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Fly Fishing in Mongolia's Pacific Basin

The Pacific basin is only represented by one river in Mongolia, the Amur River. Located in the eastern part of the country, it offers opportunities to fish for endemic grayling and pike, as well as lenok trout and Hucho.

Our fishing trips in the Amur basin:

Introduction

In the eastern part of Mongolia, nearly bordering China, lies the Pacific basin of Mongolia, also known as the Amur River basin.

In this region, the Amur River and its tributaries flow towards the Pacific Ocean. This system includes the rivers Onon and Kherlen, as well as Lake Buir.

The basin boasts a diverse array of species, some of which are of interest for fly fishing, such as the taimen, the Amur grayling, the Amur pike, and two species of lenok trout, the blunt-snouted lenok, and the sharp-snouted lenok.

Species of fish for fly fishing in the Pacific or Amur Basin

1 - PACIFIC PIKE (ESOX REICHERTII)

The Pacific Pike, known as Amaryn tsurkhai in Mongolia, with its distinctive black spots, inhabits the rivers of the Amur basin. It shares its habitat with the taimen but tends to seek calmer waters for hunting. It reproduces from March to June and exhibits opportunistic behavior and cannibalism in its feeding habits. Its habits vary seasonally, seeking deeper waters in winter.

2 - TAIMEN (HUCHO TAIMEN)

The Taimen is a fish that inhabits many rivers in Siberia, including some rivers that drain into the Pacific such as the Amur River. In May, the fish ascend the Amur basin for spawning, remaining in the upper reaches of the rivers feeding on grayling, lenok, and other small fish. In autumn, around September, they descend downstream in search of deep pools to shelter from the cold and icy waters of winter. While taimen in this basin may not reach the sizes of those in the Shishhid, Tengis, and Selenga rivers, there is still a good population of this sporty fish.

3 - AMUR GRAYLING (THYMALLUS TUGARINAE)

The Amur Grayling, known as Amaryn khadran in Mongolian, is a fish found exclusively in the Pacific basin. It is located in the main river and others like the Khalkhin River, Kherlen, and Onon, which border China. Some characteristics of this fish include:

  • Reproduction occurs in late May.
  • Autumn migration from September to October in search of deeper waters for wintering.
  • Description: 75-91 scales, porous lateral line, dorsal fin with wide red to garnet edge.
  • Laterally compressed body with orange spots and stripes.

4 - SHARP-SNOUTED LENOK (BRACHYMYSTAX LENOK) AND BLUNT-SNOUTED LENOK (BRACHYMYSTAX TUMENSIS)

In Siberia, there are two evolutionary lineages of lenoks with sharp and blunt snouts, considered two different species. Although they coexist in some rivers like those of the Amur basin in Mongolia, giving rise to hybrid lenoks.

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