Pre trip info and terms

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Russian Atlantic salmon

Here you will find essential information and terms on your coming salmon trip to Russia – if you still have questions please don’t hesitate to contact Salmon Junkies

Ponoi River

Ponoi River is one of the most productive Salmon Rivers on earth and you will have to search hard to find such a unique and unspoilt Salmon stock. The Ponoi River with an overall length of 400 kilometers is the longest river on the Kola Peninsula. It flows parallel and just north of the polar circle, through the largest nature reserve on the Kola. With numerous lakes in the system, water flow is very stable and remains nearly unaffected by rain or dry conditions.

Ponoi is regarded as a big river with 60 to 150 meters from bank to bank, but it is quite shallow with an average depth of about 1,5 meters. The fishing is productive both wading or from boat and in many places you will find pools and holding places side by side across the river as if two or three rivers were braided together.

Wildlife is prolific and from May through the summer the area is practically invaded by a variety of birds of all kinds from ducks and songbirds to falcon and eagles.

The area is sparsely populated by descendants of the ancient northern Sami people. A few miles west of Acha camp you will find a village with around 60 residents through the year.

Their main occupation is in line with the ancient traditions of “Caribou – farming” and they have permission to fish for salmon in certain areas.

Salmon Junkies runs two different programs on the Ponoi and they are spread on a scale from luxury camps to wildlife-salmon expeditions and all guarantee you an unforgettable fishing adventure.

Ponoi river Acha camp

Acha camp is our core program on the Ponoi situated just upstream the well known Ryabaga-stretch with camp at the junction where Acha River enters the Ponoi. Fishing the beautiful lower pools in Acha River is included in this program.

The fishing at Acha camp is very reliable and in June/July Acha camp will produce in this period around 2500 Salmon and roughly 42% of them will be multi sea winter fish. Weekly we operate 10 rods with one guide and boat pr. 2 rods.

The camp has 10 wooden cabins with twin beds and stove plus electric heated. Single accommodation is thus guaranteed. A Dining house – containing kitchen and separated cosy dinning room – and finally a newly build Shower and Sauna house.

Daily schedule in Acha camp

08:00 AM Breakfast
09:00 AM Guides take clients to boats for day’s fishing
14:00 PM Lunch on the river or camp depending on the rotation schedule
18:30 PM Lines up
19:00 PM Appetizer served
20:00 PM Dinner
21:00 PM Fishing after dinner is usually free around camp – but it is still under the command of the camp manager. If the group wishes or if the manager find it necessary there will be made up a schedule for evening fishing.

Ponoi river – Acha river explore program

The explorative alternative for the challenging guy, who likes a bit of sweat with his salmon! The helicopter will drop of the team with two well trained guides and you will be able to fish the pools from about 30 km upstream of the Acha camp and all the way downstream to Acha Camp. Premium fly-fishing water, perfect for single-hand or light double – with numerous holding pools in the most beautiful countryside with abundant wildlife.

Acha river explorer average weekly around 100 salmon between 6 rods. The ultimate trip for a young and fit, looking for an inexpensive and challenging salmon fishing

Accommodation will be in two base tents camps placed strategic along Acha River. Please notice that you have to bring your own sleeping bag.

New for 2010; one extra day of exclusive fishing in the Acha Camp for free in our “off roader program”

Organizing the fishing

For Ponoi

Salmon Junkies camp manager will setup a weekly fishing schedule that suits the conditions and actual numbers of guest in camp and usually there will be a mid-day-rotation after lunch. This system is tried and trusted and every guest will usually fish all pools more than once.

The manager schedule is worked out with the main purpose to give all an even share, but this does not mean that it cannot be altered. The only criterion that must be fulfilled in that context is that all affected guests agree and that this agreement is found between the guests and the presented to the camp manager.

Fishing after dinner is usually free around camp – but it is still under the directions of the camp manager. If necessary there will be made up a schedule for evening fishing. Early morning fishing is restricted to the beats you are going to after breakfast.

For an extra tip guides will be available for evening fishing also on the beats further from camp. Make these agreements before dinner directly with you guide.

Fishing and tackle

The fishing starts in late may when the usual spring flood is running of and the white polar nights normally create a euphoric and exhausting fishing trance among our guests. As may moves into June we see a period that must be considered prime time. If wind and weather also plays along these are weeks where the salmon-ceiling is popped of like corks from our Russian champagne.

Most fishing today is carried out with modern double hand rods between 12 ½ and 15 feet for line 8 -10 – Regarding reel. Please remember to bring some reliable reels that won’t let you down when your + 30lbs salmon take off. Reel for double handled rod should contain minimum 200 meters backing – Single handed reel minimum 150 meters backing. (Buy the best available gear to avoid any failure – Cheap gear will always let you down) Lines: Early season sinking line Floating – Intermediate and sink tips. Important: Bring some fast sinking lines if you are fishing May / June – Leaders: 12 – 14 – 16 – 18 – 20 – 24 – 30 lbs braking strength.

By middle of August we are back again into the more rock-solid doubled handled rods

Flies to bring for Russia

All rivers have their favorites and the Russian is no exception. That said though it must be added that – probably due to the decent neutral color in most of the rivers – very many and very different types of flies seem to work.

Hereby some of the hot patterns you should bring to Russia.

Traditional hook flies

Red But

Silver Doctor

Black Francis

Ally’s Shrimp

The Cascade

Green Highlander

Thunder & Lightning

Willie Gunn

Black Sheep

Blue. Hairy Mary / Blue Charm

The Undertaker

Recommendation towards sizes would be in direction of: 2 – 4 – Middle of June, moving to 6 – 8 in late June early July and further down to 10 and smaller in summer with the addition of bigger dryflies etc. Bombers, muddlers and skaters size 4 – 6 are highly recommendable in summer

Tube flies with a wing length around 1 inches – 1 ½ inches – Get them in the classic “Scandi” design with a long profile in the wing a’la Tempeldog style – Good colors – Black / Yellow / Orange / Green / Brown

The tube fly Body should be in length 10mm – 20mm – recommended in Brass, Cobber or aluminum.

For more information regarding flies please check our Flies menu.

Clothes and accessories

The weather is very unpredictable on the Kola peninsula, and it can change dramatically within very short time so it will be very sensible to bring both something that will keep you warm and dry in rainy and windy day and on the other hand something that is more comfortable, when the sun is dancing for 20 odd hours a day.

The following list may inspire:


Fleece trousers and jacket

Warm socks .

Fleece gloves.

Hat and scarf.

Waterproof fishing jacket

Waders (breathable)

Fishing shirts and vest


Measure tape

Leader material


Repair kit for Waders

Some sinking tip for extreme situations


Wading stick

Pocket torch with fresh batteries.

Camera and video (recharge in the camp / 22oV)

Bag or backpack for daily equipment

Mosquito repellent

Sun glasses

It is also advisable to bring:

Ear plugs for helicopter flights, snoring partners and screaming fly reels.

A couple of plastic bags for wet clothes and booths when leaving

Personal medicine and painkillers. Cash in USD for bar, gratuities etc.

Catch and release advice

All our programmes operates a strict catch and release policy. All fish must be reported and registered daily in the camp’s catch statistic book. All fishing is strictly Fly only, with use of single or double barb less hook. We request extremely care in handling all fish.

  • Please do not beach the fish on dry land/rocks. Use a knotless landing net.
  • When fishing from a boat try to land big fish from the bank.
  • For photographs please ensure the fish is supported underneath. Wet your hands (never hold it up by the tail or the mouth) and return it to the water as soon as possible.
  • When returning the fish support it in the water (mouth pointing upstream) unto it has fully recuperated before allowing it to swim away.

Terms and Conditions

INCLUDED IN COST: Round-trip air transportation from Murmansk to the Ponoi or Umba camp; Seven nights and six full fishing days at the Ponoi or Umba; all meals and accommodations at the river; fishing permits; one guide, boat and motor for each two anglers.

NOT INCLUDED: Round-trip airfare from your home to Murmansk; meals and accommodations in Helsinki or other en route cities; visa processing. Alcoholic beverages and other items of a personal nature; gratuities to guides and camp staff.


In order to confirm your reservation a 50% deposit is required not later than 14 days after invoicing. For our Ponoi and Umba Summer programs the final payment should be paid no later February 14th  2010. Final payment for our autumn program in Umba no later than July 14th 2010. Deposit and final payment are non-refundable in case you have a business conflict or change your mind.

Unusual weather and river conditions – such as extreme snow- and ice conditions – may also lead to trip cancellation. In such case – Salmon Junkies will, in the following order:

Offer Customer an alternative trip at a later date same season but maybe on a different programme.
If this is not possible for Salmon Junkies – Salmon Junkies will offer a 50% refund on the price paid on the cancelled trip.
Alterations – Travel schedules in Russia can change due to adverse weather, strikes or other factors beyond our control. This can cause loss of airlines tickets, for which Salmon Junkies cannot be held liable.
Salmon Junkies management has the right to implement alterations in the programme and fishing schedule to adapt to the prevailing conditions and seek optimum exploitation of the fishing and facilities for the group.
There can be public fishing access to some of Salmon Junkies stretches / beats.
Salmon Junkies keeps the right to host group leaders, journalists, film crews in some weeks / programs.

Salmon Junkies has the right to cancel on the basis of force majeure i.e. natural disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes, floods) – wars, riots or other major upheaval – performance failures of parties outside the control of Salmon Junkies.

Customer is responsible for signing own Trip cancellation insurance and travel insurance.

TRAVEL IN RUSSIA: Visiting the Ponoi or Umba requires flying in Russian helicopters / or driving in Bus, and boats in wilderness country.

Passengers must understand and accept the risks associated with such means of conveyance. Travel schedules in Russia can change due to adverse weather, strikes, or other factors beyond our control. This can cause delays and even missed international connections. Such delays could impose additional cost to you in hotels or in changing low-cost airline tickets (which often have tight restrictions) for which we cannot be responsible.

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