7-Day Golden Mahseer Fishing Adventure in India

Golden Mahseer fishing on the edge of India's Jim Corbett Park.

Journey to some of India's Finest habitat in search of the legendary Golden Mahseer.

India’s oldest National park, Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve is enriched by the prolific Western Ramganga river. Spring-fed and specie-rich, the Ramganga plays host to some of India’s rare aquatic and riverine habitat including the Golden Mahseer but also the endangered and monstrous-freshwater catfish, Goonch.

What makes this journey special?

Corbett’s diverse riverine habitat is home to an array of resident and migratory birds, mammals, reptiles, butterflies and insects, making it mecca for special interest travel including Golden Mahseer fishing. 

  • While Van Ghat is one of the last lodges before the Western Ramganga River officially enters the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve. It enjoys perhaps one of the most prolific stretches of Golden Mahseer fishing. Painstakingly conserved by the management at Van Ghat and Mahseer conservancy since 2004. This travel adventure is sure to open your awareness to India’s wild. Disconnect by engaging  you completely as the lodge itself is located a little over a mile’s hike from the road-head. Hence, travelers MUST walk to be able to access this angling-experience.
  • It is due to this isolation, Van Ghat enjoys relatively less angling pressure. Additionally, it’s low-key and organic thatched-roof and mud-wall architecture keeps wildlife experiences at your doorstep, making it worth the journey in itself. 
  • Additionally, the western Ramganga is also a great river for sight-fishing. Due to it’s clear waters fishing here can get quite technical and hence rewarding for many. 

How do I get there?

  • Fly to New Delhi (IGI) where you are met by our guest-ambassador, whether you are arriving individually or as a group.

When's the best time?

  • October (lure fishing & fly fishing). Subject to availability.
  • March – May (fly fishing). Subject to availability. 

What does it cost?

  • Double Occupancy: $ 2,650 for anglers. 
  • Single Occupancy: $ 3,350 for anglers is based on at least, two-travelers traveling together.
  • Double Occupancy: $ 1,700 accompanying travelers / non angler(s)
  • Single Occupancy: $ 2,300 non angler(s) is based on at least, two-travelers traveling together.

Do I need a Visa?

  • An e-Tourist Visa can be purchased online.
  • Citizens of all countries (except Bhutan & Nepal) must have a visa for India. 

What does it include?

6-nights as per the itinerary.

  • Meet & Greet in New Delhi (IGI).
  • Domestic Flights within India (return-airfare) as listed in the package. 
  • 6-nights accommodation in India includes 2-nights in a 5-star hotel in Delhi upon arrival and departure. 
  • 4-nights accommodation on the edge of Jim Corbett Park. 
  • Accompanying travelers / non-anglers can also do two-guided walking safaris with an in-house naturalist. 
  • Most meals.
  • Fishing permits. 

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: You are met by a representative at the airport (New Delhi, IGI). Chauffeured to your 5-star hotel; a few minutes drive from the International terminal for a good night’s rest. 

Day 2: After breakfast you are chauffeured back to the domestic terminal to board a short flight (airfare included in the price) to Pantnagar, Uttarakhand (PGH). You are met by your taxi-driver and chauffeured to Van Ghat. A forest lodge that lies on the quiet eastern edge of the park on the banks of the Western Ramganga River just before it enters the national park. 

It’s an adventure getting to this lodge. While the lodge in-house guide, guides you a short hike that is required to get to this beautiful location. A late lunch is served upon arrival and dinner lovingly served in the thatch dining overlooking the national park. 

You’ll have access to the Mahseer Conservancy fishing beat as soon as you arrive. Fishing here can be done until dusk. Due to the wildlife in the area night fishing is not permitted.  

Days 3-5: Spend three-days exploring the Western Ramganga River as it enters the Jim Corbett Park. Explore sight fishing for Golden Mahseer  and use a variety of presentations to suit the conditions. One can also take this opportunity to fish for Goonch. 

The forests around Van Ghat are also rich with some of the world’s rarest mammals, birds and reptiles. Owner and expert naturalist Sumantha Ghosh is a passionate conservationist who keeps Van Ghat away from familiar amenities. Hence intentionally making room for fresh perspectives as you literally step into India’s wild. Considered critical tiger habitat, mornings at Van Ghat start early as passionate anglers, naturalist and keen birders lead walks that may or may involve river-crossings. You can also spend some time hiking the forested foothills for possible sightings. Elephants also commonly frequent this valley.

Van Ghat’s Mahseer Conservancy, community based Golden Mahseer, catch and released angling initiative was also one of the pioneering conservation invitees for bringing attention to this prolific forest corridor. Accessible only by foot, in past years, Golden Mahseer of record sizes have been caught here. The river here has also been host to famous TV series documenting some of the precious moments this eco-system has to offer. 

Day 6: An early start is the order of the day. Fishing is included in your final morning at Van Ghat. Journey back to the airport after a delicious breakfast. A 3-hour drive leaving the forested foothills follows a short flight back to New Delhi. You are met upon arrival at the Domestic terminal and chauffeured back to your hotel for a good night’s rest before your journey back home. 

Day 7: Enjoy a leisurely start to the day after a delicious breakfast at the 5-star Pullman that is 3-miles from New Delhi International airport (IGI). 

You will be chauffeured to the airport by 11 AM. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Fishing Guides

  • Local fishing guides guide anglers at Van Ghat. They are employed by Mahseer Conservancy and double up as trackers. Speak basic-english but know the river and it’s surroundings intimately. 
  • Sumantha Ghosh founder of Mahseer Conservancy hosts anglers while at Van Ghat. 
  • All of the fishing is catch-and-release using single-barbless hooks. 
  • Fishing timings are from dawn to dusk. 
  • Night fishing is not permitted. 

Fishing Tackle

  • Fly fishing is advised from March – May as water levels are low. This makes for exciting sight-fishing for Golden Mahseer. Dry fly, skated and even hitched flies work. As do streamers and nymphs.  
  • Lure fishing and fly fishing can be done in October. Using small-medium sized little cleo, cast-master and toby spoons that work well. Diving Rapalas in shad, minnow imitations and be sure to include jointed lures like the J11. Soft plastics & swim-baits also fish some of the deeper pools well. There is also a chances of hooking into Goonch in stretch of river. These locations have been used in the past by film crews and hosts chasing monster-fish for television shows.  


  • 2-nights in the Pullman (5-Star) (3-miles from the New Delhi (IGI). 
  • 4-nights at the Van Ghat River Lodge, Jim Corbett Park is located in Kumaon, Uttarakhand, Northern India. 

How do I sign up?

  • A 50% deposit is required to make a reservation. 
  • A copy of your passport is required to process your reservation and confirm your reservation upon receiving your deposit. 

Domestic Weight Allowance & Airline.

  • Domestic carriers allow about 15 kgs (33 lbs) for check-in baggage.
  • Additional baggage allowance can usually be purchased.
  • Please note flights between Delhi and Pantnagar operate only 4-time a week (Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday) 

Terms & Conditions

  • A 50% deposit is required to make a reservation. 
  • The final-deposit is due 60-days prior to departure.  
  • As all deposits and cancelations are non-refundable it is highly recommended you purchase trip insurance. 

Daily Schedule

  • An early start to the day is generally in order to make the most of the fishing. 
  • Alternatively a relaxed start to the day is also possible. 
  • Evenings are spent around the fire and in the company of your seasoned hosts. 

Food & Drink

  • Meals are served around the camp dinning table. Freshly prepared by the in-house chef. They are lovingly served by the lodge service staff. Piping hot regional and international cuisine follows by a desert or fresh fruit from a nearby orchard. 
  • Drinking water Van Ghat uses a Reverse Osmosis (RO) water purification system to purify spring water. Bottled mineral water will also be provided while traveling. We request our travelers to carry their own drinking water bottles to minimize single use plastic. 
  • Alcoholic Beverages are encouraged in moderation. They can be purchased en-route to the lodge as the lodge does not serve liquor.