‘In preparation for the trip Ilya wasn’t too forthcoming with details, other than to say his friends from Bhutan had everything covered.

“We will be camping, we have a helicopter with us, bring 8 to 10-weight rods, 15 – 25lbs leaders, floating lines with intermediate tips and felt sole boots. See you at the boarding gate of Dubai-Delhi.”

Team pyjamas for the Bhutan mahseer tour 2019

Like all other adventures with Ilya, I would be relying on his knowledge and local connections. Tagging along on one of the most amazing fly fishing adventures that had taken two years of planning, wasn’t an uncommon occurrence for me as I have been on the receiving end of Ilya’s incredible passion for fly fishing exploration before. He’s taken me on various trips to the far reaches of Siberia in search of arctic char and giant taimen. Ilya has had several IGFA taimen fly fishing world records under his belt and, when he does these trips, he does not stuff around. For Siberia, think M18 helicopters and the 2004 World Champion Rafting team at our disposal. So, if Ilya invited me on an exploratory trip to the so called crater rivers on the northern part of the moon and instructed me to pack lightly as the space ship doesn’t have much cargo space, I would believe him and I’d turn up on time at the boarding gate, wearing space boots in anticipation of another great trip.’

Keith Rose-Innes on a once-in-a-lifetime invitation from his friend Ilya Sherbovich to fish restricted rivers in Bhutan for massive golden mahseer. Read the full story in issue 16 of The Mission.

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