The cursed Man!
Mongolia, the land of Genghis Khan, the land of one of the worlds biggest grasslands and the land of the most ferocious and mystical salmonids in the world, the Hucho Taimen!
A fish that will get stuck in your head and mind forever.
My first meet with the Taimen was in Russia, couple of years ago. Didn’t have the best fishing there, due to insanely high-water levels and a small curse. But managed to catch a “small” one and after that it became an obsession for me.
So, when we were asked to join on a trip to Mongolia my mind was pretty much there already, but still it took one and a half years before we were actually there.
After several trips all over with really bad luck I hoped that my curse was broken and my luck would change when we got to Mongolia. At least my mind had decided that.
I got on the plane from Oslo and flew to Moscow where I meet up with my Finnish friends, Viljami, Hanna and Jimi. We all then got on the next plane that would take us to Ulaanbaatar where we would meet up with our mutual Polish friend Tomasz and the Mongolian guys.
We were well received and their hospitality was beyond all expectations. Such awesome guys.
We got straight in the cars and were ready to hit the road and two days drive was ahead of us to get to the first river and camp where we were going to stay at and fish for three days. And I can tell you that the roads were really far from what we were used to. Endless stretches over the steps and more like off no-road than anything I have experienced before.
It was not for faint-hearted I can assure you!
And after two days in the car and the last three hours driving in the dark along with a small rescue mission to get one of the cars out of a big hole, we were there.
A place where not many people have been before and the only sound we heard was the wolves howling around us and the only lights were the stars and a massive full moon! That’s what I call a million stars accommodation!
You feel quite insignificant and small on such a place. But I kinda like that. It makes you think about life in a different way.
When we woke up it was freezing cold and everything was frozen, but as soon as the sun was up it got warm. A bit too warm and nice weather for fishing actually. Not a cloud on the sky and crystal clear water did make the fishing a challenge.
I had contact with only one fish in that river during our three days. But luckily both Viljami and Jimi caught some really nice trophy fish and Tomasz caught a few small ones.
Me and Hanna caught nothing there.
Did I still had this curse hanging over me?
Off course it gets to your head at some point, but I had decided to break it so I couldn’t let that fuck up my head. Some vodka at night took care of that problem! At least for a while…
So, we fished there for the next three days walking the riverbanks and the grassland among wolf tracks and untouched nature for 10 hours a day and had probably a million cast or more in that river without any luck. At least for me.
So it was time to move on to the next river which was another two days of driving.
So we’re off again and this time it was daylight and then we really saw the path we had been driving in pitch black darkness. Those Mongolian guys really know their shit!
After what supposed to be two days driving, but ended up as three after getting stuck in the mud with both cars (not exactly rush hour on the Mongolian steps, so not many people passing), we finally hit the second river which was a lot bigger than the first and my curse hit me again (and of course the others) with high water levels. But that didn’t affect it to much luckily.
I was stoked to get there and we all fished hard and finally, boom, fish on…
But I lost it. Still positive and kept fishing and boom, again… Lost it.
A bit more frustrated, but kept on going with a bit of cheering from Viljami and Hanna from the riverbank. But that was it for that day.
Same thing the next day. Boom, boom and lost. I felt the pressure. Only one day left and I told myself, “don’t you fucking break down”.
Still some time for victory. On the last day I finally hooked a fish and the happiness was way beyond everything. Even though it wasn’t a Taimen. But a small Lenok. And that was it. My chances to get a Taimen was over for now. 6 days of fishing and one fish. What can I say?
Kinda broken, we had to start our way back to Ulaanbaatar. But anyhow, that fish made it all worth it. even though it was not a Taimen.
But the obsession will probably grow stronger and someday I have to go back and get rid of this curse once and for all!
When I got home and people was asking me how the fishing was, it was not to easy to explain. Cause no one that doesn’t fish will understand this game. Why going to the other side of the globe to not catch fish? Well, it so much more to it than that and I know why I’m doing it, and thats enough.
The adventure, seeing new places, get new friends and spend time with old friends. Thats what it’s all about.
I got these wise words after getting home and they are quite spot on for me.
“Never stop exploring. If you walk the river and don’t net a fish, that’s fishing. If you net one that’s catching” (But it sure hell would be nice)
The danger of going on such trips is that you are never the same when you get back. A part of you is still there. And the urge to go on a new adventure, never gets out of your head….
Until next time and the next adventure!