Just to remind you (See May 20 & May 22), Mike Dawes, Niel Fox and I have been here in Bhutan to help Jon Miceler, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Government of Bhutan figure out what the possibilities of high-end, catch and release mahseer fly fishing actually are. Jon’s hope is that if mahseer are abundant enough, WWF and private sector partners could train local communities around Royal Manas National Park as well as staff from the park to offer ecotourism packages which benefit both the communities and the park.
Today was the day that we were to meet with the Prime Minister and present to him our findings. The Prime Minister is highly respected and honestly this was to be one of the high points of this entire trip. Unfortunately the Prime Minister lost two days this week because weather prohibited him from getting home on time from a meeting with India’s Prime Minister earlier this week. Hence, he fell behind in his most important business of running his country and he cancelled his appearance with us.
Yes indeed we were terribly disappointed. However, in his place we met with Dechen Dorji who was a delight to be with and he not only listened carefully to what we had to say but literally spent half the day with us. The day was spectacular and it ended with Dechen treating us to his favorite restaurant in Thimphu. Our food and drink was no less than superb!
As for our report, our findings are plain and simple. Bhutan has some superb fly fishing for mahseer. Even in difficult conditions we managed to catch enough mahseer to realize that during the prime months of November through April this could be the best there is. Any fly fisher that wants to catch a mahseer can do it here. But at this point in time, there’s a price to pay.
Travel logistics are a nightmare. Unless anglers can handle grueling travel by car it’s not feasible. Fortunately there are improved logistics in the making. It’s possible that anglers could fly domestically from Paro to Geylegphug and then it would only be a four hour drive to the fishing. But still, that will always be dependant upon road conditions.
The bottom line however comes back to the simple fact that Bhutan may offer the best mahseer fly fishing left on the planet. If you or anyone you know needs to add this incredible game fish to their list you can do it in Bhutan. When you’re serious – Contact Me or Mike Dawes.
After our meeting we took in some of the tourist sights around Thimphu. The highlight for me was seeing the 169 feet tall Buddha, the largest Buddha in the world. The amazing statue isn’t quite complete however it’s finished enough that you can see why this may soon be listed as the 8th Wonder of the World.
It’s been an amazing trip to Bhutan. I consider myself one of the luckiest anglers on the planet. What an outstanding opportunity. I give a special thanks to Jon Miceler, WWF and of course the Government of Bhutan for inviting me and looking after me so well. I must also thank Jigme, Chenning, Sangay and Tshering for being the ultimate hosts. I can’t wait to return soon!
Dawes and I will begin the long journey home in the morning. Once home I’ll post an additional photo essay from the trip. There are always many more fun photos that don’t make the blog. I hope everyone enjoyed the adventure!