Taimen Fishing in Mongolia: The Sweetwater Lodge
Fly fishing for Giant Taimen up to 75 pounds
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For years, Mongolia has been known as a land of fierce nomads, barren steppes, and cold, desert landscapes. In fact, a closer glance reveals fertile river valleys inhabited by kind, hospitable nomads, and rivers filled with the world’s largest salmonid -- the Taimen.
The rivers where Taimen are found are small to mid size low gradient rivers that will remind the flyfisherman of the American West. The rivers are wild and populated by Taimen and the Asian Trout, Lenok. The river valleys are inhabited by nomads and the home to populations of elk, wolves, deer, and the ubiquitous herds of sheep or cattle.
Mongolia offers a level of cultural authenticity that is unique in today’s increasingly mono-cultural world. Camp translators are available to lead visits to local villages, horseback trips to visit local families, and accompany fishermen on day hikes and mountain bike rides.
For anglers visiting in the fall, upland bird hunting is also available. With healthy populations of Daurian Partridge, Hazel Hen, common quail, and Blackcock, upland bird hunting can easily be combined with a day of fishing. When available, upland bird hunting is included with the fishing package price, although there is a small charge for a bird license which generally runs between 5 and 10 dollars per bird.
Mongolia offers a wonderful cultural and sporting experience for today’s angler. It provides the opportunity to step backwards in time where people still move to the rhythms of the seasons and the landscapes are still unbroken. It is completely unique and will remind you of the Rocky Mountain West we all dream about but will never experience.
Mongolia is home to the world's largest surviving salmonid, the Taimen. These fish are known to the Mongolians as the "River Wolf". They are an exceptionally ferocious predator which feed on ducks, prairie dogs, mice, and fish.
Historically, Taimen had one of the largest ranges of any of the salmonids with a habitat extending from the Pechora River near the Kola Peninsula to the Kamchatcka Peninsula in eastern Russia. Taimen have been known to reach weights of 200 pounds in the rivers of Siberia, and, in Mongolia, the largest fish we have landed weighed approximately 75 pounds.
They are quickly becoming renowned for their voracious strikes. Most of our fishing for the Taimen is done with dry flies. We use mouse flies for the Taimen and, generally, have not found any fish unwilling to attack a properly fished dry-fly swinging across a Taimen lie. In our experience, these are the greatest freshwater gamefish in the world.
All fishing is catch and release with single, barbless hooks. Taimen are handled with the utmost of care and consideration of the fish's well-being. We regard the fishery as one of the planet's healthiest Taimen populations. The most overlooked aspect of the fishing is the dry fly fishing for Lenok, the oldest member of the trout family. Lenok run from 16 to 30 inches long. They spend a majority of their time in shallow water where they are very accessible to our anglers fishing assorted dry flies and terrestrials.
Both the lodge and fishing are run by the outfitter Sweetwater Travel Limited and as a result the highest levels of standards are maintained throughout. The facilities are located on the banks of the river and provide a wonderful home during your visit to Mongolia. Anglers stay in the gers while at camp - gers are the Mongolian felt tents which dot the Mongolian countryside. Each ger has been upgraded to include electric lights, hot water, wood stoves, wood floors and comfortable beds. These spacious Mongolian homes are comfortable and offer clients a truly unique living experience. For clients, staying in a ger is one of the highlights of the trip.
From your arrival in camp until your departure, you will enjoy a high standard of personal service and comfort. The camps are basic but fairly luxurious and complete with the necessary amenities. Each camp has a bathhouse and a dining lodge.
The dining lodge provides fishermen an area to congregate and enjoy the camp food. As well as western food, guests have the opportunity to sample Mongolian dishes. Each meal is complemented with homemade soup, a variety of salads, fresh-baked bread, a modest dessert, coffee and tea.
Each of the camp staff members has been selected to ensure a quality experience for guests. Both the Mongolian staff and the western guides have worked in Mongolia for several years. Days on the river are spent with professional guides for whom guiding is a profession, not a summer job. Evenings are spent with the Mongolian staff who, with the help of a certified translator, will entertain you with stories of Mongolian winters and life as a nomadic herder. They are a delightful people, and even the most intense anglers find the cultural interaction with Mongolians to be one of the highlights of their trip.
Best Times to Go
Availability and Pricing for the 2017 Season
If you would like to know more about the fishing in The Sweetwater Lodge, please contact us and we will provide you with more details. For availabilities, prices, pre trip information, booking form etc. please contact:
Background reading for your trip:
"Fly Fishing the 41st: From Connecticut to Mongolia and Home Again: A Fisherman's Odyssey" by James Prosek, et alOur Comments:
In Fly-Fishing the 41st, James Prosek uses words and colour to bring to life an astonishing adventure around the world. Beginning in his hometown of Easton, Connecticut, Prosek circumnavigated the globe along the 41st parallel and travels to places such as Mongolia. As he travels he is surprised to find, through his love of fishing, a connection with the people and cultures he encountered.
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If you would prefer to speak to us directly regarding a trip to Mongolia, please contact us at the following:
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Or alternatively email us via our Booking Enquiries Form to request more information.
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