When the Kingdom of Bhutan opened to tourism in 2007, adventurous anglers found an almost pristine fishery. The Bhutanese people’s Buddhist beliefs do not permit them to fish, meaning Western anglers are often alone on the rivers. “The Bhutanese do not fish, although their land is full of rivers and those rivers are full of fish,” said Bryant Dunn, a Ketchum, ID-based guide and operator of Flyfish Bhutan and Beyond.
While anglers can also target brown and snow trout, the region’s prized catch is the mahseer, which Dunn claims are the hardest fighting freshwater fish in the world. “It’s challenging to present a fly to these fish without spooking them,” he said. “But a dedicated angler has an exceptional chance at landing one.”