Lena River, Yakutia Province, Siberia, Hucho Taimen 2016
In 2005 I was fortunate enough to be invited by fly fishing explorer Ilya Sherbovich on my first trip to the remote rivers of Siberia. Ilya's expeditions are never a small task and not for the faint of heart. The first trip took us to two rivers, the Besuki and Olanjok, in Yakutia Province (check out the earlier post called: Lena, Yakutia, Siberia, Taimen 2005). Some 11 years later Ilya once again amassed a crew of a dozen friends, I was one, with the goal of surveying further into the Yakutia Province than before. To say that the adventure was immense is an understatement! Our base was an exclusively chartered 100 meter long luxurious ship that would move up the Lena River. Seven inflatable jet boats that could run in centimeters of water were shipped in to run the tributaries. A Mi8 and Eurocopter were on standby to fly out and set up camps on some of the more distant rivers and most importantly the amazing Ponoi team were on board to take care of operations. We journeyed more that 1000 kilometers on the Lena, crossed the Arctic Circle twice and fished 10 far-flung Siberian rivers. Within these distant watersheds we experienced the most amazing fishing for big taimen, lennok, grayling, perch and pike while engaging in an ultimate pursuit for the first fly caught Russian nelma, a giant predatory fish which has never been caught on a fly.