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Experience the thrill and beauty of the fishing adventure of a lifetime in India, in pursuit of the noble Mahseer

The Jewel in an angler's crown - Fish for Mahseer

in India

The heat, the colours. Sights and sounds to dazzle your senses. The strike. The run. The mighty Mahseer. India, How can you not fall in love...


After some twenty seven trips to the subcontinent, and leading over twenty successful group trips there, John is the world’s expert in mahseer fishing. He presented the award winning documentary about mahseer fishing in India - Casting For Gold. Now we offer the best existing mahseer fishing beats remaining in the world. This coming year we have chosen a camp of genuine olde worlde character, so beautiful it will take your breath away. Yet with all the facilities the discerning angler requires. Snug, safe beds. Food that would disgrace your local Indian restaurant. Your personal guides who know the river intimately are amazingly skilled and experienced and will really help you get to know the river. And they soon become firm and trusted friends. All transfers to and from airport arranged. All advice on tackle and methods given. Not a single worry on your mind, you are just there to revel in the experience.

There's something profound, ancient and vividly beautiful when you arrive in India. That something extends beyond the endless landscapes and the ageless rhythms of life. There is something here that speaks to the soul.


John's experiences with mahseer goes back over twenty years now and during that time we've made one or more trips to the Asian sub-continent annually. Mahseer fishing is never going to be easy - that's one of its appeals. India has developed massively over the last few decades and, of course, its population has continued to expand. Both these pressures have affected watercourses and the fish that live in them dramatically. Accordingly, one of the big tasks in India is to find rivers - or stretches of water - where mahseer stocks still hold up. We believe that we've located two stunning holiday areas in the south of India, a country which pulses with colour and vitality.


Why fish with John Bailey?


  • You will travel with an experienced angler who has fished this river for twenty years and is an inspirational guide
  • John knows the river intimately and the guides love his groups and really give their very best for us
  • River protection is in place and the river is better than ever before
  • Lots of water for fly and lure fishermen
  • John has led endless, successful expeditions and now we offer some of the best existing beats remaining in the world. He will offer advice on tackle and methods and motivation as you wish
  • Not a single worry on your mind, you are just there to revel in the experience.
  • If you want big mahseer this is the best place on the planet
  • Enjoy the historic camp and legendary fishing, literally walking in the footsteps of the Raj with a guide who know it better than any other British angler
  • The River is going through a renaissance -lots of big fish are being caught


What is the fishing like?


We confidently expect John Bailey’s group adventures in India 2013 to be as great a success as ever. You, along with the rest of the team, will have your own ghillie and coracle, shared with one other angler, and will be given the full attention of your ghillie all day, dawn to dusk if you wish, along with all the experience, passion and enthusiasm of John Bailey, who has fished for mahseer in India every year for 20 years and who presented the award winning international hit documentary on mahseer fishing, 'Casting For Gold’, still shown worldwide. You will discover that the ghillies are amazingly skilled and experienced and will really help you get to know the river.


The huge fishing stretch can be accessed from the riverbank or from a coracle which is provided if required for fishing midstream and in the breathtaking gorge. The river is surrounded by outcrops of rock and has several sudden deep pools. The mighty mahseer lurk around big boulders or on the sandy riverbed. This fish is a fighter to the very end. All fish are released after weighing and photography.


The great thing about a coracle is that you can follow a fish - and you don't stop mahseer - in complete safety. You will bob down rapids, fish white water or big, deep, slow, menacing pools. Furthermore, far, far fewer fish are lost this way and no-one likes to think of a mahseer tethered on a rock or left with a plug or spinner in its jaw.


Flyfishing is also an option with those fish up to forty pounds. Ask if you would like an attachment of John's article on fishing for mahseer with a fly. The fishing is excellent, with mahseer caught in the nineties for those of you who've always cherished the mahseer dream. A record catch of 104 pounds was made in this stretch and this last year’s fishing trip was excellent with mahseer up to high eighty pounders caught as occasionally on past trips.


What makes it so worthwhile to journey to India?


We've got to stress that mahseer fishing is unlike anything else you will have ever done before - even taimen! It is probable that several of us will hook a big fish. It is equally probable not all will be landed. This will be very much a team effort and, knowing the calibre of the participants so far, we confidently expect 'an all for one, one for all' mentality! With mahseer, bites are sledgehammer blows, the power of the mahseer stuns you and then the run begins - a surge, an elemental, irresistible force. We can expect several stunning fish to come out and for everyone to have a great time - remember we tend to hear of the eighty and ninety-pounders because they really are newsworthy. A lot of action goes on beneath these pinnacles too! In our view, anybody who goes out there and catches a mahseer of any size deserves a pat on the back. If that fish is 30 or 40 pounds then an angler has done very well. Meanwhile, even on lazy days, there are many fish between 10 and 20 pounds. Really big fish kick in at around fifty pounds and if you catch something over this weight then remember you're a hero! Whatever you catch, you will have a brilliant time, soaking up some incredible sights and sounds and learning from the ghillies who are almost always fantastically knowledgeable.


Most of the humpbacked mahseer are golden, though silver-bronze or even black mahseer may appear occasionally. Smaller mahseer will almost certainly be caught along with a variety of different carps. These in themselves are very worthwhile targets and can make for fantastic fishing. There are lots of catfish in the river but one of the specialities are the murrel - growing to twenty pounds or so and fighting like tigers on lighter spinning gear. So, even if all of us don't come back with a monster mahseer under our belts chances are we'll see one, might even tangle with one and have a lot of action in between.

*The dates above are the times recommended for best fishing and weather. For individual and group trips on other dates, the price is variable according to length of stay, with a minimum period of 4 days.  

How good would it feel to spend time fishing in inspirational India for the unforgettable mahseer this coming winter? Get your ticket to paradise now!

Famed writer, photographer, film-maker and mahseer angler John Bailey is leading a group out there  January 3-13 2013* (booking now, limited places left). A great lifetime opportunity! John will be with the group for the full duration of the trip, meeting you at Heathrow and flying back with the group. 

“The Garden of Eden still exists … one of the Great Fun experiences not to be missed … very well organised and run. Couldn't really fault it. Professional and helpful … cheerful and kind. Very enjoyable. It certainly was good value. My head is still full of the kaleidoscopic images … a veritable delight from start to finish...Perhaps the most startling was seeing "the top camp" - could there be a more dramatic and exciting place? … something unbelievable, almost unreal about the atmosphere, the spirit of the place… It would be a little strange to suggest ways you could improve your services, its superlative … John could perhaps get his hair cut, but a smart suit and find a proper job…. It's not just the fishing but the whole experience of the strange and exotic land, people and wildlife” John Morris, Somerset


“I thoroughly enjoyed the trip...superb water” Mark Garrett, Weybridge


“Just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for the great trip, I enjoyed my self very very much” Arni Baldursson, Iceland


John -always there for you with a word of advice, a laugh or a cuddle always as excited or more excited when you caught and made you feel wanted and part of the team” David Brown Guildford

“What a place. To think I thought about it for a couple of years before going. I am so glad I finally allowed myself this trip! Thankyou for arranging my best fishing trip ever.Your organisation and background support were invaluable” John Altree, Cambridge

“Hi Joy—Just wanted to thank you and John for a wonderful fishing holiday and amazing memories which I will not forget, India is very special. I was, as always, very happy with the whole trip. I would like to book again. It doesn't take long to start missing India and everyone in the group once you get home, already looking forward to the next trip, Thank you again for a wonderful time”
David Lawless, High Peak, Derbyshire.


“Lots of elements went together to make it really enjoyable and really memorable - the camaraderie of the group plus some of the other anglers who weren't officially part of the group; the weather; the location; the power of the fish; the coracles; the sky at night; the sounds of the "jungle" when the talking stopped. The whole experience was great. Possibly the two highlights were the trip downriver and being out in a coracle amongst rising large Mahseer. Both were magical moments and possibly more so for the fact that neither could be repeated on that trip. a cracking group with a good spirit” John Woods, Somerset

“It met all my expectations - the biggest compliment I can pay is that it "felt right" - So many memories that will stay with me forever! It was one long adventure from the beginning to the end - the bits in the middle include being with a great bunch of chaps who gelled together from all walks of life so quickly... priceless caught 2 of the biggest fish of my life I have no complaints! Other than the fishing I loved the wild life and each evening really got excited for my golden hour - when sunset approached and seeing the stars lit up so brightly - heaven!


The ghillies - excellent - but Mr Raggi - he was inspirational!  


“Thank you for a wonderful stay with a bunch of great guys. Please put my name down for your next trip. I have been away with several fishing hosts. John stood head and shoulders above the rest” John Kendrick, London


“Your trips have changed my whole outlook on life, I will always be so grateful for that…nothing will stop me returning with you next year” Alan Felstead, Braintree

The fishing exceeded my most optimistic hopes. The wildlife was fabulous Paradise for a naturalist. John’s expertise much valued, he shared our excitement with our successes but was a great host. Tom Brodrick


What you say

Your Itinerary


  • Jan 3 2013 Fly from your chosen airport to India (most of party fly from  Heathrow but you can meet us in India at the airport or the camp
  • Jan 4 journey from airport to camp, arrive early morning, rest and breakfast, tackle prep., lunch, maybe light fishing from camp!, afternoon with your ghillie and coracle, fishing,
  • Until Jan 13 An average day will see will see you get up around six forty ish, with tea served graciously by camp staff, as the sun rises. You will enjoy a morning’s fishing until sometime between ten and midday, nearly always with your ghillie and oracle unless you wish to do your own thing. Eat breakfasts fit for a king, excellent picnic lunches on the river if wished, mostly we will enjoy a big brunch together once we get back to camp and then you have the opportunity to sleep, read or even view crocodiles until about four o'clock in the afternoon when you'll go out again to fish until dusk - probably around eight o'clock. Come back for pre dinner snacks by the campfire in the evening with your beer or spirits, and a feast from silver platters at night. More shaggy campfire tales, perhaps cards or simply talking about fishing and life.
  • There MIGHT be the opportunity for us to move up river for a night to an even wilder setting with tents under starlit skies should we want to.
  • 9 full days fishing
  • Jan 13 drive back to airport, fly to UK


What is the camp like?


Wondrous—The camp we have chosen for our January trip is very special, very beautiful, extremely comfortable and offers potentially amazing fishing and wildlife. The staff are like family to us now, cheerful, courteous and fascinating. The ghillies love to serve our clients to their utmost.The camp is simple, but more luxurious than you would expect in an Indian wilderness. Beds with proper sprung mattresses, your own loo and shower! a communal dining and relaxation area, which provides shade and a focal campfire in the evenings. Simple but surprisingly varied and nourishing food, elegantly served by camp staff. It is a characterful camp set in landscape so beautiful it takes your breath away.


What do I do about flights?


You can book your own flight from an airport of your choice with an airline of your choice. As part of the John Bailey group, you will be met at London Heathrow and fly with us direct to peaceful, rural, stunningly beautiful southern India. You will be transferred by private vehicles and drivers to the fishing camp (all arranged by us if you wish) , an exotic, colourful and relaxing 3 hour journey. Then for 9 days, you will be free to fish the breathtaking river, on which we have reserved miles of the very best mahseer fishing.


.....how easily could you experience the dream trip of your angling life? Just phone 01452 813241 Mobile 07866 470238 or email us to discuss individual requirements or reserve your place in John’s group


The weather


is magnificent. Temperatures will be like our high summer, the river valley sparkles in sunlight under deep blue skies and there is usually a lovely breeze - up to around 30 degrees Centigrade, dropping to 12 degrees at night. More comments from some of our very happy clients follow... You could be one of them! email us now or book online


Book  your place now and join John Bailey and the group for January 2013! as group size for these expeditions is limited only 9 places total - Call 01452 813241 or 07866 470238. Non fishing partners are very welcome t -call for rate sand there is plenty to do for nature lovers – walking, birdwatching, drifting downriver in a coracle, visiting extraordinary temples....


* Non fishing partners are very welcome to join the group at a reduced rate and there is plenty to do for them – walking, birdwatching, drifting down the river in a coracle with a n


470238 straight away and give yourself the treat of your life!

Fantastic!  The river is full of fish....great fun..the camp staff will do anything for you. It was a life changing event.  Came back with empty mind and so calm,  Have looked at my life and will change a lot this year

Ian Jackson Guildford

The mahseer is the king of fish, the ultimate prize for the committed fisherman. Tight lines! Don’t you deserve a wonderful wilderness experience?



Fish for mahseer in India—Just consider...

  • Mahseer to a hundred pounds plus taken from the stretch. Many fish in the twenty to sixty pound bracket. Dream fishing you will never forget.
  • An excellent, well established camp, fantastic food, immaculate service and endless chilled Kingfisher beer.
  • Fully furnished tents on platforms with verandahs, with beds, bathrooms with w.cs, hot water available for showers, electricity supply and fans for some of the day.
  • Our group expedition means you can take full advantage of John’s experience and enjoy the company of like-minded anglers
  • Fish from the bank or from your coracle. One coracle and ghillie per 2 anglers or couple. Total individual attention and guidance as you need it.
  • John has made nineteen trips to India since 1989. He really understands the country, its people, the rivers, its mahseer and the fishing. Benefit from his wealth of experience. His passion for this fishing is endless!
  • India gives you magnificent weather, stunningly beautiful scenery, an abundance of exotic, majestic bird and wildlife -elephant, sambar, otter, wild boar, antelope and more, fifteen species in all - and birdlife (95 species have been spotted) - and the relaxing pace of the camp. You will have the time of your life.
  • Total support with arrangements where needed

Joy says 'Catching my own fifty pound mahseer - with a lot of help from John and the ghillies - was one of the highlights of my life. This year I caught a 25, and that was more than good enough, in the past I’ve had a forty, especially as I witnessed some huge mahseer caught by John’s group, one in the high eighties. and some huge fish over 100lbs have been a  privilege to see’


And John says,"India becomes a way of life. Mahseer fishing is a drug that can easily become an obsession. Put simply, this mahseer River in India is a part of the Angling Travel year just too precious ever to let go."

So, if you feel the pull of India, just imagine yourself as part of this group…..book your place for 2013 (several available for you but they will book fast in early spring)

Book Now.

If you book for Jan 2013  you receive the best  early booking discount now!

& returner discounts if you joined John Bailey before!