28 December 2020


Fishing in the icy cold mountain streams and rivers of the Himalayas.

The Himalayas were the summer vacation homes of Colonial British officers who enjoyed the sport of angling. They identified and created reserves where one could indulge in river fishing and angling. The indigenous species of Mahseer thrive in the lower, warmer waters and so the British introduced the Brown and Rainbow Trouts, with the Brown Trout being an anglers nemesis. Both coldwater and fast stream fish the upper streams too became angling grounds.

Mahseer in Pong Dam

Image credits: Ixigo

The Rainbow Trout are generally bred in fisheries and do not thrive well in the rivers. A good number of them escape from the fisheries into the wild, but fail to breed in the river nor do they grow to full size. They are used to fisheries feeding and make for an easy catch and not very challenging for an angler.
The Brown Trout, however, is an entirely different story. Being a native of European waters they were introduced to Himalayan streams first in Kashmir in the 1860s. The brown trouts were introduced in the Beas river sometime during the 1920s. The Colonial British loved the sport of angling and introduced these fish all across the globe including the Americas and Japan, to the detriment of the local varieties at many places. Having existed in the Himalayan rivers and streams for over a century, they have thrived in these waters, earning the title of ‘Himalayan Trout’. Angling is now a sport popular among many Indians and so the fisheries and wildlife department has regulated fishing in the icy cold waters. A special licence is necessary to fish here.

Angling in Himachal Pradesh

Image credits: Adventure Nation

The closest and most scenic place you could go fishing for river trout from Rakkh Resort In Palampur is a place called Barot which has two long stretches of rivers both known for trout fishing. An eventful 3-hour drive crossing the Bajinath temple and the paragliding heaven of Bir and Billing, one arrives at the Barot valley.

Mahseer is an indigenous species of the Himalayas and thrives in relatively warmer waters of the lower valleys. Kangra is gifted with may such valleys with rivers and streams full of Mahseer. But the best for Mahseer fishing along with a few other perks and worth the drive would be heading over to the Pong Wetlands. Pong Wetlands, about 2 hours 30 minutes drive from Rakkh Resort in Palampur is one of the best places to go angling for Mahseers along with being a birders paradise.

A possible 4-day vacation itinerary for angling at Rakkh Resort in Palampur is provided here. But there are a million combinations that one can do with a huge number of experiences that Rakkh Resort in Palampur has to offer.


DAY 1:
Arrive at Rakkh Resort in Palampur at the earliest and check-in. After a scrumptious and satiating lunch, spend the rest of the afternoon and evening experiencing the village around intimately with guided walks in the serene village and tea estates. If you want something more paced, try biking to nearby villages, or rock climbing and slackline walking. You can witness local women weaving the traditional Himachali shawls on handlooms passed on for generations.

As evening approaches, Rakkh ascends the heights of cultural immersion with traditional Himachali singing and dancing organized along with the famed Dhaam feast, creating a memory of a lifetime.

DAY 2:
Start your day with a hearty breakfast before indulging in the main activity of your vacation - angling. Head to the Pong Wetlands and spend the rest of the day angling. Don’t forget to pack a pair of great binoculars. Pong wetland is a great place to go bird watching too. A picnic style lunch is arranged in the woods around the lake for you to take time off angling. The peace and calm of this serene land will mesmerize you forever. You can choose to continue fishing till late evening or head to Dharamshala and McLeodGanj and explore the Tibetan market hunting for souvenirs. A visit to the Dalai Lama Temple and the Tibet Museum is highly recommended too.

Return to Rakkh Resort and throw your leg up and just relax after a day of relaxing fishing. The amazing Kangra tea will warm you up as you share your ‘Old man and the sea’ tales of angling and wrestling with the Mahseers with friends and family.

DAY 3:
A long and eventful drive awaits you, so best to start before the break of dawn. Head south and eastward along the road to Palampur and Baijnath Temple, crossing the paragliding haven of Bir Billing and turn up into the Barot valley, one of the fast-flowing tributaries of River Beas is your destination of the day. There are two stretches identified as brown trout fishing grounds. Choose your spot and get angling. If lucky and are done with your stipulated catch of the day soon, you could visit the Baijnath Temple on the way back to show gratitude to the gods for a wonderful catch or continue feeling on top of the world with a session of paragliding at Bir Billing.

DAY 4:
Wake up early this morning, to take in the beauty of Rakkh as much as you can, as we serve more cups of delectable chai from our curated selection of tea. As you polish the plate off, after the epicurean tête-à-tête with your food and pack your bags to leave the abode of gods, just know that we loved having you here as much as you love it here. You are welcome here anytime your heart desires or your angling arm itches.

Rakkh Resort in Palampur is an adventure Resort near Dharamshala which has many treks and hikes, mountain biking and other activities for all age groups and expertise. We can assist with creating the perfect active vacation for you for all seasons.

Featured Picture Credits: Charles J. Sharp

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Ghamrota Village Post Office Ballah ,Tehsil Palampur, District Kangra, Jiun, Himachal Pradesh 176061