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Old 03-05-2019, 10:18 AM
Bucksnort Bucksnort is offline
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Fly Fishing In Afghanistan

Afghanistan and some other countries in that part of the world, are missing a golden opportunity for tourism. One aspect of this would be fly fishing for trout.

Afghanistan is mostly desert except for the northeastern section around Kabul and Bagram where there are snow capped mountains. Farther to the northeast of these locations, some of the mountains exceed 20,000 feet. I did some research to see if anyone is booking trips there for fishing but came up empty.

I came close to having an opportunity to catch a trout in Afghanistan. Here is the deal.

From September, 2009 to March, 2010, I was a U.S. Department of Defense civilian administering government contracts at the N.A.T.O base at Kandahar International Airfield. Kandahar is located in the southeastern part of Afghanistan, not far from the Pakistan border where there are mountains that look like the mountains in the valley but with far less vegetation. Our area of responsibility included about thirty F.O.B.s (forward operating bases) in south, southwest and western Afghanistan. One of these F.O.B.s was Shindand, which is where the Russians had a large air base when they were getting their butts kicked by the Afghanis.

Some years back at Shindand, the U.S. state department helped the locals establish a fish hatchery. In this hatchery were rainbow trout. I had an opportunity or two to fly to Shindand for work purposes but before the trips, I was aced out by other more important personnel.

I considered asking a friend in the states to send me a very cheap fly rod, reel with line, leader and tippet and some flies with the idea I would sneak a side trip to the hatchery, catch one fish then return to the base if I could have snaged a ride to Shindand but that never materialized. Of course, the trip from the base to the hatchery would not have been a good idea because of the Taliban. It would be nice to say I fly fished in Afghanistan. I am confident I would have caught at least one hungry trout. The reason I know there are rainbows there is because I have a photo of them in the hatchery.

Last edited by Bucksnort; 03-05-2019 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 03-06-2019, 09:03 AM
KellyC KellyC is offline
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Location: Scottsdale, AZ
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I'm afraid that could easily become a one way trip! I try to avoid fishing in failed nation states, and hatcheries too for that matter But hey, if you have the cajones for that, have at it!!
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Old 03-06-2019, 09:23 AM
Bucksnort Bucksnort is offline
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A one way trip is a distinct possibility.

There is a You Tube video of a former Navy SEAL who went to Afghanistan to fly fish. Most of the video is of his trek by vehicle to the fishing location and only a short segment at the end shows him fly casting in a river but you don't see him catch fish. I assume he returned safely because he produced and narrated the video.

The trip to the hatchery probably would not have happened because if the local base NATO commander is smart, he would not allow anyone to leave the base for such a trip.

This was unlike our commander who didn't care where we went. Sometimes, our duties required us to visit FOBs but not just for fun for Sunday meals. We went there because none of the dining facilities at Kandahar served Baskin Robbins ice cream on Sundays like Lindsay.

Lindsay is about four miles outside our base. He allowed us to drive to Lindsay in a regular SUV without armor and I guess we were stupid enough to do it. I did it twice but finally came to my senses and quit because we had to drive through what most people call a slum for a couple of miles. A bad guy could have zapped us with a rocket propelled grenade or an AK-47. Leaving Kandahar was a piece of cake but getting back on the base was like breaking into Ft. Knox.
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Old 03-06-2019, 09:56 AM
Bucksnort Bucksnort is offline
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And being on a large base like Kandahar or an FOB did not guarantee total safety. The Taliban would send rockets (made in China or Russia) into the base weekly and usually at night. The rockets were not guided except for fins so it was mostly a hit or miss proposition, were launched from make shift bipods made from rebar or other material, and were fired with kitchen timers. They set them then departed the area. Twice at Kandahar, the Romanians were on the receiving end of two attacks. No one was killed but there were injuries and living quarters were damaged.

Last edited by Bucksnort; 03-06-2019 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 03-08-2019, 10:03 PM
Wind_Knot Wind_Knot is offline
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Gosh of all the mountain hiking and interacting with the interesting locals, I just didn’t get much fly fishing in.
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Old 03-10-2019, 01:41 PM
aztightlines aztightlines is offline
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Originally Posted by Wind_Knot View Post
Gosh of all the mountain hiking and interacting with the interesting locals, I just didn’t get much fly fishing in.
How about a new fishing show, along the lines of "River Monsters"....maybe called "Failed State Fishing," with Bucksnort as the host.

Blue Marlin in Venezuela..Wahoo in Honduras....Mahseer in Pakistan...Bonefish in Jedda, Saudi Arabia....Brown Trout in Burma (Myanmar)....Largemouth in Zimbabwe

Don't worry, I'll be right behind you, Jim

Last edited by aztightlines; 03-10-2019 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:12 PM
Bucksnort Bucksnort is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 550

I feel much safer knowing you will be right behind me.

I'm guessing runoff from those peaks must be awful.
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