Fishing the Kola River is one of the best opportunities on offer worldwide to catch a 30Lb – 40lb+ trophy salmon. Here you have a real shot of catching the BIG one and to get quite a few 20lb + as extra bonus. Salmon Junkies are happy to announce that we have taken Kola River under our management for 2013 and future years. A new ambitious plan from new owner, which involves serious enforced river control and conservation, has been presented for Salmon Junkies and we have decided to give it our full support. With enforced control, we now believe that the future of Kola River looks brighter than ever for the salmon and all our guests.
New Sheriff in Town:
Despite great catch statistics; we could all agree that Kola River’s reputation has deteriorated over the years due to poor management and control. Seeing poachers or non-licensed fishermen on their so-called exclusive beats has left anglers immensely frustrated. There has never really been an established authority nor the motivation to deal with the problem. Dmitryi Leonidovitch Kuznetsoy, a successful business entrepreneur and avid fly fisherman, has taken on Kola Camp. He aims to restore Kola River as one of the best fishing destinations for large Atlantic salmon. A passionate Salmon angler himself, Dimitry fully appreciates the importance of both conservation and management controls in realizing his ambitions for the Kola.
The new ‘Sheriff in Town’ implemented a new protection plan in 2012 providing a strong and enforced river management system for the 35 km of prime fishing water on the Kola. We at Salmon Junkies plan to support the new ownership. With 1,200 – 1,500 salmon caught on the main camps stretch of the Kola in 2012, we believe that the future of Kola River looks brighter than ever.
Salmon Junkies has signed a long term contract that guarantees management by 9 private security guards. Controls will be in place from Lake Pulozero on the Kola and the St Petersburg Highway on the Kitsa down to the Junction Pool. We are therefore confident that illegal fishing activity will be minimized, perhaps eradicated, on the 35 km plus stretch of the river where Salmon Junkies will enjoy full exclusivity. This is great news for both the lodge and the entire river, which has a strong pedigree for producing huge salmon with an amazing average weight.
EXTRA bonus day:
As with our successful Umba program we have tried to think outside-of-the-box for the Kola. During 2013 Salmon Junkies are able to offer the 3 best weeks of the season on an exclusive basis for 10 rods only with an EXTRA bonus day, giving 7 full days of quality fishing. Our price, at only Euro 4450 per rod from Murmansk, is half to one third of other Northern rivers.
Kola River is a rugged attractive river with numerous deep, dazzling, boulder-strewn tailouts. It has an impressive 20 to 40,000 returning fish and, at 40 plus pounds, some of the largest Atlantic salmon in World. The river flows due north entering the Barents Sea in the Russian Arctic on the outskirts of Murmansk. In just a few remarkable seasons the Kola has clearly established itself as one of the world’s greatest trophy salmon systems. Catch rates over the last two seasons have been impressive despite the poor management with anglers averaging about 1-3 salmon per person per day. In 2012 every week there were fish caught that tipped the scales at over 40 pounds! An experienced angler should expect to catch 3 fish daily. Given their size and strength, they provide one with more than adequate doses of adrenaline to get through the day.
On many of the world’s top Atlantic salmon rivers, bragging rights start at 20 pounds. On the Kola River, however, a 20 pounder is merely a ‘good fish’ with the braggarts bar firmly set at 30 pounds and above. The very biggest salmon start to enter the Kola River system at the end of May. Only the biggest fish, often 3 and 4 ocean winter fish, can push through the rapids and fast flowing water on the lower river. These fish are fresh from the sea and are very aggressive takers. With generally high spring water levels and resulting strong currents, these fish can put up a real battle with really long heavy runs. (Please remember to check your line connections and backing line. Due to large salmon in higher water conditions the tippet and Backing strength should be no less than 30lbs). Most of the salmon ascending the Kola end up in the Kitsa, their spawning ground, which provides superb fishing in more intimate surroundings, as it is somewhat smaller than the Kola.
Location and accommodation:
The Kola River Lodge is located one hour’s drive from Murmansk on Russia’s Kola Peninsula. Accommodation is in cabins with private bathroom and shower, based on a two-person share. The dining/sitting area is in a separate building with a beautiful circular shaped veranda that serves as the bar and overlooks Home Pool. Here one can relax at the end of the day, enjoy a drink (or two) with your fellow anglers and watch the salmon leap. This sight invariably triggers the urge to run back to your cabin, grab a rod, and go after the teaser. Whatever you do, you are never too far from fish when in camp; they are within a cast, 24 hours a day. Relatively easy to reach by Russian standards, the Kola River is one of the few in the region where helicopters are not required to reach the accommodation or the daily beats. This is a bonus in unsettled weather and keeps the price reasonable for the traveling angler.
Kola River Itinerary
- Friday/Day 1: Arrive Murmansk airport in the evening. Bus drive to Kola Lodge departing midnight Friday. About one hour’s bus drive to the Lodge.
- Saturday/Day 2: Fishing Kola River. (Euro 30 per rod for guide as Saturday is normally the day off for the guides)
- Sunday/ Day 3: Salmon fishing – Kola river
- Monday/Day 4: Salmon fishing – Kola river
- Tuesday 7/Day 5: Salmon fishing – Kola river
- Wednesday/Day 6: Salmon fishing – Kola river
- Thursday/Day 7: Salmon fishing – Kola river
- Friday/Day 8: Salmon fishing – Kola river
- Saturday/Day 9: Depart Kola Lodge 5am in the morning, arriving Murmansk around 6am in order to catch the first flights back to Moscow or St. Petersburg.
Daily Program: Anglers depart the camp at 9am, take lunch at about 2pm and return to the camp at 7pm. Teams of 2 anglers and a Russian guide will start each day by travelling to appointed beats by team raft. Your guides will take you to fish the different pools, which are spread over many miles. Dinner is served at 8pm.
For Kola river the Salmon Junkies camp manager will setup a weekly fishing schedule to suit the conditions and number of guests. Usually there will be a mid-day-rotation after lunch. This tried and tested system ensures that every guest gets to fish all pools more than once. Early morning fishing is restricted to the beats you are going to after breakfast. For an extra payment guides will be available for evening fishing also on the beats further from camp. With 20 years camp management experience in Russia, Steffen Juhl from Salmon Junkies will make sure you have a memorable week.
Included in the Price:
- Round-trip bus transportation from Murmansk to the Kola Lodge.
- 8 nights and 7 full fishing days on the Kola and Kitsa Rivers.
- Fishing permits.
- Arranging your invitation letter to Russia and assistance in arranging a Russian visa.
- Welcome upon arrival at the Murmansk airport by our staff.
- Comfortable cabin at the Kola Lodge with private bathroom, based on 2 anglers per cabin.
- Sauna in the Lodge.
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Your guide takes the lunch for you to the riverside).
- Fishing – 2 rods fish each beat on rotation basis in order for you to fish the whole river during your week. We have the 7 prime beats of the Kola River.
- One guide and one raft per two anglers.
- You will find a satellite TV in the camp, and there is mobile/internet connection.
Not Included in the Price:
- Round-trip airfare from your home to Murmansk.
- Meals and accommodation in Moscow, St. Petersburg , Helsinki or other en route cities.
- Visa processing at your local Embassy.
- Alcoholic beverages and other items of a personal nature in the camp.
- Gratuities to guides and camp staff.
Deposit & Final Payment: In order to confirm your reservation a 50% deposit is required no later than 14 days after invoicing. Final payment must be paid no later than 1 May 2013. The deposit and final payment are non-refundable.
Departure Information: On your departure day you will be driven to the airport in Murmansk for an early flight to Moscow or St. Petersburg. Private transport can also be arranged. If you prefer to arrive in Murmansk later on the Saturday, you must pay for the additional extra transport costs to and from the Kola Lodge.
Accommodation: Anglers at the Kola camp enjoy very pleasant cabins, ample storage, private bathroom and shower, heat and electrical outlets. Towels and linens are included. Whilst very comfortable, it should be noted that it never gets dark during the fishing season; eye covers/blinders and sleeping aids are strongly recommended.
Currency: There is no need to exchange money as tips and bar tabs are best paid for with Euro. All payments must be made in cash and no credit cards are accepted.
Gratuities: The minimum requested guide tip is Euro 250 per angler per week per rod. These moneys should be paid directly to the Salmon Junkies camp manager, preferably after your last day of fishing.
Medical Facilities: The closest medical facility is in Murmansk, approximately 45 minutes from the lodge. Guests are responsible for disclosing any special medical, physical, or dietary needs to the Lodge ahead of time. In emergency situations, a charter flight may be required to reach a medical facility. Guests may wish to consider medical evacuation insurance cover.
Power and Communications: The lodge has 24 hour power. It is standard European 220 volt and can easily be converted with a two prong adapter. Rooms have ample outlets.
While the lodge lacks an accessible phone landline, cell phones (contact your carrier for international service upgrade) and blackberries work well at the lodge. Access to Internet
Water: Tap water is potable and has never proven to be a source of concern. Bottled water is available for your time on the River.
Clothing: Warm socks, polar fleece pullovers or sweaters, warm hat, warm fishing gloves, a quality waterproof wading jacket, synthetic long underwear and fleece pants. Dress is very casual at the lodge.
Laundry Service: Not normally available at the Lodge. Please pack accordingly.
Beverages/Alcohol: Foreign visitors are allowed to bring two liters of alcohol into Russia and the lodge has no problem with guests doing so. The lodge also has an assortment of wines available for approximately $35 per bottle as well as 16 ounce beers available at $5 each.
- Rod: 13-15 ft. Spey rods for line weights 8-10.
- Reel: Bring a good reel with a strong drag and at least 200 yards of 30 pound fresh backing.
- Lines: Interchangeable sink tip lines such as the Rio Windcutter or Skagit are particularly important in June. Full sinking Scandinavian heads are also useful at this time.
- Leaders/Tippet: Leaders should be strong and 20-30 pound tippet is the most popular. While leaders for floating line fishing need not be too long, many Scandinavian heads cast best with 15 plus feet long leaders.
- Flies: Regulations on the Kola prohibit barbs and treble hooks, but doubles are fine. That said the guides are lax on this policy. Generally speaking the season starts out with big tube flies (both brass and plastic) in abundance. Pack a wide range of sizes.
- Tubes: Sunray Shadow 2’’-6’’, Collie Dog, Willie Gunn, Red and Black Francis (on brass), Temple Dog (double hooks preferred), Green Highlander, Blue Charm, Red Butt, The Cascade, Mickey Finn, GP, Ally’s Shrimp.
- Waders and Boots: Breathable waders with felted boots are best for this trip. Cleated boots work poorly on these rivers and are tough on the Russian rafts. Anglers prone to cold feet might consider boot foot waders for the early season.
- Backpack: Essential to take out equipment with you each day. Ideally a waterproof day-pack.