Fishing for taimen (a.k.a.
huchen), the world's largest salmonid, in the wilderness of Mongolia.....The
Ultimate Fly Fishing Adventure
Ultimate Fly Fishing Adventure
no other place on earth, Mongolia remains out of the realm of the Western
world. In fact, even today after its successful independence from Russia
and its transformation to a democracy, it remains largely unchanged. For
the most part, life in Mongolia still revolves around herding. Even outside
of the capital, Ulaanbaatar, nomadic herders still live in gers and wander
around with their livestock in search of better grass. One appreciable
change in Mongolia has been the recent advent of tourism. During the years
under Russia's rule, it was very difficult to visit this spectacular country.
Today, with an official invitation from our Mongolian outfitter, getting
a visa is no problem. Accommodations have improved vastly. Hotels in Ulaanbaatar
are both professional
and competitive. We suggest spending a day in
on theway to the province to be fished. Visits to theGaandan
Hiid Buddhist Monastery, the Winter and Summer Palaces,
the Gobi Cashmere Factory, the local museums and markets
are both colorful and enjoyable. Combination trips to
other destinations in Mongolia can
also be arranged.
|Our camp is located near the confluence
of the Bator and Aryol rivers. These rivers cut through wide fertile valleys
and gorgeous mountain ranges inhabited by elk, bear, wild boar, wolves,
waterfowl and upland birds. While fishing, guests will stay in fully equipped
gers. Gers are a practical round felt tent used by the nomads of Mongolia.
Our gers are 9 feet high and 15 feet in diameter and allow fishermen plenty
of room to relax. Each ger has a wood floor with a stove in the center,
furnished with an area to sit and relax. There
is also ample space to store fishing gear. Cuisine at the camp is a variety
of American and Mongolian style dishes. At night you will enjoy meals like
charcoal grilled leg of lamb, beef dumplings, crispy Mongolian noodles
in an onion sauce, steamed potatoes, cabbage and carrots, a variety of
salads and other dishes. On the river, our American guides will behappy
to prepare a shore lunch of Grayling or Lenok. That is, if you can
find the time while fishing.
Taimen flies drying on a
A 62 inch dry fly taimen......can
bring on more than just a smile
Return to a beautiful, comfortable
on the group, and the weather, we will typically eat an eight o'clock breakfast,
and hit the river at nine. This allows anglers time to wash up, and prepare
for the day's fishing. Preparation and careful inspection of your gear
is essential when you are after Taimen. Broken rods and leaders are the
norm on these incredible fish. Keep in mind that we limit our programs
to six fishermen in order to remain flexible. If you want to sleep in,
or fish a little later, just let us know.
|Our guiding staff
consists of Jeff Vermillion, the camp owner, and another highly experienced
American guide. They will give fly fishermen the choice of species, and
then take them via jet boat to the water suited to their interests. With
over 90 miles of water to fish on two rivers, this is never a problem.
The rivers around the camp are
a fly fisherman's dream, with moderate flow, easy
||wading, and predictable
During August and September, the weather is generally sunny. Still Mongolian
weather is similar to Montana's, so it is good to come prepared.
In the past we have enjoyed hot sunny days with crisp cool nights the perfect
recipe for spot fishing with dries!
with a nice lenok caught on a mouse pattern
Depending on the fisherman, it is possible
to fish steelhead style through a run or to walk the banks New Zealand
style and spot fish to Taimen and Lenok. Even the angler with poor spotting
eyes will be able to see Taimen. Their greenish heads, reddish tail and
large size make them standout nicely. Taimen
range anywhere from 12 inches to 75 inches. On average they probably run
around 32 inches. To date our largest Taimen
was 62 inches and was caught on a mouse pattern. Certainly the most exciting
aspect of Taimen fishing is that they are top water oriented. A large part
of their diet consists of mice, lemmings, ducks and prairie dogs that fall
into the river. It is an unforgettable spectacle to see such a fish clear
with a nice lenok caught on a mouse pattern
Lenok, though, are
a little more difficult to see. Often all you will see is the rise form
of the fish taking a terrestrial. Surprisingly, when you throw in
your hopper, more often than not, you are onto a 20-plus inch fish.
The rivers of Mongolia
are full of aquatic life - caddis and mayfly hatches occur frequently.
These hatches are a frantic time for fish and fisherman alike. Grayling
and Lenok rise steadily, and the Taimen cruise beneath them until they
pick out dinner. They then hammer their unlucky prey. At times like this,
it is difficult to decide whether to throw a mayfly or a mouse.
|Mongolia today stirs
the same sentiments among Westerners that it has since the days of
Genghis Khan. Visions of a harsh cold land and fierce nomads continue to
discourage even the most intrepid adventurers from visiting this wonderful
country. Today, nothing could be further from truth. The Mongolians
are a kind and generous people with a deep appreciation of nature. In addition,
its landscape rivals the best of the national parks in the Western United
States. And while you may not want to visit Mongolia during the winter,
the summer and fall weather is incredible - the days are long and full
of sunshine. Mongolia has one of the planets largest tracts of untouched
landscape abounds with
snow capped peaks; vast river valleys lined with unbroken larch and birch
forests; huge rolling meadows ablaze with wildflowers; elk, bear, wolves,
eagles and, of course, crystal clear rivers full of Taimen, Lenok and Grayling.
For Fly Fishermen the real treasure in Mongolia lies within these clear
waters. After all, where else on earth is it possible to sight cast dry
flies daily to fish over 50 pounds. For most fly fishermen, seeing a 50-75
inch Taimen explode on a mouse will be the experience of a lifetime. But
if big fish aren't your game, then perhaps stalking the bank and sight
fishing to Mongolian trout that average 2-6 pounds with hoppers and other
attractors will be. Fishermen that are not fanatics can just lay back in
the tall prairie grass beneath the seemingly endless blue sky and enjoy
the fact that there isn't a fence, mall, or sign of modern civilization
for hundreds of miles.
FISHING FOR TAIMEN
A typical fishing day begins with breakfast
at 8 AM. After a leisurely breakfast we will begin the fishing day.
A typical fishing day is from 10 AM to 7 PM - a long day by any standard.
Rods are split three to a boat/American guide. Depending on conditions,
we will choose a stretch of river within an hour from camp. According
to the water and individual interests, anglers will fish from either the
boat or wade fish from the bank. On the bank the anglers can choose
to spot fish or fish down and across with mice patterns. Most fishing
is done with floating lines and skated flies with single or double handed
rods. Gourmet lunches are prepared daily by your American guide.
These lunches include homemade bread, grilled fish, pork or steak, a salad,
side dish of potatoes or vegetables, and a variety of condiments.
Guided taimen fishing trips in Mongolia are available during
For more information on booking a taimen fishing adventure,
Paul Reiss at (908) 832-2987
E-Mail Paul Reiss, or:
Garry Reiss at (908) 431-1668
E-Mail Garry Reiss
All photos Copyright © Jeff Vermillion
All Rights Reserved