Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Sun Rise in Mangla Dam Part - II

We started our journey from Islamabad very late in the evening and reached at the Mir Pur after evening prayer. At Mir Pur, we were received by our local friend Mr. Nazir Thaikaidar (contractor), an accomplished angler who guided us to a spot in the Jairi Kas area of the Mngla Dam. Our arrival at the spot was very late in the night. Immediately after ground baiting and casting rods & lines, we pitched our tent and started preparing the dinner consisting of chicken and tandori (oven) bread. The dinner was extraordinarily delicious perhaps just because we were very hungry. Then tea was brewed and after taking the tea and refreshing the rods & lines, we went to the bed - the floor of the tent and blankets. The slumber was very deep although on the floor of the tent, just a water proof sheet of plastic just because of a long journey and the stress of the casting rods and lines.

 At dawn, we were awaken by the voice of the Moazzan (caller to prayer). After saying prayer, we checked the rods and lines. Luckily the first success was already achieved, a China Mahaseer of not a very good size. Perhaps the fish got hooked deep in the night. The party was very delighted and started to make hue and cry in happiness.

 During this whole time, the most awesomely beautiful and heart rending experience was the breaking of the dawn and rising of the sun. The given photographs are witness to it. I have no words to explain such an awesome experience. Only one can feel it who goes through this experience. The breeze was very pleasant and soft. At this time of the year, mid October, the weather gets very pleasant in upper Pakistan especially around Mangla Dam and that even in the morning. It is the time when migratory water fowl start descending on the lakes, rivers and all the water reservoirs of Pakistan in the wild. All these reservoirs become a paradise for the migratory bird at the start of the winter. It is a dream of the bird watcher that comes true at this time. Just pick a piece of binoculars and you are filled to the utmost with delight. The nature has bestowed all her beauties and charms on our homeland that one can enjoy them to the core of his/here heart.

 Now here I would like to share my experience with the anglers, especially novice ones, and put down some tips which could be beneficial to them. Bait the ground in the evening and have a full night sleep so that you could be fresh for the next day’s rigors. A few rods or lines of Chilwa or Luria could be productive for Singhara or Mallhi (cat fish) at night. Spinners, spoons of different colours (silver, brass, copper), plugs (chilwa or luria imitation) could also be productive for the cat fish and even for King Fish at the mouth of the rivers and streams (nallahs). Simple white flour (atta) is in vogue at Mangla Dam for carp. Earth worm (bunch) could be able to produce results also for Singhara or Mallhi. Scaly (carp) fish can be hooked on Atta, not exclusively but mostly. Earth worm also can be taken by scaly fish sometimes. For a trip lasting more than one day, a tent, cooking utensils, ample stock of cool water, gas cylinder, provisions, etc. are very essential. For all this weight to be carried at the spot, some sort of conveyance (vehicle) is also essential otherwise the whole affair would be body and soul breaking. As regards the lines, for rods, 20 pounder and for hand casting 28 pounder could be the best. Maruto (Made in Japan) hooks (original), for atta # 3 or 4 and for earth worm # 1 or 2, even 01/02, could be the best. Over stressing must be avoided otherwise result would the broken lines, broken/ straightened hooks or thrown away hooks. An ample depth is a must for Mangla fishing – bigger the depth, even bigger the catch. Shallow waters fail to produce results, especially at Mangla. Snake bite kits, God forbid, are also advised, especially for hotter months. A spare pair of clothes should also be kept handy for fishing and sleeping hours otherwise you would get spoiled your single pair of clothes. Gripper (joggers having strong grip on the mud) are essential especially in the draining season (when the water is drained out of the dam for irrigation purposes). Warm clothes of some sort could add to your comfort in the months of November and December, especially at night & in the morning, since the fishing season lasts long at Mangla.

As regards the fishing, it was very dull and the bites were very rare. It was a total disappointment to the action hungry anglers like us. So we decided to pack up in the noon and reached at Islamabad in the evening, with the mercy of Almighty, safe and sound. 

Written by : Muhammad Arshad

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