Fishing in Bhutan
Fishing in Bhutan

In this enchanting Himalayan kingdom, a remarkable angling experience awaits, set against breathtaking landscapes. Embark on an exciting journey through the uncharted waters of Bhutan with our comprehensive fishing guide. 

Whether you’re a passionate angler searching for new adventures or an interested traveler eager to plan your Bhutan fishing expedition, this guide offers essential insights for your upcoming experience.

Join us as we dive into the world of Bhutan’s rivers and lakes, answering all your angling questions.

Is fishing allowed in Bhutan?

Fishing in Bhutan
Fishing trip to Bhutan

Yes, fishing in Bhutan is not just allowed but also an incredible opportunity for avid anglers. Securing a special permit is the key to kickstarting your adventure, and you can easily obtain one from the local forestry department. 

Bhutan’s fishing scene remains a well-kept secret, ready for your exploration. These crystal-clear, glacier-fed rivers promise a one-of-a-kind, unforgettable experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or simply curious about this exhilarating activity, Bhutan eagerly invites you to its uncharted fishing waters. Prepare for an adventure that promises excitement and memories like no other!

What is the rule of fishing in Bhutan?

Fishing in Bhutan
Fishing adventure in Bhutan

Fishing in Bhutan is a unique opportunity to explore one of the world’s last undiscovered fishing destinations. Securing your fishing dreams here is a breeze, but remember, it’s a tightly regulated affair. Grab your permits, available from January to June, and keep them with you while fishing.

As you cast your line in this sacred land, be mindful of Bhutan’s rich Buddhist culture. Respect religious days and avoid fishing near temples and monasteries. And while you’re out there, remember the rule of eight fish per day. 

But there’s a golden rule, too – between June and August, give the Golden Mahseer their space to breed. Follow these guidelines, and your Bhutanese angling escapade will be an experience like no other!

What is the largest fish in Bhutan?

Fishing in Bhutan
The golden mahseer

Meet the reigning giant of Bhutan’s waters: the golden mahseer. This majestic fish, capable of reaching an astounding nine feet in length and weighing up to a staggering 40 kg, commands admiration from anglers worldwide.

Endangered and renowned for its golden hue and formidable scales, the golden mahseer is not just any fish – it’s a legendary fighter. It was once a thriving presence along the entire Himalayan belt, stretching from northern Pakistan to Myanmar, gracing the waters of Iran and Thailand. 

However, today, it faces grave threats due to environmental degradation and unchecked fishing, earning a place on the International Union for Conservation’s Red List of endangered species.

Yet, there’s hope in the rivers of southern Bhutan. Swift action is imperative to protect this iconic fish, which is vital for regional biodiversity and deeply embedded in Bhutan’s spiritual fabric. In Bhutanese Buddhist culture, it symbolizes one of the eight auspicious signs associated with Himalayan Buddhism. 

How many types of fish are there in Bhutan?

Fishing in Bhutan
Exotic fishes in Bhutan

Bhutan’s aquatic world is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Its rivers and lakes are home to an incredible variety of fish, boasting 41 indigenous species, including the majestic Himalayan trout and Mahseer. 

But the magic doesn’t stop there – Bhutan also welcomes you with open arms to discover eight exotic species, including the esteemed coldwater brown trout and seven warmwater cyprinids. 

Dive even deeper, and you’ll encounter fascinating fish like the Striped dwarf catfish, Nandus nandus, and Badis sp. With a vibrant community of indigenous and exotic fish, Bhutan beckons anglers and nature enthusiasts to its aquatic paradise. Come be a part of this captivating experience!

What are the best spots for fishing in Bhutan?

Fishing in Bhutan
Best fishing spots in Bhutan

Some of the best spots for fishing in Bhutan are Haa, Tsirang, Zhemgang, Bumthang, and Docuhula Pass. 

In Haa, the Haa Chhu boasts fast alpine river fishing at 2700m altitude, with prime times in April, May, and September featuring abundant brown trout. Sankosh in Tsirang, also known as Puna Tsang Chu, offers excellent fishing from February to March and October to November, with golden mahseer in its scenic tropical valleys.

Mangde Chhu in Zhemgang is perfect for golden mahseer fishing, with Tingtibi as a great base. Manas Chhu and Drangme Chhu in Zhemgang provide a chance to explore various fish species while rafting from Nganglam town to Manas, surrounded by lush jungle.

For more options, Tang Chhu and Chummey Chhu in Bumthang offer fast mountain river fishing for snow trout, but remember that Chamkhar Chhu River is sacred and off-limits.

For a breathtaking backdrop, head to Dochula Pass at 3150m for panoramic views of the Eastern Himalayan Mountain ranges while fishing. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Bhutan’s stunning landscapes!

Can you fly fish in Bhutan?

Fly fishing in Bhutan

Yes, you can enjoy fly fishing in Bhutan! To embark on this thrilling angling adventure, secure a special permit designed for targeting the formidable Golden Mahseer, celebrated as one of the world’s toughest fighters.

Bhutan boasts an array of rivers, including Haa, Paro, Punakha, Wangdiphodrang, Bumthang, and those in the southern region, all of which provide fantastic fly fishing opportunities. As you cast your line, anticipate encounters with Brown trout, snow trout, and the illustrious Golden Mahseer.

In harmony with Bhutan’s profound Buddhist principles, catch-and-release practices prevail to safeguard the delicate ecosystem. This philosophy allows you to bask in Bhutan’s unspoiled rivers and pristine wilderness while honing your angling skills. Natural bait usage is strictly prohibited, and trophy fishing is not on the agenda.

Nevertheless, in most cases, you can savor your catch for a delectable dinner by the emerald rivers of Bhutan. So, get ready for an unforgettable fly-fishing adventure amidst the awe-inspiring landscapes of this remarkable country! Your journey awaits.

What is the best season to book a fishing trip to Bhutan?

Fishing in Bhutan
Best season to book a fishing trip to Bhutan

The best season to book a fishing trip to Bhutan is from April to May and then from October to November. Winter isn’t ideal since the fish tend to stay deep in the waters, and the weather can get wild. 

All you need is a spirit for a good challenge, some patience, and your trusty fishing gear. So, plan your trip during these optimal seasons, and you’re all set for an exciting and successful fishing experience in Bhutan.

Read Fishing In Bhutan for everything you need to know about fishing trips in Bhutan.

With these valuable insights about fishing in Bhutan, it’s time to transform your dreams into reality. Take the plunge into a remarkable fishing adventure nestled in the heart of the Eastern Himalayas with a Bhutan fishing tour. 

At Druk Heritage, our team of experts specializes in crafting unique experiences that let you fully immerse yourself in Bhutan’s breathtaking natural beauty while pursuing your passion for angling. 

Seize the opportunity to forge unforgettable memories and establish a deep connection with this enchanting country through an exceptional Bhutan fishing tour. Join us in creating moments that will last a lifetime.


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