After being essentially closed for the past three years due to the cancellation of direct flights from Alaska to the peninsula, Kamchatka is back!!
We are very pleased to announce that after a successful summer of flights, we now feel confident directing anglers to Kamchatka thru Anchorage for the summer of 2013. Now adventuresome anglers can once again enjoy a quick and easy flight via Vladivostok Air from Anchorage to Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka!
If you've heard about Kamchatka and wonder if it's hype I gotta say NO
.... in fact, HELL NO!
On our many previous trips to Kamchatka, we have experienced some of the finest fishing for big rainbow trout, salmon and several species of char that we’ve found anywhere in the world... and we’ve floated and fished literally scores of rivers in Alaska including the Alagnak, Goodnews and Kanektok rivers. Kamchatka reminds us of the early days in Alaska when huge fish were everywhere and you could pursue them in complete solitude.
If you are considering a trip to Kamchatka, here is some info that might help:
For the angler who loves far-flung waters, it is hard to wrap your mind around what is Kamchatka. In order to do so you must first grasp how secluded Kamchatka is from not only the rest of Russia, but from the world at large. You must start with the concept of a frontier so geographically isolated that it is ten time zones from its forests and rivers to the capitol city of Moscow.... Ten time zones! Now imagine a land this remote that was purposefully kept roadless and undeveloped by a regime that feared an invasion from the east. This regime thought that without roads and infrastructure, a conqueror could move neither quickly nor easily westward into the motherland. To this day, only one rough dirt road runs the length of the peninsula.
If continuing your quest to understand the magnitude of what is Kamchatka, you would have to grasp the size of Kamchatka, especially in the context of its population. Maybe it would help to imagine a peninsula the size of California with only 1% of California's 33 million inhabitants. (It should be noted that Kamchatka's population has fallen and is still falling, since the demise of the Soviet Empire. With this fall, over 300,000 soldiers, and various people supporting the military, have left Kamchatka. This exodus left about 300,000 inhabitants or roughly 1% of the population of California. At least 250,000 people live in the city of Petropavlask. That leaves the rest of the peninsula and its primeval forests and tundra with only about 50,000 people scattered here and there in small villages.)
So now that you have grasped the statistics and understand how remote, secluded and sparsely populated Kamchatka is, consider this: A vast mountain range splits Kamchata north to south and sends its rain and snowmelt either west to the Sea of Okhost or east to the Pacific Ocean. Scattered upon this land of high peaks and dark forests are numerous volcanoes, many still active. Their lofty cinder cones and precariously balanced slopes bear huge growling glaciers and domed summit snowfields that further feed many of the rivers and streams that slither east and west to the seas. And while you're focusing your mental powers around the pristine immensity of this wilderness, wrap your cerebellum around this: There are 1100 rivers in Kamchatka with significant salmonid populations... that's one thousand one hundred! Of these 1100 rivers, 20-30 have been seriously sportfished and maybe a dozen more have been floated and fished!
We will offer two options for 2013 ( I have done both trips and will be happy to describe them to you!):
The “Oz” lodge hosts only eight (8) guests per week. Each two-person cabin is spacious, comfortable, dry, bug-free and includes electricity and heat. Amenities include flush toilets and hot showers. The fishing is simply fantastic!See Ozernaya Video
The Two Yurt Float Trip
The Two Yurt Float Trip offers the same high standard of comfort and service, but from a mobile and moving base of operations. Six anglers per week travel between stationary cabins spaced along the river. With hot showers, large dining facilities, electricity and heat, the Two Yurts is best for anglers who enjoy float trips over a jet boat camp. The fishing is fantastic.See Two Yurts Video
Here are some of my trip reports that will give you a sense of what these rivers are like:
A few additional thoughts for anglers contemplating a trip to Kamchatka:
Whereas the rainbows are big, take flies readily and are as plump as a Gerber baby on a diet of Russian sausage and dark beer, they do not jump in the boat. You'll have to cover water from the eddies and riffles at the top of a run to the bulldozed king salmon redds at the tailouts and from the log jammed and buggy side channels to the undercut banks of the slower slicks. You'll have to cast, wade, cast again and then wade again. You'll have to work the water and in the process, the water will work you.
But this is good work, if you're so inclined. If you decide to come and then don't put in the effort, don't blame the guides, or the river and certainly not Kamchatka! For some anglers, Kamchatka is heaven. For others, it is too far, too remote and too different to be enjoyable.
In Kamchatka, you don't need superb angling skills. Often mediocre talents can be overcome with energy and enthusiasm. And one last bit of advice, don't expect Kamchatka to be like the good ol' U. S. of A. Expect some glitches and blips... from maddeningly slow passport controls to off schedule pickups to foods to which you are not accustomed.
And don't immediately start in with "what they oughta do" because it has taken 15 years to get them to stop serving hot dogs and spaghetti for breakfast or fish head soup for lunch.
But if your constitution is tough and if you love wild trout and remote water with no other anglers within 100 miles, Kamchatka may be your cup of tea.
But watch the video below before you decide!: