Mongolia Taimen Jet Boat Camp
While these unique fish average 28" to 30", anglers have landed fish in excess of 60" and had encounters with fish estimated at over 100 pounds! What is more remarkable is that the vast majority of these specimens are caught while skating large dry flies through classic steelhead-like runs.
Mongolia is a wild, unbroken land reminiscent of Montana and the American West before settlement. Here you will find some of the world’s largest remaining tracts of true wilderness, rich with clear, free-flowing rivers and vast golden forests of birch, aspen, larch and alder. You will also find the world’s largest salmonoid, the taimen, a vicious surface-oriented predator that is known for its explosive dry fly takes. While these unique fish average 28" to 30", anglers have landed fish in excess of 60" and had encounters with fish estimated at over 100 pounds! What is more remarkable is that the vast majority of these specimens are caught while skating large dry flies through classic steelhead-like runs.
Located in the north central portion of Mongolia, the Vermillion’s taimen camps are well-appointed with comfortable 18-foot gers (traditional Mongolian tents) complete with wood stoves, electricity, tables, chairs, and wood floors. Additionally, all camps have hot showers, translators well versed in Mongolian culture, and exceptional American guides who will help you access miles of prime water via jet boat. Come participate in one of the most exciting and enriching angling experiences imaginable. You won’t be disappointed.
The main draw to Mongolia is unquestionably taimen, which are the world’s largest salmonoids and have been recorded at over 200 lbs. The camp record to date is a massive 62” fish which weighed between 60 and 80 pounds. The average size is between 28” and 30”. One of the most impressive characteristics of these fish is their fondness of surface patterns and the aggressiveness of their strike. In short, their take is explosive. What makes it even better is that you can spend the entire week skating dry flies much as one would for steelhead or Atlantic salmon.
The rivers fished are low gradient and some are clear while others have a slight tannin tint. Most are 40-120 ft wide and easy to wade. You will access these rivers via jet boats. On occasion, you will fish from the boat, but the majority of the time, expect to wade. At the camp it is required that all anglers fish with barbless hooks. Fishing is a fly-fishing, catch and release only.
The Guiding Staff: Our guiding staff at the camps consists of highly experienced guides, who are professionals and well respected in the fly fishing world. More importantly, though, they are very personable and will do everything possible to make your fishing vacation in Mongolia a memorable one.
Boats and Equipment: Fishermen will fish from 18 foot aluminum semi–v Lowe boats powered by 55-hp Mariner jet units with two fishermen to a boat. The majority of the fishing will be wading rather than boat fishing. However, Atlantic salmon-style drops are possible for fishermen that enjoy a break from wading. Each boat is equipped with life vests, an emergency kit, and a cooler for food and drinks during the day.
Mongolia is a mysterious country to foreigners. To most, it is simply recognized as the fabled homeland of the fierce nomad warrior Genghis Khan. After your fishing journey, we hope you'll remember Mongolia for its wild unbroken countryside, its kind and generous people, and abundant wildlife. Of course, by then you'll understand that in Mongolia only the sport fish are fierce.
Mongolia is located in northern Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south. This precarious political position and its natural isolation--the Altay Mountains to the west and the Gobi Desert to the south--have kept Mongolia out of the Western spotlight for the last 70 years. It was only in 1990 that the first Western tourists began to trickle in.
Political Overview: In 1990, Mongolia declared its independence from Russia. This sudden liberation caused an immediate economic collapse. Like other satellite states, Mongolia had been completely dependent on the Soviet Union's welfare system. Unemployment soared, as did the price of essential consumer goods. For the first time, Russians began demanding hard currency for their goods. The Mongolians were left without the means to keep their cities running. It soon became apparent that, on its own, Mongolia did not have the infrastructure to survive. However, the Mongolians are hardy people well prepared for food, gas, and other shortages, and they were dedicated to change. Since their independence, the country's economy has slowly improved.
If restaurants, bars, hotels, and foreign goods are considered signs of flourishing economy, then Ulaanbaatar, the capital, is booming. Unfortunately for most Mongolians, stocked shelves don't mean much. During the communist era the shelves were empty. Now in more democratic times they are filled with products beyond their imaginations or salaries. Still, Mongolians are dedicated to making their country work, seemingly unfazed by the hardships of their daily lives. More recently, Mongolia elected a former communist to be president. To the surprise of the rest of the world, Mongolia has kept to a platform of free market reform. State-owned companies continue to be auctioned off daily to a new breed of Mongolian entrepreneurs. Coupled with vast foreign aid, Mongolia seems to be approaching a promising new era.
Terrain: Mongolia is roughly the size of Alaska. It has an extremely diverse terrain: vast semi-desert and desert plains, extensive grasslands, unbroken larch and pine forests, and high mountains. At the two northern camps, clients can expect a predominance of larch, birch and alder forests and lush ground vegetation. This combination of wide fertile valleys and thick forests and surrounding mountains provide the fly fisherman with stunning views. At our southern camp, the rivers remind a fisherman of some of our more famous dry-land waters like the Green River in Utah or Oregon's Deschutes River. In this area, the valley floor is rarely heavily forested. It tends to be dry unfenced grasslands instead. Also, the mountains are higher in elevation than those at our Northern fishery and are forested with heavy stands of birch and larch. They are inhabited by some of Mongolia's largest elk herds.
Ulaanbaatar: Ulaanbaatar is the capital of Mongolia and home to nearly a third of its population. UB, as it is referred to by the expatriates and tourists, is Mongolia's business and tourism hub. It, like the Mongolian weather is a study of contrasts; it is home to new hotels, old Soviet-style apartment buildings and, vast public squares. Cows, goats and horses wander through its parks in search of some undiscovered grass. On the outskirts of UB, there are heavily forested mountains and Mongolian gers scattered in every direction.
Language: The official language of Mongolia is Khalka Mongol. Secondary languages include Russian and English. Language, however, will not be a concern during your stay. When you are in Ulaanbaatar, you will be escorted by an English-speaking guide.
Religion: The predominant religion in Mongolia is Tibetan Buddhist Lamaism. Unfortunately most of the Mongolian monasteries were destroyed during the communist rule. Near our camps there are a number of shrines at the sites where temples were pillaged and destroyed. Interested clients can enjoy visits to the Gaandan Hiid Monastery in Ulaanbaatar and other more famous Buddhist temples throughout Mongolia. Religion has made a complete revival since Mongolia's independence.
The camps are located on nice stretches of river in the remote outback of Mongolia. They are strategically positioned to allow access to over 90 river miles by jet boats. These are isolated wilderness facilities with very limited access to the outside world, which enhances the fishery and the adventure experience. Each camp is equipped with a dining lodge, bathhouse and shower facility. Anglers stay in traditional Mongolia gers, which are felt tents wrapped around a collapsible wooden frame. They are equipped with single beds, a wood stove and a small table and chairs. Each ger accommodates two anglers.
Food is prepared by an experienced Mongolian kitchen staff, and, generally, clients have been quite pleased with the food. Daily meals include a wide range of traditional Mongolian and American dishes. After a soup course, grilled lamb, beef, chicken and fish prepared in a variety of may may accompany side dishes of steamed carrots, beets, cabbage, potatoes and other vegetables. Mixed salads are served nightly.
On the river, fishermen can enjoy a shore lunch of barbecued steak, venison or pork. If guests find it impossible to take a break from the fishing, more simple lunches of soup, sandwiches and desserts are always available. All food is prepared with properly filtered water, so there is no need to pack bottled water.
Day 1: Depart home.
Day 2: Arrive in Ulaanbaatar. Here you will be met by a representative from the outfitter’s Mongolian travel partner and be taken to your hotel. That evening you will have the opportunity to see a traditional Mongolian performance, which is highly recommended.
Day 3: Breakfast at the Hotel. Fly to camp (approximately 3 hours) in on helicopter charter. Fish for half a day.
Days 4 - 9: Six full days of fishing.
Day 10: Pack and fly back to Ulaanbaatar.
Day 11: Depart Mongolia.
Rates & Details
2023 Rate: Per person based on double occupancy
9 night/6 day package: $6,500 plus $750 round trip charter flight and $450 fishing license
Included: Accommodations and breakfast in Ulaanbaatar on arrival and departure day, all transportation within the country, accommodations and all meals including beer and occasionally wine at the camp, guided fishing, fishing license and flies
Not Included: Airfare to/from Ulaanbaatar, other meals and incidentals in Ulaanbaatar, alcohol and gratuities
Species: Taimen, lenok
Capacity: 8 anglers