Mongolia’s Rivers

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We began fly-fishing in Mongolia more than twenty years ago.  

We have explored every major taimen river in the country and personally selected what we believe to be the finest fly angling rivers.  Our two fly-fishing locations – Fish Mongolia and Mongolia River Outfitters – are situated five hundred miles (800 kilometers) apart.  Although both rivers offer very unique and quite different fishing experiences, they share a commonality of great service, productive fisheries, spectacular scenery, and waters exceptionally well suited to the fly angler.

When most folks imagine Mongolia, they visualize the Gobi desert or the vast grassland steppe.   Very few are familiar with northern Mongolia.  This is a place of snowcapped mountains, vast forests, and meadows filled with wild flowers.  There are thousands of miles of rivers and lakes in northern Mongolia.  This is the land of the taimen.

Northern Mongolia sits at the top of two of Asia’s major watersheds.  The northwestern rivers drain into the Yenisei River and the Arctic Ocean and the eastern rivers drain into the Amur River and the Pacific Ocean.

Although taimen are found in both catchments, there are only four rivers in Mongolia where international anglers may legally fish.   Fish Mongolia is exclusively responsible for all international angling at one of these rivers.  Mongolia River Outfitters is exclusively responsible for all international angling at a second.  The government has designated both locations as “Taimen Sanctuaries”.   No international angler may legally access these rivers without a permit secured through either Fish Mongolia or Mongolia River Outfitters.

Together, these two rivers represent over 400 miles of taimen habitat conserved in partnership with local communities. At both locations, we use non-motorized drift boats to reach a string of isolated, environmentally progressive, and very comfortable “glamp” camps.  This allows us to provide a limited number of guests exclusive access to literally hundreds of miles of very fresh river.

Fish Mongolia operates on western Mongolia’s most awe-inspiring taimen and trout stream.  We manage international angling on the entire upper watershed.  This beautiful freestone river flows for nearly one hundred and fifty miles through a magnificent canyon.  The limestone and granite cliffs rise hundreds of feet above the river.  Steep gorges filled 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.  The scenery and fishing are both world class.

Mongolia River Outfitters, our eastern operation, is responsible for angling and fisheries conservation for the best Pacific watershed river.  This stream flows for over two hundred and fifty miles through a lush and productive landscape. The river holds fantastic numbers of taimen, lenok, Amur trout, grayling, and Amur pike. The landscape is pastoral.  Rolling hills are punctuated by tall cliffs, forests of larch and Siberian pine, and extremely healthy grasslands. The bottomlands are filled with birch, popular, and willows. The stream is constantly changing with a variety of shallow runs, deep pools, quick riffles, and long braids, providing fly anglers with endless opportunities to encounter big fish.