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Journal of Dan T. Cook - Fly Fishing the Globe

Traveling 75,000 miles around the world in search of fish and friendship.
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July 19, 2007 - Location: Ayanchin Lodge, Terelj (just outside of Ulaan Baatar)

Usually I try not to build up my next fishing destination before I get there. This is primarily due to the fact that I don't want to jinx things. While I believe in thinking positive, I tend to err on the conservative side and limit my external enthusiasm. The other reason I try not to build up too much excitement is because there are occasions when I don't catch sh!t. So saying that I'm going to some river and that it should be "productive," like I did at the end of the last update, has now been proven 100% effective in ensuring that I don't do all that well.

Actually, I caught a lot of fish...Lenok and Grayling. However, I was there to catch Taimen. And I caught one. The problem was that I saw plenty and caught one. I tried every fly in my box(es). I made sure I assumed a positive attitude at all times and attempted to transmit this positive attitude to the fish I was trying to catch. This usually does the trick. But it didn't this time. I have no answer but the "jinxing" thing.

Fortunately for Andy, I'm usually a good luck charm for my guide. Sure enough, he landed an incredible fish of around 1.15 meters. And it was fat too. The humorous thing is after he got the fish to strike at a popper, he gave me a shot at it while he altered his fly pattern. The fish wanted nothing to do with my offering. Then Andy came back and caught it on the third cast. I don't know what to say....

I have now spent seven weeks in Mongolia. I cannot put into words how wonderful this country is. I can recommend it to anyone. If you enjoy hiking, fishing, horseback riding, sight-seeing, camping, bird-watching, learning about different cultures and seeing how other people live...... this is the place to visit.

Again, I would like to thank Andy Parkinson and Gantuluun of Fish Mongolia ( for their wonderful hospitality. Without their cooperation, I would not have been able to access the most productive (I can say that now that I'm leaving) rivers in the country. I can confidently recommend them to anyone who would like to try their hand at the magnificent Taimen, hearty Lenok and the elegent Grayling here in Mongolia.

I can also encourage people interested in visiting Mongolia to contact Gana at the Sustainable Tourism Development Center ( Gana can arrange a variety of tours, guides and activities that will enlighten and educate any visitor. While I have been here for 7 weeks, I have only seen a tiny portion of the country. This is a big, beautiful and wonderful land.
After I returned to Ulaan Baatar from Moron, I took the rig down to the river to wash off the mud that had piled up to 4" thick on the truck and trailer. About 15 minutes had passed when a couple of Mongolians from a nearby picnic approached. We exchanged a few words and next thing I know about 15 people are helping me throw buckets of water and scrub off the mud. Afterward, we all gathered together for pictures. I was happy to have the help and meet them and they seemed incredibly happy to help and meet me. It was a fitting end to an incredible visit.

Tomorrow I will begin the 8,000 km drive to Finland. While there are a couple of fishing opportunities along the way, each requires a 10 day expedition. Instead, I have decided to concentrate on Norway....... but I'm not going to say if I'll catch any fish there or not.

Thanks again to everyone who has e-mailed with guidance, support and encouragement.

Gantuluun and Andy from Fish Mongolia

Our camp on the river

Dan hiking upriver with the JPW "Mosquito" backpackable boat

Andy with his nice Taimen

You drive what you have to the Nadaam Festival

Dusk on the drive back to UB

I guess this is preferable to having dust everywhere

The picnickers that helped me wash the rig


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