Tajmen is one of those legendary fish that many anglers around the world dream of one. It is influenced, in my opinion, by several factors: the strength and size of this fish, the difficulty of catching and the areas in which this fishing trophy occurs.
Taimen is the largest and oldest fish of the salmon species, its weight reaches 35 kg, although I have heard stories about specimens weighing over 50 kg, but they were caught on the net by local fishermen, but these stories are credible because they were weighed fish before sale, so it’s not another fishing stories. The strength of this fish is obviously proportional to its weight. The strikes are strong and violent, and fighting them is quite a satisfaction. After bite, the taimen usually turns towards a strong current or swiftly, there is no point in trying to sublime haul, super strong braided line, excellent treble hooks, properly set brake in a strong reel and then we can think about hauling a beast when we can count on an equal fight and great fishing emotions, candles, breaks and dodges. As a rule, such a large fish cannot be picked up with a landing net, so we have to choose the right place for landing the fish in advance, a relatively flat shore is the best for this, the helping hand of a guide or a colleague next to you is invaluable in such moments. The first few seconds are the most difficult, they decide about everything. How and when we survive this, we can hope. The taimen is by far the strongest fish of the salmonids.
It is not without reason that Taimen in Russia has been included in the so-called "Red card" which means it is completely protected. The sporting catch of this fish is done exclusively on the C&R basis. This does not mean, however, that the state does not spend small limits on catching this fish in larger rivers by the economic system, hence we can buy this fish in shops or markets. However, we are interested in a purely sports and fishing approach to the subject. So we come back to the topic and the question, is it difficult to catch a taimen?
First of all, in simplification, Taimen is basically only found in Russia and Mongolia. When we look at the world map, we will realize very quickly that Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of territory, and Mongolia is not small either. However, let's focus on the taimen fishing in Russia. It occurs in the catchments of the great Russian rivers from the Urals to the east. The largest taimen populations are found in Siberia, Altai and the Far East. However, the one who thinks that it is enough to go to one of these rivers would be wrong. The taimen is a fish that migrates and changes its place in particular periods of the year. Sports fishing for the taimen in the great rivers of Russia is not quite the point. The taimen stays there from late autumn to spring, and then returns to feed in its tributaries. This is where you have to look for him. The best time to catch a taimen is from spring to autumn, i.e. from June to September. This varies, of course, depending on the region, latitude and, as it usually happens, the weather. The taimen feeds well at the beginning of the season, after which its appetite slightly weakens to start hunting again in August.
It follows from the above that one should look for the taimen in the tributaries of the great Russian rivers. The tributaries in the vicinity of larger cities can be discarded at the beginning, we will not find this fish there. So you should go to areas that are sparsely or not populated at all. There are no roads, let alone highways. Rivers play this role in many areas in Russia, they are the bloodstream and the network connecting the most distant villages with larger cities. There is, of course, local air transport, which cuts travel times, but in the end you have to change to a boat anyway and go far to the small tributaries. Russia is a huge country where a distance of several hundred kilometers does not impress anyone. The taimen fishing grounds are usually at least 600-700 km away from big cities, I do not know any closer ones, only further ones. The way to the fishery itself takes us from several hours to even three days. But someone said that it's not the goal that's important, but the way. Therefore, to reach the fishery itself, we use various types of transport depending on the conditions. Sometimes it is an off-road car or a Jeep, sometimes a ship, a hydrofoil, a plane, a helicopter, a motor yacht, jet slippers, or an amphibious vehicle, that is everything that is most effective and optimal in the given conditions. Most often, however, when traveling to the river itself, we use several types of transport. These are the conditions. Maybe sometimes it's uncomfortable, unpredictable, but you won't see all of this on your TV. The reward for this will be a wonderful wild river, fishing adventure and the awareness that the nearest human settlement is far, far, sometimes hundreds of kilometers from us.
The most common method of fishing is spinning. Taimen is a big, strong fish, therefore the lures must be solid and large. All kinds of large work well, rotating spinners with numbering 5 and larger, solid wobblers are also very popular, sometimes it is also worth using an old, large spoon. We fish a bit less with rubber lures, although I saw a few fish with this type of lures. You can also try fly fishing with great success, rods numbered 8-10, nymphs, here also bait - the fly must be of the right size. A mouse bait is also described many times, it is a floating bait of various sizes, which looks like a mouse. Most often it is caught at dusk and at night, however, based on my own observations and experiences, I would not overestimate its importance, although the bites on it look spectacular.
The mistake of many anglers with whom I have been is that after a dozen or so unsuccessful casts with a large bait, seeing their friends catch smaller fish, but they pull something out of the water every moment, change the bait to a smaller one and join the group of those who they are fishing. To catch a specimen taimen, unfortunately you have to be patient, not be tempted to go the easy way. After catching the specimen, taking a photo session, we can start trying to go for the quantity, but not before. To sum up, in order to catch a specimen fish, you need to have patience, the right equipment and be ready for a long walk, unless you are a lucky novice, as they are sometimes.
Taking into account the distance of fisheries from civilization, the wildness of the areas where it occurs, the strength and bravery and the rarity of this fish, we should not be surprised that it is one of the most coveted fishing trophies in the world. But there are still rivers in Russia and places where its population is quite well, where it is still the empire of this fish, where he is the tsar and it is worth going there to experience a great angling adventure.
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With regards: Irek Szatlach
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