Our friend Nick Blixt joined us at the Belousiha River Lodge in July. He caught a fantastic Atlantic Salmon, the biggest of his trip, on the Voronya River. He was fishing at the Upper Beach run with his friend Eric and their guide Pasha. The salmon measured 101 cm long. It took a tube fly called the Monkey that Nick was fishing on a floating line. He had landed a 60 cm salmon earlier that day, but when the big salmon grabbed the Monkey, it was immediately obvious he had hooked a giant. After a long battle that included a couple of runs deep into Nick’s backing, Pasha was eventually able to get the big fish in the net.
His time at the Belousiha River Lodge was Nick’s first experience fishing for Atlantic Salmon. He lives in California now, where he guides saltwater fly-fishing trips for mako sharks and calico bass (www.nicholasblixt.com), but Nick grew up in Massachusetts, on the east coast of the United States. His home water was the Deerfield River, a tributary to the Connecticut River. Historically, both rivers had huge numbers of Atlantic salmon, but dams, overfishing and pollution have destroyed those salmon populations. Nick grew up hearing stories about the amazing salmon fishing that used to exist there. He had always dreamed of one day having a chance to catch these amazing fish somewhere in the world.
That opportunity arrived when he learned about Faraway Fly Fishing’s program at the Belousiha River Lodge. It was the most affordable program Nick had found on Russia‘s famed Kola Peninsula. He was intrigued by the two rivers available at the lodge: the intimate Belousiha and the vast Voronya. He called to learn more about the unique program and ended up reserving a spot at the lodge during the last half of July.
An experienced angler and certified casting instructor with single-hand fly rods, Nick was confident he would be able to fish the modestly sized Belousiha River well. But he was especially looking forward to swinging flies with two-handed rods on the mighty Voronya River’s wide runs. In preparation for his trip, he took lessons at home in California to get familiar with spey casting techniques. During his first day on the water, he realized his line and rod did not match as well as he would have liked. Alex Trochine, a guide from Faraway Fly Fishing with years of experience using spey rods, helped Nick find a better line for his rod. With that new line, Nick was soon fishing the big water consistently. Over the next few days on the Voronya, he was able to catch a handful of grilse and salmon before that big salmon grabbed his Monkey pattern.
If you’d like to learn more about Atlantic Salmon fishing on the Kola Peninsula with Faraway Fly Fishing, please give us a call. The Belousiha River Lodge is a wonderful camp only a few kilometers from the Arctic Ocean. It provides private fishing access on two great salmon rivers, the modest Belousiha and the large Voronya. We look forward to telling you more about this special place and someday fishing there together. Maybe, with a bit of luck, you’ll be able to find a meter long salmon like Nick’s.