Yokanga, Russia

The Yokanga is situated inside the Arctic Circle at about 67.5 degrees north latitude. The river flows into the Barents Sea and is on the north eastern end of the Kola Peninsula some 175 miles from Murmansk.

The waters of the Yokanga are home to some of the largest Atlantic salmon on the Kola Peninsula and provide a challenging environment in which to fish. This is true wilderness fishing venue with all creature comforts.

Guests at the lodge may fish over 55km of the Yokanga. The impressive waters cascade through a boulder-strewn course, creating some of the most diverse and varied fly fishing water imaginable. There are the rippled glides of pools like Lyliok and the deep and rushing draws of Upper Norcamp.

The fishing is accessed by helicopter on most days. Once at your beat the guide blows up the boat which is used for crossing pools and making speedy progress through the slow lake sections. Two rods share a guide and one rod at a time can fish from the boat to cover lies that simply could not be covered from the shore.

Challenging is an ample description for fishing the Yokanga. Deep wading is difficult so in most scenarios fishing is either from the boat or paddling down the edge of the bank. The nature of the river and complexity of the water definitely favours the confident caster and knowledgeable salmon fisher who can read water. That said, many have caught their first salmon on Yokanga.

Challenging though it may be, fishermen aged over 80 have successfully fished the Yokanga. Taking it slowly and not wading out of your comfort zone combined with the usual helping of perseverance required in salmon fishing is a good recipe for success. The Yokanga salmon are also notoriously aggressive and often will move several yards to take your fly, doing some of the job for you! 

 

Accommodation

The lodge is set high on a bluff overlooking several miles of the Yokanga itself. It is a Canadian-built log cabin that was imported and constructed on the river bank.

The lodge can comfortably accommodate up to 16 people in a combination of double and single rooms, each with its own ensuite bathroom with a generous supply of hot water to the power shower.

The open-plan upstairs sitting room and dining room are where tales are told of encounters with leviathans from the day’s adventures. There are facilities for you to make tea and coffee at any time of the day or night and there is a bar for you to help yourself to drinks.

A well-stocked fly-tying bench completes the upstairs living area together with cable TV for the unlikely event of wanting to keep in touch with the real world.

Home Pool is but a short walk away as are the popular pools of Boulder Alley and Lyliok which has seen many a big fish battle over the years.

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Your best chance of an Atlantic salmon of a lifetime.

Price guide

Prices start from £3,500 per person for 6 days fishing excluding international flights.

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