Fly Fish for the River Wolf
The Delger River, in western Mongolia, is a beautiful freestone river shadowed by limestone and granite cliffs rising hundreds of feet. Extremely large taimen lie in wait within the easily negotiated rapids and rock gardens. Banks covered with willows give way to deep pools, sparkling braids and wide gravel bars. Numerous lenok trout lie in wait for a big dry fly to float by and offer tremendous light tackle sport.
Hunting the river wolf
There are only four rivers in Mongolia that can be legally fished by international anglers, one of which is the Delger Muron River. The upper 150 miles of the beautiful freestone river are run by Fish Mongolia and their excellent team. This area is shadowed by limestone and granite cliffs rising hundreds of feet above the river. Steep gorges filled with larch and birch forests cascade towards the valley floor. Extremely large taimen lie in wait within the easily negotiated rapids and rock gardens. Banks covered with willows give way to deep pools, sparkling braids and wide gravel bars.
Taimen can live for nearly fifty years and reach over sixty inches (1.5 metres) in length. Several giant taimen are landed every season, but most Delger taimen caught on the fly are generally between 30 – 40 inches. They are giant predators, renowned for a ferocious appetite and explosive strike. Their main diet is “small” fish and they do take well-presented streamers. However, taimen often feed on the surface, searching out small mammals and even ducklings. This means taimen aggressively take skated or gurgling surface flies.
Fly fishing for taimen is the big draw on the Delger, however, the same pristine and productive water that holds this ancient species also produces phenomenal numbers of lenok trout and grayling. Lenok are an ancient and beautiful Siberian trout that aggressively feed on the surface throughout the season. The grayling are the main food source for the taimen but they too offer some wonderful light tackle fishing.
The transport along the river is by drift boat as this is the most effective way to cover the distances between camps and fish at the same time. The river is floated at a leisurely pace, taking plenty of time to fish the best pools and runs. The boats are state of the art NRS manufactured drift boats, they are stable, comfortable and offer a great platform from which to fish.
Comfortable Ger Camps
In Ulaanbaatar you will be based at the Bayangol Hotel, a standard tourist hotel but one of the best on offer. Whilst on the Delger, the accommodation will be at ger camps situated along the river and currently there are eight in place.
The float trip offers you an incredible experience as you raft down and cover new water each day. Each night you are based in comfortable ger camps set up in different locations along the river.All camps have the amenities one would expect to find on a comfortable African tented safari. The ger camps are very comfortable with two sharing a tent, a central dining ger and a shared shower ger with outside loo.
All meals are prepared in camp by well trained local Mongolian chefs. The food is a good balance of traditional Mongolian dishes and western flavours and ingredients. It is quite astonishing the quality of food that is produced in camp, furthermore there is also a good selection of soft and alcoholic beverages available in camp and included in the trip cost.
The Mongolian Steppe
The Delger River is in the Khövsgöl region of Northern Mongolia. It is a unique fly fishing destination surrounded by snow-capped mountains, vast forests, meadows filled with wild flowers and thousands of rivers and lakes. Steep gorges filled with larch and birch forests cascade towards the valley floor.
Interacting with traditional Mongolian herders is a very unique part of this angling experience. The few families who live in the area all year round help to guard and protect the river, furthermore these families provide the a lot of the camp staff that help make the trips run smoothly.