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The upcoming season on the Kamchatka Peninsula promises to be a good one. The word we have is that all of the major operators have a good number of trips booked. We are not aware of any outfitter conflicts or complications, and the rivers are as full of fish as ever. However, there is a nagging worry beneath all the good news, which revolves around the direct air service now available between Anchorage, Alaska, and Petropavlovsk. If that service is discontinued, access to Kamchatka will again be limited to those willing to travel almost two thirds of the way around the world, connecting through Moscow.
There is no worry whatsoever about this year. Yakutia Airlines is operating weekly flights on Saturdays from July 12 to September 13 this year. The planes that will be used are Boeing 737-700s configured with business, premium economy, and economy classes. Everyone who flew this route last year has raved about the flights. Ditto the quality of the fishing and, with rare exception, the quality of the outfitting. It’s hard to imagine that this season will be any different.
It has been said that the Kamchatka Peninsula offers fishing and an overall experience that harkens back to Alaska nearly a generation ago. Indeed, adventurous international anglers are missing a good bet if they don’t step up to the plate and go fishing now. This area needs angler traffic to keep poachers and other spoilers at bay. And, equally important, Yakutia Air needs as many passengers as possible. Here is how Yakutia Airlines’ Mark Dudley put it in an e-mail recently.
“Developing a new route is costly and takes time, and we’ll only be able to offer the Alaska-Russian Far East service on an ongoing basis if it’s profitable. We’re optimistic about the prospects for 2014, our third consecutive season, thanks to improved efficiencies and the ongoing support of a few dedicated outfitters; nevertheless, we would encourage any angler who dreams of fishing for rainbow trout in Kamchatka’s pristine rivers to delay no more. Yakutia Air has proven its reliability and will definitely be flying on the Kamchatka route in summer 2014. Once we’ve had a chance to review the upcoming season, sometime in the late summer or fall of 2014, we’ll make a final decision about our plans for flights in 2015.”
You get the picture: there is a spectacular opportunity right now to fish one of the great frontier areas in world fishing. You can help make sure it will stay conveniently available by booking a trip this year. Yes, there is still time. As Nike so cleverly exhorts its customers: “Just do it!”