Situated at the foothills of Himalayas in the nainital district of uttarakhand, the Jim Corbett national park was the first national reserve to be recognized as a protected area. Initially known as the Hailey national park, it was renamed Corbett national park after the renowned British hunter turned conservationist, who was instrumental in the setting up of this national park. This reserve attracts tourist from all across the globe due to its serene environment, pristine lakes and the endangered species which reside in this national park. Covering an area of more than 521 square kilometers, it is rich in flora fauna, and is known for the abode of the Bengal tigers, the biggest attraction of this reserve. People also prefer to visit this area because of angling and fishing activities. The Corbett national park provides the travelers with the opportunity to undertake these adventurous sporting activities accompanied with the wildlife fun.
Earlier the region in and around the park was used for hunting by the then governor of the place lord Malcolm Hailey. On one of their trips of fishing, Hailey and Jim Corbett thought a establishing a national park, where no hunting activities would b allowed and the animals of the area could be protected from the hunters. Thus, the Jim Corbett national came into existence in the year 1936 and till date remains the most popular wildlife sanctuaries in India. The park is popular not only for the tigers but also because of the Ramganga river that follows through the park and is the home of the mahseer, goonch and various other fishes, thus providing a perfect ground for fishing activities. In fact mahseer fishing is provided within the vicinity of the park.
Though Jim Corbett was famous as a hunter and later turned into a conservationist, his fishing exploits in Ramganga valley have become the theme of the book “fish of my dreams”. Ramganga and kosi rivers, referred to as the lifeline of the national reserve are the best places for fishing and angling. The best locations in the Ramganga River are near Balyuli and Badharan Bashal along with Matwash and rikawasi. The ranganga gives the opportunity of fishing all the year round since it is not affected by the snow water.
The most suitable period of Fishing around the Vanghat is area is from mid October to June. During the breeding months, that is the monsoon season from June to September it is advisable not to undertake the mahseer fishing.
Magar and gharial, the endemic fish eaters are also found in the Ramganga River. Common Otters, Small Cawed Otters and Smooth Coated Otters are also the inhabitants of the Ramganga River. Species of soft shell turtles, giant river terrapins, and various other rare turtles like Indian peacock, Indian black softshell turtles, tricarinate hill turtle along with species of river shrimps eels, fresh water crabs are found in this river. Various other species like the Herons, Dartars, Cormorants and kingfisher also haunt this river. Grey headed, Palla’s and Universal Osprey are the avian hunter that re found in the Ramganga River. Dudholi, located 140 kms north of the Corbett national park at the foothills of Himalayas, is the place from where the Ramganga River originates. After it has travelled 1080 kms, it greets the mighty Ganges at the city of kannauj. Sonanadi, an important tributary of the Ramganga River meets the river at the reservoir of the ramganga , making it the perfect place for fishing, in the center of the park. The river marks the north eastern boundary of the park and passes through terraced fields, small villages and ashrams and covers a total stretch of 50 kms till a place called Jainal.
Fishing enthusiasts have to be extremely well prepared in case they want to fish the goonch fishes. But most tourists prefer the mahseer fishing, since this fish catches the bait quickly and easily specially when the bait is live fish, spoon, plug or fly. The most commonly found mahseer fish in the waters of this park are Goonch, Black mahseer and silver masher. Though mahseer fishing is not allowed any more, but one can still see these fishes in the clear waters of the rivers of the national reserve and take quick shots.
Kosi, another important river of the Corbett national park, is another ideal location for fishing within the reserve. Forming the eastern boundary of the park, from Mohan to Ramnagar, it is rich in mahseer fish. The best time for fishing in this river is October to December, February to June. However fishing is not allowed without permits which can be arranged easily by the hotels and lodges that are situated on the banks of the river. Betalghat and Chara are the popular places of the Kosi River for fishing and lot of tourists come here all the year round and take home lot of memories to cherish all their life.. In a survey which was conducted but the wildlife institute of India in the year 2005, it was found that more than 43 species of fishes which belonged to nine different families and six different orders are found in the river system.
The best time in indulge and engage in the fishing and angling activities in the Jim Corbett national park is from October to May, when one can hope for frequent catches and for an amateur even one catch is adequate and gives a lot of excitement.
The Corbett national park offers numerous opportunities to the anglers to undertake the recreational activity of fishing and satisfy their quench for this exhilarating sport. They can do so in a very comfortable and convenient manner by staying at the Mahseer fishing Camp. The tourist can indulge in this adventure sport amidst nature and wildlife. Thus, the Corbett national park has a lot to offer to the travelers and one must visit this place to experience nature in a different way.