Ghuga and Jia Bhorelli rivers

North East India


click photo for map          

An amazing place

The year following the first Amazon trip I looked around for an alternative for 2002. I found someone who would organise angling in Assam.

Not many people go to Assam. There are a few terrorist groups operating in the area:

United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA)
National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)
United People's Democratic Solidarity (UPDS)
Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO)
Bodo Liberation Tiger Force (BLTF)
Dima Halim Daogah (DHD)
Karbi National Volunteers (KNV)
Rabha National Security Force (RNSF)
Koch-Rajbongshi Liberation Organisation (KRLO)
Hmar People's Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)
Karbi People's Front (KPF)
Tiwa National Revolutionary Force (TNRF)
Bircha Commando Force (BCF)
Bengali Tiger Force (BTF)
Adivasi Security Force (ASF)
All Assam Adivasi Suraksha Samiti (AAASS)
Gorkha Tiger Force (GTF)
Barak Valley Youth Liberation Front (BVYLF)
Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam (MULTA)
United Liberation Front of Barak Valley
Muslim United Liberation Front of Assam (MULFA)
Muslim Security Council of Assam (MSCA)
United Liberation Militia of Assam (ULMA)
Islamic Liberation Army of Assam (ILAA)
Muslim Volunteer Force (MVF)
Muslim Liberation Army (MLA)
Muslim Security Force (MSF)
Islamic Sevak Sangh (ISS)
Islamic United Reformation Protest of India (IURPI)
United Muslim Liberation Front of Assam (UMLFA)
Revolutionary Muslim Commandos (RMC)
Muslim Tiger Force (MTF)
People’s United Liberation Front (PULF)
Adam Sena (AS)

We went (anyway).

Our first destination was the Ghuga River in the Garo hills of Meghalaya. We set off from Guwahati and picked up our escort of Paramilitary Police. All black headscarves and AK47s, reassuring but scary at first.
It was an 'interesting' drive, several hours on a dirt track. We had to dig the Jeeps out of the mud on a couple of times, and had many Log Bridges to cross, carefully! We finally arrived at the government bungalow in village of Ukium. We were the first foreigners there since partition in 1948. Everything was made from Bamboo, houses, furniture, vessels.
From Ukium we trekked to the Ghuga river
We camped on a sandbank by the river, the porters that we hired quickly built a bamboo kitchen. We were soon joined by another platoon of paramilitary police, this time from the State of Meghalaya. They camped between us and Ukium. We now had 13 armed guards!!
Fishing the Ghuga was not easy. Heavy rains the week before had turned the river the colour of coffee. In fact we caught NOTHING, bar one very large tadpole (which was foul-hooked!) We tried three different beats on the river, wherever we needed to cross the river the guides would build a bamboo raft in about 20 minutes


After 3 days on the river, fishless, we gave up. An amazing spot, green lush bamboo forests, its such a pity that the water conditions were not conducive! We started off as a party of 6 anglers, 2 guides, 2 local 'fixers'. By the time we returned to Ukium with our armed guard, porters, camp attendants we were quite a crowd!
We departed from Meghalaya and went north near the border with Arunachal Pradesh to the Nameri National Park, to the 'Eco Camp' set up by the local fishing club
We spent the next week fishing the Jia Bhorelli, taking the jeeps upstream, then floating down in rubber dinghies, casting all the way down. We saw wild elephants, and fresh tiger tracks, but the TWATs saw very few fish. Still we did get some small Mahseer, Goonch, Bokar, Hill Trout and the scenery of the Himalayan foothills was spectacular
We then moved the fishing into Arunachal Pradesh, only recently opened up to limited tourism, known as 'Little Tibet'. The scenery was even more spectacular. Pity our fishing wasn't!
Whilst we were here, we decided to do some sightseeing and travelled up the Kamang valley to the monastery site at Bomdilla
We returned to Assam for some more sightseeing, a private trip round a Tea Plantation, and Factory.
Then a private trip around Kaziranga national park, to see the white rhino's


The fishing was difficult - we calculated 1 fish for every 3000 casts (honest). The scenery, the colour, the people were totally amazing.

And finally a big thank you to Bob Newbury  and Chris of Chandertal tours whose company and organisation were beyond compare. The whole trip was excellent, and we were made to feel especially welcome by Bobs' Assamese partners Atul and Rathin. The private trips that they organised around the Tea Gardens, and Kaziranga were wonderful.

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