Habarovsk region of Russia is sparsely populated, remote area. The largest rivers (Uda and Tugur) proceed on boggy valleys and have close to flat character. On the contrary, many of their inflows present mountain rivers. Bichy river is smaller, convenient for flyfishing. In Uda and Tugur till now a lot of large Siberian taimen. Uniqueness of these taimen consists that it can eat numerous here a Siberian salmon. The forage abundance allows a predator to reach the huge sizes. There are authentic data on capture here fishes in weight in 70 and even 95 kgs! And more than 30 kgs here catch fishes in weight annually. Except taimen, to fishers are interesting lenok, Amur grayling, sig-hadary and the Amur pike. The most extensive area among all kinds of sort Huco possesses Siberian taimen. Within river pool this fish can make far migrations. The typical annual cycle includes wintering, spawning migration, a summer food and autumn leaving downstream. Spawning migration from winter parking begins with rising of water in the river in April and May. Fishes leave the main river and come into inflows having mountain character. Spawning proceeds in May and first half of June. In large inflows fish can remain all the summer long. In the summer fish keeps on weak, sometimes on an average current in holes and on reaches. Sometimes fish comes into flowing lakes and old channels of the rivers with stagnant water. In the autumn in small water fish is more often on a waterway. At lifting of a water level fish leaves from a current in places where water is purer. To search for it is necessary in old channels of the river. Activity of fish changes in a season current. After spawning it is active. In hot summer months from the beginning of July it ceases to eat. The biting improves after a rain when small animals get to water. It is noticed that fishing begins difficultly in a situation when salmons appear in the river.
But small fishes in weight in 10-15 kg do not eat salmons and continue to be caught. By the autumn taimen becomes more active and is fed before ice occurrence on the rivers. Fish quickly grows, by 10 years reaches 100 sm and weight in 10 kg. From now on it becomes a predator and eats fish, birds, small mammals.
Usually fish catch on large fluctuating lures and large wobblers. Advise to use dim, copper or dark baits. Last years use large mouse for catching on a surface.Medium-sized fish in length about metre comes across often on the easy tackle intended for lenok or grayling.
Tackles for large fish should be reliable. It is necessary to catch in holes, among the fallen trees, at the washed away coast. Therefore conveniently to have two-manual fishing-rod and a set of lines or shooting heads.
Baits should be large. Their weight and the size are limited only to capacity of a fishing-rod. Large streamers, poppers and mouses do on hooks in the size from 1\0 to 4\0. Often use an additional hook on baits tail. Taimen often suffices a bait behind, and the pike attacks a head. All large flies of type a bloodsucker, matuka and zonker are good. The best fly is tied on a flexible basis with a heavy head and a hook at the tail-end.
I think that the best information about taimen fishing is stated in Michael Skopets's fine book under the name "To the Far East with fly fishing". If you have a possibility to get acquainted with this book then you will find a lot of the unique information on this theme. It is interesting that the author made use of the experience of taimen fishing on the rivers Tugur and Bichy, where we fish too. So it is very much the helpful information.
In comparison with with a bait for a spinning the fly loses in mobility. Therefore for flyfisherman there is absolutely other problem. It is not necessary to work on the areas, on it too much time leaves. It is necessary to choose the best, most perspective points for fishing. These are places where taimen it is fed, instead of has a rest, we search and it is caught active fish. More often it is a mouth of inflows, inputs in holes after rifts, merges a channel, inputs in old channels of the rivers. Therefore for fishing on a fly the season begins with the end of June when taimen stays on superficial water. Active fishes give out often themselves leaving to a water surface for small fish. It is an opportunity for fishing on superficial baits. If traces of surface activity are not present , it is necessary to fish thickness of water, trying to spend a fly deeper. It is clear that technically it is difficult. In the autumn fish, especially large copies, become in deep places, which are a little accessible to fishing on a fly. But anyway, it is possible to count on exits of fish to a surface on the artificial mouse at night.
Attack of fish is felt on a miscellaneous. It can look as blow or a hook for a bottom. All depends on position of fish, depth and force of a current. Therefore at any suspicion it is necessary to strike. Inactive fish takes fly languid, we feel small pushes or jerks. It is possible to think that it may be a lenok or grayling but is frequent it can also large taimen.. On open places it is possible to land even very large fish. But in places with the tumbled down trees and other shelters, taimen it is frequent can take cover there and tear off tackle. Very difficult situations arise, when fish manages to leave downstream. Then chances to extend a large copy, working against the current, are very small. Except fast throws on a current, fish can jump. Already at coast taimen starts to turn round an axis, as an alligator, or lies on a bottom in a deep place.
Here are photos of Tugur river and its hucho. A lot of very nice shots by my friends Oleg, Alex, Mikhal during 2011-2012 years trips. Yearly July and late September- October.
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