Mongolia – Overview
The land of the Taimen
Northern Mongolia offers incredible angling adventures for fishermen looking to cast a fly at taimen and lenok.
Renowned Taimen Fishing
Mongolia is the home of the world’s largest salmonid, the taimen. An aggressive predator it offers some of the most exciting fly fishing opportunities in the world in the most stunning wilderness settings. Along with taimen, the Mongolian operations also offer great fly fishing for lenok trout, grayling, Amur pike and Amur trout. There are only four rivers in Mongolia that can be legally fished by international anglers each offering great international standard operations.
The Delger River flows through western Mongolia. It is a beautiful freestone river 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. Numerous lenok trout lie in wait for a big dry fly to float by and offer tremendous light tackle sport. The float trip offers you an extraordinary range of fishing opportunities as you raft down covering new water each day. Each night you are based in comfortable ger camps set up in different locations along the river.
The guides call this place “The Temple”. The river here is extremely isolated and strikingly beautiful. Steep, forested walls frame the boulder filled stream. The high-country river is very well protected and holds ancient taimen that rarely see a fly. The Headwaters Expedition is about quality, not quantity. You fish meticulously, quietly walk/wading accompanied by a professional guide. There are some enormous fish in these waters. When the river is clear, there are opportunities to sight fish for extremely large taimen reaching 60 inches. The trout fishing is generally spectacular. This is a rugged and adventurous trip requiring a good level of fitness. Most of the trips also require a basic knowledge of horse riding but the trip can be organised without.
Located in the Khövsgöl region of northern Mongolia, the Sweetwater operation created the world’s first taimen conservation project, working with the local communities to protect this truly incredible fish. The ger camp is situated on the banks of the river and is your base while you explore the Eg-Ur watershed by motorised boats each day. As with all the operations, most of the fishing for taimen is done with dry flies, including big mouse imitations.
Mongolian River Outfitters have such a vast conservation area of prime taimen water that they have designed two float options to allow anglers to fish great water while resting large areas to avoid over fishing. Firstly, the Upper River Adventure; this is the classic MRO journey, great comfort, six days fishing and new water daily. Secondly, the Lower River Expedition; this float trip accesses a very beautiful and remote stretch of the river. Seven days fishing, new water daily and accommodation in a cosy ger camp and comfortable tented camps. As well as the taimen and lenok trout the river is also home to Amur pike and Amur trout.
Comfortable Ger Camping
There are various hotels in Ulaanbaatar and each of the camp operators works directly with a hotel to ensure that the trip runs as smoothly as possible. The hotels offer excellent service, comfortable, clean rooms and good locations from which to explore the city.
Once in the camps the accommodation is in traditional Mongolian gers. Yes these are tents but they are also much more than that. They are felt wrapped around a collapsible wooden frame, nine feet high and 18 feet in diameter. Gers are much larger than standard wall tents, and are equipped with full-length single beds, ample room for storing gear, and an area to sit down and relax by a central wood stove. Each ger comfortably accommodates two fishermen.
The gers are waterproof and offer an excellent refuge in all weather conditions. The central stove can be lit during cold weather and offers fantastic heating for the whole tent and a great tool for drying damp clothes and waders!
When in the camps the food is prepared by experienced Mongolian kitchen staff. Dishes are often a mix of Mongolian and American influences with the freshest possible ingredients. Most dishes are meat based (sheep, beef, yak or chicken) with a side of vegetables or salads.
The Mongolians are excellent bakers, so breakfasts are often served with a selection of fresh local breads and pastries as well as cereals and cooked meats. All food is prepared with properly filtered water, so there is no need to pack bottled water and most dietary requirements can be catered for.
Discover Northern Mongolia
Whilst Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is nearly 7,000 kilometres from London there are several flight routes running most days of the week. Once in Ulaanbaatar you are met and transferred by excellent ground handling teams that run like clockwork. They are punctual and will make sure you get where you need to be without you worrying about a thing.
Internal travel does vary depending on the trip you undertake but again all of the details have been handled for you so all you need to do is sit back and enjoy Mongolia.