish that day, went back and hit the sack. Next morning, back to the waters with Mr Bora. That story may be told in detail by IG. Lost a really big 'Seer right next to the boat. B-I-G guy. Looked me in the eye and my mind said " Shit, Get the drag loose..this guy's gonna run". By the time my hand got to the drag, the rod tip whipped and the fish was gone, lure in its mouth.
All fish landed, were released. Even caught a few Chilwa on the fly. Its not a very pleasant experience, soft bodies and all. Only one guy handled the fish, thats why IG is in some pics with the fish, minimum handling= maximum survival. We even caught a fish , which was obviously released previously ( hook marks et al). Next time round I'll start de-barbing the hooks as an experiment, the barbs really make the release a torture for the fish.
Caught a few, lost a few..still made home back for dinner at 8:30pm on friday......Phew!!!!!!!!!
If there's a species on the planet we can officially call CRAZY, its got to be the Sports Angler!!
Dawn breaking on the Gobind Sagar
The Moon, The Stars, The Sun and all....
The fish that IG hooked but I landed, He was being a gracious host.
Flyfishing for Mahaseer ( Yup, it works!)
Another Nice Fishie
Oh, Did I mention it, Mahaseer on the fly