Russia's Kola [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Russia's Kola

05-06-2005, 02:45 PM
Those of you who have had the pleasure of fishing in Russia in your view which is the best river and why?


05-09-2005, 06:09 AM
I hear that the rynda is good, I also recal reading about it in a magazine, does anyone know of it and if so what is it like?


05-09-2005, 09:17 AM
I've never fished there, but Cabela's Outfitter Journal had a program on it recently. I can't remember what river they were fishing, but the fish were all HUGE! It looked a lot like Alaska or Quebec, beautiful scenery.

05-09-2005, 10:04 AM
I have no personal experience, but from what I do know you need to be quite clear what sort of experience you're after when it comes to choosing a river and a time to visit.

There are places where you can catch 100 fish in a week, but they are likely to be almost all grilse. On other rivers a tenth of that number might be a good result, but you have a fair chance of a 20lb fish, and possibly one a good deal bigger than that. Do you get pleasure from fishing with deeply sunk lines and heavy flies, or do you want to experience seeing a salmon come up to a dry fly and be able to play around with a single handed rod?

Some rivers are huge, and I believe can be quite daunting to fish, as well as potentially dangerous. Two English guys died last year when their boat overturned on one of the larger rivers, despite wearing life jackets. Others rivers are more like what you may be used to in the British Isles. Do you like pools which are identifiable, and where you can 'read the water' yourself, or are you content to be told by the guide where to fish and to follow his instructions?

Are you happy flying around in Russian ex-military helicopters? Most rivers rely on these to get you in and out of Murmansk, but some also use them on a daily basis to deliver you to your beat. There is obviously a degree of risk involved in this; you may have read an article by David Profumo a couple of years ago describing a crash he suffered in one. Fog seems to be a not uncommon occurrence on the Kola, and might curtail your activities if you are reliant on choppers. On the other hand I think there's one river which doesn't need to use them even to get into and out of the camp from Murmansk, which might be an attraction if prefer to avoid that sort of thing.

There is also the camp to consider. I think they are mostly pretty comfortable these days, but this was not always the case, and you might wish to check this out. Would you mind if you found yourself in a party with a lot of hard-drinking Finns, for example? Would you rather be in an English-speaking establishment, or is your Finnish sufficiently good that this wouldn't be a problem?

I think you need to work out where your priorities lie, and then start talking to people to establish which river best meets these criteria. One person's idea of 'best' may not be the same as another's.

05-25-2005, 09:54 AM

I was on the Ponoi a few years ago and I can tell you that it was tremendous.

The camp was very well run, the food was great, the equipment was fine. Regarding the helicopters, the one we flew out to the camp in (2.5hr flight) was nicely patched up from 50cal holes put in it in Afganistan.

14 of us fished for 5 days and caught 900 salmon. Not much dry water, but a lot of takes on skating wets. We didn't catch fresh run fish until the last day!!

No hassles, great guides, great home pool after dinner fishing. Fished at 2AM in a snow storm.... June 24th...... Otherwise the weather was overcast, 65-75 during the day and 40s at night.

If you can go, do it.


06-16-2005, 06:20 PM
I fished the Rynda last year (Aug 2004) through the ASR Youth Program and had a great time although the weather was more suitable for sunbathing than fishing. The Rynda is a mid sized river and has a good mixture of pools and the chance of hooking a 30lb+ fish, the record stands at 46lbs. I caught 9 fish for the week on both drys and wets which was very good conciddering the weather conditions (30c air temp 20+c water temp and no cloud cover for the whole week). Most of the fish that I caught were fairly fresh, some had sea lice and only 1 was coloured. I did not go out there to catch large numbers of small fish, I went out there to beat my personal best which I did 3 times in 1 day. The camp is excellent. The guides are great and the food is out of this world. The helicopters are old but well looked after and the pilot was very good. I had never flown in a helicopter until this trip and was a little nervous about them but by the end of the week it felt as normal as jumping in and out of a taxi. I am going back to Rynda this year at the end of August hoping that the weather conditions are more suitable for fishing and to set a new personal best. Will post a thread in the Clasic Atlantic Salmon section when I return. Just 1 last thing to add if you get the chance to go then take it even if you have to make some sacrifices or borrow some of the money to get there as it is an experience that you will never forget.

06-30-2005, 03:55 PM
I fished the Umba in 2002. I enjoyed the trip very much despite many hassles with British Airways. The river is reached by van, 7 hours out of Murmansk - no helicopters whatsoever. I'd say it was more of a not so many fish, but a good chance for a large one, type river. A few were taken over 20# that week and I landed an 18 pounder. Its now under new management so that will no doubt change the situation somewhat.