Below you can read more specifically about some of the different factors that come into play on our guided Mahseer fishing trips to the jungle Rivers in Khao Sok National Park. Mahseer fishing is a newly developed phenomenon in Thailand and sight fishing is a wonderful way to catch the Mahseer, with an almost uncanny ability to sense danger. Partly due to the fact that not many, if anyone have cast a fly to them before; Mahseer on the fly is a challenging for any fly fisherman.
The water clarity in the Khao Sok jungle rivers is exceptional, especially from around October to June, and the wary Mahseer can see out as well as, you can see in. Because of this, it becomes imperative to get a good cast to every fish. As a rule, you only get one chance per fish as Mahseer is very unforgiving of poor presentation. Walk slowly and quietly as possible with no unnecessary movements, clothing needs to be as neutral as possible, and fishing upstream is the best way to catch the shy Mahseer.
Because of the jungle background there is often no room for a back cast. So roll casting and single-hand-spey-casting techniques are good techniques to have, when you fish the Jungle Rivers of Cheow Lan in Khao Sok National Park. Because of the water clarity, it is crucial to spot the fish before the fish spots you. If you need to cross the river it is essential to cross downstream of the next pool. Otherwise fish will melt away unseen by the unwary angler.
Will risks spooking unseen fish which often melt away having spotted the line or the leader in the air. Casting to seen fish, especially big ones, is one of the most exciting facets of Mahseer fishing. Our fishing guides get their thrills for the day by spotting those fish you would not have seen. Sight fishing, in the correct conditions, can prove not only a very effective tactic for Mahseer; it can be one of the most fun and rewarding also. Mahseer fishing by sight fishing has a few basic principles that can be considered ground rules, for the fly fisherman. Obviously, in order to sight fish.
Polarized sunglasses will help to see the fish! To get close enough so that you can cast the fly. Contrary to popular belief it can actually be the hardest part of Mahseer fishing. You are essentially looking for a dark coloured fish against a somewhat dark background. Polarized sunglasses will give you an aide in picking out shapes such as fish and bottom structure. When you are sight fishing, you will find that another important factor in this technique is water clarity. While gin clear water makes for challenging and exciting sight fishing; it’s also important to remember clear water works both ways.
Sure it’s easier to find and see the Mahseer in the river, but it’s also easier for the fish to see you as well. Clear water will also give the fish a far better look at your flies and give them more time to determine if they want take the fly or not. Many times predators such as Mahseer will use the shadow lines and differences in light to ambush prey. It is a classic ambush technique the fish can see out into the light areas. However prey cannot see into the dark areas where the Mahseer and other predatory fish are hiding. By running the fly parallel to the shadow line, you stand the greatest chance of having a Mahseer take it. Because the Mahseer must attack fast as the fly drifts by and therefore has less time to study what it is attacking.
Is another very important factor to consider; Sun is a good thing, but do not exclude cloudy days as potential sight fishing days. While bright sunny days is usually excellent Thai Mahseer fishing days and will offer you the best view into the water as well as the best chance of spotting fish, it will also cause problems. It will make your presence more known for the Thai Mahseer. The fish will look up at you and you can easily see your silhouette against a bright sky. Cloudy days can offer just as much in the way of sight fishing due to lack of glare on the water. This will give you the added benefit of a sharper underwater picture and will also cut down on your afloat silhouette. Which will reduce the number of Mahseer, you spook.
This is a style of fly fishing where details make all the difference. Clipping tag ends of knots off, hiding the hook eye and knot with the nose of the fly, which flies work exactly in this river; together with many other small details like that can make or break a great Mahseer fly fishing trip. If fly fishing is your thing there is nothing more rewarding than spotting a Mahseer. Casting to it, and actually watching the Mahseer rise to your dry fly or a hard take on a Nymphs, is something every fly fisherman should allow himself next time he/she visits Thailand.