Trout is a trout in whatever a colour. I shouldn't be a racist favoring one over others. But of all the places on earth, this is not a location I expect a rainbow, a native of N. America. In the hours followed we caught a couple of bows each, but alas, all babies not to bend our 5wt rod.

Well, we made at least a step forward, in uncovering the mystery of the Kyrgys rivers off the beaten track.

- Next

Now let's check where we stand. In the south of Kazakhstan, in the west of China, pointed by the red arrow is the republic of Kyrgys. Over 40% of the country sits at the altitude above 3,000m. Place the pointer on the pic to see the topography chart, too.

A quest for trout in the roof of the world - does have a romantic ring to it, don't you think?
I blame the cuddly pet cat for our loss of good half an hour.
Day 2. The morning was chilly at 2c. But as I pulled up the curtain, a big blue sky unfolded over the snow capped mountains.

Hey ladies, wake up! Gotta go! Go fishing!!
I came to hear of Kyrgystan, one of the former USSR republic in the central Asian highland, through the taxi drivers from this country many of them working here in Moscow. To my question they proudly talked about their native country where pristine streams run which were, they assured me, full of wild trout. Well, gotta go have a look!

Flight to Bishkek took 4.5hours. The capital had a look of a typical Soviet city, except the statues were those of Manas, the legendary hero of Kyrgys, having replaced Stalin's and Lenin's.
Now finally on to the business. The river looked perfect, with swift runs and slow glides alternating at friendly intervals. But no bites. Can't be!

Then a quicksilver hit my #16 caddis imitation. Oh-ho!! I knew you were there!! Now, let me see your lovely face you little pretty one?

Oh!? It's a, , , a rain . . . bow!?
No A to Z travel guide, much less, fishing guide in this part of the word. Getting to rivers demands a lot of map reading and asking around. I do not speak a word of Kyrgys but they all speak fluent Russian - a helpful Esperanto in the former USSR countries.

And the rivers we managed to get to was well worth the effort. What a grand setting, and what a stunning stream!! Reminded us of NZ south. All we missed was, you guessed it, trout. No sign of fish this day but, no rush, our trip just began.
Soon we climbed up to the top of the pass, at 2,200m above sea. To the eyes of us living in painfully flat Moscow, the landscape appeared frightfully dynamic!
We jumped onto the car and drove out. The Nissan Patrol we rented was a seasoned veteran that had cranked nearly 200 thousand kms already. Not a most comfortable car to sit in but a sturdy choice to rely on, especially in such environment we were stepping into.


Fishy Trips
Kyrgyz in Sept '18 - 1
We soon began our descent over to the valley of Suusamyr. Beyond the grand expanse of steppe, lie the snow capped peaks of Tien Shan range.
In a matter of hours we were driving into a deep chiselled valley, which soon started a steep ascent on the rocky mountains.

End of September being the beginning of autumn, or of winter coming around in no time. Shepherds on the horseback were chasing the sheep that had spent the summer up in the highland, down to their lowland home..