There are a great many fish which seek the title of the world’s toughest freshwater fish and the Mahseer is without doubt one of the finalists in contention for this trophy. Although it bears a visual resemblance to the Carp and it can be equally wary, that is where the similarity ends. Heralded as the aquatic Tiger of the Asian sub-continent, it is a formidable opponent. Golden armour-plated scales line powerful flanks and bucket-shaped fins provide it with immense power both to hold its position in the fastest of currents and equally to strip line from a reel with unstoppable, finger-burning speed. Its voracious appetite and sheer strength has given it an almost mythical status, allowing it to obtain weights in excess of 100lbs. Even in the colder, faster-flowing rivers of Northern India it can obtain sizes in excess of 50lbs.
Traditionally Mahseer have been caught using either bait or lures fished with heavy-duty fishing tackle. It is fair to say that these methods have unquestionably accounted for the largest Mahseer. By contrast, fly-fishing for Mahseer is a relatively new concept and techniques are still very much developing.
It is now possible to catch Mahseer on fly with greater consistency than on spinning gear using both surface poppers and sunk flies. For those who wish to fish with conventional fishing gear the options are still totally open. Spinning for Mahseer with lures remains a very effective means of catching them. For those with a pioneering outlook, exciting possibilities await in breaking new boundaries of what is possible with the humble fly. IGFA Current World Record of 66 lbs but with each trip new techniques are being learnt and we are confident that the record will continue to topple as techniques improve and the conservation work continues.