the biggest among our rivers, with the largest population of trophy Atlantic salmon. In general the first fresh chrome salmon enter the river in the third week of May. At this time the river also has post-spawn salmon from last autumn (kelt or valchak). There are also autumn run salmon in good condition which average about 12-18lbs, but some samples of 25+lbs fish could be caught. At the beginning of the season the best pools are those which are situated near the Lodge, the so called Home Pool, where the fresh fish are entering the lower river. In spring and throughout June till early July the largest trophies of the Varzina river salmon population enter the river. Up to the middle of July, most fishing takes place on the lower 14km of river, near the sea. For a long part of the season, the Varzina waterfall, which provides a serious obstacle for salmon migration upstream, is considered to be the upper pool. In the mid-summer, with the negotiation of the waterfall, salmon spread all over the river. By this time salmon of 4-6kgs, which stayed in the sea for 2 years, (so called megen) appear in the river, some pools are filled with grilles (salmon of 1-3kg, which stayed in the sea for 1 year). The spring salmon run takes place throughout the summer and in late August-September autumn-run salmon, which will spawn next year, enter the river. Autumn run salmon appear in less numbers in the Varzina river, but they are very strong, and this makes them a highly desired trophy among fly-fishermen.
The river has all three forms of trout (sea trout and lake trout, and also residential wild brown trout). Starting from late June, when water in the river warms up, fishing for trout becomes very productive, however certain samples and trout splashes could be seen even in the early season.
The Penka river is the left tributary of the Varzina river. It enters into the Varzina in the intertidal zone, so it could be almost considered as an independent river. It is smaller and, more shallow in comparison to the Varzina. For this reason its waters get warm more quickly, and often due to this fact, the first fresh salmon are caught in the Penka. In the early season everything mentioned above about fishing at Varzina refers also to Penka river. In the summer, salmon run upstream until they hit the rock heap in the canyon, which creates an unpassable barrier. The Penka is the main spawning tributary for sea trout. Fishing for sea trout is the most prolific here. In the summer months the Penka is the best place for single-handed fly-fishing.