“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 thrill we get from a screaming reel and a jumping fish is primal, and an anthropologist could probably trace it all back to one fish, the Atlantic salmon. The species is both the foundation and nexus of the modern sport of flyfishing. The very name, Salmo salar, translates from the Latin to “leaper”, and trying one’s skill and luck against the salmon has been considered the sport of kings by Europeans since the first one picked up a stick, hung some silk off its end and tied chicken feather to bone or steel.

The Kola Peninsula was the first great angling discovery to come out of a newly-opened Russia in the early ’90s, and the fish stories and catch numbers that circled back to hard-core salmon anglers at that time bordered on unbelievable.

Two decades later, the fishing is as good as ever. It’s the last place Atlantic salmon exist in their historically prodigious numbers, and as such it has moved into first place in the hearts, minds, and plans of the international crowd of sea-run obsessed anglers. The camps, guides, aviation and infrastructure, meanwhile, have kept pace with the emergence of modern Russia and achieved a level of sophistication befitting the fish.

Modern transportation and geo-political shifts have combined to make it a relatively close playground for sea-run thrill seekers. Jet direct travel and polar routing has put these Russian river targets no further distant from our east coast than Alaska, and closer to Los Angeles than Patagonia. It’s close and, for a change, the fishing is exactly what it used to be.

Atlantic Salmon Reserve

Kola Peninsula

The Atlantic Salmon Reserve (ASR) is an area of Russia's Kola peninsula that has been set aside with the goal of preserving and protecting a wonderfully pristine, untouched wilderness while developing some of the best fishing for Atlantic Salmon to be...
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Norwegian Flyfishers Club

Norway

Whether fresh from the sea in the early season or holding fish in low water late season, the Atlantic Salmon of the Gaula are some of the meanest you will encounter, and aggressive to the fly. The Gaula River is an amazing fishery, a rather fast flowing...
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Ponoi River Company

Kola Peninsula

The Ponoi River rates as the single most sought-after Atlantic Salmon experience in the North Atlantic basin. Angling is accentuated by a superbly equipped and managed camp featuring outstanding guides and exclusive access to a private...
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The Varzina River Lodge

Kola Peninsula

The 28-kilometer Varzina river originates in Lake Yenozero and the river flows are among the most reliable in the world of Atlantic Salmon fishing. Daily helicopter transfers will deliver you to your beat on the upper river. The lower Varzina and Penka...
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The Varzuga Camps

Kola Peninsula

This river is rated as the most productive of the Kola peninsula fisheries. Atlantic Salmon rivers flowing to the south coast of the Kola are not as cold, nor do they lay claim to fish of gigantic proportions. For many, that's more than compensated by...
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Yokanga Lodge

Kola Peninsula

The Atlantic Salmon of the Yokanga are different. They are bigger. These fish will hit and run, disrupting the uninitiated anglers expectations however hardened from years of fighting other formidable fish. These fish set the bar high. Bring...
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