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3 Top Himalayan Rivers for Golden Mahseer Fly Fishing - Misty Dhillon

Someone recently asked, what my top 3 Himalayan Mahseer fly fishing rivers are, and why? 

A great question that inspired me to write and share some of my personal experiences while fly fishing for Mahseer. 

For over two decades, my passion for Golden Mahseer has lead me to explore Mahseer expedition options as well as training local guides after becoming India’s first FFI casting instructor. 

So here are my two cents on the 3 top Himalayan Mahseer fly fishing rivers.


Saryu River, India

Uniquely situated all the way on the borders of India and Nepal, the Mahakali river is joined by a few good tributaries that offer opportunities for fly fishing for Golden Mahseer. Of these the Saryu river that comes in from India, is probably the largest and most productive river, especially for Golden Mahseer fly fishing. 

During the season; April to early June and a small window in October. Fresh fish come into the Saryu from the main river, chasing schools of bait fish, which makes it an ideal time to be out there with a fly rod.

Though do keep in mind, this piece of water can sometimes get a bit crowded. As it is a hot favourite among local lure anglers. Which makes it imperative to visit this river with the right guides so you can find the productive windows of opportunities. Lately, forest fires have also  made fishing in the months of April through June quite hazy and unpleasant during peak summer. 

Therefore, if you are looking to push your fly fishing boundaries in search of a fish of your dreams. Then the Saryu is certainly offers some of the best fly fishing waters of India.


Drangme Chhu River, Bhutan

One of Bhutan’s largest rivers, The Drangme Chhu, has a magnificent watershed that stretches along eastern Bhutan. 

Coming from Trashi Yangtse, the Drangme Chhu is joined by a series of freestone rivers such as the Gamri, Sherri Chhu, Mekuri Chhu, Kuri Chhu and Mangde Chhu before flowing into India’s, Manas National Park. 

Additionally, this is a largely unfragmented Golden Maheeer population, providing the perfect conditions for world class fly fishing for Mahseer. I love supporting regions that serve as vital protected watersheds for the future of these legendary fish.


The Babai River, Nepal

What sets fly fishing in the Babai apart is its exclusivity. Accessing this hidden gem requires special permission, granting you the privilege to explore an untouched wilderness where nature’s wonders thrive. Nestled within the magnificent Bardiya Tiger Reserve, the Babai River beckons with its pristine waters offering this park it’s diverse, iconic wildlife. An adventure unlike any other. An adventure that also offers angler miles and miles of possibilities to change to catch and release the iconic Golden Mahseer.
However, it’s important to note that fishing within the Bardiya Tiger Reserve is strictly controlled and monitored. Nepal’s national parks are safeguarded by their vigilant army, ensuring the preservation of this extraordinary ecosystem. So call us if you are interested in a fly fishing adventure to Nepal. 

Although there are many other amazing rivers out there in the Himalayas that offer Mahseer fly fishing potential. Getting to them during the right window is essential along with the right flies and fly lines. Reach out to me if you are feeling called to fly fish for this golden beauty in the Himalayas. 

Dry Fly Fishing Mahseer

Golden Mahseer Fly Tying with Misty

Flies are a key component for Golden Mahseer fly fishing. Even though Golden Mahseer flies aren’t hard to tie. They require some key components that can be learnt during this 2-hr virtual event. 

Schedule your complimentary consultation if you are feeling called.

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