Gengis Khan’s King­dom

Sportfishing Adventures - - CONTENT - Text and pho­tos by Pe­tr Pro­chaz­ka

Seems like the ne­ver-en­ding jour­ney as a skilled Mon­go­lian dri­ver brings our fi­shing ex­pe­di­tion clo­ser to ma­king our li­fe­time dream come true. Ever since we left a small air­port in the re­gio­nal town of Mo­ron we ha­ven’t no­ti­ced any ci­vi­li­za­tion’s mark. The as­phalt road ends and the first me­ters of ear­then path di­sap­pear un­der our jeep’s wheels. The road real­ly tests our tough­ness. It’s sur­roun­ded by end­less prai­ries with lo­ne­ly yurts and by ex­ten­sive moun­tain ranges. The peaks pierce the azure sky in the dis­tance. We pass by herds of horses and cat­tle who free­ly pas­ture here in peace. Ma­ny groups of an­glers from all around the world come here eve­ry year to bat­tle with pre­da­tors of tro­phy sizes. Ten days full of unique fi­shing in the one of ten fi­shing camps which are al­most all lo­ca­ted in high­ly pro­tec­ted na­tio­nal parks. But life in the beau­ty of un­res­trai­ned na­ture of Mongolia, which reaches al­most all na­tu­ral zones by its breadth, is hard and tough. Des­pite that, the hos­pi­ta­li­ty and friend­li­ness of lo­cal people are no­to­rious. Just like their pride and mys­te­ry as des­ce­dents of Gen­ghis Khan, the great conque­ror. Our ex­pe­di­tion is ai­med at the foo­thil­ls of the wild moun­tains of Eas­tern Sayan, right to the ri­chly plan­ted val­ley near

the Shi­sh­kid ri­ver ca­nyon, where Gen­ghis Khan’s ar­my used to pass through. This is where we await the unique bat­tle with the king of lo­cal ri­vers - the Tai­men. This is the ma­gni­ficent tro­phy that most of an­glers aim for as they jour­ney thou­sands of miles to these in­hos­pi­table condi­tions of Mongolia.

Af­ter a lo­ne­ly, mul­tiple-hour ride, we over­night in a stan­dard equip­ped log ca­bin camp on the Ten­gis ri­ver. In the mor­ning we conti­nue to our base camp on the Kha­na­gai ri­ver. The camp is lo­ca­ted ap­proxi­ma­te­ly 20 ki­lome- ters downs­tream in the na­tio­nal park’s wild tai­ga, so we plan to float down the ri­ver by raft boats. The log ca­bin camp in Kha­na­gai is com­for­table and pro­vides qua­li­ty ser­vice from the be­gin­ning of the sea­son in mid-June af­ter the fish’s re­pro­duc­tion, when they be­come ve­ry ac­tive. Our own as­sis­tants take care of an­glers for the whole sum­mer to sea­son’s end in mid-Oc­to­ber, when in­su­la­ted apart­ments with a warm sho­wer and great meals are real­ly ap­pre­cia­ted af­ter hard fi­shing in cold wea­ther. Des­pite the tough wea­ther condi­tions, fish are pre­da­cious and catches are re­cor­dable. Shi­sh­kid ri­ver is full of great lo­ca­tions for fly fi­shing, just

like the Ten­gis or the pure and clear Del­ger­mo­ron, which is lo­ca­ted near Rus­sian bor­ders. Crys­tal-clear wa­ters are gua­ran­teed by li­mes­tone rocks, un­tou­ched tai­ga, but main­ly by strict rules in this high­ly pro­tec­ted area.

The num­ber of in­co­ming an­glers to Mongolia is li­mi­ted by fi­shing li­censes and that’s the rea­son why the pro­mise of tro­phy fish here is gua­ran­teed – tro­phy Tai­mens in Shi­sh­kid or beau­ti­ful­ly dot­ted Amur pike in Khal­khin­gol ri­ver, which mean­ders through shrubs and grass steppes near Chi­nese bor­der. Khal­khin­gol ri­ver is bet­ter for spin­ning fi­sher­men, but there are al­so good spots for fly fi­shing. Beyond the tro­phy Amur pike, Khal­khin­gol ri­ver is home to big tai­mens and two pre­cious spe­cies of le­nok, Mon­go­lian asp or Amur catfish. Mongolia of­fers ad­di­tio­nal trea­sures of crys­tal-clear

Fa­mous an­gler and pho­to­gra­pher Bram Bok­kers with a beau­ti­ful tro­phy Amur Pike from Khal­khin­gol ri­ver.

Gray­lings of the Al­tai grow up to tro­phy sizes.

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