Fishing Lines: 'Trust me, darling, it will be lovely...'

Here's a challenge: how do you persuade a woman that two weeks' fishing for mahseer in India would make a perfect holiday? Here's my sales line. It means travelling to Bangalore (great shopping), and experiencing the vast country's exotic sights and sounds. After a direct flight from Heathrow, it's only a couple of hours' drive to the camp. The fishing takes place in a game park, so you're sure to see lots of wildlife: elephants, monkeys, deer and a rainbow of exotic birds.

Nawabza Saad bin Jung, grandson of the Maharajah of Bhopal, runs the camp. An active landlord, he often fishes with you and tells great stories. A maharajah's offspring doesn't slum it. The view overlooking the river is wonderful, the food is great, there's hot running water (an astounding feat, considering how remote the camp is) and even a masseur on hand.

Best of all, Bush Betta holds giant mahseer. Saad has caught one of 107lb, only 13lb below the world record. This stretch of the Cauvery, one of the sacred Indian rivers, has yielded several 100-pounders. By exotic holiday standards, it's not expensive either: just £1,250 for two weeks.

You might wonder why my wife, Riva, hasn't been pestering me to spend a month there. After all, she had the chance to see just how spectacular it is in the first episode of BBC2's The Accidental Angler, which started last Sunday. But therein lies some of the problem.

The presenter, the amiable Charles Rangeley-Wilson, made it sound like a Boy's Own adventure. I didn't mention that one of the favoured spots is called Crocodile Pool, for a very good reason.

Charles did. Best, then, I don't tell Riva the story of finding pug marks of a large creature and pointing them out to our guide, Suban. He said: "Leopard, sah. Every day, leopard see you. But you not see leopard." Oh.

It had somehow slipped my mind to admit that this is not armchair fishing. You sit on huge granite rocks, on which it's impossible to get comfortable. Even Charles, who is fit and wiry, used much of the hour-long programme to complain about his nether regions.

Then there's the heat. Even Charles, who always looks terribly dapper, was noticeably frazzled. After a quick breakfast, you fish until midday, when it becomes just too hot. Those rocks turn into giant radiators. There is no shade and the temperature climbs to more than 100 degrees.

After lunch, you relax in camp until the heat starts to ease, then fish until dusk. The season runs until April. After that, the valley is just too hot even for the Indians.

And what of the mahseer, called the Indian salmon, and one of the world's great game fishes? Well, sometimes they just aren't hungry. Charles caught a 30-pounder. That's a long way to go for one fish in two weeks when you factor in the sun, the rocks, the scary clambering alongside a wild river and constant worrying about wild elephants. Then there are the scorpions...

Oh, did I forget to mention them, dear?

Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
David Hasselhof in Peter Pan
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
News
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Regulatory / Compliance / Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'