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Paul Manoukian On His India Fly Fishing Experience

May 23, 2016

EXPLORING INDIA

Yellow Dog client Paul Manoukian recently returned from a fly fishing trip to India with Himalayan Outback. Joined by his wife and son,the trip proved to be a pilgrimage for wildlife spotting, fishing, and a fair bit of exploring. Here’s what Paul had to say on the experience:

“The trip to India was unforgettable; the colors, landscapes, and food were rich and varied. My wife and eldest son and I started the trip from Delhi, after overnight at the Ramganga River Lodge, at the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, sharing the space with elephant herds, sambar, spotted deer, boar, peacock, hornbill, fish eagles, otters, and yes Mahseer and Gooch too. Our guide, naturalist Ritish Suri and tracker Nandam did a great job of scouting, Ritish patiently and completely answering our many questions about wildlife, life in India, cuisine, and any number of subjects, all of which he is knowledgable.

From there we travelled to the majestic Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary for a couple of days of wonderful food, company, and spectacular views of the Himalayas and Nanda Devi, even through the heat-haze of summer.

From there we travelled through picturesque Kumaon villages to Ghat for the float to the Pancheswar Camp of Himalayan Outback with owner and guide Misty Dhillon. We stayed in the very comfortable tent camp, being lulled to sleep by the nocturnal sounds of the high jungle and being awakened to tea and cookies brought by Sundar-Ji, and the prospect of casting to Mahseer. A float and overnighter at the Dharma Ghat Camp got us cozy to Nepal and a wilder stretch of the Maha-Kali.

We had great fishing along the Saryu and Maha-Kali, catching wily Mahseer up to the double-digits with single and two-handed rods swinging and skating. The outstanding staff provided us with every reasonable convenience, and the freshly procured and prepared Indian Kumaoni cuisine was exceptional. The food we had at camp rivaled any on the trip, including the Imperial Hotel (the camp is slightly more rustic), our last stop before flying out of Delhi. My wife, in whom I have yet to instill the joys of fly-fishing, visited a local village, hiked, caught up on some reading, and visited Baba-Ji in the temple at the confluence with her ever-present guide, Pritam.

After what was for me a tearful goodbye (I am a confirmed sentimentalist) we travelled to Te Aroha for a delightful overnight stop, then on to Delhi-to-Agra on the new highway to see the Taj Mahal, Baby Taj, and the Red Fort. The Taj speaks for itself; it must be seen to be appreciated, of course.

After seeing what was for me a first Wonder of the World, it was back to Delhi and the Imperial for manicures, haircuts, massages, and shaves (I grow a vacation beard). An elegant throwback to the British Raj, it was the perfect re-entry into what we euphemistically call “polite society”.

I am still dreaming of India after 3 weeks, and truly missing the wonderful people that we met there. I hope to see them for a fall trip someday.”

Photos below courtesy of Paul Manoukian.

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