Trip Overview 

A journey to Mongolia is without a doubt one of the world’s greatest fly fishing adventures. 
The culture is ancient, the landscape is vast, the people are incredibly friendly, and the rivers are home to the largest trout on the planet. Giant taimen – the world’s largest salmonids – are the target when fishing these rivers, and their size, aggressive behavior, and heart-stopping eats have made them a favorite with every angler lucky enough to have experienced this trip.

With these multi-day wilderness camping trips, anglers will explore a new stretch of water each day, camping each night beneath the Mongolian skies. When you arrive in camp after a full day of drifting and fishing the river, your bags are unloaded and waiting for you, your bed is made and the fire is lit. This is the perfect blend of comfort, adventure, remote waters and long days of fishing. There are four trips and locations from which to choose from, including the Upper Onon River, the Lower Onon River, the Delger Canyon trip, and the Upper Delger exploratory trip. The outfitter has been fishing in Mongolia since 1991 and outfitting the country since 1993, and we can tell you from personal experience that every aspect of their programs are first-rate.

We are proud to work with an outfitter that has fished and explored every major taimen river in the country before selecting what they believe to be the finest two rivers for fly fishing. When fishing with Mongolia’s only drift-boat operation, you will explore a new stream section every day without ever having to shuttle back to camp.

Destination Quick Facts 

LOCATION:  Northern Mongolia. Mongolia is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south.

Mongolia Taimen

SEASON:  June through October

CAPACITY:  Max of 8 anglers per week, per camp

CLOSEST MAJOR AIR HUB:  Ulaanbatar, Mongolia (ULN)

TARGET SPECIES:  Taimen (Hucho Taimen), Lenok, Amur Trout, Grayling and Pike.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED:  Valid passport.

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO     888-777-5060     INTL 01-1-406-585-8667       info [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com

ACCOMMODATIONS

Lodging Details
All accommodations with this program are located directly on the river, utilizing either traditional Mongolian “gers” or high end tipi tents. Each camp is rustic but very comfortable, much like an African tented safari.  “Gers” are Mongolia’s traditional felt-covered dwellings that are ideally suited for the remote landscape. Gers are aesthetically pleasing, environmentally and socially appropriate, and extremely comfortable. Sleeping gers are approximately 9 feet high (2.5 meters) and 20 feet (6 meters) in diameter, providing ample space for two anglers. Each ger is furnished with a wood-burning stove, wash basin, camp chairs, and sleeping cots. On the lower river expeditions, guests sleep most nights in remote tipi camps. Each Nordic tipi tent accommodates two cots and offers plenty of room to stand inside. 

On the more remote lower river expeditions, guests are accommodated in Nordic tipis. All camps are dismantled at the end of the season, leaving no trace on the local landscape.

Each camp reflects Mongolian traditions and is well integrated in the surrounding countryside. There are no generators or stereos, only the sounds of wind in the trees and water over stones, only the lights of candles and stars.
Anglers enjoy a full day’s float between each camp. If you still have the energy to cast, every camp is situated along a uniquely beautiful stretch of river with great fishing right outside your ger or tipi.

All camps have simple toilet and shower facilities. The toilets are clean and private. The shower is in its own designated ger or tent, with plenty of space for changing clothes. Hot water for showers is provided by a wood stove inside the shower tent.

Onon River – Upper River Adventure
On upper river trips, guests are accommodated in traditional Mongolian gers with full vehicle support for each location. Each camp on the upper river features large, central dining gers where anglers and guides can relax as a group after each day on the river. The individual sleeping gers feature comfortable cots, linens, and wood-burning stoves – the ideal set-up for two people. These camps reflect Mongolian traditions in the spectacular valley where Genghis Khan was born. There are no generators or stereos: only the sounds of the running river and the wind in the trees. The only lights are candles, lanterns and the stars that fill the sky.  

Onon River – Lower River Adventure
The camps on the lower river are a bit more rustic than those on the upper section of the Onon. That said, they are still incredibly comfortable. Each day the camp staff will carry the entire camp downstream to the next campsite, including a full, heated dining tent large enough to seat 14 people. Guests sleep in Nordic “tipi” tents, each outfitted with comfortable cots and plenty of headroom. The three last nights of this trip guests will stay in the outfitter’s private ger camp. During the fall season on this section, it is common to red deer bugling in the morning and wolves howling at night.


Onon River – Upper and Lower River Combo Adventure
The ultimate Mongolia fishing experience! These longer combo packages begin with the complete Upper River Adventure, with an extension on the back end that then transitions into the Lower River Adventure. Fourteen continuous fishing days exploring nearly 180 miles (300 kilometers) of amazing water. This is the ideal trip for those that really want the full and complete Taimen experience!

Delger River – Canyon Trip
Every season, our outfitter establishes eight camps along the river’s canyon section. These are usually all ger (yurt) camps, but if early season access conditions are difficult, guests may be accommodated in tipis at the three lower camps.  All of the camps are well-appointed and very comfortable. Each camp features simple toilet and hot shower facilities. 

Delger River – Headwaters Expeditionary Trip
This is the most adventurous and physically demanding trip in the line-up, and one that is ideally suited for those that love to hike, walk and wade. Guests will begin this trip at the upper ger camp, hiking or riding into the backcountry to reach the headwaters. There are three comfortable tipi camps located in the headwaters area. Guests will start the week with a few days fishing at the top of the stretch. The group then gradually makes their way back downstream for several days to access more spectacular water. On the downstream journey, the group will use rafts to reach fishing water and move gear to the next tipi camp.  The last night on the river is back at the upper ger camp. As with all of these trips, anglers can expect great meals and the support of a hard working, professional camp staff. Please note that you must be in good physical condition to participate in these expeditionary trips.

Food and Beverages 
Regardless of which destination you choose, you will be amazed by the quality and diversity of the camp menus. The camp cooks are true professionals, and all meals are designed for Western tastes. You can expect big breakfasts, hot lunches served buffet-style on the river each day, and multi-course dinners that feature plenty of meat, fresh vegetables and fruits. Breakfasts and dinners are served in spacious wall-tents or in large gers warmed with a wood-burning stove. Please let us know if you have any specific dietary requirements, as the staff will do their best to accommodate you.

The Camp Staff
Northern Mongolia reminds many guests of the American West in another era, before dams, paved roads and barbed wire came along. Local residents continue to make the most of this unfettered landscape, following a traditional nomadic lifestyle with deep, Tibetan Buddhist roots and a serious respect for nature. Mongolian culture venerates hospitality, and the camp staffs that work for Mongolia River outfitters are no exception. They are wonderful, hard-working, and highly attentive individuals. You’ll have a great time getting to know them, and everyone on the team will work hard to make your visit both fun and memorable. When it comes to the fishing guides, you’d be hard pressed to find a stronger international team. These folks are floating Mongolian rivers from June through October every year. They come from as close as the nearest village to as far away as Chile, Morocco, New Zealand and Montana. They are seasoned veterans with decades of experience, and you’ll no-doubt enjoy their knowledge and enthusiasm for the country, fly-fishing and for taimen conservation.

Typical Length of Stay
The typical package will depend on which trip package you are doing. The shortest packages include seven (7) nights camping on the river, with six (6) full days of guided fishing days. The longest trips are the two-week Onon River trips that combine floats on both the upper and lower sections of the river. Regardless of the package, anglers will overnight on the front end of the trip in Ulaanbaatar, with the option to add a second UB overnight on the back end of the trip. (These hotel nights are included in each package.) Please contact Yellow Dog for full itinerary details.

Non-Angling Activities and Options
Mongolia is an amazing country, and the rivers throughout the country are home to many important cultural sites. On request, our outfitter can certainly accommodate and host non-anglers, and can arrange for guided horseback riding, hiking and area cultural visits. While this is primarily an angling focused destination, non-anglers that appreciate a remote location and an interesting culture will also enjoy these areas of Mongolia. On the front and back end of the trip, Ulaanbaatar is a great place to explore. The capital of Mongolia is a busy, bustling place, home to more than a third of the country’s population. UB (as it is referred to by expats and tourists) offers are all types of craft markets, museums, public squares, and a number of good restaurants and hotels.

Internet/Communications
Wi-Fi is not available in any of the camp locations, which means that once you depart Ulaanbaatar, you will be offline and totally unplugged for the duration of the trip (something that is getting harder to find these days). Some U.S. cell phones may work in UB but none will work in camp. There is very good Wi-Fi access at the hotel in UB.

FISHING

General Fishing Information
Known to Mongolians as the “river wolf”, Taimen (Hucho Hucho Taimen) are exceptionally fierce and ferocious predators. As the world’s largest surviving salmonid, they are famous for feeding on large fish, ducks, mice and even large prairie dogs. Anglers can expect several opportunities to hook a taimen each day. That typically means you see the fish below the fly, behind the fly, or on top of the fly. Don’t be fooled, however: taimen fishing can be challenging, and in many ways it is similar to steelhead fishing. While the ability to make long casts can be an advantage, it is certainly not a necessity, as many big taimen will strike within a boat-length of the rod tip. Patience and persistence are more important in this game.

Both the Onon and the Delger Rivers are home to incredibly healthy taimen populations. And due in part to the outfitter’s community-based conservation efforts and careful management program, the fishing has never been better. While this is an operation that catches and releases hundreds of taimen annually, it is important to note that taimen fishing is not easy. These fish are big, old and smart. Sometimes the river rewards with a double-digit day, and other times the fish can get very finicky. Taimen are the ultimate mega-trout – easily the world’s largest. They are beautiful fish, with stunning coloration and vibrant red tails. Mongolian taimen can live for at least 50 years and at times can reach 60 inches in length. Adult taimen caught on the fly typically measure between 30 and 40 inches. Anything over 40 inches (1 meter) is considered trophy class. Their main diet is smaller fish, and they will take well-presented streamers on a regular basis. When floating these rivers, it is not uncommon to see a monster taimen exploding across the river in hot pursuit of a small and very frightened lenok. Often-times that desperate lenok will throw itself to the bank to escape the determined taimen. 
Given the chance, a taimen will also feed on mice, gophers and ground squirrels that happen to fall into the river. And that means these behemoth trout will destroy – and we do mean destroy – top water flies. The privilege of connecting with a trout species unlike any other and the joy of safely releasing these huge fish back into the wild are things that make a trip to Mongolia so special. 

These rivers are also home to impressive numbers of lenok and grayling, and anglers often net more than a dozen of these trout in a single day (usually on dry flies). When fishing in a taimen sanctuary, a sunny afternoon spent drifting hoppers to 20-inch trout is an incredible bonus. The lenok that are found throughout Mongolia are a beautiful fish, with silvery bodies, bright red bands, and black spots. These native trout feed aggressively on the surface throughout the summer and autumn. Their behavior reminds many anglers of cutthroat trout found throughout the Western US.

The two rivers that are fished and outfitted by Mongolia River Outfitters are situated 500 miles (800 kilometers) apart. Although each river offers a unique and quite different fishing experience, they both offer productive fisheries, spectacular scenery and waters that are exceptionally well-suited to fly fishing.
The Mongolian government has designated both locations as “taimen sanctuaries,” and no international angler may legally access these rivers without a permit secured through our outfitter. Together, these two rivers represent approximately four hundred miles of taimen habitat conserved in partnership with local communities.

Onon River  - Upper River Adventure
If there was one “classic” camping trip for Mongolia, this would be the one. Beautiful landscapes, fascinating culture, a professional staff, exceptional ger camps, and world-class fishing. With these trips, a small group of up to eight anglers can explore nearly 80 miles of pristine river. Float through the world’s first taimen sanctuary, casting for taimen, lenok, and trout on a fresh stretch of river every day. Guests will move locations daily and stay in a well-appointed ger camp each evening. Each campsite along the river is uniquely peaceful, designed to reflect Mongolian traditions and integrate with the countryside’s natural surroundings. Each day’s float covers 10 to 15 miles (16-24 kilometers) of water, with a mid-day break for a hot shore lunch. The guides have fished this river for many years, and they will consistently put anglers into the best positions to present the fly. It’s quite an experience: standing tall in a drift boat while casting to the world’s largest trout. The river is the first in Mongolia to be legally designated as catch-and-release, fly-fishing only for international anglers. On the Onon River you also have the opportunity to catch Amur Pike and Amur Trout.  These fish provide exciting opportunities to catch additional native species.  It is interesting to note that all the fish that are caught in Mongolia are native to the watersheds, and in fact these are the same species that were present when Ghengis Khan ruled Mongolia. 

Onon River  - Lower River Adventure
This beautiful and remote section of the Onon River offers anglers an itinerary that includes eight days of floating and fishing. As with the upper river float on the Onon, this section includes a portion of the world’s first taimen sanctuary, home to taimen, lenok, pike and trout. Stretching for nearly 100 miles, guests will fish fresh and new water each day. This trip is designed for those who don’t mind a bit of “roughing it” in order to journey down a one of the most remote rivers in the country. On this section, all anglers fish from ClackaCraft low profile drift boats or Headhunter Skiffs. Manufactured in the United States, Clackacrafts are fantastic fishing platforms. They have comfortable seats, solid casting braces, full-length rod storage, and plenty of dry storage for gear. These drift boats allow guides and anglers to fish the river quietly, efficiently and comfortably. Each day’s float covers 10 to 15 miles (16-24 kilometers) of water, with a mid-day break for a hot shore lunch.

Delger River – Canyon Float
Seven full days covering nearly one-hundred and sixty kilometers of epic taimen and trout water. The river is remote and difficult to access, offering pristine and secluded angling. That can only be accessed by boat. These trips begin in the forested mountain headwaters, and over the course of a week, the river carves its way through limestone and granite in a canyon that is flanked by spectacular cliffs and rock pinnacles.  There are very healthy taimen populations with fish over 50-inches encountered every season. When floating the Delger Canyon, anglers will fish out of inflatable NRS drift boats. These non-motorized craft are perfect for the task: quiet, stable, and ideal for two anglers and a guide. This is a beautiful, wild river, with variable flows and fishing conditions. All fishing on the Delger is catch/release, fly fishing only using single, barbless hooks.

Delger River – Headwaters Expeditionary Trip
With this amazing adventure, the outfitter packs the entire camp – boats and all – on to camels. Guests then travel deep into the wilderness for seven full days of wilderness fishing on incredible taimen waters. The guides call this place “The Temple,”and in this remote section of Mongolia, the river is extremely isolated and strikingly beautiful. Steep, forested walls frame the boulder-filled stream, creating one of the most protected fisheries on the planet. The Headwaters Expedition is about quality of fishing over quantity.  You can expect to fish these waters meticulously, quietly walking and wading while accompanied by a professional guide. There are some enormous fish in these waters.  When the river is clear, there are opportunities to sight fish for extremely large taimen in the 50-60-inch range.  The trout fishing on this section of river is also quite good. The total number of anglers is limited to four per expedition. Guests often combine a Headwaters Expedition with a Classic Canyon driftboat trip.  By linking both journeys, guests are able to fish for nearly two full weeks, exploring a new stretch of river almost every day.

Boats and Equipment 
On both rivers, our outfitter uses non-motorized boats to reach a string of isolated, environmentally progressive, and very comfortable camps. Depending on the location and section of river, anglers will drift fish and float each day utilizing traditional American drift boats (Onon River), inflatable NRS drift boats ( Delger Canyon trip), or a combination of wading and rafts (Delger expeditionary trip). The typical situation has two anglers per boat fishing with one guide. While flies, tippet and leaders are included with each package, it is recommended that anglers bring all of their own fishing equipment, including rods, reels, lines, waders and boots. The typical taimen rod is a single-handed eight- or nine-weight, although some casters prefer a ten-weight for the larger, wind-resistant flies. Please refer to the Yellow Dog pre-trip planning book for detailed packing lists and equipment recommendations.

Catch and Release / Fly Fishing Only
The Onon River was the first in Mongolia to be legally designated catch-and-release, fly-fishing only for all international anglers. We insist that all clients practice catch-and-release fly-fishing using single, barbless hooks. It takes a taimen approximately seven years to reach sexual maturity, and a truly large fish can be 25 or 30 years old. Even in the healthiest of rivers, their population densities are not high. Treating these amazing animals with care and respect is of paramount importance

TRAVEL DETAILS

How To Get There
Traveling to Mongolia is not nearly as difficult as most people think. Ulaanbaatar (ULN) is only a three-hour flight from both Beijing or from Seoul, Korea. There are also regular, direct flights from Moscow and Berlin. While it is possible to fly from the U.S. to Ulaanbaatar fairly quickly and directly, many guests choose to overnight in either Beijing or Seoul, taking a day or two to explore these cities as well. Yellow Dog can easily assist with all air travel and logistics.

Arrival and Departure Details / Times 
Anglers typically arrive into Ulaanbaatar from either Seoul, South Korea or Beijing, China. You will be met at the airport by a representative of Mongolia River Outfitters and transferred to a hotel in the city for your overnight. The following morning, you will be picked up and transferred back to the airport, where you will board a Cessna Caravan for the flight to the river. Your package and itinerary includes a commercial flight from Ulaanbaatar to a regional airstrip.  From there, you will take a 4×4 overland to reach the river and your first camp location. At the end of your trip, you will fly back to Ulaanbaatar, where you can either overnight once again, or fly out of the country that same night.

Documents Required
A valid passport is required for all visitors to Mongolia and must be valid for at least six (6) months beyond the duration of your stay. Citizens of the United States and several other countries are not required to have a visa for travel to Mongolia or Korea, but if you plan of traveling through China (and staying longer than 24 hours) you will need a multiple-entry Chinese visa. If your passport is from a country other than the U.S. you may need a Mongolian visa. Yellow Dog can assist with these travel details, so please contact us for details.

Fishing Permits and Licenses
Permit costs are included in the overall trip and package price. Mongolia law requires that all international anglers obtain a variety of fishing permits. We arrange for all permits in advance.

Travel Arrangements
Yellow Dog offers a full in-house travel and reservations system and can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or travel [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurance.

RATES

Package Rates
Remember that Yellow Dog's services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. Trips of any length of stay can be arranged, so please call Yellow Dog for details and custom package pricing.   

2017-2018 RATES

Please note that all prices listed below are based on double occupancy fishing and accommodations. Single occupancy packages can be accommodated. Please contact Yellow Dog for details.

Onon River – Upper River Adventure
US $6,450 per person (US $5,950 + US $500 conservation fee)

Onon River - Lower River Adventure
US $6,450 per person (US $5,950 + US $500 conservation fee)

Upper and Lower Onon River Combo Trip
US $10,975 per person (US $10,475 + US $500 conservation fee)

Delger River – Canyon Trip
US $6,450 per person (US $5,950 + US $500 conservation fee)

Delger River - Headwaters Expedition Trips
US $6,450 per person (US $5,950 + US $500 conservation fee)

What's Included

  • Meet-and-greet reception and transfers upon arrival into Ulaanbaatar (ULN)
  • All double occupancy accommodations in river camps (number of nights will vary depending on package)
  • Two (2) nights of hotel lodging in Ulaanbaatar on front and back end of trip
  • Three meals per day while in camp
  • All guided river fishing (two anglers per guide/boat)
  • Flies, leader and tippet
  • Beer, wine, sodas and vodka in camp
  • Mongolian fishing license (pre-paid amount of $330)
  • All in-country air and land transfers
  • Breakfast at hotel in Ulaanbaatar
  • Guided city tour of Ulaanbaatar (upon request)

What's Not Included 

  • International flights to Ulaanbaatar (ULN)
  • Meals, drinks, taxis, tours and any additional expenses while in Ulaanbaatar
  • Fishing tackle, waders, rods, reels and other fishing equipment
  • Gratuities for guides and staff
  • Global Rescue insurance and trip insurance (mandatory)

Trip Deposit Information  
A 50% deposit (per angler) of the total package cost for each trip is due to Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures (YDFA) within 10 days of booking to secure the reservation. This is extra important for all Mongolia trips, as dates and spots are very much in demand! Also, all deposits and payments must be paid by check. Guides and dates cannot be held or reserved without a deposit. Yellow Dog reserves the right to charge a handling fee of $100.00 per person for date changes after the initial reservation has been made. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure.  

OTHER INFO

Currency and Credit Cards in Mongolia
The national currency of Mongolia is the Tugrik. While the currency has stabilized to a certain degree, we urge clients to change only what is immediately necessary. Keep in mind that all tourist shops in Ulaanbatar eagerly accept U.S. dollars as well as credit cards. Traveler’s Checks should be avoided in Mongolia.

Laundry Services
Laundry service is available in camp if absolutely necessary, although please keep in mind that clothes will have to be hand washed in the river and then air dried. We encourage guests to pack and bring the clothes that they will need for the week.

Weather
The weather during the summer season in Mongolia can vary, and anglers should prepare for all temperatures. While sunny days and cold nights are the norm, fall weather can certainly include rain and even snow. Anglers should prepare for a Taimen trip in Mongolia the same way they would for a steelhead trip to British Columbia, with high-quality waders and boots, great Goretex raingear, hats and gloves, and plenty of warm layers.

Sample Itineraries

Onon River – Upper River Adventure
Day 1: Arrive Ulaanbaatar, overnight accommodations in hotel.
Day 2: Board a chartered Cessna Caravan for the 90-minute flight to the river. First day of fishing, with overnight accommodations in ger camp.
Days 3-7: Float and fish between taimen camps.
Day 8: Chartered Cessna Caravan back to UB. Overnight accommodations in hotel.
Day 9: Depart Mongolia.

Onon River – Lower River Adventure
Day 1: Arrive Ulaanbaatar, overnight accommodations in hotel.
Day 2: Board a chartered Cessna Caravan for the 90-minute flight to the river. First day of fishing, with overnight accommodations in tipi tent camp.
Days 3-9: Float and fish between taimen camps. Last day wade and fish option.
Day 10: Chartered Cessna Caravan back to UB. Overnight accommodations in hotel.
Day 11: Depart Mongolia.

Onon River – Upper and Lower River Two Week Combo Trip
Day 1: Arrive Ulaanbaatar, overnight accommodations in hotel.
Day 2: Board a chartered Cessna Caravan for the 90-minute flight to the river. First day of fishing, with overnight accommodations in camp.
Days 3-16: Float and fish between
taimen camps on both the upper and lower sections of the river.
Day 17: Chartered Cessna Caravan back to UB. Overnight accommodations in hotel.
Day 18: Depart Mongolia.

Delger River – Canyon Trip
Day 1: Arrive Ulaanbaatar, overnight accommodations in hotel.
Day 2: Fly to Khovsgol Aimag. Overland drive to first taimen camp.
Day 3-9: Float and fish between
taimen camps with camping in the Canyon.
Day 10: Overland drive to airstrip. Chartered Cessna Caravan back to UB. Overnight accommodations in hotel.
Day 11: Depart Mongolia.

Delger River – Headwaters Expeditions
Day 1: Arrive Ulaanbaatar, overnight accommodations in hotel.
Day 2: Fly to Khovsgol Aimag. Overland drive to first taimen camp.
Day 3-10: Fly Fishing Exploration of headwaters with camping in the Canyon.
Day 11: Overland drive to Khovsgol capital.
Day 12: Chartered Cessna Caravan back to UB. Overnight accommodations in hotel.
Day 13: Depart Mongolia.