Taimen are legendary.
Taimen are the biggest and baddest of all trout species. They are top-tier predators. They own the river. We’ve watched taimen attack ducklings, mice, and even gophers that are unfortunate enough to fall into the river. We often see taimen plow across the surface charging trout, drive their prey onto the bank and then follow the trout up onto shore with jaws snapping.
This river likely has Mongolia’s best taimen population. There’s nothing else like it.
Most taimen caught on the fly measure from 25 to 40 inches (around 1m). We usually catch several taimen every week over 40 inches (1m). There are many taimen in this river well over fifty inches (1.25m). The largest taimen in this river are 60+ inches (1.5m). You’ll very likely see extremely big fish and we certainly catch them, but taimen over fifty inches (1.25m) are wise old fish and don’t come easy. Taimen don’t even start to spawn until they are seven. A fifty inch fish (1.25m) is very likely 40 – 50 years old.
This is a highly productive taimen system that has benefited from decades of aggressive conservation action. There are lots of taimen in this river. We catch and safely release hundreds of taimen each season. Anglers may anticipate several taimen encounters daily. However, taimen fishing is not easy. One day, the river may reward with double-digits. The next, the taimen might get very finicky. You might swear all morning there’s not a taimen in the river and then “wham!” your fly disappears in a tidal wave explosion. Herculean casting skills are not required to catch taimen. Persistence and attitude win the day.
Where are they?
Again, taimen own the river. They are the top of the food chain. Taimen can be anywhere… and sometimes nowhere. A mature taimen will use one-hundred kilometers of river every year for winter habitat, spawning beds, and in search of prey. They are frequently ambush predators, sometimes working in groups of two or three, waiting in places like seams where they can strike unsuspecting prey.
How do we know?
Each taimen we release is monitored and recorded. The head of every taimen has a unique spotting pattern. We measure and photograph the taimen and enter the information into our taimen data-base managed with the Wild Salmon Center. In this way, every taimen our anglers catch and release helps our science team monitor the taimen population.
Surface or Streamer?
Both top-water and streamer fishing are highly effective for taimen. Watching a taimen destroy a dry fly is very addicting. Taimen will often explode on a surface fly repeatedly. Imagine someone throwing a cinder block at your fly and you’ve got the image of crazed taimen strike. Connect with a taimen and you’re battling a monster.
What to bring?
We will provide you with a comprehensive packing list for your fly fishing adventure. MRO supplies all taimen flies. Guest bring suitable fishing clothing and gear. The best taimen rod for this river is a single hand 8 or 9 weight with a floating line and strong leader. You will also want a smaller weight rod for the outstanding trout fishing.
Come to Mongolia prepared for a wonderful taimen angling challenge, celebrate every fish, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!