Little did the fishing world realize that when Glasnost came in the late 1980s a tundra wilderness would open up. Coursing through this expanse were glacially carved rivers boasting numbers of salmon that had not been seen in any European river for decades: rivers that offered a quality of fishing that many believed had been surrendered to the fishing records of a bygone era. However, with the opening of the Kola Peninsula in 1990, and reliable access to this vast wilderness, came the chance to fish rivers that played host to extraordinary numbers of Atlantic salmon. A new golden era of fishing had begun.
Initially, the fishing was only for the intrepid, but over the years the premier operations on the Kola have not only employed and trained extraordinary guides and staff to showcase the rivers they fish, but have also focused on the facilities, accommodation, cuisine and creature comforts.
One such operation is on the Ponoi River located at the western end of the Kola Peninsular. We have been involved with the Ponoi since 1991 and our first priority was the removal of the estuarine nets, which we achieved in 1994. Since then we have seen the fishing and logistical expertise reach a level of excellence to match the finest fishing properties in the world today. So successful has it been in recent years that most of those that travel book year after year: some returning two or three times in one season to sample the spring, summer and autumnal differences.
Now that the Ryabaga camp is so refined, and the fishing well explored, we have opened two more camps within the Ponoi system, catering to those looking for a more adventurous trip, or those looking to take a small camp exclusively.