Nepal provides some fine opportunities for boating and fishing tour. These range from the glacier-fed lakes up North and down to where the laden rivers ease into the plains of the Terai. Pokhara’s Phewa Lake is the most popular destination for travelers wanting to indulge in recreational boating. It is the second largest lake in the kingdom and measures roughly 1.5 by 4 km. Its eastern shore, also known as Lakeside or Baidam, is the center of tourist activity in Pokhara.
Begnas and Rupa Tal are located 15 km out of Pokhara at the end of a road that turns off the Kathmandu highway. Both these lakes offer some splendid boating opportunities. Phewa, Begnas and Rupa Lakes were all part of the body of water that once filled the Pokhara valley.
Renting a boat for a couple of hours and heading out to the middle or the other side of the lake bordering the forested hill, and taking a swim, can be the highlight of a warm day. The water is cleaner out far from the buffalo and washing on the edge. Boats can also be had for the whole day, or on an hourly basis. You can either row around yourself or hire a boatman, the former being definitely a better option.
At Phewa, tourists have a choice of pedal-driven boats, rowboats and sailboats. The latter are a recent development but definitely worth the money when there is a good breeze around. There is also a choice between fiber body sailboats and wooden ones.
Sport fishing, like hunting, is little advertised and therefore little known in Nepal. However, for the angling enthusiast, Nepal’s lakes and rivers can prove good fishing grounds. There are approximately 118 varieties of fresh-water fish in these Himalayan waters, ranging from the much sought after Mahseer to the mountain stream trout-like varieties. The best season to go sport fishing on white waters is before and after the monsoon from February till April and October and November. During these times the fishes go upstream to spawn and they consume less food. But locals catch a lot of fish during monsoon as well for their livelihood.
Some of the popular fishing trips are done in Karnali, Babai valley in the Bardiya National Park. Chitwan also hosts a number of places like the confluence of Seti and Trisuli on the Tribhuvan Highway and also in the confluence of Kaligandaki and Trisuli river. Anglers can try their luck in the clear waters of Pokhara’s lakes as well. While Phewa Tal offers some good sport, there is considerable activity and is not the ideal place for a quiet day’s fishing. Begnas Tal and Rupa Tal are a better bet. Get out there on any of several local buses that start plying early morning or bike your way there. You can hire a boat and go out to some of the good spots in the lake.
Fishing is also fun in many of the mountain streams. There are varieties of trout-like fish or even rainbow trouts and common trouts that can provide good sport. Recently the Fishery Department has released 4000 fingerlings in the Modi river, near Pokhara. There are agencies in Kathmandu that organise fishing trips to streams around the Kathmandu valley. Dolalghat, east of the valley on the Kodari Highway, is easily accessible from the city – a bus ride from the Old Bus Park in Ratna Park early morning and back through the local buses by evening. You can encounter Nepali holidaymakers and the locals on the lookout for local variety of Asla and Katla, the former a kind of trout and the latter a carp. You could bring some flies along and try your luck. Some of the dams across Nepal’s many rivers too have a good stock of fish.