One of the fascinating narration’s of Jim Corbett in his book “Man Eaters of Kumaon” is about his fishing holidays for Mahseer (barbus tour), in a river which flowed through a beautiful wooded valley. When Corbett was fishing, the air was filled with the fragrance of flora and songs of a multitude of birds. Corbett opined that angling in such an atmosphere is a sport fit for kings. After catching a 50 lb. mahseer, he concluded that the sublime surroundings in which he had caught the fish will not be forgotten, and will draw him back to this valley, which to date still unspoiled by the hand of man. His descriptions fit well with the Ramganga valley.
The Mahseer is a fresh water scaly fish, which can attain a huge size, and shows more sport for its size than a Salmon and therefore is considered the best sport fish in the world Mahseer quite avidly takes to bait such as spoon, plug, fly and livefish, are omnivorous in feeding habits - eating snails, crabs and weeds like algae, etc. Etymology of Mahseer suggests the word could mean a fish with “lion’s gameness” and “fish par excellence”. Experts have identified about six species in India, but no detailed information on the present status and distribution of these species is available. Though fisherman consider consider the Golden or Himalayan Mahseer (tor putitora) as the main species available on the Ramganga / Kosi rivers, besides the Silver and Black Mahseer. Goonch (bagaraus bagarius), a fresh water scavenger is also another species that thrives in these rivers