Angling is a source of recreation to innumerable naturists belonging to different
strata of the society. In Western Countries, fishing as a sport is being increasingly
recognized by the medical authorities and more and more people are coming out of
indoors to try their skill for this outdoor hobby. Angling became favorite pursuit
of the British’s during ninetieth century and it was mainly for this reason
that exotic species viz. brown and rainbow trouts were transplanted in Indian rivers
and streams. The introduced species of trout not only soon established in Indian
waters but also bred and propagated fastly in view of rich oxygenated waters and
ideal ecological condition of these rivers. Along with endemic mahseer (Tor putitora)
the exotic trout (Salmo trutta fario and Salmo gairdnerii) started offering excellent
fishing to the European anglers. The literature is replete with records that Himachal
Pradesh rivers and streams provided exciting fishing to large number of sport lovers/
anglers and fishermen. Thomas (1897) brought a book ‘ Rod in India’
which incorporated his experiences of mahseer fishing in Northern rivers. Later
with more and more people getting interested in mahseer sport in view of unparalleled
thrill it provides, two important publications were brought out viz. ‘Angler
in India’ and ‘Circumventing the mahseer’. These two books embodied
lot of information mostly on fishing sites and appropriate tackles to be used. Later
Hora (1957) published series of articles containing account of natural history and
systematic of principal game fishes in India.
Angling at the Seer Khad (1938, Seer Khad,
Bilaspur) of Bilaspur Right to Left: Mian Man Singh (in necktie),
the Lt. Governor, Punjab, Sir Malcolm Hailey, and Lady GovernorCourtesy: Bilaspur-Through
the Centuries p 568 (Author Mr. Shakti
ANGLING IN HIMACHAL WATERS:
The streams of Himachal Pradesh fall under two categories; General waters and Trout
waters, with estimated length of 600 and 2400 kms respectively. The major State’s
streams include- Beas, Sutlej, Ravi,Tirthan, Sainj, Uhl, Baspa, Pabar, Lambadug,
Giri, Rana, Nugal Gai, Baner, Bata, etc. The major fishes available in these streams
are Trout, Mahseer, Nemacheilus spp, Barilus sp, Schizothoracids Crossocheilus sp.
Glyptothorax spp. etc. Fishing in these streams is regularsied under the state fisheries
Act. In trout water licences only for rod and line are permitted while in general
water both rod and line as well as cast netting is all allowed. The department has
identified the following stretches as potential fishing sports for trout and mahseer.
Name of river
Stream length in (kms.)
Katrain to Manali
Largi to Nagni
Largi to Ropa
Barit to Lohardi
Barot to Kothikhad
Holi to Main bridge
Name of river
Stream length in (kms.)
Seri mulag- Confluence of Binwa to Beas.
Harsipattan- Confluence of Kunha tributary of Beas.
Adventure Angling in Himachal:
Himachal Pradesh the abode of gods the land of snows a tourist’s dream and
delight, is also an angler’s paradise. It has some of the finest trout streams
in the north. The Pabbar in the Rohru valley, the Baspa in the Sangla valley, the
Uhl in the Barot valley, and river Beas and its tributaries in the Kullu valley,
abound in both brown and rainbow trout, while many rivers and streams in the Kangra
valley are well-known for mahseer fishing. Each of these rivers has 32 to 40 km
of angling reserve area, where one can fish with joy.
Angling rules are liberal and the fee nominal. Angler is permitted to catch
six trout a day on each license; however a trout should not be less than 40 cm in
size. Trout fishing season lasts from1st November to 28thFebruary each year.
Let us first discuss the places and the rivers and the streams, where one
can find trout, easily.
1500 mm, 120 km from Shimla, on the right bank of river Pabbar, is an important
fishing centre. 50 km up-stream from Rohru, and situated on the left bank of Andhra,
a tributary of Pabbar,
Chirgaon is another
fishing centre, besides being an ideal place for relaxation. The other places which
are easily approachable from Rohru, and are known for providing good fishing opportunities
are Seema (5km), Mandil (10km), Saandhsu (17 km), Tikri (21km) , and Dhamwari (24
The river Baspa which takes its origin from the glaciers of the great Himalayan
ranges, and remains practically clear except during the monsoon, flows through the
Baspa or the Sangla Valley, which is one of the most beautiful valleys in the western
Himalayas. Baspa makes a series of rapids, and has many nice pools for trout. Surrounded
by high mountains and providing a splendid view of the majestic Kinnar Kailash,
Sangla, a populous village (2,621) m with well furnished PWD and Forest Houses,
could be a convenient place for fishing in this valley. Kupa and Badseri, which
are just a few km from Sangla are also good spots for trout fishing. A temple and
a Buddhist gompa and the ancient Kamru fort are some other attractions which the
anglers should not miss. Sangla is 250 km from Shimla and is well connected with
regular bus services.
Barot (Mandi) 200
km from Shimla and 75 km from the Mandi town is known not only for its picturesque
water reservoir and scenic beauty, but for trout fishing also which abounds in the
Uhl river, a tributary of river Beas. Some of the finest fishing spots are located
at Luhandi, Puran hatchery, Lachkkandi, Tikkar, Balh and Kamand. Besides Barot the
entire reservoir from Pandoh Dam to Aut on the Mandi-Manali national highway is
also considered good for trout fishing.
A part from being one of the most beautiful valleys in the Himalayas, the Kullu valley offers some ideal opportunities for trout
fishing in the river Beas, which meanders through it, and in its larger tributaries,
like Sarveri, Parbati, Sajoin and Phojal. The Sainj and Tirthan rivers, which form
a tri-junction with the Beas a few hundred meters downstream from the conspicuously
located PWD bungalow at Largi, are also trout streams. The main Kullu valley right
from Manali to Bhuntar provides some excellent pools for fishing especially at Patlikuhl,
Katrain and Raison. Trout hatcheries have also been developed at Patlikuhl and Bathad.
The Parbati valley, with its scenery generally on a wilder and more impressive scale,
with dense forest to the hillsides, affords some excellent trout prospects throughout
the course of the river Parbati from Manikarn to the confluence at Bhuin, Kasol,
5 km before Manikaran, charmingly situated on an open space which slopes down to
a broad expanse of clean white sand at the end of the main river, makes a first
rate halting place with every prospect of some really good spot. Chandigarh and
Delhi and with many other places in the outside the state, Kullu is also on the
air map of the country with regular flights from Delhi and Chandigarh.
After having savoured the delicacies of the trout, let us now come down to
the comparatively less high Kangra valley, situated in the lap of the mighty Dhauladhar
ranges, irrigated with streams which descend from perennial snows, and interspersed
with homesteads buried in the midst of groves and fruit trees. Kangra has been known
as the home of the proverbial mighty mahseer to which effect a fairly large account
of evidence is available from the vivid accounts of various anglers interested in
heavy fish. The river Beas and the Pong Dam reservoir provide attractive fish grounds
to the anglers. Besides mahseer, the other fish available is malhi, soal, bachwa,
god shingara etc. Although there are many places and rivers and streams where mahseer
is available, the following beats are considered the best.
Sari Marog: Confluence
of the Binwas tributary with the river Beas. A place known for its fantastic size
of fish, with deep pools and many stones and hiding places. The approach is via
Palampur, Andretta and Jaisinghpur. From Sari Marog village, a 3 km footpath leads
to the spot, which entails a steep and a breathtaking climb of about 45 minutes.
The stretch between Harsi Pattan and
Nadaun: There are numerous beats on this stretch, easily accessible
from the Palampur-Bhawarana-Thural road. The famous spots are the Mandh-Khad confluence,
Lambagaon pool, Neogal confluence near Alampur, and Ambter, 2 km above Nadaun itself.
Chamba Pattan: Accessible
from Jwalamukhi via road. After 8.5 km this locality offers three good spots, viz.
the Chamba Pattanpool, the Kaleshwar beat opposite Chamba Pattan village, and the
Uppar Chamba Pattan Run. All these places offer safe catches and can’t be
fished in one day.
Kuru: Kuru village
offers two fishing spots, both of which are accessible from one of the two river
banks. The Kuru- Pool is the confluence of a small Khad with the Beas river, joining
about 1 km above the village and forming a small bay, above and below which exceptional
catches have been experienced. Access is through a 3 km- footpath from Dehra-Jwalamukhi
road where a peepal tree and a small water tank is located at the rode side.
Dehra-and Pong Dam Reservoir: Pong
reservoir from Dehra to the Dam proper offers excellent fishing for mahseer almost
round the year when fishing is open. The Pong reservoir can be approached from Pathankot
via Jassur, from Chandigarh via Talwara, and from Dharmsala via Dehta and Nagrota
The area of Ashni stream upto its confluence with the river Giri, falling
in Solan and Sirmour district, provides enjoyable fishing opportunities. Near Solan,
about 30 km away, on the Rajgarh road, passing through a valley dotted with plum
orchards, fields and little farm houses, across the Giri bridge, is Gaura, once
known for its huge mahseer. The place offered good spot to the erstwhile Patiala
rulers and their British guests. Even today, Gaura, apart from bring a scenically
beautiful place, offers good prospects for mahseer fishing. Another spot is the
stretch of river Yamuna from Naught ferry crossing down stream in Ponta Sahib.
Largi: a place located
at a distance of about 7 km from Aut on National Highway-21 is an ideal trout angling
spot on river Tirthan. It has a HPPWD rest House and license office of Sub-Inspector
Fisheries. Himachal Government has specifically declared Tirthan river as an angling reserve and taken
a historic decision not to allow any hydro power project on this river as well as
it’s tributaries in order to maintain it’s aquatic biodiversity. Every year fingerlings of brown
as well as rainbow trout are stocked in this river by the department. Almost each
& every angler went satisfied in the past after fishing in a stretch of 20 kms
Kind Attention Anglers:
Scientific evidence has proven that angler’s equipment, particularly felt
soles, is responsible for moving some ANS species such as whirling disease spores,
Didymo, and New Zealand mud snails. Due to its porous nature, felt may have
the potential to transmit other ANS, too. While fish health professionals,
biologists, and others may use chemical treatments for their working equipment,
there is no single chemical treatment that will kill various ANS. Therefore, TU recommends that anglers simply inspect, clean, and dry
their equipment. When traveling between drainages, inspect
your equipment for sediment, debris, and plants. Thoroughly clean with water,
hot water if available, and use a soft brush to clean seams and folds in waders
and shoes. Whenever possible, dry your equipment, too. Desiccation
will kill some ANS, not all, so, drying is a very good idea. While these simple
recommendations will not guarantee the prevention of all ANS movement, they will
help reduce the risk of spread and help protect our precious trout and salmon resources.
Never transport any fish, plant or animal,
alive or dead, between water bodies.
Always check, clean and dry all equipment.
PREVENTION METHODS FOR ANGLERS:
What is Whirling Disease?
Myxobolus cerebralis (Mc) is a
parasite that infiltrates the head and spinal cartilage of fingerling trout where
it multiplies rapidly, causing the fish to swim erratically and, in severe cases,
die. When an infected fish dies, millions of tiny indestructible Mc spores (each
about the size of a red blood cell) are released to the water where they can survive
in this “dormant” form for up to 30 years. When Mc spores are ingested
by Tubifex worms, the spore changes inside the worm and is released from the worm
in a highly infective form, the Triactinomyxon (Tam). Tams are free-floating in
the water until they infect trout, causing spinal deformities and decreased abilities
for feed. Whirling disease is most infective to rainbow and cutthroat trout, but
can infect all salmonid species. Sick fish
Mc spore Tubifex worms Tams
What does an infected fish look like?
Typical signs of whirling disease include a darkened tail, twisted spine and deformed
head (shortened, twisted jaw). Young fish may also swim erratically (whirl). However,
other diseases and even genetic conditions can cause these signs as well. If you
see fish with these signs in an area where whirling disease has not been reported,
you should contact your state fisheries agency.
How has whirling disease spread?
Stocking or natural movement of live, infected fish is the primary route by which
whirling disease is disseminated. However, there are other ways that the parasite
can be spread, including by birds and humans – particularly boaters and anglers
Is there anything anglers and boaters can
do to help prevent further spread?
Anglers, boaters, and others can make a difference in reducing the chances of spreading
whirling disease. Distribution of the parasite is expanding rapidly in some areas,
so you should assume its presence if you don’t know otherwise. Recommended
precautions that will help prevent not only the spread of whirling disease, but
also other disease-causing organisms and aquatic pests include:
1. Never transport live fish from one
water body to another. (This is illegal in many states.)
2. Do not use trout, whitefish, or salmon
parts as cut bait.
3. Dispose of fish entrails and skeletal
parts properly. Never discard fish parts in or near streams or
rivers. Because an infected fish may harbor tens of thousands of myxospores, simply
disposing of infected fish parts in a clean drainage could provide enough spores
to start an infection. Do not discard fish parts in a kitchen disposal. Whirling
disease myxospores can survive most wastewater treatment systems. Instead, discard
in dry waste that would go to a landfill.
4. Rinse all mud and debris from equipment
and wading gear, and drain water from boatsbefore leaving an infected
drainage. This is good practice for preventing transfer of other aquatic hitchhikers
5. Although the above precautions will remove most spores from your gear, you may
want toconsider the following if fishing
in heavily infected waters:
! Rinse, then thoroughly dry your boots, waders and other fishing equipment.
This is generally sufficient to kill the TAM stage of the parasite.
! Chlorine (regular household bleach) is a very effective disinfectant, and
one of the few that can kill all stages of the parasite if used at the proper concentration.
However, chlorine is a very strong chemical and can harm your equipment with prolonged
exposure, so make sure you rinse the chlorine off your waders and other equipment
after you disinfect, and dry in the shade.
� To kill the TAM stage, use 1 part chlorine to 32 parts water. It must stay
in contact for about 10 minutes to assure disinfection.
� To kill the mature myxospore that may be found in the mud from an infected
stream is much more difficult and hard on equipment.
o 50% solution (1 part chlorine to 1 part water) - dip waders into a solution
of the bleach or wipe or spray it on.
o 10% solution (1 part chlorine to 9 parts water) and soak your equipment for
! Quaternary ammonium compounds are also effective in killing both parasite
stages. These disinfectants are commercially available for disinfecting fishing
equipment (Bright Water TM) or for the pet/veterinary trade (Roccal-D TM, Parvosol
! Equally effective is water heated to nearly boiling (200°F) poured over
and allowed to cool.
What can state and federal agencies and outfitters
do to help?
1. Provide clean water and a hose at boat ramps and popular fishing spots on heavily
infected waters for rinsing equipment.
2. Provide some means for brushing boots, for example a simple boot scrubber like
the one pictured here, near the hose.
3. Post maps of the known distribution of whirling disease at popular fishing sites
so anglers know if they are either fishing in a heavily infected water or have come
4. Post instructions for preventing the spread of Mc and other aquatic nuisance
Courtesy:- Trout Unlimited