MONGOLIA RIVER OUTFITTERS
Little was known about fly fishing in Mongolia until the early 90s when word began trickling through gaps in the rapidly deteriorating Iron Curtin about giant Taimen trout that lived in the remote waters of this mysterious Asian country. Mongolia River Outfitters began exploring the area and over the years developed fishing programs for fishing Mongolia unlike any other in the world.
With the help of Wild on the Fly your visit to this amazing country you will marvel that an environment, similar to the 19th Century western US, still exists in the new millennium. You will observe a culture where nomads still roam on horseback, where hardly a fence exists and the trout reach a size found nowhere else in the world. Locals still follow a unique horse riding lifestyle with deep, Tibetan Buddhist roots and a serious respect for nature. They place high value on hospitality and are hard working, fun and highly attentive individuals. Just getting to know them will make your trip memorable.
Diligent stewardship by Mongolian River Outfitters and cooperation with the local communities to conserve the rivers has resulted in the establishment of the world’s first Taimen Sanctuary where you will enjoy your fishing adventure. All fishing is “catch & release” only, and “fly fishing only” for all international anglers. Commercial forestry is prohibited as are motor boats, construction of permanent tourism infrastructure and the introduction of hatchery fish. 400 miles of river are now protected for Taimen.
Mongolia River Outfitters began providing fly fishing adventures for Taimen, Amur Trout and Lenok back in 1993. Lenok and Amur Trout average 18-22 inches and Taimen that grow to 25 inches and longer (can get up to 50 inches) are regularly caught. Anglers often bring to net more than thirty Lenok and Amure Trout in a single day, with many being enticed by flies floating on the surface. Allow Wild on the Fly to help you achieve the most important goal of hooking an exotic Taimen and watching one of those enormous salmonids explode upon your fly floating in the surface film of a wild Mongolian River will be one of the most amazing angling experiences you will ever have.
At a Glance
Target Fish: Taimen, Lenok, and Amur Trout
Seasons: June through September
Nearest Airport: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Documents needed: Passport. US citizens do not currently require a visa.
The Mongolian River Outfitters has thirteen private fly fishing camps strung along the rivers of the Taimen Sanctuary. The staff and guides are the best in the business and all speak fluent English. The camps are accessed via three separate bush airstrips. Anglers fish from a fleet of drift boats and fishing is a combination of drift and wade. You will fish a new stretch of river daily, and will float from your camp to fish fresh water each day. By the end of the day you will have moved on the next camp downstream. Your luggage and equipment will have preceded you by boat.
The topography of the river is perfect for fly fishing. It’s an exceptionally healthy river, with great water quality, and species diversity and the river flows through sparsely populated and varied landscapes. The lower river is more rugged, isolated, and holds more water than the upper sections. The upper and lower sections fish equally well though trout fishing is slightly better in the upper section and Taimen fishing is a little better on the lower. No matter what the section, the scenery is equally striking.
Trout & Lenok:
Arguably the trout fishing is possibly considered the best in the world. Though that’s a boast that probably can’t be verified, anglers should expect days where fish counts go deep into the double digits, with 30 fish days not being uncommon. Lenok are found throughout Mongolia and Amur Trout are only found in a few Mongolian streams and both species have a very belligerent attitude. The average size for both trout species is 18-22 inches and some get as large as 25 inches. They are usually willing to take a fly and provide great entertainment between stalks for the more challenging Taimen.
Taimen are ferocious top feeding predators who’s strike is un-matched by any other freshwater species. Several hundred are caught and released by Mongolian River Outfitters guests each short seaon. Most caught fish are in the 30 inch range and some go over 40 inches. Occasionally one goes to 50 inches. You will surely encounter many of these behemoths during your stay, but your success will depend on your patience, line handling and landing skills. They are very challenging fish but landing a fish as large as these will be an experience that you will never forget.
Mongolian River Outfitters is the only Mongolian outfitter that operates drift boats. You will fish from ClackaCraft boats which are very stable fishing platforms. They hold two anglers and the guide, and have comfortable seats, casting pedestals and plenty of storage space. In some cases you will fish from rafts.
Catch & Release Fly Fishing
Catch & Release fly fishing using single barbless hooks is required by law and supported by Mongolian River Outfitters.
Mongolian River Outfitters operates thirteen private streamside fly fishing camps located in the Taimen Sanctuary. The camps are accessed via three separate primitive airstrips. The upper river camps consist of a compound consisting of gers (otherwise known as yurts) are a very sturdy octagonal tent that is about 18 ft in diameter that house the guests.
Ger’s that house the guests each have linen bedding and wood stoves. Each camp is very comfortable and has a separate ger for dining. They have all the comforts of home and each camp’s staff is well versed in providing the ultimate in rustic luxury for the guests.
On the more remote lower river trips guests are accommodated in large North Face tents with sleeping cots. A very comfortable and spacious wall tent is that includes a wood stove for heating is the central meeting place for socializing and having meals. Each camp reflects Mongolian traditions and are well integrated with the natural surroundings. There are no generators or stereos, only the sounds of the trees and water.
Candle light, burning wood of the stoves and the night’s stars are your light for the evening. At the end of your week’s stay, your body and mind will have been transformed into a realm that you have never imagined.
Meals are generous, created with fresh ingredients combine local flavors along with those that appeal to Western tastes. The local beer and wine are quite good. Among the local specialties is the homemade bread, butter and blueberry jam. Lunches are served streamside. Adjusting to special dietary requirements is no problem.
On Site Amenities and Activities Include
Satellite TV and VCR
Non fly fishing activities
All guests fly into the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and after spending an evening at a local hotel travel early the next morning via a Cessna Caravan for about 90 minutes to the river. The upper river trips include six days fishing and link floats between our six comfortable ger camps.
The lower river fishes for seven days and links floats between a combination of ger camps and adventure camps. At the end of each river journey, anglers fly back to the capital except anglers on the last trip of the season. These folks drive back to Ulaanbaatar. All guests spend a relaxing evening in the capital city before catching an international flight home.
Korean Air, and Air China are the primary international carriers serving Mongolia. Usually flights connect through Beijing, Seoul, Osaka, Moscow or Berlin. US citizens are not required to have a visa prior to their arrival.
Rates (Rates are based on double occupancy)
Upper River Adventure: 8 night / 6 days fishing: $6,450.
Lower River Expedition: 10 night and 7 days fishing: $6,450.
Upper-Lower River Combination two-week package trip: $10,975 double occ.
Trips begin and end in Mongolia’s capital city, Ulaanbaatar, known by both locals and tourists as UB. The price includes two nights hotel in UB, airport transfers, transportation to/from the river, fishing permits, guide services, and all meals, lodging, soft drinks, beer, wine, and classic Mongolian vodka at camp. Price does not include international airfare, meals and drinks in UB, and gratuities. Prices are based upon double occupancy.
Most trips are booked well in advance. MRO is quite fortunate to have a very high level of returning guests, with many anglers who have fished with us multiple times. We request a 50%, non-refundable advance payment to hold your reservation and payment in full at least 120 days prior to departure. Payments by check, wire transfer, or credit card.
Trips run from the end of August to the middle of October; four upper river adventures and three lower river expeditions.
On all MRO trips, you explore a new section of river every day without having to shuttle back to camp. We spend our time fishing the river rather than sitting in a vehicle or motorboat. Step into a drift boat after breakfast, float downstream with your guide, and arrive at the next camp before sunset. The pace is relaxed and your guide can identify promising stretches to walk and wade, if you wish. Each boat accommodates two guests and one guide. Single supplements are available.