Gremikha, Lower 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 280km from Murmansk. The Yokanga itself is over 200km long and has a drainage basin of over 6,000 square kilometres.
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. The season starts in early June and continues until July.
Fishing from Gremikha is highly specialist programme for experienced salmon fishers only. Guests staying at the Gremikha Camp fish the lowest 8km of the Yokanga starting below the Yokanga Lake and down to the tidal water.
Fishing is by a mixture of helicopter and walking. Some beats require helicopter drop off and pick up, some are entirely by walking and some a combination of helicopter and walking. It is based on eight rods fishing in four pairs with a guide for each pair. Fishers must be fit and agile as walking can be over some rugged and at times steep terrain.
The majority of the water is rapids although there are a few main pools. Depending on water height there are small bays, points or large rocks where fish can rest for a few moments before heading on upstream.
The Gremikha Camp gives the adventurous fly fisher a chance to hook one of the Yokanga’s biggest Atlantic salmon when they are at their freshest out of the sea. It is an incredibly exciting place to fish and there is always the expectation of a fish of 20lbs or more and an excellent chance of hooking a salmon in excess of 30lbs or even bigger. Landing a big fish in the lower river is the real challenge.
Guests stay in single accommodation with ensuite bathroom facilities. Meals are served in a large tented dining room and sitting room with TV and fly tying bench. There is a separate wooden building with showers, flush loos, sauna and a drying room.
Gremikha Camp is not for everyone, but those that go and know what to expect, love it and go back every year.