Fish Mongolia | Taimen and Lenok | Largest Trout on Dry FlySweetwater’s Taimen camps are the best place in the world to catch a Taimen on a dry fly. Where else on earth can you catch a 50 inch trout on a dry?
Sweetwater led its first trip to Mongolia in 1995. On our third cast, we hooked a 50 plus inch fish and shattered our fly rod. This experience was transformational and created the foundation for the company that has now become Sweetwater Travel. Our anglers have caught and released more world record Taimen on a fly rod than any other lodge in the world. All fishing for Taimen and Lenok is catch and release. All fishing is done with single, barbless hooks.
Taimen are known as the River Wolf in Mongolia and are an especially ferocious fish which has been known to eat prairie dogs, ducklings, squirrels, and other fish half their size. When not devouring their prey, Taimen attack dry flies. We have honed our dry fly fishing to create effective, castable patterns, and our fishing results have improved with each passing year. It is a strike worth traveling for.
Our average fish measures 30 inches with 50 plus inch fish hooked every week. The biggest Taimen we have landed measured 60.5 inches and weighed upwards of 80 pounds. There truly is no better place in the world to catch a trophy Taimen. Our anglers have caught the last three world record Taimen on a dry fly.
Our rivers are also inhabited by the Asian Trout, the Lenok. The Lenok are most closely related to the Brown Trout and are the oldest Trout species in the world. Lenok feed on nymphs and dry flies on a regular basis. Our rivers have very abundant insect hatches and prolific terrestrial insects. This food concentrates in the afternoon, and you will see pods of Lenok feeding on the surface most afternoons. The Lenok on our rivers average around 18 inches, but we catch fish up to 28 inches every season.
We fish Taimen with 8 or 9 weights and Lenok with a 5 or 6 weight. For the Taimen, we fish with both double-handed and single-handed rods. The fish lay in riffles and in deeper runs. Almost all of our fish are caught on the surface, but, when the fish are being tricky, we will go after them with streamers and sinking lines. Once hooked, the bigger fish will jump completely out of the water before bull dogging their way back to their den.
The Lenok are a great way to spend a couple of hours a day. They will remind you of the Browns on the Yellowstone as they sip dries. Do not be surprised if your Lenok start to act like a bonefish being chased by a shark, however, as we lose Lenok to Taimen that are lurking in the deeper water every year. In fact, we have landed Taimen that have refused to let go of a Lenok that they grabbed off a five weight.
Mongolia’s fishing offers you the chance to catch the world’s oldest trout on a fly rod and the world’s largest trout on a fly rod. Sweetwater Travel’s Mongolia camps offer you that opportunity on every cast. We hope you will join us.