5 of the best fishing destinations abroad
Kola Peninsula, Russia
It wasn’t so long ago that I, along with a handful of other western anglers, first filed past incredulous Russian customs officers at Murmansk’s airport telling a far-fetched tale about journeying to the far eastern tip of the Kola Peninsula to catch—and release—Atlantic salmon. In the two decades since, the 400-kilometre long Ponoi River has taken its rightful place amongst the world’s great salmon rivers, the rag-tag Ryabaga camp has become a comfortable wall-tented facility and the customs officers at Murmansk have grown accustomed to the idiosyncrasies of foreign anglers.
Although the word is out, the Ponoi River still offers staggering runs of Atlantic salmon, plus the ever-present grayling. The fishing is essentially the same as elsewhere. Nine-weight rods are ideal, spey rods cover more water; the fish take quartered and skated flies; and the best holding water may or may not be wadable. What’s the difference? In one day you’ll raise more salmon than you’d see elsewhere in a week, all inside the Arctic Circle.