FISHING IN KASHMIR

Kashmir is called the Anglers Paradise because the valley of kashmir contains crystal-clear cold water turbulent streams, mighty springs, Sars and many high altitude lakes, lofty snow-clad mountains, thick forests of pine trees, lush green meadows, beautiful valleys and a beautiful fish fauna with a very pleasant and healthy climate. Kashmir offers great scope for sport fisheries.

Kashmir is the best place for Trout fishing. The brown or Rainbow trout of the Kashmir water is a good fighter like the Salmon. It makes flashing runs, interspersed with repeated leaps from water. Fishing is big business in Kashmir through spring and summer. The British introduced the brown and rainbow trout to the streams of Kashmir, where they have thrived. At the same time they introduced the system of anglers reserving ' beats' on their favorite river. Reservations for beats should be made before one arrives in Kashmir, through an Indian Government Tourist Office or directly to the Tourist Reception Centre in Srinagar .

The Fishing Season
The season runs from April to October. Only artificial flies are allowed and each licence entitles the angler to keep six fish a day, none being shorter than 7.5 cm. Beats may be reserved for a day or a week at a time in one of the three basic types of streams. Larger rivers like Sindh or Liddar are full with snow, melting from May to July, with an occasional pool under boulders. Spinning is allowed here, but the wet fly and weighted cast tests the skill of the angler and will produce good results. In April, August and September these rivers are quieter, and the bigger fish are said to lie in the stiller waters. Tributaries and water channels near these mainstream beats provide another type of fishing throughout the season. These are the smaller streams where only flies are allowed, with wet fly fishing good all season. The third type are the small spring fed streams and high altitude lakes suitable for both dry and wet fly tackle. If you are more adventurous, you can fish in one of many high altitude lakes(14,000 ft.a bove sea level) which are reached by a trek. One trek in particular starts from Sonamrg and goes on to Vishansar,Kishansar, Satsar, Gadsar and Gangabal all alpine lakes. The trek alone takes eight days-you will need a tent, waterproof coat, ground sheet, trekking boots and provisions for as many days as you intend to trek as no food is available on the way. But you will be rewarded by the spectacularly lovely lakes, each with their own character cradled by snow clad mountains. When their surface is frozen over during the winter, the fish (mainly brown trout) keep close to the bottom of the lake, rising nearer the surface as the ice melts. In these lakes, the use of spoons and spinners is allowed. The trekking season is from July to October while the fishing season extends from March to October. At the Tourist Reception Centre, Srinagar is the fishing counter. Information on equipment, location of beats, transport and nearby accommodation can be had here.
Equipments
A light two to three metre Rod (fishing rods cannot be carried as hand luggage on aircraft for security reasons) with an eight cm reel will suffice. Common flies in use in Kashmir include Peacock, March Brown, Butcher, Jinger Quill, Coachman, Woodcock & Green and Watson's Fancy. There are 61 beats open for reservation throughout the season, ranging from the turbulence of the Sindh and Wangat Rivers to the tranquility of the high altitude lakes Krishanshar, Vishanshar, Gangabal and Nunkhol.

Fishing in the Lidder Valley:
The Lidder Valley is a fisherman's dream - pure mountain air, serene tranquility and bountifully populated waters. The Lidder River feeds the entire region of lush meadows and magnificent clear lakes with a series of tributaries and streams, all of which teem with rainbow and brown trout. The best time for fishing stretches from April to September, and the best spots are recorded by locals, so we always know where to head to find the best fishing beets. Kashmir has been rightly called angler's paradise,with a network of rivers and streams as well as high altitude lakes all abounding in trout both brown and rainbow.Trout fishing in Kashmir is far,far cheaper than it is in ant other part of the world.And most importantly,the Department of Fisheries,which controls angling in the valley,works hard to ensure that there is no depletion of stock by indiscriminate fishing whcih means that you can revel in angling in ideal conditions. Kashmir' fabled natural beauty needs no introduction here.Crisscrossing the state are the well-known Sind and Lidder rivers,their tributaries and a silvery network of smaller rivers and streams.The geographical variation along the course of each river is immense,affording endless possibilities for the angler.Nearer the source of each river,the gradient is steeper and the waters faster flowing.The landscape is generally hilly,with dark brooding pines towering all round.As the river runs its course,the gradient evens out and the flow of water loses its torrential force.You are now in open countryside where the horizon is wide and sweeping and where trees are willow poplar and walnut. Do not be deceived into thinking that fishing in Kashmir is the somewhat somnolent sport that it is elsewhere for the trout is a crafty fish and you will have to practise all your skill to get him to bite. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times for fishing and in these quiet hours,the illusion that the world is yours will be heightened.If using one type of fly does not meet with success,you will have to experiment with another type.And cast and recast repeatedly.To increase your chances of sucess you might like to shift to another spot after all,your permit allows you to wish at any point in one beat which measures two kilometres.And it ensures that nobody else is allowed the use of that beat for the days alloted to you.But in case you need information or assistance you are not alone.