Kyrgyzstan is a 90% mountainous Central Asian country that is also home to just under 2,000 lakes and 40,000 rivers, most of which are glacier-fed. It’s a lush oasis in the midst of Central Asia with little rainfall and an average count of 245 sunny days a year, making an excellent destination for travelers that enjoy fishing.
There are 54 different species of fish inside the country, 38 of which are indigenous to the area. Fish found in Kyrgyzstan include various species of trout, salmon, pike, marinka, carp, osman, bream, catfish, perch, bullheads, and whitefish to name a few. Here are some good river fishing destinations for people looking for fishing excursions in Kyrgyzstan.
SUUSAMYR RIVER FISHING
The Suusamyr River is 80km (50 miles) long, running from the Ala Bel Pass at an elevation of roughly 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) to the Susamyr Valley, then merging into the Western Karakol River. The main fish inhabiting the river is the Osman. Osman can range up to 50cm (20 in) in length and a weight of 3kg (6.5 lbs). They’re natural habitat is in the rivers of the Tien Shan mountains higher than 1,500 meters (5,000 ft). They eat algae as well as the larvae of both air and water insects. Many fishermen prefer fishing from rafts because of the thick vegetation along the riverbanks of the Susamyr. The best time to fish is from mid-April to mid-June.
FISHING FOR TROUT IN THE RED RIVER
The Red River flows through the Chui Valley, about 60km (37 miles) outside of Bishkek and is a popular spot for trout fishing in Kyrgyzstan. There are 2 different species of trout in the Red River: River and Rainbow Trout. The typical size of trout varies from 20-25cm (8-10 in) long and 1-2 kg (2-4.5 lbs) in weight. The largest recorded trout brought in from the Red River was 7 kg (15 lbs). The best seasons so fish this river are Spring and Autumn.
KEKEMEREN RIVER FISHING TRIPS
The Kekemeren River is 200 km (124 miles) long, birthed from the intersection of the Suusamyr and Western Karakol River. It then winds through the Tien Shan valleys into the Naryn River. Fishermen can find 3 different kinds of fish in the Kekemeren: the Osman, Marinka, and Amudarya Trout. The Amudarya Trout was introduced to Kyrgyzstan roughly 80 years ago and can weigh up to 5kg (11 lbs). They are leaner than River Trout and its meat tastes similar to that of salmon. While there are places to fish from along the riverbank, the most preferred method of fishing the Kekemeren is from a raft. The best time to fish is from mid-April to mid-June.
The nice thing about Kyrgyzstan is that it’s covered in lakes and rivers, so fishing destinations are numerous. Plus, most of the countryside is sparsely populated, so finding a secluded spot is easy to do. Just pick an area of Kyrgyzstan that looks appealing and settle in for a nice fishing vacation. Between the gorgeous landscape, peaceful atmosphere and good fishing, Kyrgyzstan makes an ideal setting for a relaxing holiday getaway.
Photos by Sheih, photo by Pfizer