By Ali Mufti
The trout in the ponds in the Chitral hatchery are very small but allot of fun. The bank side vegetation will make fly fishing almost impossible but yes they give you a good feel of trout if one has not caught any before.
I did not fish the streams much but that was mainly due to lack of know how. By the way the trout hatchery in chital will charge about rs.70 per trout and don’t allow release.
The size of fish is very small in all these places (including shandur) and I stuck to 4lb line for spinning. Now that I have gained some fly-fishing experience I would say a 3 or 4 weight for fly tackle in ponds and rivers and a 7 weight for the lakes as you will need casting tackle.
All the brown trout is almost wild as rainbows don’t reproduce in Pakistanis waters in the wild for some reason. It would be wise to look into Phander and a few other lakes as well.
The best place I know of is very hard to get to and is a hidden lake where one can catch 5lb trout. 2lb is the norm. This lake is one of the last places that in my limited up north experience still have large fishes. It is a long hike and no cars can get to this valley. Camping for 3/4 days is suggested, I do not want to mention the name unless whoever is going promises in no uncertain terms NOT TO KILL EVEN ONE FISH. They are too precious.
I will confirm that there are no outfitters in Pakistan for trout fishing and someone like him can only really arrange this trip as there are also security concerns.
I would very much like to discuss the possibility of making a rainbow trout farm but exclusively for fly-fishing. Something similar to the hatchery in Chitral but at least 3-4 acres in size with better bank side vegetation control to encourage fly fishing, This is what is done in England and the fishing is fantastic with double figure trout caught fairly often and 2lb the standard. Once again this can never replace stream and wild trout fishing which has its own charm.
For anyone who has not caught trout, on 3-4lb line a 1lb brown trout will fight like a Dorado!! Especially if in a lake where it can run far, A 100 yard run is common.