Oh, Kamchatka. You'll scarcely find a trout fisherman that doesn't dream of one day going to Kamchatka, that peninsula in the Russian Far East which, until 25 years ago, was declared as a military zone and was closed to Russian citizens and outsiders alike. Prior to its establishment as a military zone, outside of its only major city of Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka was scarcely settled, with fewer than 2,500 Russians and 5,000 natives occupying the entire peninsula which is roughly the size of California.
As you might expect, a history of scarce inhabitance followed by 50 years of being largely abandoned as a military zone did wonders for the fishing. Today, even after several decades of being open to tourism, most of virtually roadless Kamchatka's 12,000 creeks, streams and rivers have never been fished and the most famous of its waters get fished only a handful of times per year.
There may be no place left on earth that offers remote, undisturbed, pristine trout fishing in the way that Kamchatka does. For this reason, Kamchatka rests atop the bucket lists of countless fly fishers.
This August, we're headed to Kamchatka to fish the Savan River with the folks at The Fly Shop — and we want you to join us.
The Savan was, until just a few years ago, one of those countless Kamchatka rivers that had rarely or never been fished. Fishing on the Savan River began with a series of exploratory visits in 2012, where the first anglers to fish the Savan discovered an untouched river rife with feisty rainbows and char and surrounded by magnificent landscapes. Since that time, the Savan River has developed into a two program offering — a float program on the upper Savan, and a basecamp/day excursion program on the lower river.
Still fished by only a few dozen anglers each year, the Savan River is described by the folks at The Fly Shop as one that continues to "show the sort of promise that we first saw on the Zhupanova in the mid 1990s, with trout averaging 22-26 inches and several fish up to 30 inches hooked each season. It is a spring creek system, similar to Sedanka in its crystal clear flows and vibrant ecosystem. The Savan is easily floated and the wading is simple, mostly flat, shallow and wide with a pumice and gravel bottom strewn with a few obvious boulders. Overall the terrain is gradual, making getting around a breeze. Vast rolling mountains and volcanoes flank the broad valley it courses through, and partway down the river is a system of idyllic hot springs, perfect for midweek relaxing and soaking."
When we visit the Savan this August, we'll take advantage of both Savan programs — floating the upper river the first week and exploring the lower Savan via the basecamp program during the second week.
If you know anything about fishing in Kamchatka, you likely know that Kamchatka's rivers aren't populated by finnicky, midge-sipping trout. The fish that swim in the Savan, like Kamchatka's other rivers, are ferocious fish that chase down and aggressively take swung streamers and surface-fished mouse patterns with abandon.
Unless you choose to extend your trip in order to visit Russia's captial city, the day's of needing to travel through Moscow and virtually around the world in order to get to Kamchatka are behind us. For the last several years, Yakutia airlines has been offering flights from Anchorage, Alaska to Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka. Guests will travel to Anchorage, fly by jet to Petropavlovsk the following morning and then catch an iconic MI-8 helicopter ride into camp on the Savan.
As noted, we'll be fishing two weeks on the Savan. The first week we'll be dropped off by MI-8 on the upper river and spend 5 days floating back to basecamp, fishing all the way. For the second week, we'll lay down roots at the modern and comfortable Savan River basecamp and take day excursions to fish the lower Savan River — part of a new program which first introduced anglers to the lower Savan just two years ago. Fewer than a dozen groups of fly anglers have fished the lower Savan, ever.
You can fish both weeks, or just one. It's up to you.
Join us, fish in a wild, remote place that is widely considered to offer the world's best trout fishing, and help us craft the stories to tell when we return.
If you're interested in joining us, speak up! With spots for 8 anglers, space is limited. Contact us using the form below for full trip details including pricing, full itinerary, inclusions, full lodging details, a load of additional pictures and more.
WHEN: August 9-23, 2016 (Week 1: August 9-15 | Week 2: August 16-23)
WHERE: Savan River — Kamchatka Peninsula — Russia
COST: special pricing of $6,850 per angler week or $11,995 for both weeks (includes: lodging, meals, beverages [non-alcoholic a daily allotment of beer and vodka], helicopter and ground transportation, equipment, licenses; based on double occ)