Varzina River, Kola Peninsula, Russia, Atlantic Salmon

The north-east coast of the Kola Peninsula is known to hold Russias largest Atlantic salmon. After working on the Ponoi River for many seasons I have dreamt about fishing one of the northern big fish rivers. The cold waters of the Arctic sea meet the stony coastal hills creating a steep gradient of rapids, runs and pools. The river water is kola clear and the scenery is as beautiful as you will find anywhere on this planet. In the middle of this rugged beauty sits the amazing Varzina River Lodge with five star comfort, amazing staff, superior guides and fine dining. The fishing is close and within a radius of 24 kilometres from the lodge, with some of the most productive pools a short walk away. Daily helicopter flights in a R44 took us to the different pools on Varzina with the most memorable being the Finn Pool. We were early and purposefully, with the hope for big bright fish that have just entered the river rather than numbers. It was a week of brilliance with expectations exceeded and a tally I will remember for many years to come – Seven bright Atlantic Salmon: 14lbs, 16lbs, 20lbs, 20lbs, 21lbs, 21lbs and 27lbs. It was so enjoyable that I took the last two days to relax, fish on my own and join my friends for leisurely lunches and banter. Varzina River Lodge: www.varzina.ru