Brown trout were introduced in to the Assi Ganga in the 1929s and forgotten after independence in 1947. They now reach astounding sizes for the small stream they live in and thrive in good numbers, too.
The Maharaja of Tehri, like other Indian royalty was fond of sport. So to aid sport in rivers a hatchery was set up in 1921 and commenced breeding stock from Kashmir, where trout was well established. The then successful strain of Loch Leven Browns was found to adapt where other salmonids failed. These have adapted to our Garhwal waters, much to our delight. These fish are, for all intents and purposes, now endemic and native – meet the Salmo trutta fario var. Garhwalensis.
Our Garhwal Browns are not just large by Patagonia or stocked water standards, but they make you work with great skill for every hit. It’s not just the sizes or numbers for the size of the stream- just the colours of some fish make each contact a lasting reward. 10-20 fish a day is realistic, with a few fish in the 3-4lbs range. Our best fly fïshing session gave 32 fish between 2 rods over just 2 days. If you’re willing to spin for fish, you can add to the numbers.
Angling for beginners – We have a pair of rigged up spin rods for beginners to get started in the art of presenting a lure to a fish. The fish are there. We have the right lures. How good can you become at presenting it to the fish to catch it?
Tackle required – Fishing tackle is not available in India. We provide landing nets, but you are requested to bring your own tackle as per guidelines below:
Flyfishing – The rod should preferably be 7′ to 8′ long, 2 piece, 5-6 weight. The ability to make roll casts is an asset as the river can be small and tight in places.The fish hold in small pocket water but necessiate casting from a distance. Bring your favourite reel. We use 2X tippets in the big fish spots and 4-5X in more open water.
Dry fly fishing – The fish eat damselflies, butterflies, cicadas, not to mention the small sulphur duns and our Khaki Caddis. Other imitations should represent mayfly, caddis and hoppers. The flies need not be small, 2″ hoppers are taken with the same abandon as a size 10 caddis.
Wet fly fishing – Most attractor type streamers work, as do surface poppers. The side runnels are filled with tadpoles which means beadhead woolly buggers also find favour. There is a good population of stoneflies and tan montana nymphs and muddlers fished sunk are also good.
Finally, bring some exotics; our fish are curious enough to try anything once. Waders are necessary for effective fishing.
Spin fishing – The Assi Ganga may be a small river but the fish are fiesty. We advise a spin rod 5′-6′ long with reel to carry 50m of 8lb line. Medium and small size spinners in traditional trout patterns are effective. Bring along your personal favourites. Please note: we will crimp the barbs on all your hooks to ensure minimal damage to our fish.
Season – Fishing is temporarily restricted in trout rivers in the region from 15th November to 28th February each year to facilitate the fishes to spawn and propagate.