Fly fishing for Asian trout, grayling and taimen in Mongolia -the Last Paradise

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FLY FISHING MONGOLIA is a guiding company specializing in fly fishing, offering fishing trips for adventurous and budget-conscious anglers who prioritize fishing over luxury accommodations, five-star meals, and additional services. In this article, FLY FISHING MONGOLIA aims to introduce you to one of the last wild destinations on the planet to enjoy a fly fishing trip.

Mongolia, the land of the steppes, nomads, and the world with lowest population density

The Mongolian steppe is an emblematic landscape, characterized by its endless grasslands and gentle hills. Here, Mongolian nomads have lived for centuries, leading a simple life in harmony with nature. Following a traditional lifestyle, nomads move with their herds of animals in search of fresh pastures and water, carrying their yurts, or gers, as temporary homes.
Mongolia’s low population density is a distinctive feature of the country. Despite its vast territory, Mongolia has a population of approximately three million inhabitants. This low population density has allowed rivers, populations of lenok trout and taimen, as well as nature itself, to remain in a uniquely preserved state worldwide.
However, low population density also presents challenges. Remote areas often lack basic infrastructure and services, which can make it difficult for tourists to access fishing areas, making the logistics of a fishing guide company indispensable if you do not want to expose yourself to unnecessary risks.
In summary, a fishing trip to Mongolia is much more than just fishing. Its low population density, stunning landscapes, and nomadic culture blend together to create a unique and fascinating environment that leaves a lasting impression on all who are fortunate enough to visit.

Mongolia, the land of the steppe and nomads, stands out not only for its excellent fishing but also for having one of the lowest population densities in the world. Located in Central Asia, Mongolia stretches across vast expanses of land, offering a breathtaking backdrop where nature and nomadic culture intertwine uniquely.

Why fly fishing in Mongolia?

Fly fishing in Mongolia offers the opportunity to enjoy your passion in a pristine environment, where fishing pressure is non-existent and rivers are in a uniquely preserved state. Anglers who have experienced this destination compare the experience to fishing in Patagonia over 50 years ago: fish boldly strike at flies, exhibit impressive size, fish density is significant, and throughout the entire fishing trip, no other anglers are in sight.
But beyond all this, Mongolia is primarily known because some of its rivers harbor a healthy population of taimen, the largest freshwater salmonid in the world. The possibility of catching record-sized taimen is a major draw for anglers visiting the country.
Taimen, classified as vulnerable according to the IUCN Red List, used to inhabit various regions such as Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Japan, and Mongolia. However, today, they are mainly found in a small portion of Russia and Mongolia. Unlike other anadromous species in its family, taimen are not in contact with the sea. The Mongolian rivers where this fish can be found include the Onon River, Selenge Bulgan River, Eg-Uur River, Tenghis and Shishkid Rivers, Delger Moron River, and some tributaries of all these.
This fish exhibits very aggressive behavior and can be fly-fished using mouse and squirrel imitations, with surface fishing being spectacular due to their size. In order to control the fishing of this fish in Mongolia, only a few local and foreign travel agencies are authorized to issue licenses to fish for this species, each costing $450.
What many anglers may not know about Mongolia is that besides taimen, Mongolian rivers are home to a variety of Asian trout species (lenok) and other fish species such as grayling, amur pike, Altai Osman… providing anglers with the opportunity to diversify their catches. Additionally, these species are sometimes much more entertaining and fun to catch. Our company offers trips for lovers of Asian trout and grayling fishing in small rivers with dry flies. These places are outside all fly fishing operations offered by other American agencies, and many of them have hardly been explored by anglers.
Lastly, a fishing trip to Mongolia, in addition to excellent fishing, offers the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life, live with nomads, and immerse oneself in an untouched natural environment. With its low population density and vast open spaces, Mongolia provides anglers with a fishing experience in a pristine and tranquil environment, away from the crowds and distractions of urban life. If you’re looking for a truly memorable adventure and experience, Mongolia is a destination that won’t disappoint.

Mongolia, much more than taimen fishing

In Mongolia, beyond the renowned taimen, considered the largest salmonid in the world, Mongolian waters offer encounters with lenok or Asian trout, graylings, pike, and other native species like the Altai Osman. Are you going to miss out? The Taimen, known as the “River Wolf,” is the big draw for anglers traveling to Mongolia.
Although there are other species of great interest such as:
• Lenoks are trout found in Asia, including Mongolia. There are 4 species, two in Mongolia. They have red bodies and vibrant fins. During spawning, the body turns red and the fins change color. They are of interest to anglers, feed on the surface, and grow slowly. Their cold habitat is threatened by climate change. They are not anadromous and feed on insects, fish, and spawn. The species are: Brachymystax lenok, Brachymystax tumensis, Brachymystax tsinlingensis, and Brachymystax savinovi.
• Mongolia is home to five different species of grayling, two of which are native to Mongolia: the Mongolian grayling, which thrives in the Altai Mountains, and the Khuvsgul grayling, which is found exclusively in Lake Khuvsgul and is known for its dark tone, earning it the nickname “Black Grayling”. The other three species of grayling include the Amur grayling, the Upper Yenisei grayling, and the Arctic
grayling, which features its subspecies from Lake Baikal. Each species occupies specific river basins and lakes throughout Mongolia.

• The Altai Osman, a prehistoric cyprinid, inhabits the Altai Mountains and is popular for fly fishing. These mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are located in Central Asia and are home to this endemic fish. The Altai Osman can live for over 40 years, reach over 100 cm, and weigh up to 10 kg. It breeds between May and June and prefers shallow lake habitats and rivers. In Mongolia, it is found in lakes such as Khoton and Khurgan, Uvs, Orog, Sangiin Dalai, and Ust-Nur. To catch it, flies like Woolly Bugger, Muddler Minnow, or small mouse imitations are used.
• In Mongolia, there are two species of pike: the Amur pike and the Pacific pike. Both are aggressive predators and are at the top of the food chain. The Pacific pike is silver-white with black spots and is found in various rivers and lakes that flow into the Pacific. It breeds between April and May and feeds on various animals. On the other hand, the Northern pike is territorial and can reach large sizes and weights. It is found in rivers and lakes in the Arctic basin and breeds between March and June.

Dry fly fishing in small rivers from Mongolia

The small rivers of Mongolia are hidden treasures for fly fishermen seeking adventures off the beaten paths of fishing trips offered by other American, French, and Czech travel agencies. Tourists and local anglers flock to the large rivers for fishing, while the tributary rivers remain forgotten; nobody fishes there.
Trips developed in these settings are our specialty, they are the trips we most enjoy organizing at Fly Fishing Mongolia and which, from our perspective on fishing, we consider the most spectacular.

In these small rivers, lenok and grayling are often caught, two species abundant in these waters. The spectacular attacks on large dry flies in these small rivers are a sight no angler will forget.

Guided fishing necessary and mandatory for fishing in Mongolia

In Mongolia, there are virtually no fishing guide companies. The fishing operations or trips offered are usually carried out by American operators in collaboration with guides from Chile, Argentina, the United States, and some local assistants.
Every traveler who wants to fish in Mongolia should know that a fishing guide in Mongolia is essential for their local knowledge, especially for the following reasons:
Safety: Mongolia has vast and remote terrain where there are no roads or paths; a local guide will help you access fishing areas safely and avoid dangerous areas. Additionally, it is very important that they have mechanical knowledge in case of a car breakdown.
Cultural and linguistic: The guide can serve as an interpreter and cultural facilitator, helping fishermen communicate with local communities and respect local norms and customs. It should be noted that local nomads do not speak English.
Fishing license: The Mongolian government, aiming to conserve fishing in Mongolia, only authorizes fishing in the country under the catch-and-release modality, with a single hook and without killing the fish, and through a travel agency authorized by the Department of Environment. For all these reasons, it is
very important to travel with an agency that processes the corresponding permits and licenses in a regulated manner. It should be emphasized that a foreign fisherman caught without a license in the required areas faces heavy fines, immediate confiscation of all fishing equipment, and even expulsion from the country.
Border permits: To travel through certain areas bordering Russia, it is necessary to have border permits. These permits must be presented to the corresponding military checkpoints, indicating the number of days planned to be in the area and the activity planned. Such authorizations are granted exclusively
to locals and authorized travel agencies.

Adrián Satué (Head Fishing Guide & Travel Coordinator). Travel Agency (CAA404)

  • Gino Verbinnen
    May 11, 2024


    it seems that the website doesn’t exist anymore.

    I got eachtime that the IP-address of the server of can’t be reached. Do you have another website address or an e-mail address where I can get some more information regarding fly fishing in Mongolia. The Taimen is still on my fly fishing bucket list.

    Kind regards,

    Gino Verbinnen

    • Lucian Vasies
      May 15, 2024

      Hi Gino,
      For me , the site works. I have no problem open it. Did you tried to clear your cache or browsing history?

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