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Yokanga – This is quite a big, majestic and powerful river. Fish species found here include brown trout, atlantic salmon and arctic char. It is only accessible by helicopter from the closest airport of Murmansk. Fishing trips should be organised via a dedicated agency. Our team does just that, and organises custom expeditions there with our partner lodge. The lodge is comfortable, traditional-looking and excellently-equipped. Food and catering at the lodge is excellent. It has an internet connection reserved exclusively to the management of the lodge, satellite phones and a TV. Mosquitoes are present in large quantities all-throughout the fishing season (June-September). A mosquitoe-net and repellent is essential.
The river is separated into several sections, and you are flown by helicopter to a different section every morning. The furthest section takes 30mins to reach. The river is wide, deep and fast-flowing. Fishing is done either on the bank when the terrain allows, or on sturdy inflatable rafts. The absence of trees makes this area relatively easy to cast in when there is no wind. When the wind does pick up, it gets tough. Fishing here is almost exclusively for atlantic salmon, with 50lb salmon on record. The Yokanga is probably the river with the largest atlantic salmon in the world.
Correct gear for atlantic salmon will be 12"+ rods with 9 weight+ lines. Correct technique is the downstream wets technique using traditional salmon fishing flies and spey casting. It is recommended to alternate between stripping on the swing and not stripping. We recommend the use of Ally Shrimps or Willie Gunn/Gun flies with similar size and colouring to most salmon flies. Oranges, deep purples and yellows are good. The river is at times deep and dangerous; we recommend you keep a wading stick and life jacket in proximity.
It is important to note though, that excellent brown trout fishing can be had by request. The fishing is found in a nearby river that is a tributary to the Yokanga. Large specimens can be found.