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Great to hear from you.  Our fearless leader (you) was sorely missed!
Looking forward to the possibility of fishing with you on the Sea Hunter
in 2013; I'll even campaign for a masseuse and drug cartel rep. to offer
their services (if needed prior to the trip)  ;)

The Mongolia lower river was quite an adventure and you chose a great cast
of fishermen/woman.  Anna and John are a riot (I had never met them and
enjoyed their company and "pole-dancer" topwater fly selection for
taimen), Jeff R. dances Mongolian quite well (he joined a group of
Mongolians swimming in the Onon at their fireside dance fest), Doc P. (we
had a "Day of 10,000 casts" when the fishing got difficult), and Doug
(tier of some amazing popper-type tube flies on this trip and dude we know
well).  Mark Johnstad did a good job keeping us tuned into the ways of the
river and Mongolian culture.  As you know, he's energetic and ready to
help.  I realized relatively close to  leaving on the trip that his wife
and mine work together at WDC which was a crack-up and joke to realize
another "small circle" of people you meet in life.

Food was just as you had projected--delicious, hardy quality stews, etc.
Staff exceedingly gracious.  Tent camps comfortable and easy to relax in.
Chilean guides helpful and confident in their talents.

Fishing was, as best a I can understand, probably fairly typical for
taimen.  We had to figure some of the conditions out (higher water,
sometimes turbid, fish moving around), but I had a blast.   Over 20
taimen, numerous trout (both sp.), and 2 pike landed.  All fish took the
same jig flies tied as streamers (for taimen) so I actually only used 3
colors/4 flies the entire time!  A black/orange pattern, another
green/gold (looked like a small lenok), and a white/gray.  As you likely
know, Jeff landed the largest fish (around 40", I think) on a segmented
floater foam fly he called "the mink."  Great-looking, long-a_s swimmer
fly with googly eyes!

I'll send some pictures your way.  I think my favorite part of the trip
was the canyon section with steep rocky slopes along the river and deep
chutes of water for the fish to hold in--think it was day 4-5 (?).

I've actually dreamed of going to Mongolia since I was a kid...your trip
was the avenue to enjoy the country, people, and spirit of the taimen.

Hope you are feeling better Scott!  Jim