The Sedanka River springs from the toe of an ancient lava floe on Kamchatka’s northwestern taiga plain.
It is one of the most biologically diverse drainages of the entire peninsula, with all 6 species of Pacific salmon, rainbow trout, kundzha and both resident and sea-run dolly varden char. This spring creek ecosystem is particularly rich with insect, mouse, and salmon biomass that feeds an exceptionally dense population of 18 – 27 inch native rainbow trout. It was discovered in 1998 and has since proved to be a flyfishing destination of incomparable beauty and excitement. Along with the Zhupanova River, it is one of the two flagship rivers of Kamchatka and is an excellent choice for a first trip to Kamchatka. What’s more, owing to its spring origin and expansive lava rock in the drainage, rainstorms do not “blow out” the Sedanka. It is air clear, everyday of the year.
Sedanka rainbows are quite large by the standards of the Western US, though they have become more well known in Kamchatka for their sheer numbers. Anglers typically hook into dozens of fish per day and come away with years worth of trout fishing experience crammed into their week on the Sedanka. The constant flow and temperature regimes produce dense insect life which, for the flyfisher, means perhaps the finest dry fly fishing in the world. But Sedanka trout, like all Kamchatka trout, are opportunistic feeders. With just 4 months of the year to feed, they have no choice but to stuff themselves with whatever they can get during the short summer. Throughout July, August and September, fishing with mouse patterns on the surface, and smolt patterns just beneath the surface coaxes thrilling, vicious strikes from fish filling their stomachs for the 8 month winter fast to come.
The Sedanka is one of the most remote rivers in Kamchatka. A 3 hour helicopter ride from Petropavlovsk is the only method of access, and once there the river is yours. Just 6 anglers per week share the Sedanka according to our outfitter’s lease terms with the Kamchatka government.
This program is fully guided and involves a combination of traditional walk and wade fishing, float days that utilize inflatable rafts to move downstream, and occasionally jet-motor skiffs are employed to access still more water. All fishing is by wading, with boats merely used as transportation from spot to spot. Because a portion of the week is spent walking and wading, this is the most physically demanding of our Kamchatka trips, though anyone in reasonable shape will be able to take full advantage.
Accommodations are simple, rustic, and cozy, with double occupancy cabins, flush toilet outhouses, and reliable hot water showers.
Compared to the other rivers of Kamchatka, the Sedanka stands alone as an immaculate dry-fly fishery with “blow-out proof” clear water. And in terms of fish numbers, its aggressive race of rainbow trout means ACTION.
Reservations & Rates
The cost of the week-long Sedanka Spring Creek package is $7,850.00 USD per person.
There is also a Fishing License Fee of $100 per week.
• Kamchatka, more than any destination in the world, attracts adventurous single anglers. There is no surcharge to come alone. What's more, many people opt for multiple-week trips. In this scenario, the Sedanka Float Trip can easily be combined with a Wilderness Float Trip, for a two-week package price of $11,995.
Included in your angling package at the Sedanka Float is all ground and air transportation once in Kamchatka and all food, accommodation and guides.
Not included in your angling package at Sedanka Float are airfare and travel expenses from your home to Kamchatka, Russian visitor's visa, fishing gear, flies, fishing license, medical evacuation insurance (required), and alcohol.
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.
• Travel Guard Insurance
Seasons at Sedanka Spring Creek
July is the warmest month of the year in Kamchatka with day time temperatures usually between 60 and 80 degrees.
As such, this is the peak of the Sedanka's wonderful dry fly fishing. While mouse and streamer fishing stays consistent from the very beginning to the very end of the summer, the mayfly and caddis hatches are heaviest in July. It's a sight to behold to float silently around a bend and be
confronted with 50 trout noses puncturing the smooth surface of the river in elegant head-dorsal-tail rises. There are no salmon in the river at this time of year, so trout feed exclusively on bugs, mice and salmon smolt. Present as always are also kundzha (white spotted) char. Being the warmest month, July is also mosquito season. Most people find the trade-off worth it for the surface fishing opportunities, but if you have a low mosquito tolerance level, consider a trip later in the season.
August is the middle of the season. The salmon enter the river and the full cycle of life in the spring creek is laid out before you in full magnificence. Rainbows are targeted with mouse and streamer flies, and dry fly fishing comes on usually in the evenings in the middle miles of the river. Though the salmon are not in sporting shape by the time they arrive to this headwaters region, the dolly varden char definitely are, and they add even more action to the day.
September is fall in Kamchatka. It can be chilly, in the 50-degree range. And with sunny weather can come frosty nights. It is also the most photogenic time of year to be amid the sub-arctic taiga and tundra foliage as it turns to blazing yellows, reds and oranges with a backdrop of snow-capped volcanoes. Trout are easily taken with surface skaters like mouse and floating baitfish patterns. Salmon are in full spawn in late August and September. Literally millions of fish bring the river completely alive. It is an overpowering, sensory experience to see an ecosystem so healthy and pristine. Important to note also is that trout in Kamchatka do not get "tunnel vision" for salmon eggs as they do in Alaska, so no need for egg patterns, beads, split shot and strike indicators. Mice, streamers, dry flies and a floating line is usually all you need.
Getting to Sedanka Spring Creek
There are quite a few options available connecting through either Moscow or Seoul (South Korea). It may be possible to arrive the same day of your scheduled departure to the river, AS LONG AS YOU ARRIVE NO LATER THAN 10:00 AM.
Travel from home to Petropavlovsk, Kamchatsky:
There is a daily flight from Moscow that arrives at 10:00 am to Petropavlovsk, as well as a daily flight from Vladivostok (via Seoul) that arrives at 8:40 am. However, we strongly recommend arriving a day early. This allows a chance to acclimate to the time change, so you’re not a vegetable when you arrive to the river. It also allows for any possible lost luggage or airline delays. If you miss the helicopter departure into camp, you will either miss your entire week of fishing or have to charter a very expensive extra helicopter flight into camp!
If you do plan on arriving a day early (recommended), please let us know as soon as you make your flight reservations so that we can work with our local partners in Kamchatka to arrange overnight lodging for you.
For overnights in Petropavlovsk, guests will typically be housed at one of Martha Madsen’s cozy guest houses in Yelisovo (http://www.explorekamchatka.com/kamchatka-bed-breakfast.htm), or the Art Hotel near the airport (http://arthotel-kamchatka.ru/en/). Nightly lodging fees (not included in your fishing package), range from $60-$100; guests are typically accommodated in double occupancy, but pending availability single rooms can sometimes be arranged by special request. The Fly Shop will make the reservations for you, and you will be able to settle up upon arrival.
Tuesday - Transfer to Camp:
All guests heading into the camp will be met in the morning by Anatoly or Daria at your place of lodging (they will communicate the time with you the night before), or at the airport if you are arriving that morning. 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.
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.
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.
6 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 Afternoon arrival. Walk and wade fishing from Upper Camp
Day 2 Walk and wade fishing from Upper Camp
Day 3 Float and fish to Middle Camp
Day 4 Walk and wade fishing with jet-boat shuttle and short float back to camp.
Day 5 Float and fish to Lower Camp.
Day 6 Jet-boat to wade fishing.
Day 7 Jet-boat to wade fishing
Day 8 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.
Tuesday - Return 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.
You will typically need to overnight in Yelisovo, as most of the departing flights take off in the morning. There are some afternoon departures, but due to the un-predictable timing of the helicopter flights out of camp, the outfitters cannot guarantee they can get you back to town in time to catch those afternoon flights. The Fly Shop will help make these arrangements for you (not included in the package price), and you can settle up prior to departure at the hotel.
Anatoly or Daria will meet you again and transfer you to the airport. 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 when departing Russia.
Lodging at Sedanka Spring Creek
Sedanka features three permanent camps with guest cabins, a dining hall, flush toilets, and hot showers.
There are three camps on the river, spread about 10 river miles apart from one another. Over the course the 6 day trip, anglers move between all three camps via inflatable rafts.
Each camp is similar in infrastructure, though unique in their character and scenic views. Each two anglers will share a comfortable cabin, with some of the most incredible wilderness vistas imaginable directly out the window or front door. Bunks are provided along with sleeping pads, though you will need to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow. The cabins are spacious inside, and have a covered porch for hanging wet waders and equipment at the end of a fish-filled day on the stream. There are two clean flush toilet outhouses per camp, as well as shower rooms with good water pressure and an endless supply of hot water courtesy of an ingenious Russian wood-fired plumbing system.
The kitchen and dinning rooms are permanent log cabins, built long ago as trappers' shelters. All camp infrastructure is connected by extensive wooden walkways.
The food in Kamchatka is tasty and plentiful, though certainly not gourmet. Fresh meats and locally grown, geothermal hot-house vegetables are the features of a cuisine not un-familiar to the American palette. Delicious soups like borsh and ukra are always the first course by Russian tradition, and are always a hit with our guests.
Beer and Vodka are available for sale in camp, but other or special libations need to be brought from the United States.
It is important to understand the Kamchatka experience is much more rustic than, say, an Alaska fly-out lodge. The focus of Kamchatka is most definitely on the fishing, yet the accommodations typically surprise our guests by how comfortable it is possible to be in such a remote environment.
Fishing at Sedanka Spring Creek
The first and last days of your trip allow for a few hours of fishing. In between are five full fishing days that are packed with adventure and aggressive rainbow trout hammering mouse patterns, dry flies, and streamers with reckless abandon.
All Kamchatka programs employ a guide rotation system, so each group of two anglers spends two days with each guide.
The head guide is always a highly skilled and experienced “Professional” guide, either American or top-notch international guides with years of experience guiding and managing fishing camps. Our Russian guides come from varied backgrounds, usually associated with biological studies, wildlife management, hunting, trapping, or commercial fishing. Fly Fishing is a relatively new sport to Russia, and the Russian guides are each equipped with varying levels of pure fly fishing knowledge. Some are exceptional, having guided with us for over a decade. Others have been brought on board for their skills as woodsmen and watermen, whose technical abilities with a fly rod are still evolving and improving, but whose lifestyle and work ethic make them great members of our Kamchatka team as they are in tune with the wilds of Kamchatka and in rhythm with the lives and habits of the fish and creatures that share their home. Every one of our staff members in Kamchatka works hard every day of the season to ensure a memorable experience for every angler in our camps.
There are 3 fishing methods used throughout the Sedanka River drainage:
Real mice slip and fall into the river from overhanging limbs and grass and then swim like a cork at a down-and-across angle. As they swim, they throw small V-wake contrails off their back end which the trout key to. Anglers replicate this action by plopping their flies against the opposite bank and skittering them across the river, on tension and under control. What follows has got to be the most exciting thing in freshwater flyfishing. Since a live mouse in the stomach of a rainbow trout can do some damage, they tend to take the fly with a ferocious, bone-crushing chomp with the intention of killing the mouse before they swallow it. This behavior is obviously on the surface, totally visible to the angler. The skill comes in controlling your nerves to NOT set the hook when the fish merely swirls behind it - sometime 2, 3, 4 or more times - before actually committing.
Traditional floating line and size #10-18 gray bodied caddis and mayfly imitations are used with staggering success on the Sedanka, especially in July, less so in August, and again quite successfully in September. The fish tend not to be picky on the specific pattern. However, with so much food floating past their feeding lies, it is sometimes critical to deliver a reasonably accurate and truly dead drifted presentation. If the fly floats within an inch or so of the trout's nose the chances of it rising are very good.
Salmon smolt and other juvenile fish make up a significant portion of Kamchatka trout and chars' diets. Clousers, woolly buggers, string leeches, baitfish and sculpin patterns all work very well on the Sedanka throughout the season. Small fish elicit a chase response from their predators, so often it is best to give the fly a little movement as it swings through the water column. And like with the mouse, it's best to learn to identify likely structure in the river (tree roots, riffle-pools, rocks, undercut banks, etc.) that offer rest areas for the fish adjacent to heavier currents where they can surprise-attack their food.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• Sedanka Spring Creek boasts the highest population density of trout in all of Kamchatka. The numbers of fish there are simply mind-blowing, and it’s one of those places where you have to be careful not to get tendonitis from hooking too many fish.
• This pristine spring creek offers a glimpse back in time, to what places like the Henry’s Fork must have been like 200 years ago. Image glass-smooth, gin-clear water, permeated by waving weed beds full of aquatic insects, populated by thousands of native rainbow trout that have rarely, if ever, seen the end of a fly line. This place will redefine your perception of the perfect trout stream.
• Sedanka is a spring fed river system, bubbling up from the flowing lava flows of Northern Kamchatka. This creates a perfect scenario where the river conditions are consistently predictable (clear and fishable) every day of the season.
• The middle sections of Sedanka are home to some magnificent populations of aquatic insects, providing the best classic dry fly opportunities anywhere in Kamchatka. When the mayfly and caddis hatches are in full swing, it’s not uncommon to spot hundreds of trout noses slurping insects off the surface.
• Of course, the most exciting dry fly of all is the mouse! And Sedanka features the most consistent mouse fishing in the world. Tie on a Mr. Hankey, let it skitter across the surface just about anywhere in this river, and hold on tight for the aggressive take that is sure to follow.
• Guests at Sedanka enjoy the comforts of established streamside camps, including permanent cabins, showers, flush toilets. There is no better way to finish off a fish-filled day than a warm, dry place to hang your waders, accompanied by tasty Russian food and stories shared around a campfire.