Fly Fishing Travel | India’s Arunachal Pradesh

Map of Arunachal Pradesh

Himalayan Outback’s head-guide, Bobby ends the year with an exploratory fly fishing travel adventure into India’s north-eastern Mahseer paradise, Arunachal Pradesh.

Wedged up against Bhutan, China, and Myanmar; this remote region has left a mark in India’s history. Differences over borders of Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh resulted in a brief but hurtful battle between India and China in 1962. Two decades later both the countries agreed to a line of control. 

In recent years India has opened doors to Arunachal Pradesh. Allowing visitors and special interest travelers to witness this amazing place.

A great river shot while fishing by Bobby.
Fly Fishing Travel in Arunachal Pradesh.
Bobby best fish and a story of the bog one.

Arunachal Pradesh is blessed with perhaps India’s most prolific and significant watershed. The Mighty Brahmaputra River that snakes it’s way into India’s Arunachal Pradesh from the north.

A large part of the Brahmaputra’s journey in this region is spent uniting a complex maze of rich watersheds. These are some of the final frontiers of the Golden Mahseer fishing. We’re talking an area more than twice the size of Bhutan, kept largely undeveloped. Perhaps rightly so; as a buffer between the two emerging super-powers.

My fascination for this region takes me back to the very early years of my life following my father, a Major in the Indian army at the time posted on these prolific fronts. With luck, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Arunachal thrice in more recent years. All three times for extended periods of time. Knowing that was just the tip of the ice-burg; over the years I’ve followed some of my favorite fish-heads in the region on their journey into these remote rivers.

They kindly invited Himalayan Outback’s head-guide Bobby to cast a fly and see for himself.

Bobby at the edge of the valley.

The Big One That Got Away.

Bobby’s NEW found love. He adds the 10′ #8 TFO BVK matched with a Finatic 7 Plus and plenty of backing is a great rod to bring on this trip.

Given the two days, it takes to get into Arunachal Pradesh by plane, car, and crossing the Brahmaputra River by ferry. For the fly fisher; there is an overwhelming maze of rivers and streams to choose from. Picking the right rivers at the right time seems to be the key as river conditions and seasons can vary from one river to the other.

The peak season in the case of most rivers seems like a short affair. Not surprising, as that is typical of most Mahseer waters. Lasting only a week to ten days in most cases.

Funnily, fly fishing windows look wider. Seems like abundant fish numbers and un-pressured fishing opportunities can make up for more average times of the year. Especially if you are willing to push the limits like Bobby did.

Mahseer ask for proficient casting. Casting consistently, covering large amounts of water, while carrying heavy flies. All contradictory factors and a tall order to fit.

Sight-fishing opportunities are abundant and select smaller, more intimate rivers can be targeted specifically for that.

And finally, there are other fish to catch. Most of all, the Chocolate Mahseer. Abundant in numbers and not as shy, unlike their larger Himalayan cousins, the Golden Mahseer. The makings of a truly amazing fly fishing travel adventures. Thanks for reading.

Creeping up to a fish.
Love this guys. Because he's the best angler.
Bobby's first fishing trip to Arunachal Pradesh.

We’d love to hear from you.

2018 and 2019 are going to be exploratory years. We’re hoping that by 2020; The Himalayan Outback should have the makings of a truly amazing fly fishing adventure in Arunachal Pradesh. Keep in touch if you are interested. We’d love to hear from you. Misty Dhillon. 

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Fish of dreams in India's Arunachal Pradesh.