Day 1.

Decided to treat the next few days as a road trip with fishing thrown in. It was with great anticipation that we departed Basunti early in the morning and headed of, driving the back roads to Barot. About an hour from Basunti we were rewarded with the bizarre sight of a man dressed as the God Shiva, strolling down the road in the middle of nowhere. By the time we had realised what we had seen and decided to go back for a photograph, he had disappeared, all very strange…

The journey, including a stop for lunch, took about seven hours. Travelling in and around Himachal Pradesh, you never get bored; there is so much to see and marvel at. The scenery going over the pass and into the Barot Valley is stunning; dense forests of Cedar, Oak, Rhododendron and Chestnut with remote villages and their steeply terraced fields growing Barley, Potatoes and Onions. This is all very beautiful in itself but when complimented with the Himalaya as a backdrop it becomes quite magical.

Arrived at Barot early afternoon and checked into the Negi Home-stay; Spartan, to say the least, but reasonably clean with western style flush toilets. Barot, at two thousand metres of altitude, was a bit overcast by the time we arrived and felt cold to us as Basunti was immersed in 30 degrees when we left earlier in the day. Put on winter woollies and drove up as far as we could go on the road that follows the Uhl River – this in order to check the flow and clarity of the water and also find possible access points that we could use the next day.

Went back to the Negi and walked down to the barrage to try and land some Rainbows for the evening meal. Eight fish later, with a combined weight of two and a half kilos, we headed back for the evening meal of fried trout and Barot Jeera Potatoes. This was enjoyed by us, the driver and also the family that owns the Negi.

Day 2.

Cold morning but clear and once the sun came up reasonably warm. Had breakfast and drove up to the same point we reached last night. On this particular day I had decided that I would be the photographer and Andy could get the most out of the river using the Fly Rod. The fast flowing, crystal clear water made for some really exciting fishing, nothing huge, but great fun for Andy and lovely to watch in such spectacular surroundings.

We decided to call it a day at four in the afternoon and by that time Andy had landed fourteen wild Brown Trout, all of which were returned. Went back to the Negi for a much needed cup of tea. After a short rest, we walked back down to the barrage to catch the evening meal of Rainbow Trout. One hour, with six trout in the bag, we headed back for a much anticipated supper.






Day 3.

Left Barot early as we had every intention of driving all the way to the Gobind Sagar to check out the Mahseer fishing. Once we came back over the pass we realised that this was possibly not a good idea, as the temperature had soared in the last few days and was now topping over 36 Celsius. Decided to drive back to Basunti via Dehra and check out the Beas River which flows into the Maharana Pratap Sagar.
Stopped at the Dehra bridge and walked two kilometres up stream, to a rocky outcrop known as the Viceroys Spoon. Below this is a fast run of water going into a deep pool, which has in it some of the biggest Golden Mahseer I have ever seen. The Mahseer are all waiting to go up the river when the first monsoons rains start, which is still nearly a month away. It is impossible to catch these fish as the river is full of weed, although I have to say it did not stop us trying. Was impossible not to, as some of these beasts must have been topping the twenty kilogram mark!
Arrived back to Basunti in late afternoon and decided to see what was taking in the lake. After half an hour Andy landed a Mahseer of approximately one and a half kilos, which we returned. Walked back to Basunti and enjoyed a much needed swim in the pool.

Spotted while in Barot: Spotted Forktail, White Throated Dipper, Crested Kingfisher and Black throated Tit. These will not be going in the Basunti Bird Book as we have decided to only include birds spotted within the Kangra Valley.

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