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Atlantic Salmon Fishing Russia Belousiha & Voronya Rivers

Customer Rating 91%
Tour Code RUS001

Salmon Fishing In Russia

The Belousiha River is one of the most famous Salmon rivers in Russia and one which is well known and regarded amongst adventurous travelling freshwater fly fishing anglers. Located in the extreme northwest of Russia on the Kola Peninsula, one of the largest Peninsula’s in Europe, it’s a relatively small but exquisite looking river set amidst spectacular and changing scenery. The Belousiha has many unique characteristics that differentiate it from other rivers in the Kola. Firstly, being a tributary of a much larger river, it fishes well in high water and often provides good sport when other rivers in the region suffer from raging floods. Secondly, it never colours, even when the water is high, and thirdly, compared to many of the other famous Salmon rivers in the Kola, the Belousiha is an intimate stream. In many places, the river is just 10 to 15 metres wide and only on a handful of stretches does it exceed 40 metres or more.

Another popular and equally famous river in the region, one of which the Belousiha is a tributary of, is the mighty Voronya River. The Voronya flows for an impressive 155 kilometres, has a drainage basin of over 9,940 square kilometres, and gets historically run by some of the largest Salmon in the region. It was arguably one of the most productive of all the Kola rivers and famed for huge legendary Salmon, however in the mid-1960s, due to several different factors, the installation of hydro schemes and overfishing, the river became a shadow of its former self. This was until a few years ago when our partners at Belousiha River Lodge took control of this brilliant waterway, working exceptionally hard to return it to its former glory.

Belousiha River

Flowing through several lakes high in the system before concentrating into a 12-kilometre stretch, the Belousiha is a small intimate river, home to good numbers of Atlantic Salmon. Its array of different water and variety of pools, streams, and rapids provides the ideal habitat for this hard fighting fish. Every season good numbers of Salmon between 85cm and 95cm are caught, and despite big fish from small rivers being rare, the Belousiha is an exception to this rule.

As well as Atlantic Salmon, the Belousiha is home to Sea Trout, Brown Trout and Grayling, all of which reach specimen proportions. There are also Pink Salmon, which can sometimes provide great sport when the Atlantic Salmon are quiet.

The river isn’t a classic cast and step river with open banks and masses of space to fish; it requires some walking, and it’s typical to cover 2 or 3 kilometres per day and sometimes even 5 or 6 kilometres depending on what areas you fish. However, despite the walking, the Belousiha River Lodge is considered excellent for novice fly fishing anglers, as long casts are seldom required, and the Salmon often show themselves. Over the past few years, the river has become quite well known and the first choice for many travelling anglers who yearn to catch Salmon on single-handed rods.

The possibility to fish both the intimate Belousiha and mighty Voronya on the same visit has become a massive attraction amongst travelling Salmon anglers. Both rivers now have regular visitors who return year after year.

Voronya River

The Voronya River is now guarded around the clock by the team at the Belousiha River Lodge, and this famous river is now back to its former glory. Many travelling rods have re-affirmed this, and the river is now a world-class destination for the freshwater fly angler looking to target and land a real monster Salmon. However, it’s not just Salmon that anglers can expect to catch, as the Voronya attracts an extensive run of Sea Trout – especially in the second half of the season. These fish average around 1lb to 4lb; however, some enormous specimens over 10lb do turn up occasionally.

The Voronya ranges in width from 50 metres to 150 metres across in some places. The upper beat is close to the dam, but after that, anglers are spoilt with a beautiful range of features to work with, with significant streams, islands, deep holes and shallow runs. Eventually, as you head upriver, you reach a spectacular canyon, which spills out above an island beat called ‘Twins Pool’, and this is a fascinating place to fish.

Unlike its famous tributary, the Belousiha, the Veronya does not require any long walks. Instead, anglers are driven to the river each day and transferred further by boat, depending on the beat. Once at the spot for the day, it’s then simply a matter of casting and stepping to cover as much water as possible. The Voronya leans itself to wading, and it’s possible to do so all day, leaving the water and stopping only to take lunch. The wading is mostly over small stones and gravel, and seasoned flyfishers have declared it a pleasure to fish, compared to the sometimes tricky, boulder-strewn beats encountered on some of the Kola rivers.

Fly Fishing For Salmon

When fishing the Belousiha early in the season, the water levels can be high, so a single-handed 7 to 9-weight or a switch-rod between 5 to 7-weight is perfect for the job most of the time. Only a small handful of pools can’t be covered with a single-handed rod, although arguably, the switch-rod will offer much better line control. Later in the season, the water levels can drop considerably during the summer months, and a delicate presentation is required. In such conditions, a single-handed 7 to 8-weight is the best tool.

All rods should get matched with a good, reliable reel, with a smooth drag and capable of carrying at least 150 yeards of backing. It’s also helpful to have extra spare spools loaded with different fly lines. Floating and intermediate lines with 9 to 11 metres of a weight forward head are best at the start of the season, while from the middle of July, lighter floating lines and those with 14-metre heads allow for a more delicate presentation. Throughout the whole season, it’s good to have different sinking and intermediate tippets. These will help in high water and deeper pools.

On the Voronya, which is the larger of the two rivers, rods between 13 and 15-foot are required, with a rating of between 7 to 10-weight; this is to help lift heavy lines and tippets clear of the water. Again, like on the Belousiha, a reliable reel that can hold 200 yards of backing is essential. Every year one or two giant Salmon are lost due to an unsuitable reel.

Due to high water levels in June, heavy lines and tippets with different sinking speeds get used. Generally, the water levels are much lower from July to September, and Skagit or Scandi lines with 10 to 15-feet versi-tips are recommended. Whenever the water is high or cold, it is essential to have a range of lines to match conditions.

On both rivers and throughout the Kola Peninsula, almost all well-known Atlantic Salmon flies work. At the beginning of the season, different patterns are tied on copper tubes or with tungsten cones as a heavy fly is needed to combat the fast current and rapids. From mid-July, smaller flies and classic patterns work well, and throughout the season, Skaters, Bombers and Hitches all work well on warm days. There are also plenty of pools on both rivers, perfect for dry fly fishing.

A Typical Day Fishing At The Belousiha River Lodge

On arrival day, the Belousiha River Lodge staff will help you settle in and get acquainted with the camp’s infrastructure and schedule. After dinner, the guides will explain the fishing program, beat rotation and disinfect all equipment and tackle. The rivers and guides get rested on Friday, and the fishing begins Sunday morning. However, if time allows on Saturday, unguided fishing is permitted on the home pool.

Fishing day timetable
08.00 – Breakfast
09.00 – Departure to the river
13.00 – Lunch on the river
18.00 – Return to the camp
19.00 – Sauna
20.30 – Dinner

The fishing at the lodge is based on two anglers per guide, with six days fishing. Anglers will have the chance to fish three days on the Belousiha River and three days on the Voronya River. None of the fishing requires travelling in a helicopter, and all fishing on the Belousiha is reached by walking or quad bike, whilst the Voronya is just a short drive away.

To learn more about the Belousiha River Lodge and Atlantic Salmon fishing in Russia, visit our YouTube channel.

Caring For Atlantic Salmon

At the Belousiha River Lodge, they have the policy to return all the Atlantic Salmon which get caught. They also have a few fish welfare rules to protect the incredible fish species that inhabit the river. 

  • Never pick up a fish by its tail.
  • Never drag a fish up onto the bank.
  • Keep the fish in the water as much as possible while unhooking and photographing it.
  • Never handle a fish with dry hands.
  • Use barbless hooks (pinching down barbs is sufficient) and do not use treble hooks.

Accommodation

The Belousiha River Lodge, located on a plateau in the Arctic tundra, is set amongst birch trees and rocky escarpments, overlooking the picturesque home pool on the Belousiha River. The camp, located just 150 kilometres from Murmansk, doesn’t require helicopters for access and is just a three-hour minibus transfer away. The camp’s infrastructure is well developed, but as soon as you set off, you will be right at the very heart of the pristine arctic wilderness.

Lodges

The standard lodges, known as ‘Red Roofs’, are twin-bedded cabins. They have electricity 24/7, European standard plug sockets, two comfortable beds, spacious cupboards, a table where you can tie flies, and the temperature inside is regulated by an electro-heater. Dark curtains shade the rooms during the twenty-four-hour summer polar sun period. There is a small terrace outside where you can relax after your day’s fishing.

Luxury Lodges

Since 2018 a range of luxury lodges is now available. The new VIP lodges, known as ‘Grey Houses’, are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The new buildings consist of two twin-bed rooms in spacious, Scandinavian-style apartments. Each apartment has a rest area, ample work and storage space, an en-suite bathroom with a hot water shower, sink, toilet, bidet, and heated floors. There is also a drying closet for fishing equipment in the hallway. Later in the season, it’s possible to see the spectacular northern lights from the small summer terrace.

Canteen

The canteen, located on the edge of the plateau, has beautiful views over the Belousiha River and is the social centre of the camp. You can comfortably sit on the sofa in front of the satellite TV, relax in the lounge zone or bar, share your success with friends, or discuss fishing strategies with the guides for the next fishing day. 

Each morning, the canteen serves a choice of hearty breakfasts to set you up for the day and before setting off for the river, there will be lunch boxes, fruit and water to take with you. These contain all the energy you need, never to be hungry whilst searching for your next trophy salmon. After fishing, before the sauna, you will find appetizers and snacks.

In the evening, the excellent chefs serve traditional Russian and European cuisine dishes, often using local game and seafood. At the bar will you find good wines, whisky, vodka and a selection of cold beers.

Infrastructure

  • Shower with hot water, toilets, and sauna every evening
  • Drying room for fishing equipment and wet clothes
  • Big summer gazebo for relaxing and barbeques
  • Russian operators provide coverage: Megafon and MTS
  • The camp territory gets covered by a Wi-Fi network
  • Satellite TV

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Itinerary

TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAYS

Although the fishing days are fixed, the below itinerary is still flexible should you require additional free days to explore at the beginning or end of your holiday; we can tailor this itinerary to suit you personally. Feel free to talk to our travel consultants who can explain all options available.

Day 1: (Friday)

Depart UK (alternative routes available)

Arrive Moscow

On arrival take a taxi to your overnight hotel. The rest of the day is yours to relax or explore.

Overnight Accommodation: Moscow Hotel (Twin Room) B/B

Day 2: (Saturday)

In the morning take a taxi to the Moscow Domodedovo Airport and fly to Murmansk airport.

Depart Moscow

Arrive Murmansk Airport

On arrival, a representative from the Belousiha River Lodge will be waiting to drive you the 3-hour transfer to the Lodge.

The journey to the lodge is by microbus, the journey to the camp takes around 3 hours. If you need to buy anything (for example batteries, toiletries etc) please let the driver know at the airport. There will be no chances to shop after leaving Murmansk.

When you arrive at the lodge, the staff will help you settle in and get acquainted with the camp’s infrastructure and schedule. After dinner, the guides will explain the fishing program and beat rotation. Before fishing at the camp, it is compulsory to disinfect equipment and gear.

Overnight Accommodation: Belousiha River Lodge (Twin Room) F/B

DayS 3 to 8: Fishing Days (Sunday to Friday)

For the next 6 days, you’ll be fishing the Belousiha River and the Voronya River for the giant Atlantic Salmon that inhabit their waterways. A typical fishing day consists of…

  • 08.00 – Breakfast
  • 09.00 – Departure to the river
  • 13.00 – Lunch on the river
  • 18.00 – Return to the camp
  • 19.00 – Sauna
  • 20.30 – Dinner

Overnight Accommodation: Belousiha River Lodge (Twin Room) F/B

Day 9: (Saturday)

After breakfast, the guides at Belousiha River Lodge will transfer you back to Murmansk and your overnight hotel.

When you’ve checked in at your hotel you can explore the local surroundings, enjoy dinner and get settled for the evening, ready to return home the next day.

Overnight accommodation: Murmansk Hotel (Twin Room) B/B

Day 10: (Sunday)

After breakfast at your hotel, you will need to taxi to Murmansk airport, ready for your flight home.

Depart Murmansk

Arrive Moscow Depart Moscow

Arrive UK

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Satisfaction Score 91%

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FISHING Seasons

The season runs from June to September.

Atlantic Salmon

Season: June to September
Peak: June to July
Weight: 8lb to 30lb
Average Weight: 12lb

Sea Trout

Season: June to September
Peak: July to August
Weight: 1lb to 10lb
Average Weight: 4lb

Brown Trout

Season: June to September
Peak: July to August
Weight: 1lb to 8lb
Average Weight: 5lb

Grayling

Season: June to September
Peak: July to August
Weight: 1lb to 3lb
Average Weight: 2lb

Package Details

Prices from
£3,282
per person

Included

  • All international flights
  • Transfers to the lodge
  • All accommodation as per itinerary
  • All meals at the lodge
  • All drinks at the lodge
  • 6 full fishing days
  • Full guiding (2 anglers per guide)

Excluded

  • Personal holiday insurance
  • Tips for the guides and camp staff
  • Fishing tackle
  • Waders and boots
  • Relevant Visa's
  • Taxi to Murmansk airport
  • Extra fishing flies

Optional extras

  • Flight upgrades
  • Fishing tackle hire
  • VIP lodge Upgrades
  • Single Room Upgrades

Price Supplements

N/A

View Latest Availability

Dates, Prices & Availability

Remember that Sportquest Holidays' services are completely FREE! When you book a trip with Sportquest Holidays, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge and flights independently.

Departing Returning Days Price Availability
05/08/2022 14/08/2022 10 £4,328 Sold Out
12/08/2022 21/08/2022 10 £3,979 Sold Out
19/08/2022 28/08/2022 10 £3,718 Sold Out
26/08/2022 04/09/2022 10 £3,543 Sold Out
02/09/2022 11/09/2022 10 £3,456 Sold Out
09/09/2022 18/09/2022 10 £3,282 Sold Out
09/06/2023 18/06/2023 10 £4,486 Sold Out
16/06/2023 25/06/2023 10 £5,358 Sold Out
23/06/2023 02/07/2023 10 £5,794 Sold Out
30/06/2023 09/07/2023 10 £5,794 Sold Out
07/07/2023 16/07/2023 10 £5,794 Sold Out
14/07/2023 23/07/2023 10 £5,532 Sold Out
21/07/2023 30/07/2023 10 £5,358 Sold Out
28/07/2023 06/08/2023 10 £4,922 Sold Out
04/08/2023 13/08/2023 10 £4,661 Sold Out
11/08/2023 20/08/2023 10 £4,312 Sold Out
18/08/2023 27/08/2023 10 £4,051 Sold Out
25/08/2023 03/09/2023 10 £3,876 Sold Out
01/09/2023 10/09/2023 10 £3,789 Sold Out
08/09/2023 17/09/2023 10 £3,615 Sold Out

Price Notes

Prices are based on two anglers sharing transfers, fishing and accommodation (unless otherwise stated) and are correct at the time of going to press. Subject to time of year or date and currency fluctuations, these prices may fluctuate slightly due to flight price increases or fuel surcharges.

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Norfolk
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Reviews

Mason

I've been lucky enough to catch Salmon in a few destinations around the world, but my trip to Russia has to be one of the best. The fishing was fantastic and the lodge, guides and staff were brilliant.

Fishing
Guides
Accommodation
Meals
Staff & Service
Flights
Would use Sportquest again
Would recommend Sportquest

Graham

A beautiful setting with an abundance of different water and beats to fish. My week was extremely productive and the fish were well on the feed, I was lucky enough to land Salmon and Sea Trout. I'd have no hesitation in recommending this tour.

Fishing
Guides
Accommodation
Meals
Staff & Service
Flights
Would use Sportquest again
Would recommend Sportquest

Daniel

I'd heard that Russia was an up and coming destination for fly anglers chasing Salmon and after previously visiting both Norway and Iceland I thought I'd try it for myself - and I'm glad I did. I had the most wonderful time. Thank you to all involved in organising it for me.

Fishing
Guides
Accommodation
Meals
Staff & Service
Flights
Would use Sportquest again
Would recommend Sportquest

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Latest Reports

Belousiha River Lodge Fishing Report 1st to 3rd July 2020

A fantastic start to the 2020 season, which although it did start late, did still produce some fantastic sport in the form of Atlantic Salmon, Trout and even some Grayling. Belousiha River 01/08/2019 The first...

Belousiha River Lodge Fishing Report 4th to 9th August 2019

Although the anglers this week still experienced some of the poor week that came in July, this didn't stop them from landing some very impressive Salmon on the fly. Belousiha River 04/08/2019 The first week...

Belousiha River Lodge Fishing Report 28th July to 2nd August 2019

We have come to the end of a very difficult month on the Beloushia and Voronya as it saw some of the coldest temperatures in history. This however didn't stop the anglers from landing some...
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