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The River

We started exploring every major taimen river in the country over thirty years ago.  We did the first descent down the Fish Mongolia river in 1993.  From our experiences, we selected what we believe to be the finest fly angling rivers offering the greatest hope for taimen survival.  Our two fly-fishing locations – Fish Mongolia and Mongolia River Outfitters – are situated on opposite sides of Mongolia.  One operation rests on the top of the Yenisei River basin which flows into the Arctic Ocean.  The other is a major tributary of the Amur River which flows into the Pacific Ocean.  This gives us an opportunity to help conserve two very large watersheds that represent completely distinctive ecosystems, each with a unique strain of taimen and associated biodiversity.

Both watersheds are designated as “Taimen Sanctuaries”.   Most of these watersheds cannot be accessed by foreigners without special national government permission.  To make certain angling is well-managed to promote conservation and to properly benefit communities, Mongolia River Outfitters and Fish Mongolia are exclusively responsible for all international angling.  No international angler may legally access these rivers without a permit secured through either Fish Mongolia or Mongolia River Outfitters.

Both Taimen Sanctuaries offer very different fly-fishing experiences while sharing a commonality of great service, productive fisheries, spectacular scenery, and waters exceptionally well suited to the fly angler.  These are wild rivers and conditions fluctuate.  Climate change is not helping.  No one can control the weather or the fish, but we do have things set-up so we are fishing the right river at the right time of the year.

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.  This is the land of the taimen.

Fish Mongolia operates on a beautiful freestone river that flows through a magnificent canyon.  This river is at a fairly high elevation with long winters and early autumns.  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, flows through a lush landscape. This river is at a low elevation where spring arrives early and autumn comes much later.  The river holds fantastic numbers of taimen, Mongolian trout, 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 bottom lands are filled with birch, popular, and willows. The stream is constantly changing with a variety of shallow runs, deep pools, quick riffles, cut-banks, and long braids, providing incredible taimen habitat and offering fly anglers endless opportunities to encounter big fish.

Together, these two rivers represent hundreds of kilometers of healthy taimen rivers conserved in partnership with local communities. We are Mongolia’s only drift-boat operations.  At both locations, we use non-motorized drift boats or rafts with fly-casting frames to float between a string of isolated, environmentally progressive, and very comfortable camps.  The river is carefully managed to be certain each section gets fished only a handful of times each year. 

Please call or write to us anytime to learn more details about these magnificent rivers.


I just wanted to take a moment to tell you what a wonderful time we had. The staff was extraordinary and made our trip so comfortable and fun. They helped create wonderful lifelong memories for us. 

– Nick B, USA