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Sport fishing in Nepal, like hunting, is little advertised and therefore little known. However, for the angler, Nepal’s lakes and rivers are as good a fishing ground as any. There are approximately 118 verities of freshwater fish in these Himalayan waters, ranging from the much sought after Mahseer to the mountain stream trout-like verities. The best season to go fishing on the white waters to before and after the monsoon from February till April and October and November. During these times, the fish go upstream to spawn and consume less food.
Some of the popular fishing trips are done in Karnali, Babai Valley in Bardiya national park. Chitwan also hosts a number of angling spots like the confluence of Seti and Trishuli, as well as Kaligandaki and Trishuli. Angles can further try their luck in the clear waters of Pokhara’s lakes. While Phewa offers some good catch including large craps, it is not the ideal place for a quit day’s fishing. Get out there on any of the several local buses that start playing early morning, or bike your way.
Fishing rods and tackle are available on hire in Pokhara at around US $ 3 a day. If you hire a boat for the day, you can ask the boatman to get you a rod and tackle. The bait is usually made of bread soaked in water, which is mashed into a thick paste (your boatman will do this for you). Ideally, you could bring along a telescopic rod that can fit in your backpack.
Fishing is all the more fun in the mountain streams. Here there are verities of trout-rainbow trout and common ones. There are agencies in Kathmandu that organize fishing trips to streams around the valley.
Dolalghat, east of the valley on the Kodari Highway, is another catchy place and so accessible – a bus park ride from the Old Bus Park in Ratna Park (Kathmandu) early morning and back by evening. You can encounter Nepali holidaymakers and the locals on the lookout for local variety of Asala and Katle, the former a kind of trout and the latter a carp. You could bring some flies along and try your luck. Some of the Dams across Nepal’s many rivers too have a good stock of fish.
The rivers in the Terai are an angler’s dream. Large catfish, murrel and carp are found in abundance here. In the Bardiya Wildlife Reserve, there are agencies that organise guided fishing trips. While trekking along Karnali, Sunkoshi, Bheri and Arun rivers, or rafting, bring along a rod or give the local methods a go – using a bamboo pole or a crude fish trap. The Mahseer a large and much – prized sport fish found in Geruwa river that skirts the park. How ever, its numbers are dwindling rapidly, and it is best to let go of it once you land one.
Asking local fishermen and boatmen for information on good fishing spots and verities can be rewarding. The Tharus of the Nepal Terai are an active fishing and hunting community, and can provide great company, and clever tips. In Bardia, apart from an entry fee to the park, you have to pay a fee of $4.5 per rod. It costs to fall for your bait!
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