Kamchatka peninsula is located on the far eastern side of Russia and is known as the mother of all wilderness fly fishing regions. Wildly attractive to anglers with an adventurous side Zendzur Lodge sits on a shoulder of the lower Zhupanova River in the shadow of the snow-capped Karimsky Volcano. Exceptionally large rainbow trout, untamed wilderness, and deluxe accommodations define this sensational fly fishing expedition.
Fly fishing the Zhupanova
Anglers at Zendzur target trophy-sized rainbow trout that average 24 to 26 inches, reaching up to 35 inches. The policy of catch-and-release ensures the sizes will continue to be impressive.
These rainbows crush skated mouse patterns, swung streamers on sink-tip lines, and, occasionally in July, traditional dry flies.
From late-July through August, huge Asiatic kundzha char also pour into the river from the North Pacific. They take flies well and put up a strong, charging battle. Sea-run dolly varden char are available all season and average 12-18 inches, run in massive schools, and readily take dry flies. As a bonus, anglers in late-August and September will have the opportunity to catch chrome-bright silver salmon.
Zendzur Hot Springs Lodge is home to a fabulous on-site natural hot-springs enclosed in a banya cabin just down from the lodge on the riverbank.
Zhupanova River seasons:
July: This is the warmest month of the year in Kamchatka and typically has the most reliable
weather, with daytime temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees. There are no salmon in the river at this time, but sea-run dolly varden do show up toward the end of the month. By the last
week of July, the famous "Super Kundzha," a sea-run char species found only in the Zhupanova River, begin to pour in from the sea.
August: Chum and sockeye salmon enter the river. Rainbows are targeted with mouse and streamer flies throughout the month. The first two weeks of August, too, are the peak time to intercept the Super Kundzha.
September: Fall begins in Kamchatka. It can be chilly, in the 50-degree range. Sunny weather makes for beautiful fishing days but brings with it frosty nights. It is also the most photogenic time of year to be amid the subarctic taiga and tundra foliage as it turns to blazing yellows, reds, and oranges with a backdrop of snowcapped volcanoes. Trout are taken with surface skaters and with "big nasty" leech and baitfish patterns. The latter, fished on a sink-tip line, become more important as water temperatures drop.
Boats and Guides
The boats: The lodge uses Alaskan-style 18’ aluminum skiffs, powered by 40-h.p. 4-stroke jet
motors. Two anglers per guide and boat are shuttled from wade-spot to wade-spot. Most anglers
prefer to wade-fish, but for those that prefer to fish from a boat, the guides are very
Guides: There is a guide rotation system, so each group of two anglers spends two days with each guide. The staff consists of one North American head guide and two seasoned Russian guides. Their head guides are talented professionals with years of Russian and/or other international camp management experience and years of prior experience guiding in Alaska, British Columbia or the Western U.S. Fly fishing is a relatively new sport in Russia, and the guides come equipped with varying levels of pure fly fishing knowledge. Some are exceptional, having been with the lodge for 10 or more years. Others have been brought on board for their skills as woodsmen and watermen, whose technical abilities are evolving, and they are in rhythm with the lives and habits of rainbow trout.
Getting to Kamchatka is simple, with weekly flight service from Anchorage, Alaska direct to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski. The day before departure to Kamchatka, you’ll need to arrive in Anchorage, Alaska and stay overnight (Sunday). Depart on Yakutia Air from Anchorage early in the morning on Monday. Check-in usually opens around 5:30 a.m., (two hours before departure), and it is advised you arrive around this time. The flight lasts about 4.5-hours and crosses the International Dateline. You will arrive in Kamchatka on Tuesday morning at 8:00 a.m.
Zendzur Hot Springs Lodge
Zendzur Lodge, a traditional Russian wilderness outpost, caters to a max of six anglers per week. Though the lodge is remote, the accommodations are comfortable. Four suites with private bathroom and an entry/wader area. There are also two cabins and a separate dining hall. The lodge is home to an on-site natural hot-springs, which is enclosed in a sauna cabin on the riverbank near the lodge. Excellent regional cuisine and some familiar fare. Savory seafood dishes, fresh fish and meat, home-baked bread, pastries... When salmon and dolly varden are in season, hot shore lunches are served daily on the river. The lodge provides up to three bottles of beer per person, per night. Additional beer and vodka are available for purchase.
6-nights and 5-days guided fishing $6,995.00.
Zhupanova River Float
and Zendzur Lodge Combo:
13-nights and 12-days guided fishing
all ground and air transportation once in Kamchatka, all meals and accommodations at Zendzur Lodge, and guided fishing.
Packages do not include:
airfare and travel expenses from your home to Kamchatka (approx. $2,300.00), the hotel stay and meals in Anchorage (approx. $200.00), Russian Visitor’s Visa ($400.00), gratuities, fishing gear, flies, fishing license ($100.00 per week/p.p.), gratuities, medical evacuation insurance (required), alcohol, and anything not mentioned under inclusions.