Mongolia, outside of Ulaanbaatar (where 30% of the country’s population reside), you may feel you have stepped into another century as well as another country. It is truly one of the world’s last undiscovered travel destinations and one of the safest countries you can visit. It is a land where you can experience wide-open spaces, clear blue skies, forests, deserts, crystalline rivers and lakes, and the traditional nomadic hospitality. Permanent dwellings are few and far between, and you won’t find many fences. Camps are located in the river valleys southeast of Lake Hovsgol and Moron. Land is owned by the people, like one large National Park. Mongolia is a land of adventure, nomads, horses, blue skies and Taimen. This is the trip of a lifetime for most anglers.
Located in North Central Mongolia are two camps approximately a two-hour helicopter ride from Ulaanbaatar. Each camp is situated next to the river and consists of gers,(tent-like structures) that accommodate two anglers. There is a central dining room and bar area, ablution (bathing area) block with plenty of hot water and long drop toilets. The views from the camp are awesome, and unobstructed. The verdant valley lush with thick summer grass and vibrant wildflowers, while the mountains around the rivers are lined with unbroken stands of larch, aspen, birch, and alder.
For more than 18 years international fishermen have visited the world’s premier Taimen rivers located in north-central Mongolia; they have landed more trophy Taimen on dry flies than any other location in the world. Historically, Taimen have one of the largest ranges of any of the salmonids; their distribution runs from Bavaria to the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia. Because of human pressures, the healthy populations of this amazing fish only remain in pristine sections of Russia and Mongolia. The Taimen (river wolf) reach weights of 75 lbs and lengths exceeding 60 inches. Due to a strict catch-and-release policy, these giants are released unharmed back into the river where they will continue to terrorize local rodent and smaller fish populations. As a result of this policy, in over nine seasons, we have seen that the catch rates have remained constant in size and number. These are exciting fish to catch. Their strike will steal your breath as the water erupts with a huge head and mouth that consume your fly. Once hooked, it can either retreat to its lair or leap out of the water several times.
Mongolian rivers are also home to the Asian trout, Lenok, which are believed to be the oldest trout species in the world and average between 16 and 30 inches. Once hooked, anglers will discover another great sport fish that has been largely ignored due its remote geographic location. Be sure to take a little time out of your quest for Taimen to try your luck with the Lenok. The rivers provide easy wading, and predictable banks.
You will need to take international flights to Seoul, Beijing, Osaka or Moscow from there camps are accessed with direct service by helicopter from Ulaanbaatar.
At the camps there are no major activities other than absorbing nature and fishing, but plan to spend a day in Ulaanbaatar before or after your fishing camp. Visits to the Gandan Hiid Buddhist Monastery, the winter and summer Palaces, the Gobi Cashmere Factory, and the local museums and markets are very interesting. Or, combine your trip with other destinations such as the Gobi Desert, Kharkorum or Lake Hovsgol.