Tuesday - Morning arrival to Petropavlovsk, transfer to camp:
Arrival from Anchorage is 8:00 a.m. Arrival from Moscow is 9:30 am. Arrival from Seoul is 11:15 am. After passing through customs and immigration, fishermen collect luggage and are greeted by the ground staff from our partners on the Sedanka Spring Creek and Northern Wilderness Floats, usually Anatoly Turushev or another representative from Kamchatka Trophy Hunts. Once all of the guests heading to Sedanka and the Wilderness Floats are through customs, the ground transfer people will help you load your gear onto the bus waiting outside the small terminal.
They will ask to see your Russian Immigration card (provided on the flight over) to register you with the government (mandatory for all visitors). This will only take a moment. If you have not sent the $100 Fishing License fee or a scanned copy of your passport to The Fly Shop® in advance of the trip, they will also request these items upon arrival.
The first few hours in Kamchatka can be an exercise in patience. Understand that this is Russia, and communication from the helicopter companies is often lackluster at best. Keep in mind that the outfitters want you to get into camp as much as you do, and they are often at the whim of the helicopter companies. Everyone's priority is to get you into camp safely, and as quickly as possible given the weather conditions.
Mornings in PK are frequently foggy, and the helicopters cannot fly until the fog clears. If the weather is clear in the morning, you will head straight to the heliport. If it is foggy but the forecast is for the weather to clear, the ground crew will find a way to kill some time while waiting for weather clearance from the helicopter companies. They may take you to a nearby store, partly to pass the time and partly so you can purchase souvenirs or booze/wine/snacks for your week in camp. They may also take you to the nearby Old Castle Restaurant, which has very good food (and local draught beer). Lunch and/or drinks at the restaurant are not included in the package price, but typically range from $20-$30. They do not accept US dollars, but one of the Kamchatka Trophy Hunts staff will be on hand to help trade dollars for Rubles.
As soon as the fog lifts and the pilots give weather clearance, you will board the bus for the 30 minute drive to the heliport on the outskirts of Yelisovo. If the weather looks like it will stay fogged in near Petropavlovsk for most or all the day, the best option to get you into camp may be a long bus ride (6.5 hours) north up the peninsula to the town of Esso, where there is another heliport closer to the river. There is only one mountain pass between Esso and the northern rivers, so often if you cannot fly from PK because of the weather you may be able to get out to camp by flying from Esso instead. It’s all part of the adventure of Kamchatka, and our outfitters will do everything they can to get you into camp and fishing as soon as possible!
In very rare circumstances, the weather can be so bad that the helicopters cannot fly at all. This happens an average of less than once per season, but it can happen and we don’t want our guests to be surprised if it does. If the helicopter cannot fly, the outfitters in Russia will find a suitable place for the entire group to say, usually either a cozy guest house near the heliport or sometimes a larger hotel in PK. Weather-related delays are not the outfitters’ liability, and any meals or lodging associated with such delays will be your responsibility. If you have trip insurance, they will usually reimburse you for weather-related expenses, including meals and lodging, so be sure to save your receipts.
Once the pilots are cleared to fly, you will load your bags onto the Mi8 helicopter and lift off. Sometimes head sets are provided, but this is Russia and you never know so it is recommended that you bring some earplugs for the noise of the rotors. The flight will take you over countless rivers and streams, and past several volcanoes. From Yelisovo, the helicopter will travel north up the central Kamchatka Valley for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, before stopping to refuel either in Esso or Anavgai. Esso is a small town built around a series of hot springs; Anavgai is a tiny outpost in a small vale nestled in a mountain pass. Either location provides a 15 minute window to stretch your legs, go to the bathroom (you will want to find a bush on the edge of the heliport, as the outhouse is pretty nasty), take some pictures, then re-board the helicopter for the next leg of the flight. From either Esso or Anavgai, you should expect about 45-50 minutes more flight time before landing.
Sometimes the helicopter will drop the Sedanka group off at Camp 1 first before continuing on to drop the Float group off on their wilderness river; other times the wilderness float group will be the first to set foot next to the river. Either way, keep an eye on all of your personal bags to make sure they stay with you, and don’t inadvertently end up with the wrong group.
Upon landing, the crew and guides will unload the helicopter, and as soon as the Mi-8 takes off the crew will begin setting up camp while you can rig up your gear, don your waders, and start fishing!
Once you’ve landed at Sedanka’s Upper Camp (Camp One), un-loaded the helicopter, and settled in to your cabins, the head guide will give everyone a quick orientation and fishing talk, and the guides will help you set up and organize tackle. For those wanting to fish, there is some great water right in front of the camp, and most guests are able to hook their first fish of the trip before dinner. After dinner is the perfect time to relax around the fire, relishing in the fantastic view and bear-watching (there is often a constant string of bears wandering past the far bank). The Upper Camp is nestled in a birch and cottonwood forest on the riverbank, near the Sedanka’s most productive salmon spawning gravels, and only one and a half miles downstream of the river’s spring source.
5 full fishing days:
The Sedanka Spring Creek is divided into three sections; upper, middle and lower. There is a permanent camp established in the heart of each section and anglers spend equal time in each camp over the course of the week. There is some seasonal variation to the program, and some flexibility (especially on the two-week trips). A typical weekly schedule at Sedanka is as follows:
Day 1: Walk and wade fishing from Upper Camp
Day 2: Float and fish to Middle Camp
Day 3: Walk and wade fishing with jet-boat shuttle and short float back to camp
Day 4: Float and fish to Lower Camp
Day 5: Jet-boat to wade fishing
Day 6: Morning walk and wade fishing from Lower Camp. Afternoon departure
After a leisurely breakfast at 8 a.m. (no worry about beating crowds here!) you strike out with your guide (2 anglers per guide) for the day's fishing. The crew employs a guide rotation system so anglers and guides have a chance to fish with and get to know each other over the course of the trip. Lunch is prepared on-river, with a return to camp between 6 and 7 p.m. Dinner is at 8 p.m., followed by cocktails around the fire or more fishing under the midnight sun for those with energy leftover.
Monday - Returning home:
On the final morning, guests have time to dry clothes and waders, re-pack their bags, and prepare for the trip home. The guides and camp staff will break down camp and deflate the rafts to be ready for the helicopter, but if you want to fish this last day there is time in the morning for several more hours of fishing around camp. The head guide will also come around at this time to collect any gratuities you may wish to leave for the guides and staff for the week.
The helicopter will most likely arrive sometime between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm (depending on weather clearance), and will transfer you back to Petropavlovsk in time to catch the 8 p.m. flight back to Anchorage. If the weather is bad in Petropavlovsk, the outfitter will arrange to have a bus meet you in Esso to drive back to the airport in time to make your flight home. Again, the outfitter will do everything they can to both maximize your time in camp fishing, and make your connecting flights home.
If you return to Yelisovo early in the day, Anatoly or another ground representative will meet you and either arrange a short tour or find a decent place to wait, such as the Old Castle Restaurant. If there is time, the bus can also take the group to a nearby store for souvenir shopping. Anatoly will get everyone the departure paperwork at this time, which you will need to present along with your passport and visa at immigrations before boarding the flight home.
The flight lasts about 4.5 hours. Although you depart Russia on Saturday evening, you also cross the dateline again, thereby arriving in Alaska at 5:55 a.m…on Saturday morning!. Customs and immigrations in Anchorage is very quick and easy, and you'll have the whole day to connect back home, or to other fishing in Alaska.
If you are traveling home via Moscow or Seoul, you will have to arrange an overnight in Yelisovo (we can help coordinate this) to catch the morning departure the following day.