Once a favourite recreational activity of the British in India, angling has now become a much sought after recreational activity all over the country. Angling, or recreational fishing, is one of the best activities that one can engage in while travelling in Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh is known as the prime destination for angling in India. The origin of angling in Himachal Pradesh can be traced back to the colonial era. As more and more Englishmen took to this activity, a new species of fish was introduced in the rivers of Himachal Pradesh, the now ubiquitous fresh water trout. The oxygen-laden fresh water of the rivers provided a fertile breeding ground for the trout and they were no longer to be found in a few numbers. The endemic mahseer and the trout provided ample and excellent fishing opportunities to angling enthusiasts. To this day, these two fish are one of the most sought after fish in fisheries and for angling.

Several rivers flow through Himachal Pradesh, like the Beas, Sutlej, Ravi, etc. These streams can be categorised into general waters and trout waters, each with a length of 600 km and 2400 km respectively. While in general waters net casting and rods are allowed to be used, net casting is not allowed in trout waters. Fishing in the state is regulated by the State Fisheries Act.

Himachal Pradesh is known as the paradise for angling and some of the best game-fish can be found in the waters of Himalayan Rivers. Brown and rainbow trout are found in the rivers of Himachal Pradesh. The best spots for angling include Rohru in Pabbar Valley, Chirgaon, Barot, Sari Marog, ChambaPattan, etc. Rohru, Chirgaon and Barot are popular trout fishing spots. Rohru is situated 120 km from Shimla and is an important fishing centre. Chirgaon is also a popular location for trout angling and relaxation. Barot, near Mandi in Himachal Pradesh (75 km far) is known as much for the trout laden Uhl River as it is for its scenic beauty. These are only a few of the trout angling spots in Himachal Pradesh. Every other corner with a river passing by can be a nice fishing spot. The Kullu Valley, Parbati Valley, Kasol are all prime locations for angling.

For mahseer fishing, one can hover around the Dhauladhar ranges and in the slightly lesser in height Kangra Valley. Sari Marog, ChambaPattan, Kuru villages, etc. are famous fishing spots for Mahseer. These are all in proximity to each other.

Best Time

For trout fishing, the best months span from April to October while the best mahseer fishing months are January, february, march, april, september, october, november, december.
the fees charged for both is nominal in amount. a greater part of th cost is incurred on the equipment.

Things That are Needed for Angling

The equipment used for angling is universal. The most important equipment is the rod, followed by the spinning reel and the fishing lines. To attract the fish to the fishing line, you will need bait. These are also known as fishing lures. There are soft lures, soft ball lures, hard lures, spoons, metal lures, etc.

Precaution During Angling

Though angling is a relaxing activity and seemingly harmless, without adequate precautions, it can prove to be fatal too. Fishing equipment as well as the game fish can be the source of infections that manifest slowly but have fatal consequences.

Always clean and dry your equipment. Clean your equipment with hot water and remove all sediments, plants, or any form of debris from fishing. Apart from your equipment, even your clothes and shoes must be thoroughly cleaned. Disinfect your equipment and shoes with chlorine.

Fish also carry parasites a large number of times. Also, even if the parasite is not present in the fish, they can survive in water for over 30 years. So chances of catching the parasite yourself are very high. To prevent any infection from parasites, first, you must be able to identify an infected fish from a healthy one. Infected ones are characterised by a dark tail, deformed head and twisted spine. You can easily identify them by their distinct rapid movement.

Angling enthusiasts also have the responsibility of preventing the further dissemination of such parasites. Anglers must not move fish from one water body to another. Using fish cuts as bait should also be avoided. After fishing, all fish remains must be disposed-off safely. Also, cleaning your gear, as mentioned earlier, is of utmost importance.

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