likely be departing on this same day as well (some Seoul itineraries may have a Thursday departure).
Saturday - depart Anchorage on Yakutia Air:
Departure on Yakutia Air is early in the morning. Check in usually opens around 5:30 a.m. (two hours before departure) and it is advised you arrive around this time. The flight lasts about 4.5 hours, and crosses the International Dateline. You arrive to Kamchatka on Sunday morning.
Sunday: 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 member of the Turushev family. 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 are always 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 Petropavlovsk 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.
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!
5 full fishing days:
Wilderness expeditions are based around a loose daily schedule of breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by camp breakdown and on the river by 9 a.m. The angling days are long, while the weather can range from warm and comfortable to cold and wet (be prepared for either eventuality!). Each day is spent floating and fishing (two anglers and one guide per raft), stopping for lunch and eventually setting up a new camp each evening around 7 p.m. Every hour of the day will be an adventure! The after-angling campfire sessions always include traditional Russian toasts to the successes and most dramatic moments of the day. A cook and camp assistant travel in a separate raft and do the large majority of "camp work." Each pair of anglers are responsible for maintaining their own tent and inflatable sleeping mattresses. All camp equipment – except your sleeping bag - is provided as part of the trip. You must bring your own sleeping bag.
Fishing on the Northern Wilderness Floats is a combination of mouse and streamer fishing, with the occasional rising fish on a classic dry fly. The rivers fished include a tributary of the Sedanka (called "Turusheva" or "Rassoshina"), three different forks of the Pirozhnikova, the lower Sedanka down to the Tigil, or the Kalgauch. Each river is rotated throughout the season and rested at least two or three weeks so that every river is floated at most two or three times in a season, guaranteeing a true, un-impacted wilderness experience. The chances are better than good that every fish you cast to has either never seen a fly before, or maybe seen one... once... and probably forgotten about it by now.
Saturday: 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.