Kamchatka Rainbow Trout
Fly Fishing for Zhupanova River Rainbows
Cedar Lodge on the Zhupanova River is a 30 to 50-minute helicopter flight from Petropavlovsk. The Zhupanova River is the legendary water that put Kamchatka on the angling map.
Zhupanova River - Larry Schoenborn
2018 marked the first year in over a decade that American anglers were allowed access to Cedar Lodge's sections of the Zhupanova River.
Cedar Lodge sits on the banks of the middle section of the world-famous Zhupanova River. This section of the river is below the end of the upriver Zhupanova float trips and above the river beats fished by Zendzur Lodge. The Zhupanova is home to the oldest, largest rainbow trout in Kamchatka. Here, rainbows average 24 to 28-inches, and 30-inch bows are hooked almost daily.
Boats: The Lodge uses Alaskan-style 18-foot aluminum skiffs, with 40-HP four-stroke jet motors to access the middle sections of the river above and below camp. Most anglers prefer to wade fish and are shuttled from wade-spot to wade spot. If you prefer to fish from a boat, the guides are accommodating. Two anglers per guide and boat.
Fishing Day: You're guided daily from approx. 6:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. You’ll fish three beats: upper, middle, and lower—each consisting of about eight miles of water. Guides stay on their original beat, and anglers rotate each day.
Cedar Lodge's location is the closest access point to the Right Fork, which is famous for the highest concentration of trophy rainbow trout in Kamchatka and accessible only by a Russian tank. While it's not a guarantee, guests at Cedar Lodge may have the rare opportunity to ride in a Russian tank to the Right Fork.
Sample Fishing Day:
7:00 am: Coffee and tea.
8:00 am: Breakfast.
9:00 am: Guided fishing.
1:00 pm: A grilled streamside lunch on the river often features fresh salmon or char, along with bread, meats, cheese, fresh fruit, and vegetables.
6:00 pm: You'll return to the Lodge for a hot shower before dinner. Enjoy a nightly soak in Cedar Lodge’s on-site banya.
7:00 pm: Dinnertime.
Cedar Lodge Fishing Facts:
Jeanie Koenemann and guide at Cedar Lodge about 2002 when Larry Schoenborn used to host large groups here.
Guide Rotation: Cedar Lodge employs a three-beat system. There is an Upper, Middle, and Lower Beat. Each beat consists of about eight miles of water. Guides typically stay on their beat as anglers rotate through each day. During the week, anglers get to fish each beat twice. There are two experienced Russian guides and one Western guide. The Lodge is limited to six anglers per week. No rush to beat the crowds. Enjoy these world-class waters in solitude.
Fly Fishing Methods: Mice patterns and streamers.
Lodge Season: July through September. Mouse and streamer fishing is consistent in the Zhupanova drainage the entire summer.
July: is the warmest month in Kamchatka, yet rain can happen at any time. Mayfly and caddis hatches are at their heaviest. Large resident native rainbow. There are no salmon in the river. Dollies show up toward the end of July. Near the end of the month, the Super Kundzha, a sea-run char, begin to show up from the ocean.
If you have a low mosquito tolerance, consider a trip later in the season.
August: The first two weeks are peak Super Kundzha fishing. Chum and sockeye salmon enter the river. Target rainbows with mouse and streamer flies throughout the month. The mosquitoes, black flies, and no-see-ums are almost gone by mid-month.
September: Fall is here, and it can be in the 50-degree range, with frosty nights. Trout are taken with surface skaters and big nasty leech and baitfish patterns.
Fishing Equipment: No rods, reels, or tackle is provided. A comprehensive tackle and gear list is included in our confirmation packet.
Fishing Licenses: are $100.00 and payable in cash upon arrival.
Physical Condition: You’ll need to be in good shape for this trip. There is the potential for some light climbing or walking around sections of the river.
Cedar Lodge on the Zhupanova River
About Cedar Lodge
Cedar Lodge sits on the banks of the Zhupanova River, hidden among birch and cottonwood trees. This full-service wilderness lodge was the patriarch of the Zhupanova and Anatoly Kovalenkov's lodge for many years. Given the remote setting, the amenities are surprisingly deluxe. Comfortable double and triple rooms, each with a private bathroom and hot shower. There is also a sitting area for cards, chess, a game of pool, and even a ping pong table. There's also a Russian banya sauna—complete with an adjoining cold pool, showers, and dressing rooms. These types of accommodations are almost unheard of in Kamchatka.
Getting to the Lodge:
Direct Flights via Alaska: For a few weeks each summer, there is a weekly direct flight from Anchorage, Alaska, to Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka. Via Moscow or Seoul: There is a daily flight from Moscow that arrives at 10:00 a.m. to Petropavlovsk, as well as a daily flight from Vladivostok (via Seoul) that arrives at 8:40 a.m. (It may be possible to arrive the same day of your scheduled departure to the river, as long as you arrive in Petropavlovsk no later than 10:00 a.m.)
Monday: We recommend that you arrive in Petropavlovsk on a Monday to give yourself time to rest and adjust to the time change before a long day fishing.
Tuesday morning: You'll be greeted by Andrey or Veronika, the lodge representatives (either at the airport if you are just arriving or at your place of lodging). They will help you load your gear into micro-buses. They will drive you to the offices of Purga and assist with the paperwork required for your fishing license and departure paperwork. Here you will need to pay $100.00 in US dollars for the weekly fishing license. You'll take a 30 to 50-minute helicopter flight to Cedar Lodge. You'll pass dramatic mountains and towering volcanoes. After landing on the helipad in front of the Lodge, the guide staff will greet you and assist in carrying your luggage to your rooms. Once you’ve settled in, the head guide will give a quick orientation, and then the guides will help you rig up and organize tackle. For those wanting to get a little fishing in before dinner, there is some great water right in front of the Lodge.
Departure Day: The helicopter will arrive at the Lodge sometime between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (depending on weather clearance) and transfer you back to Petropavlovsk. You will usually need to spend one more night in Yelisovo, as most departing flights out of Moscow or Vladivostok/Seoul take off in the morning.
2022 USD Rates:
Cedar Lodge Package:
7-nights and 6-days guided fishing $6,995.00 per person
Kamchatka attracts adventurous single anglers. There is no surcharge to come alone.
Cedar Lodge and Zendzur Lodge Combo:
13-nights and 12-days guided fishing $11,995.00 per person
Cedar Lodge and Zhupanova Float Combo:
13-nights and 12-days guided fishing $11,995.00 per person
Rates are subject to change.
All ground and air transportation once you are in Kamchatka and all food, accommodations, and guided fishing once at the Lodge.
Packages Do Not Include:Airfare and travel expenses from your home to Kamchatka, a Russian Visitor’s Visa, optional first-night hotel stays and meals in Petropavlovsk, first and last night hotel stay and meals in Yelisovo (lodging fees range from $60 to $100.00), alcohol, gratuities, fishing gear, flies, a fishing license ($100.00 per week/p.p.), gratuities, mandatory medical evacuation insurance, travel insurance, and anything not mentioned under inclusions.
For Overnights in Petropavlovsk:Guests will typically stay at Martha Madsen’s cozy guest houses in Yelisovo or the Art Hotel near the airport. Nightly lodging fees range from $60-$100 for double occupancy, but pending availability, single rooms can sometimes be arranged for an additional fee. Upon your request, Fishing with Larry will make the reservations for you.
Visit our Travel Insurance page.