Joel Wright

‘If Gandhi and the Buddha were crossed to become a young white boy, he’d look like Joel’ – Sumantha Ghosh. Wildlife enthusiast Joel took time out from wandering around India to work with Mahseer Conservancy for 1 month in March 2010. He conducted a pioneering research study looking at the decline of the Golden Mahseer on the Ramganga River in Almora. Braving the sand mining mafia, boys with explosives and illness he collected alarming data showing that the Golden Mahseer populations are being decimated. Indiscriminate fishing methods such as dynamiting, poisoning and electrocution...
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Sports for Conservation, by Mahseer Conservancy

  A sporting event under the banner of “Sports for Conservation” is being organized by Society for Mahseer Conservancy from the 22nd to 26th January, 2010 in the lovely Baluli village, on the banks of the lifeline of Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR)–the river Ramganga. Sport is a very effective tool in the cause of wildlife conservation, particularly for the youth since it promises thrilling action while sermons and speeches take a backseat! The first day of the event is dedicated to the girls, with games like kho-kho, kabbadi and rope pulling testing their mettle. A cricket tournament...
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Initiation to the Ramganga, by Sumantha Ghosh

Emanating from Dudhatoli, some 140 km north of Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) in the Himalayan foothills, the Western Ramganga is also known as the Corbett Ramganga or just Ramganga. Since Ramganga is not a snow-fed river, fishing is a throughout the year attraction. Fishing is permitted on the 100 km stretch from Nagteley to Masi in the Upper Ramganga reaches from 15th of June till the 30th of September. You can enjoy the thrill of sport fishing in the exclusive beats around Vanghat from the 1st of October till the 15th of June, each season. The upper Ramganga is a typical Himalayan river with deep...
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Golden Mahseer (Tor putitora), Monarch of Himalayan waters, by Sumantha Ghosh

The undisputed lord of Himalayan rivers is the handsome golden-scaled highlander. Undeniably, the mahseer is one of the fiercest fighting freshwater game fish that exists. Pound for pound it had unparalleled strength and endurance. Mahseer does have a transitory likeness to the carp and the barbell of the English waters, but as they say, the similarity soon ends in the turbid waters of the Himalayan foothills. The mahseer shows more sport for its size then a salmon and therefore considered the best sportfish in the world….this is what snobs (??) of the Raj era had to say. Mahseer have overjoyed...
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Fishing for Tiger, by Philip Game

If you don’t spot a tiger in India’s Corbett Tiger Reserve, at least the fish are biting. “Tiger is giving us dodge”, declares wildlife guide Hem Bahuguna, calling a halt near some tell-tale pug marks (pawprints) and scrapings. As the engine cools, then stills, we hear only the birds, the soft breeze and the distant chattering of monkeys. From time to time, another jeep materialises, stopping to exchange a few words. Otherwise, here in India, most crowded of nations, there is perfect peace. Corbett is India’s first, perhaps finest, Tiger Reserve and is buffered by surrounding tracts of...
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Kashmir’s Monster Mahseer Carp Set to Make Comeback, by Sheikh Mushtaq

The Mahseer, known among Kashmiri anglers as “tiger in the water”, all but vanished after Pakistan constructed a dam in the late 1960s that stopped the fish from migrating to India. Now, conservationists are breeding the Mahseer and hope to release them in rivers in Indian Kashmir. The programme is the result of a peace process between India and Pakistan that has led to a drop in violence in the region. “We have bred this fish nicely and reared it out,” Showkat Ali, joint director of Kashmir’s fisheries department, told Reuters. Ali said hundreds of Mahseer used to...
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Dr James Romesh Mehta, by Sumantha Ghosh

General Practitioner from Shorpshire UK, this avid angler, dedicated son and husband and dreamer is truly an unsung hero. James first trip to Uttarakhand was in the monsoons of 2001 and organized a fishing trip into the upstream sections of the Ramganga. It was here that he really reeled in my first Mahseer and proudly let is go. This was a turning point in my life. Eventually when I wanted to develop a community based wilderness fishing loge on the Ramganga James stood by me and helped in every way possible. Not only did we manage to development a unique wilderness lodge but managed to conserve...
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Misty Dhillon

Bitten by the Mahseer bug back in 1994, a decade later he teamed up with Mickey Sidhu and started The Himalayan Outback. Misty and his team set off on several exploratory trips in pursuit of the finest rivers of Northern / North Eastern India. They soon recognized the need for sustainability of these unique fisheries for and through game-fishing. Sustainable & ethical sporting practices /anti-poaching initiatives. Early initiatives included involvement in the Upper Giri Mahseer protection program – this got off to a flying start due to great support from the villages in the vicinity,...
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Prosenjit Das Gupta

Veteran naturalist, fisherman and author is always more than eager to advice on issues related to conservation and nature travels. Prosenjit Das Gupta was born in August 1944 in Calcutta and educated at St. Xavier’s School and Presidency College. An avid nature traveller he has been to numerous sanctuaries and wilderness areas in India since 1968, when places like Kanha, Manas, Kaziranga, Corbett, Palamau, Nameri were hardly visited by any one. An avid birder since 1972, he is one of the first of the Calcutta bird-watchers to see and photograph White-winged wood-duck in Nameri in 1992. Prosenjit...
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