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10 Best Places for Fly Fishing in Mongolia

Planning a fly fishing trip to Mongolia and unsure which rivers to explore? At Fly Fishing Mongolia, we’ve curated a list of the top 10 rivers. Keep in mind that when fishing in Mongolia, it’s imperative to engage with a reputable fly fishing guide company that provides robust logistics and handles all necessary fishing permits.

1- Shishkid or Shishged River:

Location: This river is situated in the Khovsgol province, known as the Switzerland of Mongolia. It is an area of beautiful meadows and taiga located on the border between Mongolia and Siberia in the northwest of the country. Flowing near Russia, it runs alongside the forested taiga of the eastern Sayan Mountains, a rugged and inaccessible mountain range with peaks reaching 13,500 feet, home to the reindeer herders of the Tsaatan tribe. The Shishkid River traverses the vast Darhat Basin and has several tributaries, including the Sharga, Tengis, Khug, and Hog.

Scenery Description: It is a sizable river, with some areas being challenging to access, either by horseback or boat, and boat fishing is recommended. National park inspectors strictly enforce fishing regulations, contributing to a healthy population of Taimen.

Species: Primary species include Taimen, Asian trout or Lenok, and the colorful yellowtail grayling.

Best Fly Fishing Months: The season kicks off in mid-June and extends until mid-October, with the prime months being from late August to late September.

Location Map:

2- Selenge River:

Location: The Selenge River is a vast river originating in Mongolia and flowing through the central-southern part of Siberia, Russia. It is formed by the confluence of the Ider and Delgermoron rivers, eventually emptying into Lake Baikal. This river is an integral part of the Yenisei-Angara-Baikal-Selenge-Ider river system, ranked as the fifth-longest river in the world.

Scenery Description: The Selenge River is the largest river in Mongolia, and boat fishing is recommended. It is also possible to fish from the shore using 4×4 vehicles. This river is particularly suitable for spin fishing.

Species: The Selenge River hosts 26 types of fish species. Notable species for fly fishing include pike, lenok, perch, and taimen.

Best Fly Fishing Months: The most successful season spans from mid-September to late October.

Location Map:

3- Uur River:

Location: The Üür River is situated in the Khövsgöl aimag, northern Mongolia. Its course begins approximately 30 km from the Russian border in Tsagaan-Üür sum, where it originates from the confluence of Old Üür and Young Üür. This river is a tributary of the Eg River and is located in a reserve area of extraordinary beauty and wild nature.

Scenery Description: The Üür River is characterized by being a plain river, with calm waters meandering through bends, currents, and deep areas.

Species: Predominant species in this river include taimen, lenoks, and graylings.

Best Fly Fishing Months: The most favorable season for fly fishing on the Üür River spans from late August to October.

Location Map:

4- Tengis River:

Location: The Tengis River (Mongolian: Тэнгис гол) is situated near the town of Tsagaannuur in the Khövsgöl province, northern Mongolia. Originating near the Russian border at the northern tip of Mongolia, it is a tributary of the Shishkid or Shishged River. The course of this river runs alongside the forested taiga of the eastern Sayan Mountains, a rugged and inaccessible mountain range with peaks reaching 13,500 feet, home to the reindeer herders of the Tsaatan tribe.

Scenery Description: The Tengis River is characterized by its crystal-clear waters, medium size, and expansive currents. Accessing this river requires a lengthy 4×4 vehicle journey from Murin. Subsequently, horseback and raft transfers are necessary.

Species: The Tengis River hosts species such as Taimen, Asian trout or Lenok, and the colorful yellowtail grayling.

Best Fly Fishing Months: The fishing season kicks off in mid-June and concludes in mid-October, with September considered the prime month.

Location Map:

5- ALTAI LAKES:

Location: The Altai Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia that spans Russia, China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan. Known as Ek-tagh, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998 due to its unique biodiversity. This region is home to iconic animals such as ibex, snow leopards, bears, wolves, and various species of deer. In the Mongolian Altai, the prime fishing areas are within the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, with notable spots being Lakes Khoton and Khurgan, as well as the Khovd River flowing into the former.

Scenery Description: Fishing scenarios in Altai are diverse, featuring crystal-clear rivers and deep lakes, such as Lakes Khoton and Khurgan. Anglers revel in fishing in wild and pristine highlands, surrounded by forests and the majestic snow-capped Altai Mountains. The environment offers a stunning and tranquil backdrop for fishing. Notably, Lakes Khoton and Khurgan are the second-largest and clearest lakes in Mongolia. The landscape around the lakes is breathtaking, with forests and snow-covered Altai Mountains.

Species: The region is home to the world’s largest subspecies of Grayling, known as the Mongolian Grayling (Thymallus arcticus), a highly predatory species. Other species include the Baikal Grayling and the prehistoric Altai Osman (Oreoleuciscus angusticephalus). Additionally, Lenok (Brachymystax) can also be caught.

Best Fly Fishing Months: The optimal time for fly fishing in Altai is early June when trophy graylings migrate from deep lakes to crystal-clear rivers.

Location Map:

6- Khalkhin River:

Location: The Khalkhin River (Mongolian: Халхин-Гол, Jaljin Gol) is a border river between eastern Mongolia and northern China, stretching 232 km and flowing into the endorheic Lake Buir. This area is part of Manchuria, a historical region located in the northeast of China and the eastern part of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The river belongs to the Amur River basin, a mighty river in southeastern Siberia.

Scenery Description: It is a meandering river that winds through open plains, green hills, and endless seas of grass. Fishing from the shore can be challenging, especially with fly fishing, due to abundant vegetation in some stretches. This river is more suitable for boat fishing. It is an excellent spot for fly fishing and also of great interest for wildlife observation, with opportunities to spot moose, deer, antelopes, wolves, and bears.

Species:
In the Khalkhin River, which is part of the Amur River basin, one can fish for Amur pike (Esox Reicherti Dybowski), large taimen, and two types of lenok trout: the Sharp-snouted Lenok (Brachymystax lenok) and the Blunt-snouted Lenok (Brachymystax tumensis). The presence of an endemic grayling species in this basin is also noteworthy, known as the Amur grayling (Thymallus tugarinae). Additionally, one can find the Mongolian asp (Pseudaspius Leptocephalus) and the Amur catfish, along with other fish species endemic to eastern Mongolia.

Best Fly Fishing Months: Recommended dates in spring and autumn, when the water level is low, for a successful fishing expedition.

Location Map:

7- Delger Moron River:

Location: The Delger Moron River flows through the province of Khövsgöl, traversing the capital of this province, which is near the border with Russia.

Scenery Description: The setting is characterized by Mongolian nomads’ yurts, grassy meadows, and herds of yaks. The river alternates between rapids and deep pools alongside large cliffs carved in limestone. While fishing can be done in some spots from the shore, rafting is recommended to explore its entirety.

Species: The Delger Moron River is home to Taimen, lenok, and grayling.

Best Fly Fishing Months: The most favorable season for fly fishing on this river spans the months of August and September.

Location Map:

8- Onon River:

Location: The Onon River originates in eastern Mongolia, but a significant portion of its course flows through Russia. It runs close to the Khentii Mountains and is part of the Siberian Amur basin. During its first 445 km, it traverses Mongolia, fed by the Khurkh, Eg, Balj, Barkh, and Shus rivers. In Mongolia, it passes near the birthplace of Chinggis Khaan.

Scenery Description: It is a medium to large-sized river, with slow-flowing waters, meandering through areas of lush vegetation. The Onon Valley is also home to white-naped cranes, swan geese, and other rare birds.

Species: The Onon River is inhabited by Amur pike, taimen, lenok, Amur grayling, and Onon trout.

Best Fly Fishing Months: The most favorable season for fly fishing on the Onon River spans the months of August, September, and October.

Location Map:

9- Eg River:

Location: The Eg River, also known as Egiin Gol, is a tributary of the Selenge River in Mongolia, originating in Lake Khovsgol and joining the Uur River. It is located in the central-northern part of Mongolia.

Scenery Description: The extensive Eg River system has been one of Mongolia’s most renowned rivers for Taimen fly fishing. Flowing through inaccessible areas, the use of a boat is essential. Along its banks, unlike other rivers, there is vegetation that serves as a refuge for wolves and bears.

Species: In the middle and lower reaches of the Eg River, one can find lenok, taimen, and pike.

Best Fly Fishing Months: The most favorable season for fly fishing on the Eg River spans from August to October.

Location Map:

10- Edelweis River:

Location: The secret location of our star river is kept confidential.

Scenery Description: This small to medium-sized river is perfect for wade fishing. Along its banks, you’ll find beautiful yurts, herds of yaks, and abundant edelweiss. It boasts an excellent population of lenoks and graylings, making it an exceptional spot for dry fly fishing. Considered the most beautiful river in Mongolia for anglers who enjoy fishing with mice and large dry flies.

Species: The species found in this river include trout, grayling, and lenok.

Best Fly Fishing Months: The ideal season for fly fishing on this river spans from July to October.

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