Fly Fishing In Thailand  
Mahseer fishing in thailand

Mahseer Fly fishing

Mahseer Fly fishing is one of the fishing traditions inherited from the British who ruled India and Burma; and in the recent times, has experienced a facelift complements to modern fly fishing tackle, improved fishing techniques and new developed fly patterns.

Mahseer Fly fishing

Fly fishing for Mahseer is not for the faint of heart. Robert Howitt, in Sports Illustrated wrote: “The angler’s first encounter with the Mahseer is one that he never forgets: A great wrench on the rod heralds its take, then the ratchet screams on a fast emptying reel – the sensation is electrifying. Few freshwater fish will set of with such speed, fight for so long and strike both despondency and joy to the heart of the adversary.”

Fly fishing for Mahseer

Many of our clients have compared the take of a Mahseer to a strike from a big Bonefish. Panicking and trying to stop the fish in its first run normally results in a broken leader, the best is to try to stay cool and let the fish run with not too much drag on the reel and run after it as fast as you can until the first run is over, and then increase the drag and start to fight it. You have to be prepared for a second or a third long run, many Mahseer has been lost due to overconfident anglers, who thought that the battle was already won.
Good presentation skills are also required and it’s very important to approach the fish very slowly, in our rivers upstream fishing has produced the best results, as the Mahseer’s head and sight field is up- stream facing. Wearing dull or green colors is very important; the Mahseer is a very shy fish. We have also noticed that loud voices can spoke them, so keep this in mind.

Mahseer fishing

At first glance the rivers we fish will remind you of a typical Trout river; boulder strewn, gravel and sand bottoms, deep winding pools, undercut banks, small rapids followed by fast riffles. Only on looking closely you will find what you are up against, big Thai and Golden Mahseer. Wearing top grade polarized sunglasses is essential to be able to spot the fish in the river. You will also be amazed to see the large population of the fish here.
Many anglers make the mistake of fishing the pools to fast. Mahseer can be found even in very shallow areas of the pool, that many anglers think will not hold any fish at all, so fish out the pools slowly and try to cover as much area as you can with your fly. Many times the strike comes just when the fly lands on the surface, so be prepared, don’t lose control of the fly line, a line loop around the rod but or around the reel can be a very unpleasant experience. Also keep in mind during the Mahseer’s first fast run; try to keep the rod tip high to clear the line and leader from being cut by underwater rocks and boulders.
One last warning, Mahseer fly fishing can be very addictive.

Mahseer fly casting

Henry Sullivan Thomas, in “The Rod In India” 1897 wrote; “In my own opinion, and in that of other whom I have met, the Mahseer shows more sport for its size than the Salmon. The essence of sport, or in other words the enjoyment of a pursuit lies; I take it, in the exhibition of superiority there in, whether of skill or courage, not the exhibition for others to see, but the difficult attainment of it for our own satisfaction. It would be a tame affair to the pork butcher to a village pig, but to spear the “mighty boar” is quite another thing”.
If you have an interest in reading more about Mahseer fishing in the old days we recommend these classic books:

The Rod In India By Henry Sullivan Thomas 1897, available at:

Circumventing the Mahseer  By J. MacDonald, available at:
Major A St J MacDonald is the doyen of Himalayan and Burmese angling and his book is recognized as a classic on the subject. It is now reprinted for anglers who would like to relive their golden memories of "Ye Fine Fishing of Ye Past" and for the younger generation of aspiring anglers who need to learn all there is to know about the magnificent Mahseer..

Man-Eaters of Kumaon by: Jim Corbett, available at:

Rudi caught a huge mahseer

Mahseer Fly Fishing


Mahseer Fly Fishing

Here on the protected mountain rivers all the elements converge for battles with the hard-fighting Mahseer of Thailand.


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Wonderfully remote, yet accessible, fly fishing In Thailand offers a premier sport fishing experience found nowhere else in the world. The size and numbers of these fish is truly unique.

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