I thought we were going to give this stretch a break for a while but the discovery of a large number of nets at Forbes Sagar by Prathap during the previous weekend had us heading out to it again.
We left early on Friday evening and had deliberately not told the guard about our visit.
Stopped for a quick and early meal at Maddur and then went directly to Forbes Sagar rather than unload at the cottage first. We drove along the bund (embankment) and scanned the lake twice with a spot light but could not see any nets. Considering it was almost a moonless night with very little wind I was surprised not to see any activity. Perhaps the nets would appear on Saturday night, so that fresh fish could be sold at the Sunday markets. Looking back I realise that Sunday was Ganesh Pooja ( a Hindu religious festival) and probably a day on which Hindu's wont eat meat. Maybe the poachers knew this and did not set out as sales would have been thin.
We then proceeded to the cottage, had a bite and sat up with the rods for rohu but not a nibble. Called it a night at 1:30 a.m..
Next morning we set out at 8:15 to see the Gaganachukki falls as I hadn't seen these. However, first we stopped at Shivasamudram town to do some spinning along the canal almost upto where it meets Forbes Sagar.
Prathap managed to get three murral in the 1.5 to 2 kilo range.
We then set out through Shivasamudram for the falls....
On reaching the falls I was really dismayed to see two brick and concrete structures being put up by the state tourism authorities. I am not against tourism but why the hell can't these aholes put up something more in harmony with the surroundings. Far too annoyed to take pics but on reflection I should have to show you chaps these architectural marvels.
The old hands know about the presence of mahseer in these waters but the guard accompanying us (Raju) told us that dynamiting for fish is still rife and that the vibrations are easily felt way up the hill where we were standing.
In the next pic you will see some construction activity. This is some sort of water works project and we were told that once it gets going, security is going to be heavily beefed up and consequently the mahseer could well get another chance here.
Having seen the falls, Raju offered to take us to the top of the falls and I am so glad he did. The pics just don't do it justice. We tried spinning for murral and carp but without a result. A fish or two would merely have been icing on an already delicious cake.
We then proceeded to Forbes Sagar (where the water is high and turbid) for some spinning and were at it until 2 p.m., when we decided to head for Hand Post for lunch. Prathap did catch a few murral during this session but we released all but one that we kept for our dinner.
Crossing the bridge over the Cauvery on the way to Hand Post, Prathap mentioned that the water level had fallen drastically in just one week.
After having finished our lunch of fried chiken, masala omellete, daal and paratha, I found that the owner had a whole tava full of grilled fish going.
We asked the owner what fish it was and he said Catla. Since I haven't had this before I wanted to try it. Not that I needed an excuse.
Never one to say no to a tasty morsel or two (even though the bill had already been paid), I ordered a plate of the same which I greedily sampled in the car and burnt my tongue in the process.
I wonder where they got the catla and how....
We then proceeded back to Forbes Sagar for another round of fishing when we chanced upon these two gentlemen diligently trying their hand at fishing with handlines. Ahem!
Couldn't get to them because I was lagging behind and did not get to the coracle in time. We were on the opposite bank.
The post lunch session was also reasonably productive and I even managed to catch my one and only murral of the trip. However, they were all released as none were deep hooked and dinner was already catered for. We finally beached the coracle just as it was turning dark and drove back to the cottage reaching it at 7:30.
A mug of tea followed by a bath and we were ready for dinner - masala fried murral, sliced bread and a can each of warm ginger beer. For afters there was half a bar of Snickers which I never should have had as it destroyed the taste of the well made murral.
During the day we had learnt where the poachers with the nets may be coming from so we decided to sit up and try our luck for mahseer simultaneously. No joy on either account.
We then did another round of Forbes Sagar but did not see any nets. So it was back to the cottage and bed.
Prathap was threatening to set the alarm for 5 a.m. because he wanted to get stuck into some rohu. He must have been knackered because he surfaced at 7:30 a.m.. Lazy sod!
We were looking forward to a huge breakfast, at least I was, of sausage, eggs, toast and butter but we found the second loaf of bread had mold. So we settled for one pot noodle each and a big mug of tea.
Prathap then pushed off for his rohu and I was almost done rigging up for some tilapia when my neighbours from Bangalore, the Pintos, landed up at 8:30 a.m..
Once the new comers had finished their breakfast (I was hoping they had a loaf of bread....
but they had picked up dosas and bananas enroute), they procceded down to the bank and Prathap and I decided to go to the other bank of the cottage lake. Whilst we were there Deepak Pinto landed a 4kg rohu.
Unfortunately, Prathap and I had to head back to B'lore early as my wife was catching a 5 p.m. flight to Delhi and I had to be home to keep an eye on my monsters. We were all packed and about to leave when Anaheeta caught a similar sized rohu.
I don't know if Prathap was pissed off at Lady Luck but he certainly did not show it. However, if he owned the lake, I am pretty sure the Pintos would never get an invite.
They have been here twice and always caught rohu, whilst P has been here innumerable times and only got one.
However, all good things have to end, so it was a very reluctant duo that left at 1 p.m. and reached B'lore at 4 p.m.