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What to bring to Umba or Grand Varzuga?

May 5th, 2015 - steffen


The following list may inspire: The weather is very unpredictable on the Kola peninsula, and it can change dramatically within very short time so it will be very sensible to bring both something that will keep you warm and dry in rainy and windy day and on the other hand something that is more comfortable, when the sun is dancing for 20 odd hours a day.

The climate of this region of Russia is extremely changeable. A wide range of temperatures and weather conditions should be expected. We recommend layering clothing, enabling you to add or remove layers during the day. Bring Polar fleece jackets, thermal underwear, Polar neck, wool socks and a wool cap to be prepared for the extreme. Flannel or chamois cloth shirts and fleece vests/jackets are ideal for the river, although you’ll no doubt change to something lighter in the lodge. Also take a reliable wind-stopper/rain jacket. Gore Tex is excellent. It is waterproof, yet breathable, and is comfortable on sunny, windy afternoons. Simms Gore-Tex and Patagonia SST wading jackets are popular and have withstood the strain of harsh weather time and time again. (For further information regarding what to bring please also read our Pre-Trip Information).

Accessories: Measure tape – Leader material – Clippers. – Repair kit for Waders – Some sinking tip for extreme situations – Pliers – Wading stick – Camera (You can recharge in the camp / 22oV) – Bag or backpack for daily equipment – Mosquito repellent – Sun glasses

It is also advisable to bring: Ear plugs for helicopter flights, snoring room partners and screaming fly reels. A couple of plastic bags for wet clothes and booths when leaving. Personal medicine and painkillers. Cash in Euro for Bar and gratuities – (Gratuities 300 – 400 Euro)

Footnote: We call our accommodations ‘comfortable and casual’. We are not trying to be a ‘extravagance lodge’ with a dress code for dinner. The atmosphere is relaxing with the right “Salmon Junkies Karma”, and we’re not too worried about formalities. You’ll spend quality time with quality people like yourself. In our camps, no one will be offended by your cigar smoke or your drink spilled laughing around the fireplace.



Flies to bring for Umba and Grand Varzuga

May 1st, 2015 - steffen


All rivers have their favorites and Umba and Grand Varzuga are no exception. That said though it must be added that – probably due to the decent neutral color in most of the rivers – very many and very different types of flies seem to work.

Hereby some of the hot patterns you should bring to Umba or Grand Varzuga

Traditional hook flies – recommendable size for the Size 6 – 8

Red Butt / Black Francis / Ally’s Shrimp / The Cascade / Green Highlander / Thunder & Lightning / Willie Gunn / Black Sheep / Hairy Mary / Blue Charm / The Undertaker/ Billy Butt / Black bear Green Butt / Monroe Killer.

Tube flies

Bring tube flies with a wing length around 1 – 2 inches  – Get them in the classic “Scandi” design with a long wing profile “Tempeldog style” – Productive colors – Black / Yellow / Orange / Green / Brown. The tube fly Body should be in length 10mm – 20mm made in plastic or aluminum.

Getting the goodies

If you do not tie your own flies or if you feel more comfortable with flies dressed up by some “Professional” you will be happy to know that we have a large selection of high quality flies available in the camp-shops at Umba lodge and Grand Vauzuga.

I really look forward to see all of you within short


Spring is slowly approaching

April 29th, 2015 - steffen


I have just received some nice photos from Umba Camp Manager Igor Kryzhopolskiy showing that the spring has arrived to Umba and the southern part of Kola Peninsula. The river is for the moment running low now but we soon expect a lot of water when the snowpack in the backcountry starts to melt. Igor could also inform me that it is still very cold in the Varzuga area, but there has been some indications that the river will starts to open up soon. Now only 3 weeks before a new season starts – Can´t wait to be back.


“We are Salmon Junkies”

April 27th, 2015 - steffen


“We are Salmon Junkies” World Premiere (free entry) – Friday May 8th. Start 20:00 at Kronolaxen Restaurant in Mörrum

The Atlantic salmon is known as the King of Fish. In the hierarchy of the river’s hidden world, it is top dog — swift and powerful, unpredictable and elusive, a sleek, stunning manifestation of nature’s grand design. Throughout the history of angling, for all who cast a fly, Salmo salar has been a shining prize. But for some, the salmon is more. For some, the Atlantic salmon is an object of obsession whose draw is so complete as to haunt every waking thought and fantasy. These most avid and passionate anglers are called “salmon junkies.”

The last stronghold for wild Atlantic salmon lies in a remote corner of northwest Russia. Here, above the Arctic Circle in a vast and largely inaccessible land, a network of rivers remains largely intact — free from power dams, fish hatcheries and other interfering inventions of the developed world. Here, salmon exist as they have for millennia, each year returning from the sea to create a new generation. Similarly, each year from May to October, dedicated salmon junkies from the world over gather along these rivers to leave modern life behind, to live simply on the taiga and to pursue the King of Fish.

But the call goes beyond sport and relaxation; the exercise is not merely escape or privileged leisure. To be a dedicated salmon angler today, in the throes of the 21st Century, is to make a statement. For many, salmon angling has given birth to an environmental perspective and has enlivened a fight for cause. To search for wild salmon is to also champion the future of wild salmon and the health of the places they live. It is to foster and encourage efforts to preserve nature’s richness and its many wonders for our descendants.

We are Salmon Junkies is a mind-blowing, 45-minute fascinating ride into an international subculture united in pursuit, protection and celebration of the iconic Atlantic salmon.

For anglers of all stripes — for anyone who cares about the future of Earth’s last wilderness places and their free-roaming inhabitants — for anyone enthralled with the magic of the natural world — We are Salmon Junkies is a must-see film.

As the sets are limited we kindly ask you contact Restaurant Kronolaxen +46 – 454 513 31 for reservation (Free entry)

New Guide uniform for our Umba guides

April 23rd, 2015 - steffen


We only have Three weeks left before we are heading NW corner of mighty Russia. Our two Danish Grand Varzuga fishing guides, Søren Gottfredsen and Jimmi Lauridsen and I will be leaving for Murmansk 18 May with our bags loaded with stuff for the upcoming season. For 2015 I will bring for our Hard working Umba guides new Vision Heavy Havu Waders, Vision Marko boots and the new Vision Sade jackets. No other place than Umba will put the gear under a more heavy stress test, so fingers crossed that the new stuff will survive 2015. My dog Charlie watching the Vision gear will however stay home.

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