More Amazing Sites of Bhutan

by | Apr 13, 2024 | fly fishing in Bhutan | 3 comments

BhutanWe began our day in Thimphu, Bhutan with sunrise on the tallest sitting Buddha in the world, (Dordenma) at Kuenselphodrang.  This amazing Buddha sits along the mountain side overlooking the capital city.  When I was here in 2014 this amazing Buddha was under construction.  Now it’s complete and we got to tour inside.  Just like yesterday at the Tigers Nest, inside was spectacular but we were not allowed to take photos.

 

Yellow-dog-flyfishing-crew-BhutanJust a reminder, I’m here with friends Jim Klug the founder of Yellow Dog Flyfishing (YD) and one of outdoors top camera men, Chris Patterson.  Also along are friends Bobby Satpal from India and Jigme Tsuendrup from here in Bhutan.  We are the guests of Bryant Dunn, founder of Himalayan Flyfishing Adventures and we’re here to add Bryant’s golden mahseer fishing program to the long list of YD trips.  While our main goal is to film the amazing fishing here, it would be a shame not to include some of the stunning Bhutan tourist sites.

 

BhutanAfter the gargantuan Buddha visit we drove a winding road up the Dochula Pass of 10,178 feet.  On the top, not only can you peer through the haze and see some 20,000 foot high peaks in the distance, but there are 108 Stupas built in memory of the insurgency war with militants back in 2003.  A breathtaking view with a lot of meaningful history behind it as well.

 

BhutanOur day of impressive sites was hardly done there.  On the way down the sky-high mountain pass we stopped at the Lamperi Botanical Park for the Rhododendron Annual Festival.  Many don’t know but one of my favorite hobbies to fishing is landscaping my own property.  Cruising through such a colorful park was eye-opening.  Bryant, Jigme and I even indulged on a special drink called the Etometo Cocktail which is made from the Rhododendron.  I did not catch a buzz like I was hoping!

 

 

 

BhutanWe could have easily stayed all afternoon at the festival.  As we were leaving they played music and there was dancing and picnicking.  But we had to be at our final site of the day before it closed at 5, the Punakha Dzong.  I was here in 2014 as well and though my photos don’t show it, this monastery is right up there with the majestic Taj Mahal.

 

 

BhutanWe had exactly an hour to tour the inside.  The structure holds an important relic over which many wars were fought with Tibetans.  The colorful fortress holds a sacred place in the hearts of all Bhutanese.  Of course, deep inside was the most impressive, but as always, no cameras.

 

 

 

BhutanTonight was our last night in civilization.  Bryant put us up at the comfortable Khuru Resort at Khuruthang in Punakha District.  One last shower and sleep in a bed.  The real treat however was that we had the opportunity to cross paths with yet more friends of mine, Dr David Philipp and Julie Claussen from the US.  Both are mahseer fisheries biologists from Fisheries Conservation in the US working along with the government of Bhutan for mahseer research.  We almost met my last trip here but instead it was over dinner in Jackson Hole.

 

That’s all for another action packed day.  Tomorrow we’ll get an early start on a 4 hour drive to a river.  There, Bryant’s staff that will be waiting with rafts ready to launch for what should be an outstanding float and fishing trip for both golden and chocolate mahseer.  Bed time!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

3 Comments

  1. Brian I.

    Great stuff! When you host a trip here I’m going to have to get out a few days early to check all these places out!

  2. Jeff

    Brian, I’m likely hosting in three years – same time approx. 2027. Sounds way too far away but I have a busy 2025 and 2026. You are on my mind for this so I’ll keep you posted. And as for the sites, we may build these into my itineraries as well. Seems like the way to do it!

  3. Brian I.

    Jeff, I think that’s a great idea! Would be fun to do the hike as a group. And honestly, as crazy as it sounds, 2027 sounds great. My 2025 is full also and 2026 is starting to fill also (though if you could push this trip to mid-May I’d be forever grateful, haha!).

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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!

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