Taimen are the world’s largest member of the Salmonid family which encompasses all trout, char, salmon, grayling and whitefish species. These ancient fish average from 30-40 inches in length with some reaching 60 plus inches. Native to central Asia, the taimen has called the high desert of Mongolia home for thousands of years. These amazing, predatory fish have only become an exposed and prominent sport species in the last few decades.
Fish Mongolia operates in a designated Taimen sanctuary on the Delger River, located in north central Mongolia. Founded and supported by Fish Mongolia, this Taimen sanctuary is the second of its kind in the world. The Delger is also infamous for its dry fly fishing to large Taimen in shallow, clear water. More often than not, the guides have anglers fish with surface flies such as mouse patterns or gurglers that result in explosive, visual takes that are unparalleled in cold freshwater fisheries.
The river portion of this trip covers 150 miles of backcountry wilderness with eight nights spent on the water at a new camp each evening and seven days fishing. All eight nights on the river are spent in traditional “ger” camps which are quite similar to yurts. They are spacious, comfortable and provide ample room for gear and rest. On cold nights, the staff will light fires in each of gers’ summer stove that will keep you warm and toasty as you fall asleep.
WorldCast Anglers visited the Delger River for the first time as a company in the summer of 2015. It is quite a different fishery and landscape from the Onon where we have previously hosted trips for the last seven years. In terms of timing, the Delger fishes during the warm, summer season with weather being similar to our Rocky Mountain West conditions in July and August. First and foremost, this means everyone can typically wear shorts and light shirts but the more important reason is the dry fly fishing opportunities for trout and grayling that have never been present during the fall trips to the Onon River. The foam dry fly fishing for Grayling and Lenok Trout on the Delger is something we have always heard about but have yet to experience and presents a great alternative to chasing the Taimen which can be quite laborious if done all day, every day for a week straight. Under the right conditions, the Delger presents some of the best sight fishing in the world. Taimen simply are not afraid of anything and will sit in tail-outs and shallow runs, completely visible to the human eye, ready to ambush anything that enters its immediate vicinity. Targeting these exposed, predatory fish and watching them ferociously hunt your fly down will change the way you think about fly fishing forever.
In terms of landscape, the Delger is quite reminiscent of backcountry rivers in Jackson Hole and Eastern Idaho area with dramatic mountains, canyon walls, crystal clear waters and intimate valleys. The float alone is worth the travel in itself. Each day, the landscape surrounding the river changes with absolutely stunning rock formations, cliffs, steep mountains and rolling grass hills. The best part is each campsite is positioned in one of the most beautiful settings on the river. Drinks and dinner each night are set against a breathtaking backdrop that soothes the soul in anticipation of another action packed day on the river.
For those freshwater trout fanatics and also those saltwater obsessed anglers, the taimen and trout fishing adventure offered by Fish Mongolia is a unique and comfortable way to experience one of the greatest thrills in all outdoor sports.
In the world of cold freshwater fishing, there is no comparison to the thrill of watching a monster taimen chase a mouse pattern off the bank and in the blink of an eye, engulf the fly with a violent, hair raising strike, leaving only a whirlpool and wakes in its midst. The taimen experience is truly one of a handful freshwater fly fishing trips that ranks itself among the pinnacle of fishing adventures in the modern world. Pursuing a taimen in the backcountry of Mongolia is an essential experience that will leave you in a state of awe.
Mongolia River Outfitters began exploratory fly fishing trips in 1991 and have been offering the highest level of professional overnight trips for taimen and trout since 1993. As the only legally permitted outfitter allowed to fish a 200 mile taimen sanctuary in the Amur River System, Mongolia River Outfitters provides one of the best taimen fishing opportunities in the world.
There are two multi-day trips offered by Mongolia River Outfitters: the upper river trip and the lower river trip. These two trips combine to cover the entire 200 miles of blue ribbon, protected water in the Amur system. The upper river trip is the only trip of its kind in all of Mongolia. It is the only multi-day, river float trip that has permanent, luxury ger ( Mongolian yurt) camps along the river for each night spent in the backcountry. The lower river trip is more of an adventurous, remote experience in which very pleasant tent camps are positioned for each night on the river.
The fishing on both upper and lower river trips is an exceptional balance between the laborious and somewhat tiresome taimen fishing with eight and nine weight rods and world class trout fishing with six weights. The Amur system is not only home to trophy taimen but is also home to some of the world’s most phenomenal trout fishing. The native Mongolian Lenok and Amur trout species are very similar to North America’s brown and rainbow trout species, averaging 18-22 inches in the Amur River system. A combination of big streamer or mouse fishing for taimen and foam or small streamer fishing for native trout offers an active and balanced day of fishing that cannot be experienced anywhere else in the world.