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There is nothing but good news from those involved in fishing trips on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. Last year, you’ll recall, air service from Anchorage, Alaska, to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky was restored by Yakutia Airlines, an affiliate of Aeroflot, one of the best funded carriers in the world. The financial strength of Yakutia Airlines gave everyone hope that – finally! – direct air service to Kamchatka was here to stay. Indeed, that seems to be the case because Yakutia has already declared its readiness not just to continue last year’s service but to expand it. This year, flights will operate for a total of 14 weeks (June 27–September 26) utilizing Boeing 737-700 aircraft. Like last year, the flight time from Anchorage to Kamchatka will be less than four and a half hours. The word we have is that there were no flight cancellations at all last year and no (zero!) lost bags. The emergence of reliable air service on this route puts one of the last great fishing frontiers – Kamchatka has been compared to the Alaska of 50 years ago – in reasonable reach of all North American clients. The area, it should be noted, has attractions other than fishing. With geysers that have been likened to Yellowstone, Kamchatka is one of the most volcano-rich areas in the world. There are world-class areas to view bears and other animals. None of the fishing operators we have spoken to recently is talking about add-on tours, but you can get an overview of what is available by going to the Web page Air Russia has set up to provide general information on Kamchatka tourism. The address is

So, are all the Kamchatka operators ready to go this year? At press time, here are the ones we have heard from.

The Fly Shop: The interest in fly fishing Kamchatka this summer (and beyond) can be best described as “feverish,” the way Michael Caranci of the Fly Shop ([email protected]) put it. “We have guests scheduled to fish Kamchatka as early as June 28 on our spring creek rivers (Sedanka and a handful of smaller select northern wilderness rivers), and as late as September 12 on the Zhupanova,” Caranci says. “The spring creek systems (including the Sedanka, several tributaries to the Sedanka and Tigil, and the Savan River) will fish well and be in good shape from the beginning of the season till the end. The Zhupanova is a freestone stream and can be high early in the season, which is why we don’t even open it up until mid- to late July. From late July through September it fishes great for rainbow trout from 24 to 30- plus inches, as well as for char, kundzha, and the exotic and massive “super kundzha” that can reach nearly 20 pounds. As for availability, we have very limited space at this writing in early February on our northern spring creeks and just a handful of spots open early and late in the season (late June/early July or late August/early September). Our Zhupanova float trips are almost totally booked, though we do have a couple of small gaps for one or two anglers periodically throughout the season, and we may ultimately add some additional weeks late in September. Zenzur Lodge has the most availability, with quite a bit of room for groups from July 26–August 1, August 2–8, August 16–22, and a couple of open slots for singles or small groups late in the season. Most of our seasonon the Savan is full, though Fly Shop owner Mike Michalak will be hosting a two-week exploratory adventure on the Savan from July 26–August 8. There are still six rods available on that trip.”

Best of Kamchatka: “I am well aware that Yakutia Air has expanded its service, and I have expanded my offerings accordingly,” says Will Blair ([email protected]). “I am also undertaking some improvements to our program. As far as new offerings, the only thing I will be doing new is offering a full fly-out program for four anglers per week based at my Two Yurt Base Lodge. My Oz program is almost full as I write this and assuredly will be completely full in a matter of days. I have a few openings in August and September at Two Yurt but the group size will have to be small. This program accommodates only six anglers. I am very excited and cannot wait to show my clients, once more, the Best of Kamchatka.”

Ouzel Expeditions: “This is our 23rd year in business in Kamchatka!” Paul Allred writes. “We were the first Westerners to get into Kamchatka and take Westerners fishing there. That was in 1991. We plan to offer our excellent, dedicated service as usual this coming year. We plan to run one- and two-week trips in conjunction with Yakutia Airline’s scheduled flights. Our prices this coming year will be $6,250 for one week and $11,500 for two weeks. We are exploring a few new rivers this year. At this point we have only limited space available on a few of our trips next summer. I can be reached at 800-825-8196 for more information. My Web address is”

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