Report from Kola

Early June is the time when large Atlantic salmon enter the rivers of the Kola peninsula in Russia. The high water levels of early spring are a challenge for both the fish and fishermen, and only the toughest make it. I love a challenge and the chance of a fish of a lifetime so I am hooked on this fishery. This year the run started a bit slow, making the fishing particularly tough, but the rewards were payed out in big slabs of silver!

In order to deal with the high water I mostly used full sinking lines. The 3D lines in Int/2/4 through the sink 3/5/7 cast like a dream and are perfect to get down in deep fast tail-outs. In order to manage these heavy sinking lines, big fish and the high water I used big rods; the LeCie 14’8″ 10/11 and the 15′ 10/11 LPXE. Both excellent rods to deal with this tough spring conditions, where long cast with heavy shooting heads were needed. Tippet strength was 30# and the running line should be at least 50#. I like compline because it remains nice and limp with little memory but is not too soft. It allows for a relatively thin running line that makes long casts possible. Make sure that the hooks you use are the strongest you can find! I like tube doubles with a short shank. The north shore Kola rivers are very bouldery so make sure to bring good wading boots! I prefer straight felt for these rivers. If you are not too sure-footed bring a wading staff, these are big, tough rivers and one slip could mean that you are going for a swim down some serious white water.

Good flies are green temple dog style flies, german snaelda, Frances, orange shrimp patterns. Mostly weighted. The fish are not too picky around this time of year.

Now I am back here in Smithers, BC and just in time to catch the start of the chinook season. More on that next time.


Jaap Kalkman DO(MP), BScPT, CAFCI
Guideline Power Team

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