The Kamchatka Peninsula is a vast area comprised of 104,000 square mile of largely unpopulated, pristine wilderness. The peninsula protrudes 750 miles southward from Russia’s northeast coast, between the Sea of Okhotsk to the west and the Behring Sea and Pacific to the east and south.
Situated just south of Siberia and the Arctic Circle, Kamchatka is roughly the same latitude as British Columbia and has similar climate. The total population of the peninsula is only 400,000, of which 200,000 are concentrated in the city of Petropavalovsk.
Kamchatka characterized by dense coniferous forests, with snow-capped peaks to 15,000 feet, smoldering, active volcanoes and thousands of miles of pristine, unpolluted rivers.
The rivers of Kamchatka host anadramous runs of 6 species of Pacific salmon, arctic char, kunja (an eastern Eurasian char, a.k.a. kundzha), as well as both sea run and resident strains of some of the largest, wild rainbow trout in the world.
Ouzel Expeditions is owned and operated by Paul & Sharon Allred, Ouzel Expeditions has been outfitting quality float trip expeditions in Alaska since 1978, and were the very first pioneers to explore and begin outfitting on the Kamchatka Peninsula in 1991. In a destination that’s seen many outfitters come and go in it’s brief history, Ouzel’s longevity in Kamchatka is a testament both to the soundness of their operation and their commitment to providing float trip adventures of the highest quality.
Ouzel is a small operation accommodating groups of usually only 6 – 8 anglers. Their typical ratio of staff to anglers is 6 to 8. Each trip is hosted by either Paul or one of his veteran American guides, a team of experienced Russian guides, all of whom have worked with Ouzel the past 13 years, a translator, and camp kitchen staff.
Guests begin their float trip with a helicopter ride from the city of Petropavalovsk to the headwaters of the selected river. Paul’s 26 years experience outfitting in the sub-arctic has taught him that weather conditions rule the north, and sudden heavy rains can quickly blow out the selected river. Thus, Ouzel offers the invaluable flexibility of having permits to float numerous rivers on the peninsula, allowing them to make last minute changes of venue to ensure their clients get the very best conditions and best fishing possible.
Upon arrival at the river, the float begins, typically covering approximately 10 miles per day. Guests float in 16 – 18 foot Sotar inflatable rafts, usually 2 anglers and one guide per raft. You’ll stop and fish at known or likely hotspots along the way.
Most of the fishing is by wading or from shore. You’ll stop for a full hot lunch at midday. The guides have pre-selected camp sites, close to good fishing areas, and guests are free to fish nearby while the staff set up camp in the late afternoon.
Kamchatka’s main attraction for the traveling angler is the remarkable rainbow trout fishery. The rainbows of most of the river systems are described as “coastal rainbows”. These are summer run steelhead that only spend a brief time in saltwater. They are available in the river systems from June through the fall months.
In most rivers, coastal bows will average 24 inches in length and are taken over 30 inches. Upon returning to the rivers, these coastal rainbows feed as resident fish would and take a variety of subsurface streamers and “buggers”, but will also slash a deerhair mouse pattern, and rise freely to mayfly and caddis hatches which occur from June until late in September. Rainbows as large as 27 inches have been taken on dry flies as small as size #22!
These are the 4 rivers Ouzel most frequently fishes. Again, the choice of river is dependent on conditions, and Ouzelmay make last minute changes to put you onto the best conditions and fishing.
The Zhupanova River has extraordinary scenery, big rocky mountains, beautiful canyons and the huge, Zupanovski volcano. The river is medium sized to big, mostly in one channel and has lots of side streams to fish. It has huge runs of arctic char, some of the peninsula’s largest rainbows, lots of large kunja and strong runs of chum and silver salmon.
The Kapushka River is wide and shallow. It has gravel and boulders its entire length providing easy wading. Some Ouzel guests have waded down most of the river without even riding in the rafts. Gentle rolling mountains flank the river’s sides with distant volcanoes on the horizon. There are very few char and kunja, which mayexplain the numbers of rainbows. On average, Kapushka bows are an inch or two smaller, but there are perhaps twice as many as there are in the Zhupanova. Ouzel guests have taken rainbows up to 30 inches on this river. There’s a small June run of kings, good chum run and a strong silver run in late September.
The Medved River has interesting attractions along the way: huge volcanoes, boiling warm springs and gas springs. The river is small at the top and gets medium sized near it’s end. It has a lot of islands, is fairly braided & great for wade fishing. It has lots of large rainbows (many 30-inchers caught), a few char, a good king run in June, and a small silver run in late-August.
The Kartuska River may have more rainbow trout per mile than any river in Kamchatka. Ouzel first floated this little treasure in 2000 and quickly added it to their repertoire. This trip begins deep in the mountains floating through a tight valley with huge mountains then finally out onto the coastal plane. Along it’s course the river pretty much stays in one piece, not much braiding. The Kartuska is shallow with great wading. The rainbows are plentiful, averaging 20 inches up to 28 inches. There are very few char or kunja, and strong runs of very large kings in late June and silvers mid-August through September.
Trips originate in Anchorage and run Friday to Friday. You’ll depart Anchorage on Mavial / Magadan Airlines at 6:40 am, Friday. You cross the International Date Line and arrive in Petropavalovsk at 8:40 am, Saturday. After clearing customs, you’ll be transferred to the helicopter landing pad for your flight to the river to begin the float Saturday afternoon.
You’ll reach your take out point on Thursday afternoon where you’ll be transferred by helicopter back to Petropavalovsk.
You’ll overnight at a hotel in town this evening. Friday during the day, you’ll be given a tour of the city and have opportunities for shopping. You’ll depart Kamchatka at 10:00 pm Friday, cross the dateline again just after midnight, and arrive in Anchorage early Friday morning.
Our Services are Free!
Contact us for Seasonal Discounts, Special Offers or Promotional Pricing
For current availability and pricing, please call Doug Schlink at Angler Adventures.
Included: Visa support & processing, interpreters, and licenses, all transportation in Kamchatka & helicopter flights. On the river, Sotar rafts, waterproof gear bags and camera bags, a large kitchen tent, North Face sleeping tents, sleeping bags, pads, and pillows are provided.
Each trip is staffed by Russian guides, cooks, a Russian interpreter and one American guide.
Not included: airfare to and overnight in Anchorage; international airfare to Russia (approx. $1,700 pp round trip, Anchorage / Petropavlovsk Kamchatka); meals and hotel costs in Petropavlovsk ($150 per person per night); personal gear; personal liquor supply; gratuities; fishing tackle and flies. (All rates are subject to change)
If you would like to make a reservation or have any questions, please contact:
Fax (860) 434-8605
email [email protected].