During September the life giving and short polar summer comes to an end. Autumn sets in quickly and the surrounding forest literally explodes in spectacular colour. This is the time for dedicated salmon anglers to fulfil one of their wildest dreams – landing a big, ocean fresh autumn fish! Do not be surprised if you catch sea-liced fish right into October and later – these are the almost mythical Osenka Salmon.
The average catch per rod at this time of year will drop a bit compared to the wild and sometimes crazy summer weeks. But, you will still have good chances for double figure catches and some of the ‘Umba whoppers’ can be 15 to 30 lbs of bright, sparkling fresh run salmon. Autumn fishing for Umba salmon is comparable to Steelhead fishing in British Colombia. Challenging quality fishing in every sense!
Daily schedule at Umba River: Fishing starts each day after breakfast at approximately 09.00 and continues until lunch. Half of the fishing group will return to the Lodge to eat. The other half will have a bank side lunch together with the guide at one of the fireplaces we have along the spectacular Krivetz stretch. The fishing stops around 19.00 and dinner will be served at 20.00 in the Lodge. After that it is time to socialize and relax in front of a roaring fire, where it is usual for the air to be filled with wild and passionate stories from the day.
Travel to Umba – One day extra fishing free of charge! The bus leaves Murmansk airport on Saturday at 01.00 a.m and arrives at the Umba Lodge early the same morning. Fishing starts around noon after some hours sleep. If you prefer to arrive in Murmansk later on the Saturday, you must pay for the additional extra transport costs. Upon arrival at Murmansk airport, you will be greeted by a Salmon Junkies representative and guided to your bus. The drive to Umba takes about five hours, but there is a short stop in Kandalaksha where you can enjoy a small snack and drink. The last part of the drive from Kandalaksha is 105 km and goes deep into the Taiga. It quickly becomes obvious just how far away from civilisation you really are – there is a reason why Umba is called ‘the end of the world’. The drive to Umba is pretty comfortable as the road has been improved considerably recently. The route sees us take the main road to St. Petersburg, providing a good insight into the region.
Friday/Day 1: Arrive Murmansk airport in the evening. Bus drive to Umba departs 01.00 Saturday morning. Approximately five hours bus drive to Umba
Saturday/Day 2: After some rest, fishing Umba/Krivetz river. (Euro 30 per rod for guide)
Sunday/ Day 3: Salmon fishing – Umba/Krivetz river
Monday/Day 4: Salmon fishing – Umba/Krivetz river
Tuesday 7/Day 5: Salmon fishing – Umba/Krivetz river
Wednesday/Day 6: Salmon fishing – Umba/Krivetz river
Thursday/Day 7: Salmon fishing – Umba/Krivetz river
Friday/Day 8: Salmon fishing – Umba/Krivetz river
Saturday/Day 9: Depart Umba Lodge 01.00 in the morning, arriving Murmansk around 06.00 in order to catch the first flights back to Moscow or St. Petersburg.
For Umba 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.
Fishing after dinner is usually free around camp, but is still under the direction of the camp manager. 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. Make these agreements before dinner directly with your guide.
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 – 25 – 30 lbs braking strength.
Flies: All rivers have their favorites, and Umba, Kola 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; In September we are back again in size 4–8.
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 – Flies for sale will be available at Kola, Grand Varzuga and Umba.
Notice. Flies will be available in the Lodge
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), Waterproof 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. (Gratuities 300–400 Euro).
Catch & Release Policy
All of our programmes operate 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 barbless hooks. We request extremely care in handling all fish. Also:
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 under its belly.
Handle fish with wet your hands and return them to the water as soon as possible.
Never hold a fish up by the tail or the mouth.
When returning the fish support it in the water with its mouth pointing upstream. Allow the fish to fully recuperate before allowing it to swim away.