The Varzina is a prolific river, ruled by prolific Atlantic salmon. Your accommodations are superbly comfortable and the food is wonderful.
The north-east coast of the Russian Kola Peninsula is a unique place. The cold waters of the Barents Sea meet the stony coastal hills, protecting the finest treasures of the Kola peninsula – the last refuge of large Atlantic salmon. The river’s waters are clear as the winds that buffet the Russian tundra. The salmon are big and plentiful. In the middle of this ruggedly stunning country sits arguably the finest salmon fishing camp in the world, the Varzina River Lodge. The Varzina River Lodge harbors the fishing headquarters of the Varzina River Company. Within a radius of 24 kilometers from the lodge are some of the most productive salmon fly fishing pools ever fished. Daily helicopter flights take guests to the countless pools of the Varzina and the Penka rivers where fish of a lifetime are pursued an the greatest of memories are recorded with the help of a friend and a camera. “Non plus ultra” says the Lodge guestbook. We would agree that for the Atlantic salmon angler, there is nothing better than the Varzina.
The Varzina River is 28 km long. In its lower part, 4 km far from the Barents sea, we find the Varzina Main Salmon Lodge. Perfectly settled on the edge of the Varzina, the lodges comfortable and inviting surroundings feel like heaven. You will spend some time relaxing at the lodge, indulging in the sights and sounds of this perfect salmon fishing venue. The fishing begins in earnest every morning. Helicopter shuttles provide guests a great opportunity to fish all the best waters including the Varzina, Penka and Drozdovka rivers. According to the average weight index, the specimens from the Varzina river are some of the best on the Kola Peninsula. From late May through early September, trophy salmon run into the rivers. Year after year, the Varzina river’s “20lbs+” Club accepts more than fifty fishermen, who catch salmon over 9kg. Almost every week during the season, Atlantic salmon over 1m (39-40in and over 24lbs) are landed. The absolute record for the Varzina River Main Salmon Lodge was brought to hand by Sir Seton Wills in 1995. This fish came out of the Varzina, tipping the scale at 59.9lbs and 57 inches.
Reservations & Rates
7 night, 6.5 day packages on the Varzina River Lodge in price from £4,750 to £7,800 per person, depending on the particular week.
Give us a call to get exact pricing for the week(s) you are interested in - 800-669-3474
Included in your week at Varzina River Lodge are accommodations and meals at lodge, guiding, helicopter transfers to and from the lodge out of Murmansk.
Not included in your week at Varzina River Lodge are airfare to Helsinki-Finland or Murmansk, charter flight from Helsinki to Murmansk, accommodations and meals in Helsinki or Murmansk, fishing licenses, gratuities, Russian visa costs, 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.
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Seasons at Varzina River Lodge
From late May through early September, trophy salmon run into the Varzina. Year after year, the “20lbs+” Club accepts more than fifty anglers who have held a fish of 20 pounds.
Being a guest of the Varzina Main Salmon Lodge, you will have a great opportunity to fish for trophy salmon in various conditions. The Varzina is
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.
Getting to Varzina River Lodge
Sea trout and sea char can also be caught in the lower part of the river. The combination of unique fishing and the coziness of the Lodge, nested within a wild remoteness, veiled from the eyes of the world, makes the Varzina a worthy destination year after year.
Travel to Helsinki, Finland or directly to Murmansk, can be arranged via
Protravel Inc. You will be met at the airport in Helsinki, and then transferred to the charter flight to Murmansk, Russia, or get to Murmansk via commercial flights.
Lodging at Varzina River Lodge
The accommodations are very comfortable, well organized. You will find massive fireplace, gathering area with chairs and couch, and main dining room.
The Lodge main building contains our gourmet kitchen, a spacious dining room and a fully supplied lounge bar. It is also equipped with a satellite-
operated TV, phone, fax and Wi-Fi zone. A specialized fly-shop is also available. There are two separate saunas with hot showers available daily. Eight two-person cabins and a four-person cabin with small living room are also available. The Varzina experience is limited to satisfy 12 anglers per week. The Lodge is equipped with electricity, cold & hot water, heating.
Fishing at Varzina River Lodge
The excitement felt every time the line goes tight is unreal. It could be that monster 40+ pound fish.
As with all Salmon angling, if you’re looking to catch obscene numbers of fish, this trip probably isn’t for you! Varzina clients can average 1-3 hook ups per angler per day, but keep in mind this is not always the case!
There are many days that accomplished anglers and good students will grossly exceed these numbers, and other days when even the best effort won’t come close to putting a fish up. Salmon fishing is not a numbers game, it is about catching the most prized freshwater game fish that swims. Anglers willing to fish hard, cover a lot of water, listen to their guides, and put in a long day, will have the best potential of landing a trophy.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• The Varzina has some of the largest salmon on the Kola in the spring and summer. They average around 15 pounds with many tipping the scales over 20 pounds. If you are a big fish-angler, the Varzina is a great option. Every cast you make has the chance of hooking the fish of a lifetime. The largest salmon ever taken on the Kola was landed on the Varzina… Sir Seton Wills fabled fish, estimated between 58 and 70 pounds in 1995!
• The Varzina River Lodge is probably the best value on the Kola. This is a true North Coast, big fish river at around half the price of other comparable operations. Simply put, you get more bang for your buck on the Varzina – world-class lodging, experienced guides, and a fishing program designed for hard-core anglers.
• The Varzina River Lodge offers a 100% Russian Experience. The English speaking local guides grew up on the Kola and know every single inch of their river. Many of them have guiding this water for over 20 years. They’re veteran guides with decades of experience guiding anglers on the Varzina. Put that experience to work for you and let these pros help you catch the salmon of your life – Russian style!
• The freshly remodeled lodge is extremely comfortable. Guests enjoy spacious double occupancy cabins with large beds and fresh linens, heavy comforters and blackout blinds to make sure you get a good night's rest in the midnight sun above the arctic circle. The main lodge is well appointed with a lounge area with a fully stocked bar and satellite TV. If you want to be comfortable while out on the remote North Coast of the Kola, The Varzina River Lodge will not disappoint.