The fishing starts in late May when the usual spring flood is running off and the white polar nights normally create a euphoric fishing trance among our guests. May and June are considered as prime time.
Rod: We encourage you to bring an 8 to 9 weight Spey rod, which will easily handle Salmon in the 8 – 20(+) lb range. Matched with the proper line, an 8 to 9 weight rod can handle anything from floating lines to sink-tips. A good rod length is 12´6’” – 13’6” and will allow you to cast long distances without fatigue throughout a long day.
Reel & Line: Bring some reliable reels that will not let you down when a ‘hot’ Salmon takes off. Double handled rod reels should contain 200 meters of backing. (Please buy the best available gear to avoid any failures – cheap gear will always let you down). Lines: Early season sinking line Floating – Intermediate and sink tips. Important: Always bring some fast sinking tips. Leaders: 20 – 24 – 30 lbs braking strength.
Effect of Weather: In the middle of June, the summer will bring high-pressure weather and sunshine, sometimes for 24 hours per day. Needless to say these conditions can affect the fishing, but surprisingly they can sometimes improve it. Dry fly casting is very effective in these conditions and can, at times, be absolutely essential. For this we recommend you bring a 9–11’ singled handled or Switch rod for use with line 7–8.
Flies: All rivers have their favorites, and Umba, Ponoi and Grand Varzuga are no exception. That said, a wide range of flies seem to work, probably due to the decent neutral colour in most of the rivers. Fishing regulations permit flies with either single or double hooks, but barbs must be pinched down before the first cast. Here are some of the ‘hot’ products you might wish to bring:
Traditional hook flies: Red Butt, Silver Doctor, Ally’s Shrimp, The Cascade, Green Highlander, Thunder & Lightning, Willie Gunn, Black Sheep, Hairy Mary, Blue Charm, The Undertaker, Billy Butt, Black Bear Green Butt, & Monroe Killer. Our size recommendations are: 2-6 from end of May to middle of June; 6–8 in late June/early July; and further down to 10 and smaller in summer. In September we are back again in size 4–8. In the middle of June towards end of July remember some dry flies, bombers, muddlers and skaters at sizes 4 – 6.
Tube flies: Bring tube flies with a wing length around 1– 1½”. We recommend a classic “Temple Dog” design. Productive colours; Black, Yellow, Orange, Green, Brown. The tube fly body should be in length 10-20mm and we recommend brass, copper or aluminium.
Clothes and Accessories
Clothing: The weather is very unpredictable on the Kola Peninsula, and can change dramatically in a very short time. It is sensible to bring something to keep you warm and dry on rainy and windy days, plus something more comfortable for when the sun is blaring for up to 20-hours a day. We recommend that you bring fleece trousers and jacket, warm socks, fleece gloves, hat & scarf, waterproof fishing jacket, breathable waders, plus fishing shirts and vest.
Fishing Accessories: Measuring tape, leader material, clippers, repair kit for waders, sinking tips for extreme situations, pliers, wading stick, pocket torch with fresh batteries, camera and video (220V for recharging at the camp), bag or backpack for daily equipment, mosquito repellent, and sun glasses
Personal Accessories: It is also advisable to bring a set of ear plugs for helicopter flights, snoring partners and screaming fly reels! A couple of plastic bags for wet clothes and boots when leaving are always useful. Personal medicine and painkillers. Cash in Euro for that bar and gratuities.