"The three greatest gamefish in the world are tarpon, bonefish, and Atlantic salmon, but I'll take the Atlantic salmon over all of them." - Ted Williams, "The Splendid Splinter"
The Ponoi River, located just above the Arctic Circle at approximately 67 degrees north latitude, has been rightly proclaimed the most productive Atlantic salmon river in the world today. It flows from west to east, entering the Barents Sea on the southeast coast of the Kola Peninsula. It’s one of the few rivers left where catch statistics are recorded in the thousands and where even its slowest week’s number might exceed an entire season’s catch on certain Canadian or Scottish rivers. The Ponoi is a big river, varying from 200-350 feet wide, but with gentle gradient and easy flow.
The Ponoi offers something special for salmon anglers of every age and ability. There is no better place to learn Atlantic salmon fishing and spey casting with double handed rods, and no better river to challenge and reward the expert angler. Physical limitations can be well accommodated and you don’t have to walk far or wade if you prefer not to. For those who are energetic and want to maximize your fishing time, in addition to the generous 8-hour guided fishing day, there is a productive home pool available for after hours fishing.
Reservations & Rates
It’s one of the few rivers left where catch statistics are recorded in the thousands and where even its slowest week’s number might exceed an entire season’s catch on certain Canadian or Scottish rivers.
Package Cost: 7 night, 6.5 day packages on the Ponoi River range in price from $7,490 to $15,900 per person, depending on the particular week.
Inclusions: All meals and accommodations at the river, wine with dinner, fishing permits, one guide, boat & motor per each two anglers, plus vodka and soft drinks.
Transportation from your home to Murmansk, alcoholic beverages (other than vodka and wine with dinner), Russian visa processing, gratuities to the guides and camp staff, and
items of a personal nature such as satellite telephone use, tackle shop purchases, or deviations to the itinerary.
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses. Click HERE for Travel Guard's Policies and more information
Getting to the Ponoi River
“The flight is an hour and a half. Two hours if a stop for fuel is required. Views form the helicopter are of the wild Russian tundra that remains wild and untouched. Unforgettable.”
Normally guests are routed via Helsinki, Finland where they arrive on Friday and overnight at the excellent Hotel Kamp. Then on Saturday they travel to Murmansk via a FinnAir charter flight, operated on a once weekly basis.
Upon arrival to Murmansk in the early afternoon, guests will clear immigration and customs procedures, and then be shown into a private lounge during a brief waiting period. Luggage and equipment will be weighted and loaded onto the Mi-8 helicopter for the ongoing flight to the Ponoi River. Note,
if the helicopter flies directly, estimated flight time is one hour, 40 minutes; occasionally it will be necessary to make an en route fuel stop at Lovozero. If this is the case, it adds 30 minutes to the overall travel time.
Upon arrival at Brevyeni Camp, the staff will be on hand to welcome you and show you to your cabin. Luggage will be delivered to each cabin and the Camp Manager will provide a thorough orientation, issue fishing licenses and discuss the week ahead.
Lodging on the Ponoi
“Guests enjoy accommodations right on the river. If you didn't get enough fishing in during the duration of the day, there's good water waiting for you only a short stroll from camp. ”
Guests are accommodated in a unique wilderness camp facility with high standards that have won both accolades from returning guests and the envy of most other Kola Peninsula competitors. It is a logistically complex part of the world in which to operate, where everything must be brought in by helicopter, but it happens seamlessly and efficiently at the Ponoi. The staff is legendary too, with a work and service ethic that is unparalleled. Indeed, some return just to experience the buzz, the magical atmosphere, and the “feel good factor” that abound in the camp.
The Ponoi River Company also maintains a highly skilled and bi-lingual international guide pool; high quality, American made jet boats and motors; reliable supply lines of fresh produce and top meats that result in gourmet cuisine; warm hospitality of an expert lodge staff; and our efficient ground team in Murmansk. The annual improvements and upgrades to the camp facilities, the insights and encouraging information about the river gained from an ongoing scientific project, the fully stocked tackle shop, the ability to completely outfit guests with waders, rain gear, and all tackle, are just a few of the many aspects that truly set the Ponoi experience apart.
Ryabaga Camp is the more famous of the two top camps operated by the Ponoi River Company on their 80 kilometer exclusive
lease. Ryabaga was the first Atlantic salmon camp to operate on the Kola Peninsula after the region was opened to foreign anglers in 1991. It accommodates 22 anglers in double occupancy tent cabins, outfitted with polished wooden flooring, wood stoves for heat, and daily maid service. Other camp facilities include luxurious bath and sauna houses, an onsite helicopter and medical doctor in case of emergency, and a large dining lodge with comfortable lounge area, full bar, a fully outfitted fly shop, and some of the finest food in all of Russia. It has been said of Ryabaga that it is the finest tent camp in the world.
Brevyeni Camp—about 30 miles downstream of Ryabaga--is an intimate, 8-rod camp providing single accommodation wooden cabins for all rods, and a shared central bathhouse with 24-hour hot water and flush toilets. It’s perfect for a small group of friends to enjoy a week together and allows the party great flexibility in terms of fishing times, as well as how they rotate the beats. The Brevyeni water of the Ponoi is viewed as among the most interesting water on the river with plenty of rapids and runs and lots of wading opportunities. It includes some famous beats such as Lapinyaka, Hard Curve, and Sunken Log, as well as spots like “Alex’s Restaurant” and the “Cuban Disco.” These beats are legendary on the Ponoi and over the years have provided some of the most productive spring and early fall fishing.
Fishing on the Ponoi
“Six full days of swinging floating lines and flies. Atlantic Salmon of the Ponoi are aggressive. Anglers routinely loose count of how many fish they have encountered.”
Six full days fishing the Brevyeni beats of the Ponoi River. A normal day would begin with coffee and cold breakfast items available in the dining tent from 7am onwards with hot breakfast served at 8am. Guides will take drink orders for the boats and for lunch and meet you down at the beach area at 9am to commence the fishing day. Normally, lunch is taken picnic style on the river; however, in case of inclement weather it is possible to
return to the Brevyeni Camp for lunch indoors.
The guided fishing day concludes at 6pm and all rods are returned to the camp, where they have time to rest, refresh, enjoy the sauna, and dinner is generally served at 8pm. Note, as Brevyeni guests are commonly private groups, there is certainly some element of flexibility in terms of adjusting fishing hours according to the group’s wishes.
Making Reservations to the Ponoi River Company
To make a reservation, please give us a call at 800-669-3474 during business hours any day of the week. We can give you the answers you need, detailed explanations to questions you might have, or check on availability and confirm your reservation in minutes.