Today we would make the extremely steep descent down to the level of the river in search of some protein. Of course the word fishing tends to wake me up and add an extra sense of adventure and fun to any trip. I realised this would be a different kind of fishing trip, mainly because we lacked certain important necessities. The lack of a rod and reel for a start would be interesting.
We flew down the hill to the gorge below. The river, of course, was in flood due to glacial melt and the power was impressive. As we sat on the rocks in the heat Mustafa took out the gear. A piece of old fishing line and a mepps/bait that was at least 30 years old, rusted and black. My hopes of lunch were dashed dramatically. I asked Mustafa if he had any more line as well as a hook. He had one old fly hook so I started to rig up my own weapon. I could see these baits were unikely to catch fish so myself and Emma went on a worm finding expedition. I found a few to get started and Emma then found lots near a tree, which I presume was a toilet at some stage as there were lots of worms in comparison to anywhere else. I wandered down the bank until I found some less turbulent water. I attached my line to a stick and the worms to the hook and cast out to the edge of the flow. Within minutes I had a take and landed a small trout. I made my way up to Mustafa, who decided worms were the only option, and I began to fish behind some big boulders. I got a great pull here and landed a lovely trout, almost enough to feed two people.
Fishing Kashmir Style
We spent the next few hours along the river, fishing and enjoying the views, eating some lunch and washing in the river. We didn’t catch any more fish but at least I can tick another country off my list of fished and fish caught. The hike back up to camp was extremely. We took plenty of breaks along the way and made lots of noise as we had descended into bear land once again. We passed lots of sheperd’s huts on the way home.
Lots of Shephard’s began to arrive today. They made their way up the valley with their families and food. It was fantasic to see their survival and the way the almost miraculously arrive as the flowers and the grass begin to bloom. The strength and will to survive in these people should be spread around the world. Anyone that ever complained about living in Ireland should see a young Kashmiri shepherd carrying his younger disabled brother on his back, up through the foothills of the Himalayas to reach home for the summer. Truly brilliant.
Eveything but the kitchen sink!
Tomorrow we would finish our trek and head back to Srinagar, a truly different world.