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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:25 am 
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The first of my yearly trips to the tirthan is always special. The season has just about opened for trout and the fish are just about getting ready for the summer offensive. There's a kind of relaxed urgency in the valley. The water runs low and clear, which may not be such a great thing for fly fishers but it does present great sight fishing opportunities.The days are crisp and sunny and the evenings demand plenty of firewood.

Getting there is part of the fun, the mad dash from the city into the mountains.Hugging each turn and curve along the way, all of which are now engraved in my mind.I imagine i've gotten to a stage where i know the working times of the roads so I try and time my trip accordingly. Every now and then my theories work, but whenever i get confident that i'm in charge we'll always end up in a massive 2 sided 500 truck pileup!!

I have this habit of timing the trip so that I can get there, jump out of the car and start fishing first thing in the morning.Luckily,at this time of year, the water is way too cold for early morning fishing.So even if you're on the water by 10:00 am, you're good to go.Generally I fish from morning to lunch, say till about 2:30. Break for about an hour and then fish till dusk. since i dont wear a watch or carry a phone on the water,time seems to take on its own meaning. Hours become markers of waning sunlight and every passing moment is defined by a cast.

This time being my third year running, and my second spring session on the tirthan I had come with a very clear cut plan. My angling objective [ apart from catching a nice fish!!] was to try getting fish out of non-pool looking spots. Runs, riffles, rapids, bases of waterfalls,shallow edges of a deep pool. Places where conventionally anglers don't ease into, but worth a shot anyway. The thing gratifying about flyfishing is that you can get into any place ,within reason, in the water. You can get across the bank, wade downstream to cast up, wade in the middle to get to both banks, get over the bank, under the bank, inside eddies, below rocks,..basically the more time you spend on the river you realize the only limitation you have is your imagination. Sure, every now and then you'll hit an impasse where a huge sheer rockface jutting into a tasty slow bend on the river , will block out that aquamarine green deep pool filled with lunkers!! but that aside, i find flyfishing is a personalized experiment running the course of one's angling life. What if i tried that.......

All is all between me and the wife we released more that 30 fish, browns and 'bows both. we took one home for the plate, a 10" male 'bow.The poor guy had swallowed my beadhead prince nymph all the way down. The fishing was excellent. The catching was pretty good too. The average size we caught was about 8"-10". The largest one hooked was about 14" on a brown trout minnow imitation under a bridge in rapid coming off a deep pool!

The best catch for me was this 10" rainbow sitting right off a manmade channel about 4' off the far bank, just behind a big rock. The evening earlier i had seen this guy take midges quitely off the surface but he was difficult to reach at that time with the sun going out. The next day i worked my way to the other bank some 20-30 feet upstream of the same rock. I put on a double nymph rig and cast upstream into the current leading right upto the rock, with plenty of slacking and mending. BAM!! first cast, and the bugger ate my hare's ear the second it hit the pool. This is why i love flyfishing. You seek, you catch and you release. You can start imagining you know your craft after a few good days, only to be sent crying to your evening drink with no bites, no catch, no hatch just the next day.


The browns on the Tirthan are nearly wild now. The rainbows are all escapees from either the fisheries department or the local fish farm. The best place to see how big these 'bows can get is to visit the fish farm from across the road. Its a fair 15-20 minute walk , with some great poools along the way, but to see these giants roaming aimlessly in the vats, makes me want to buy them and throw them in the river....just so i can catch them. But it wont be the same, a farmed fish is meant for the table, not the wild waters.

Anyway, the deeper pools were crystal clear with that tinge of green and you could see about 10' down to the bottom of some of them. You will see suspended trout feeding off the middle and bottom currents. I counted nearly 15 of them in just one pool. But I saw them and they saw me...no takes, none whatsoever!!

So that's that...spring run over, the wait for the summer and fall run begins!!


Last edited by bobbychyma on Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:54 am 
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Location: new delhi
'bow..



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:40 pm 
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Location: Pune, India
beautiful report and fish


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:55 pm
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A wordsmith! Great report mate and that is one beautiful fish.

Till when does the season hold?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:09 pm 
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thanks hamour and thanks ken. Spring runoff/glacial melt will start soon [late april-early may]. already the waters would be increasing but with the water temperature rising , the fishing should be good anytime from now to end of april.

not that summer fishing isn't good but the waters levels get considerably higher and fish tend to get a tad inaccessible.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:18 pm 
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A nice chottu brownie on a dry fly


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:21 pm 
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A Release, the toughest part of the game. The release needs to ensure the fish survives. I'm ALWAYS nervous at this stage...


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:37 am 
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:D fish :D


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:12 am 
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yes sirji...and no eggs :D:D:D


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:24 am 
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Location: PUNE, MAHARASHTRA
Great fish & a smashing write up. You brought the trip to life, right in front of our eyes.

Regards
Cavalier


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:31 am 
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Bobbychyma,

That was a very very beautiful report.
Reminded me of my old days when I used to live at Kotagiri and every sunday (almost) reach out to the upper waters of the nilgiris to catch them trouts.
It is a fantastic experience.
However, fly fishing sounds greek to me. I only fished with 4 - 6 lb line with #o and @1 Mepps. Hope I can try my hand at the art of flyfishing. Would love to do that.
The way you have narrated your episode made me feel as if i was there and fishing myself.
Great work buddy. Keep it up and thanks for such a good read.

Ravi


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:36 am 
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thanks cavalier!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:12 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 10:08 am
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Nice trip report. And nice catch too. Thanks for sharing.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:16 am 
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thanks ravi :D

flyfishing isnt all that complicated as its been made out to be ... i started out by watching a couple of instructionals and a little practice takes you a long way. Mel Krieger's -Essence of Fly casting and New Flyshing basics by Jim and Kelly are great starting points.

Fish getting caught on flies include trout and other salmonids, mahaseer, tuna, bonito, snapper, MJs, GTs , Washoo, mackeral, dorado, Barra, bonefish, permit, sharks,billfish, carp etc etc etc...the list increases yearly!

Is there trout fishing in the Nilgiris?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:18 am 
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Very refreshing report Bobby, truely enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing. :)

Santosh


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:42 am 
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thanks apoo and santosh


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:04 pm 
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Some day I will try my hand at Fly fishing.

Bobbychyma, There is lot of trout in the Nilgiris, at upper Bhavani, Lakkati, Devebetta, Avalanche, emarald, Banki Tappal and so on.
But the problem is most of these water bodies are inside the reserve forest area. The forest guys are very nasty and can cause a lot of problems.
The very saddest part is............The fisheries department issues license to fish in these waters but the forest department objects to it. There is a huge confusion.

Ravi


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:39 pm 
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Congrats Mate .... What a beautiful trout it is ....

BTW has anyone tried trout tickling? :)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:02 pm
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Location: Mumbai, India
Very nice report indeed! While reading, I felt as if I was there watching you casting.

What weight Rod you use Bobby?

With Best Regards,

Arun


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:45 pm 
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thanks blackheart, yes ive tried to "tickle" a trout.

thanks arun, rod weights vary on the fishing situation. for the tirthan i use a 5 weight for dry flies and small nymphs. i use a 6 weight for double fly nymphing rigs and small streamers. to lob bigass buggers and streamers [or a very windy day] i'll use a 8 weight or a 9 weight.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:48 pm 
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Location: Tirthan Valley , Banjar, kullu
Hey Gautam , you surprise me..nicely worded...Norman hit an 800 grammer `bow ' yesterday..so the larger ones are emerging...will save some for you


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:59 pm 
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thanks christopher...please tell norman that i'm on for dodhra.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:07 pm 
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Location: Tirthan Valley , Banjar, kullu
Norman is currently in Barot with Amit (delhi) pablo ( chile) and giedrius(lithuania)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:51 am 
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Yes! There are trout in Nilgiris but i believe its tough to get permission to catch them


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:02 pm 
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Nice. :D


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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 2:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:39 pm
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Location: Pakistan
Wonderful!
This year I'm gonna try and concentrate on flyfishing, nothing finer than catching stream trout on the fly, but on bigger waters I can't help but bring out the spinning tackle and toss some hardware.


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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 8:00 am 
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agreed, nothing IS finer that flyfishing for trout, dryflying especially.


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