Tributaries Fail but Chocolates Prevail

by | Apr 15, 2024 | fly fishing for chocolate mahseer | 5 comments

Chocolate-Mahseer

Photo by Jim Klug

The goal of this expedition is to show Bhutan as a legitimate off-the-grid fishery through photos and film so it can soon be available through Yellow Dog Flyfishing to all physically able and adventurous fly fishers.  As a blessed angler that has seen most destinations, including many of the best mahseer rivers in the Himalayas, I can honestly say that this trip will likely be the most incredible offered of all.  But regardless of being here at primetime and how adept an angler you may be, catching mahseer is never a guarantee.

 

Bryant Dunn, founder of Himalayan Flyfishing and Jim Klug, founder of Yellow Dog, have worked countless hours for nearly a year getting permits for fishing, floating, filming, drones, VISAS and etc. in order to accomplish our goal.  Chris Patterson, our film maker has been planning for months how to organize cameras, lenses, batteries, charging capabilities and more for an extended float and camping trip in the middle of nowhere.  And despite these guys having us 100% prepared, things can go wrong fast on a Himalaya river, be it weather, equipment failure, injury or unexpected mishap.

 

mahseer-on-fly

Photo by Jim Klug

We are thrilled to say – after a successful day one filming numerous chocolate mahseer then topping it off with a hefty golden – all is going fantastic!  This morning everyone bounced from bed.  The good sleep was only part of the reason.  The sky was rich and blue and we were comfortably camped at the mouth of one of the top tributaries of our entire float.

 

 

 

Currier-flyfishing

There are five anglers being filmed this trip, Bryant, Jim, Bobby, Jigme and myself.  Due to my fortunate catch of the big golden yesterday, I hung back in hopes that everyone gets to experience one.  I worked on my blog and recorded notes while enjoying a cup of coffee sitting in one of the planets most exceptional places.

 

BhutanThe confluence pool didn’t pan out as expected.  Bobby made the first pass through the mix of tributary and main river only to pick up one small golden.  It was a beautiful fish and the catch had us all feeling good about the fish being around.  Chris added to his already great footage and we clicked some photo’s.

 

 

Himalayan-FlyfishingNext, Bryant made his way to the great looking piece of water.  Bryant hit the stretch from every angle, switched flies and even walked up the tributary itself.  He fished hard for over an hour without a single strike.

 

 

 

flyfishing-BhutanBy then Jigme and Jim entered the scene.  I packed up my laptop before munching some eggs and sausage.  The guys also have rice, beans and bread to go with.  Then I entered the water with hopes that a lingering mahseer was finally ready to take the fly.  But to no avail.  Five anglers pounded the water for hours and other then Bobby’s early golden, the fish weren’t cooperating at all.

 

Bobby-SatpalIt was a mere two mile float today.  Bryant planned for fishing hard around the confluence most of the morning.  He also built in hardcore fishing at tonight’s camp as well because there’s another smaller entering creek.  Today my fishing partner was Bobby and guide Tinley.  We drifted out of camp at around 11 AM with a plan to fish every nook and cranny all the way down.

 

chocolate-mahseerDespite our more than slow morning around camp, the main river float provided superb action.  Bobby and I tore into the chocolate mahseer.  This species of mahseer acts completely different than their larger cousins.  Chocolates are aggressive eaters.  Literally the second your fly hits they pulverize it.  They prefer fast water close to deep rocky edges.  If you can make the cast and set a hook, you can rack up some more than productive numbers.

 

Currier-chocolate-mahseer

Photo by Bryant Dunn

Due to the fast moving grade of our river we arrived at camp sooner than we would have liked.  When we first spotted our new home however, we were in a huge back eddy where Tinley could row us around in circles forever.  Bobby and I had him do just that and we methodically fished every inch of water.  It paid off and I lucked into a new personal best of a chocolate mahseer.  I fought him right to camp where a happy Chris Patterson and Jim Klug awaited with their cameras.

 

Himalaya-flyfishing

Photo by Jim Klug

To say we’re at another spectacular camp is an understatement.  The Himalayan Foothills are one of the most gorgeous pieces of real estate the earth offers.  My opinion of course.  But here is special.  For me the steep hills, the greenery, the birds, the sounds and naturally the presence of extremely large freshwater fish is exciting to comprehend.

 

 

Jeff-Currier-flyfishing

Photo by Jim Klug

I relaxed for most of the afternoon while watching the guys work the new confluence pool.  It looks great but once again the mixing of waters isn’t producing.  We all have visions of the Kings water we witnessed from a far yesterday but our tributaries aren’t panning out.

 

 

 

Bhutan

Photo by Jim Klug

The weather has changed.  While we awoke to clear skies, we’re now feeling the occasional raindrop around the campfire.  We had another great meal.  A few Druks.  It’s been another successful day.  Time for my tent before a downpour starts!

 

Upon return from this wonderful journey, this trip will be available at Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

5 Comments

  1. SETH WINKELMANN

    You live right.

  2. Howie

    I thought mahseer were hard to catch ha ha. Way to go!

  3. Jeff

    Ha! Yeah I try my best and sometimes it works out. So far so good this trip.

  4. john bradford

    Sounds like a dream trip! I hope the rest of it goes well for you.

  5. Jeff

    Thank you John. Perhaps after this one is completely in the books you should head over to the Yellow Dog office and visit with Jim. We can get you there!

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

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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