By Mustujab Hashmi
Jhelum River, river of northwestern India and northern and eastern Pakistan. It constitutes the westernmost of the five rivers of the Punjab region that merge with the Indus River in eastern Pakistan.
The Jhelum rises from a deep spring at Vernag, in western Jammu and Kashmir state, in the Indian-administered portion of the Kashmir region. The river meanders northwestward from the northern slope of the Pir Panjal Range through the Vale of Kashmir to Wular Lake at Srinagar, which controls its flow. Emerging from the lake, the Jhelum flows westward and crosses the Pir Panjal in a gorge some 7,000 feet (2,100 metres) deep with almost perpendicular sides. At Muzaffarabad, the administrative centre of Azad Kashmir in the Pakistani-administered sector of Kashmir, the Jhelum receives the Kishanganga River and then bends southward, forming part of the border between Azad Kashmir to the east and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan, to the west. The river then flows southward into Punjab province. Near Mangla the Jhelum breaks through the Outer Himalayas into broad alluvial plains. At the city of Jhelum the river turns southwestward along the Salt Range to Khushab, where it again bends south to join the Chenab River near Trimmu. The total length of the Jhelum is about 450 miles (725 km).
As far as my fishing in River Jhelum, I started fishing here in early 90’s. And the firstpoint where one can fish is called Dhangali in Azad Kashmir. At this point River Jhelum is the boundary line of Punjab and Kashmir. This is all challenging dangerous hilly area.
There was an old dangerous hanging bridge and I have crossed that bridge several times but now there is a state of the art modern bridge that I saw being built from the inauguration till its completion while crossing the old hanging bridge.
In summer the River flows at a good speed underneath the bridge, here there are good chances of catching challenging mighty Mahseers and big Cat fish beside Carps, where the water flows at medium speed. Access to the banks of river is quite challenging, the spots being deep and steep. One can hire boats to reach the other side of river and look for proper spots where the fishing prospects are good.
It is quite easy to reach Dhangali. Grand Trunk Road is most convenient approach.
Shortest route is from GT road at Rawat to Kalar Syedan – Dhudial Road in Azad Kashmir, this road not only leads to Dhan Gali at the River Jhelum but also takes the anglers to Many renowned fishing spots of Mangla Dam e.g Dhudial that is the Centre of quite a lot of places that needs a full chapter to write. This road further leads you to the famous Bridge at Palak and the Punch river flows under it.
The Poonch River (also known as Punch River, Punch Tohi, Tohi of Punch is a tributary of the Jhelum River that flows through Jammu and Kashmir in India, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir in Pakistan. The River Punch was declared “Poonch River Mahseer National Park”. This river has good prospects of catching Mahseer. I have travelled upto Kotli AJK for fishing Mahseer.
At Khadimabad, Dhudial in AJK the river Jhelum falls into Mangla reservoir and at Mangla, Punjab area the river Jhelum flows again from the Mangla Dam spillway. I have already written an article on Mangla separately. Than there are two heads; on River Jhelum namely Head Rasul in the middle and Head Trimu where the River Jhelum ends. These heads have high prospects of fishing.