Bhutan's Royal Fish

Golden Mahseer fishing pilgrimage in the Himalayan foothills of Bhutan.

Golden Mahseer are the fascinating and iconic, sub-Himalayan, bio-indicator fish species that has fascinated generations of anglers. They are a highly regarded pursuit in the world of world of freshwater fly-fishing. 

As Golden Mahseer have evolved to take-on the youngest mountain ranges of the world. A journey into into their diverse but also culturally rich habitat, is no short of an angling-pilgrimage. 


Journey to Paro, Bhutan


primarily Float Trip




Puna Tsang Chhu River

This 10-day journey takes you to the Puna Tsang Chu River that rises in the northern part of Bhutan.

Bhutan’s historic angling venue, host to some of the country’s Royal waters, pay homage to the seeds of conservation set by the nation’s Royal family. 

This expedition floats accessing a series of confluences in the sparsely populated Puna Tsang Chhu valley beyond the Royal beats. Fishing opportunities during this journey are a bit more diverse. Enjoy a day’s fishing targeting Brown and Snow Trout in Punakham while focusing the larger part of this adventure on Golden Mahseer waters (with chances of connecting to  chocolate Mahseer) as you float to Bhutan’s border with India. 

day by day

After landing in the picturesque Paro International Airport be met and chauffeured to the capital, Thimpu following the picturesque, Paro Chu River that takes a little over an hour. 

As most flights arrive during the day, travelers are encouraged in local-sightseeing. Meet with a local conservation group for an exchange and dialogue, learning about Bhutan’s approach to conservation. 

Pre-journey arrivals into Bhutan can be arranged in a custom-tailored capacity. Non-angling companions are always welcome as Bhutan is a great destination for the conscious traveler. 

Begin the day with a drive over the historic Dochula pass before descending into the Punakha valley. This drive can take as much as 3-hours. Enjoy a visit to the Punakha Dzong (Monastery) or spend the evening pursuing a snow-trout on a fishing adventure on the Mo Chhu river. There’s also a good chance of catching the introduced Brown Trout. Not many anglers make it to this part of the world., hence there’s plenty of fishing spots along this stretch that reward a host of presentations – including dry fly fishing.  

Shortly after breakfast, follow Bhutan’s back-roads down these rugged Himalayan foothills for 3-hours before setting-foot onboard your white-water rafts.

Follow this sparsely populated valley to the first confluence. Among one of the treats, fishing in Bhutan comes with perhaps the largest selection of remote confluences across it’s sparsely populated Himalayan foothills. 

In comparison to it’s over-developed neighbors, India and Nepal. Bhutan’s network of watersheds offer refuge to the last remaining populations of the legendary, Golden Mahseer. 

Golden Mahseer are also highly regarded and acknowledged by Bhutan’s administration and Royal family. A relationship that perhaps dates back to Bhutan’s harmonious past that blends natural sustainability into bone-wisdom through its’ ancient practices and way-of-life; a true compliment to the human race. 

Bhutan is also home to the best practices for Golden Mahseer fishing. While also leading the way in bringing more attention to this highly threatened species via on-going research. 

Spend 5-nights on the river camping and fishing a series of remote confluences, runs and rapids to connect with a fish of your dreams. 

Journey back to Paro (5-hrs) after a morning’s fishing session. Settle into your hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure reflecting on your journey. 

Say goodbye to your hosts after a sumptuous breakfast and head out to the airport that is a short drive from your hotel. 

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