Saturday, May 11, 2013

Day - 6 Down the Mahakali

Chris Patterson, Jim Klug, Misty Dhillon and I left our camp on the Saryu River for the last time this morning.  Today we head down the raging Mahakali River no matter what.  On May 5 we must be in Tanakapur to take out the rafts and begin our long journey home. 

It takes Misty’s crew about 4 hours to break down and pack camp so we walked to the mouth of the Saryu for one last attempt.  We landed one small mahseer and as I let him go, and as I sit here tonight looking at the roaring gray-sediment-filled Mahakali, I wonder if that’s my last fish of the trip.

At around 11 the rafts made it down to us and after a whitewater safety lesson from Misty we were on our way.  I got one last look at the mahseer panicking under our rafts as we left the Saryu into the Mahakali.  Once in the Mahakali the current swept us downstream rapidly.

The Mahakali is one awesome river.  It’s almost as sacred as the Ganges.  It starts as a cold river in the Himalayas of Tibet then forms the border between Nepal and India and gradually becomes a jungle river.  Where we’re at is close to the end of the range of the mahseer because it gets too cold.  The further down we go the better the fishing should be – that is except for the unclearness from the mud. 

Today’s section of river took us through an amazing steep walled canyon.  Nepal was on our left to the east and India on the right.  We are not allowed to touch Nepal.  On occasion we’d see a few shacks and the locals would run along following us.  Seeing a boat for them is like us watching the space shuttle.  Honestly most of these people have never even seen a car!

We faced some serious whitewater.  After nearly drowning on the Zambezi in 2005 I wasn’t too thrilled about it.  But sometimes you don’t have a choice.  The land terrain was virtually impassable for me to take on foot.  Plus, every paddler is needed so I wasn’t going to leave the boat short.  We made it but it was a beating.

At 5 PM we arrived at fantastic beach Misty and his crew calls Tin House.  The battered house is shelter for Indian border patrol although we didn’t see anyone.  Once camp was set, despite the horribly murky water, Misty and I fished for several hours but not even a touch.  I was not fishing with much confidence even though I’ve caught mahseer in the mud.

I’m feeling like crap with some sort of whooping cough congestion.  It’s a flash back of February’s Brazil trip.  Bad health luck I guess.  Nonetheless, we had a great time around the campfire eating and drinking tall Indian brews.

Being filmed doesn’t allow me to take pics.  A SPECIAL THANKS is in order to Jim Klug and Chris Patterson of Confluence Films who not only brought me on this trip but also provided most of the blog photos.

Again, please toss my old hotmail email address that I can no longer check and let’s reconnect at      THANKS!


  1. What an amazing trip Jeff. Look forward to the film!

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