About Our Kamchatka Fishing Program
Ultimate Rivers continues its successful association with one of the most experienced local tour operators to offer superb, “Russian style” float and tent camp fishing expeditions on the finest streams in southern and central Kamchatka. These rivers offer perfect wade and cast conditions. The trout are big, abundant and unsophisticated, so you won’t need a great deal of technical skills to do well fishing for them. Our guides will be able to assist you in the basic techniques and fly selection to get you started if you are a beginning fly angler.
All our Kamchatka trips begin in Petropavlovsk, gateway city and capital of the province Our Russian hosts greet us at the international airport, then we travel to the heliport to board a turbine powered helicopter for transport to the river. Once there, we get settled into camp, begin fishing, and then get acquainted with each other over a scrumptious feast, to celebrate the beginning of a fantastic adventure.
We fish and float our way down the river in high tech rafts, the guests setting the pace under the advice of our seasoned local guides, so you can fish as much or as little as you want. Distance covered during your float will vary, anywhere from 20-50 miles, depending on conditions and duration of the trip. These expeditions are team participatory experiences, with the bulk of the work being done by the Russians. You will be expected to set up and take down your personal tent (2 clients in each) each day and have your personal gear in order for packing/unpacking the rafts. Our staff will usually handle all the rest−setting up/taking down camp, cooking meals, dealing with the rafts, etc.−but should the situation arise where your assistance is necessary, we trust you will pitch in to help. The trip goes a lot smoother that way.
All rainbow trout/steelhead caught in Kamchatka must be released with minimal harm or stress. Our guides are familiar with the latest catch-and-release techniques and stand ready to assist you in landing, photographing and letting your fish go in the most benign way possible. We recommend using microbarb or barbless hooks to lessen the chances of harming the fish.
Trout Fishing’s End of the Rainbow
For years, Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, due to its strategic location, was off limits to any exploration, foreign and domestic, but it has been open for travel since the early 1990s. And though it seems deserted by most standards, it won’t be long before the rest of the world finds out just how good the trout fishing is on the long isolated province. In dozens of rivers along its coasts, there are rainbow trout (in addition to salmon and charr) in numbers and size that call to mind conditions in Alaska fifty or more years ago, and the few guiding operations in existence have barely scratched the surface, leaving most of it untapped. And what better way to enjoy this “Last Frontier” of trout angling than by floating its wild rivers in rafts, with native guides, fishing virgin stretches of water each day, camping on gravel bars marked only by the tracks of animals, totally immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of Kamchatka’s awesome backcountry?
If this sounds like your kind of fishing vacation, then we invite you to join us, as one of Alaska’s longtime premier float trip operators, in partnership with Kamchatka’s most experienced ecotour company, for superb, “Russian style” float and tent camp fishing expeditions on the finest fishing streams in southern and central Kamchatka. On these unspoiled drainages, you’ll enjoy perfect wade and cast conditions for abundant, hefty rainbow trout (average size 20-24 inches; up to 8 lbs. or more), charr and salmon, along with a surprising modicum of comfort and facilities provided by the Russian host company. (They’ve been doing trips in Russia for a long time and know how to do them right!) You’ll have the finest American high-tech rafting and camping gear, with separate tents for sleeping and dining, private bathroom, portable hot shower, and even streamside steam baths (Russian “banyas”). All trips are led by veteran Alaska guides, with assistance from a seasoned cadre of local native Russians who know the river and conditions like no one else.
These float and fish safaris provide a unique and intimate experience of Kamchatka’s superlative wilderness and fabled fishing. Since they are not burdened with the logistics of maintaining fixed camp operations, this joint venture can offer trips on rivers few others have visited, and is continually exploring to provide their clientele with the very finest wild fishing. All trips begin on remote headwaters, floating silently, without the noise of motors, to give you the opportunity to see and photograph wildlife up close, not to mention the treat of fishing stretches of virgin water not accessible by any other means. They camp streamside in a new location every night, with a background lullaby of running water, untainted by the sound of generators. Each day on the river is a new adventure, with unfolding vistas of the spectacular country, glimpses of active volcanoes, wildlife sightings, hot springs, native ruins and artifacts, and of course, plenty of fabulous rainbow and charr fishing.
Kamchatka’s rainbows, called “Mikizha”, are big and unsophisticated, so you won’t need a great deal of technical skills or elaborate gear to do well fishing for them. (Many guests with little or no fly fishing experience catch up to a dozen or more big trout a day.) Depending on the time of year, anglers either fish the surface with dry flies (including, at times, the notorious Mouse, for explosive surface strikes), bounce beads along the bottom, drift egg/flesh/forage/attractor patterns, or even nymph, with equally good results. Various salmon species in season, Dolly Varden charr, and the exotic East Siberian charr, or “Kundzha”, Salvelinus leucomenis, add variety and excitement to the mix.
The schedule is relaxed and informal; guests set the pace under the guidance of experienced local guides, so you can fish as much (or as little) as you want. Most of the fishing is done from shore, wading and casting in the best spots, then drifting in the boats to the next stretch of productive water. All rainbows are released, and your guide will provide assistance with photographing your catch and handling the fish with minimal stress. The food on these trips is unbelievable. Two native cooks accompany each expedition, and the fantastic Russian meals these girls whip up from scratch are just as memorable as the fishing. In the evenings, you’ll enjoy hearty camaraderie with your trip mates around the fire, swapping stories (and endless vodka toasts) until sleep calls you to your tents.
Where We Fish
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Kamchatka, Russia Fishing
Lying just beyond the sweep of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, the Kamchatka Peninsula of Far East Russia beckons to adventure travelers worldwide with its spectacular volcano-studded landscapes, famous wildlife and countless fish-filled rivers. Shaped like a spear point and larger than the state of California, Kamchatka, in its isolation, location and unique physiography has what is arguably the world’s greatest remaining fly fishing for wild rainbow trout and salmon. Its swift, shallow clear streams offer perfect wade and cast conditions, with a rich stream biota that includes abundant hatches of insects for some of the best dry fly fishing west of Montana. Nowhere else in the world, not even fabled Alaska, can match Russia’s most eastern province for its abundance of barely exploited, perfect fly fishing water and consistency of its fishing for big wild rainbow trout.
Kamchatka 7 Day Floatfish Expeditions
Southern Rivers (Opala, Zhupanova, Pymta, etc.)
Spend seven days in Russia’s Far East, exploring the beautiful country and sampling the extraordinary fishing of southern Kamchatka! After a short flight from Anchorage, Alaska, you arrive early morning in the main hub of Petropavlovsk, then helicopter out to enjoy 6 days of guided float fishing on seldom visited, phenomenally productive waters, staying in deluxe camps along the way. Catch big rainbow trout, Dolly Varden charr, salmon and exotic “Kundzha”, the white-spotted East Siberian charr. Return on last day to Petropavlovsk for afternoon of sightseeing, shopping and farewell dinner before leaving for U.S. late in evening. (Season runs from July to mid-October; direct flights from Anchorage are available July to September.)
Additional days of fishing, rafting, hiking, sightseeing, volcano trekking, visiting hot springs, and cultural activities can be added for custom tours of up to 2 weeks duration. Contact us for details and prices.
Price: $4200 U.S./person, all inclusive, from Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka
Sample Kamchatka 7-day Float Trip Itinerary:
Arrive in Anchorage late afternoon or early evening the day before start of expedition; check into hotel, then meet with guides that evening to go over gear and any last minute instructions.
Day 1: Depart Anchorage for Kamchatka, Russia, early AM. Arrive in Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka, early AM the next day (because of crossing international dateline). Weather permitting, fly out to headwaters in late morning or early afternoon. Set up camp and spend leisurely evening fishing around camp.
Day 2-6: Float, fish and camp, making your way down river, setting up final camp on evening of the 6th day.
Day 7: Spend morning fishing around camp, while guides break down gear and prepare for pickup. Pick up and return to Petropavlovsk in early afternoon. Do some sightseeing around town, have dinner, then return to Anchorage in late evening, arriving early AM the same day.
Kamchatka Exploratory Expeditions
For true adventurers, longer expeditions allow time to explore and fish some of the more promising, seldom visited drainages lying of the west-central coast. Every year we try to target new rivers, and have been among the first westerners to float and fish several important new drainages. Most of these custom trips are based out of the mountain hub of Esso, northwest of Petropavlovsk, and typically involve a day’s ride by bus up the scenic central valley, before departing by helicopter to the river the next morning. (You can also opt, for additional fee, to fly directly to and from the river from Petropavlovsk.) We usually spend 8 days exploring/fishing the new river, then return to Esso for several days of local activities of your choice, things like horseback riding, visits to museums or dance performances, stays at hot springs, or volcano trekking. The excitement and high adventure of exploring untouched waters, combined with ample opportunities for experiencing the culture and natural wonders of some of the most remote parts of Kamchatka, make for a truly unforgettable experience. The season runs from mid-July to mid-October. This is the ultimate trip for the serious world travelling, wild trout angler!
<em?Trips vary from 10-14 days, all-inclusive from Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka.
Prices vary with length and type of additional activities selected. Please contact us
for details, dates & availability