Kola River – Ever heard about the river Alta in Norway? – well the Kola river is almost equivalent to Alta. Season (2006) our guests caught 1640 salmon between 70 rods – the largest trophy was a 44 pound fish – 22 Salmon averaging 32 pounds and plenty of salmon in the region of twenty pounds.

2007 Five (5) gigantic Salmon well above Forty pounds were caught in June – as well as 30 salmon in the range of 32 to 36 lbs – and plenty of salmon in the twenty pound bracket. In total the Kola River produced roughly 1800 Salmon between 120 rods No where on earth is there a better chance to get into one of those monster salmon than on the Kola River.

2008 season. Our guests landed 2600 Salmon during 10 weeks of fishing. The most productive week saw 512 salmon landed during the second week of July. We had many high scoring rods with 30 to 60 salmon a week. Again, this year, we managed to land many Salmon well above thirty pounds, and some even bigger were lost. The spring was cold and fairly slow. By the middle of June things started to pick up and we had very strong runs of fresh salmon arriving, due to good water. We must admit that we had poachers around, and at times we found nets in the river. This is something that we have to work hard on for this winter and we will, of course, try our very best to solve this problem.

As the fishing was so good during the later part of the season, we have decided to extend the 2009 season on the Kola to 8th August. The midsummer weeks are very reasonable priced and are great value for the money. The Kola program revolves around a luxurious timber camp with a communal building for eating and socializing. Single accommodations are in comfortable private cabins and you will have your own personal fishing guide for the entire week. This non-helicopter program is especially interesting for those who highly value top accommodations and trophy salmon. AND… It is priced at only half to one third of other Northern rivers.

Listening to Arni Baldursson and what he has to say – “I have now fished the Kola for 3 years and before that I had never caught a salmon over 30 pounds. During my previous 30 years fishing I had landed 25 salmon of between 20 and 30 pounds. Now having fished the Kola river for only three seasons I have landed over 70 salmon between 20 and 30 pounds and 4 salmon over 30 pounds plus a 44 pounder monster.

No where on earth is there a better chance to get into one of those monster salmon than on the Kola River – just listening to Arni Baldursson and what he has to say – “I have now fished the Kola for 3 years and before that I had never caught a salmon over 30 pounds. During my previous 30 years fishing I had landed 25 salmon of between 20 and 30 pounds. Now having fished the Kola river for only three seasons I have landed over 70 salmon beteween 20 and 30 pounds, plus 4 salmon over 30 pounds and a 44 pounder monster.

This non Helicopter program is especially interesting for those who value accommodation highly as it revolves around a luxurious timber camp with communal building for eating and socializing. Single accommodation is in comfortable cabins.

This is the reason I am hooked on the Kola river. I as other anglers will however still have to accept problems on the Kola river due to the river being so close to Murmansk. It is difficult to handle 100% the poaching on the river no matter how well we manage it, so you may expect to run into a stranger while you are fishing during you week.

We cannot guarantee you a 40 Pounder salmon, but here is what we will promise you

  • Arranging for your invitation letter to Russia.
  • Assistance in arranging for a visa to Russia.
  • Welcome upon arrival at the Murmansk airport by our staff.
  • Round trip from Murmansk Airport to the Kola Camp by bus.
  • Private comfortable cabin at the Kola camp for each rod with a private bathroom.
  • Sauna in the lodge.
  • Breakfast (early coffee or tea in your cabin), eggs and bacon or Russian pancakes,  cheerios, yogurt, juice, coffee, tea etc.
  • Lunch, the guide takes the lunch for you to the riverside.  Packed sandwithches, hot soup, cookies, coffee or tea.
  • Dinner, 3 courses.  I am not going to promise you the best dinner in the world, , but we will try our best to please you.
  • Wines, liqours, beers and soft drinks are sold at the lodge.
  • Fishing, 2 rods fish each beat on rotation basis in order for you to fish the whole river during your week. We have the 7 prime beats of the Kola river,  6 – 6 1/2 days of fishing.
  • 1 guide and 1 boat for every angler, of course we will train the guides in front of  the season so they will be on top of the situation when the season starts.
  • You will find a satellite TV in the camp, and there is mobile connection.

here is what we cannot promise you:

  • We cannot promise you that you will be completely alone on the river, you might see now and then a local poacher during your week.  We are putting together a team of river keepers helping us to manage the beats and we do hope that will solve the problem, but this is the reason we have lowered the price for next season.  In this part of the world it is simply impossible to guarantee 100% non-poaching, we just have to tell you that we will do outmost.
  • We cannot promise fluently english speaking guides, they will either speak good english, basic english or hardly any english.  They are fishing guides and their job is to get you into fish not talking for the whole week. We cannot promise you that all the staff in the lodge will speak english, some of them do and I think that is enough, they all try hard to please you and they are good people and I think that is what good service is all about.

Kola River – The Destination for Trophy Atlantic Salmon.

The Kola is the largest river on the Northern Kola Peninsula emptying into the Barents Sea. No wonder the entire peninsula derives its name from it. The camp is situated about 250 miles above the Arctic Circle just below where the Kitsa (a major tributary and a very fine salmon river in its own right) joins the Kola. The Kola/Kitsa fishery is renowned for its exceptionally strong, large, and numerous salmon. The season opens in June and the entire month is dominated by the fresh run of the multi-sea-wintered fish averaging between 17lbs – 30lbs, with some monsters in excess of 40lbs.There are no grilse in the river at this time. The early weeks of June will see high and cold water conditions, characteristic of the early season dictating the use of heavy tackle, fast sinking lines, large flies and tubes. Normally towards the 3rd week of June, the fishing is done with floating lines and lighter rods because the water levels drop and the temperatures rise, creating optimal conditions for both fish and the fishermen.

Very often we are asked what rods should be used, double or single-handed. Our opinion is that the double-handed rods are a definite advantage, especially in the early season. During the latter part of June one can successfully use the single-handed rods. The fisherman should expect to catch 3 to 5 fish daily and given their size and strength, they provide one with more then adequate doses of adrenaline to get through the day. Also it’s good to remember that being this far North, you can fish 24 hours a day and double these numbers. Your guides will take you daily to fish the different pools and the boats prove very helpful as there are many miles of water to cover. Most of the salmon ascending the Kola end up in the Kitsa — their spawning grounds — and the Kitsa provides superb fishing in more intimate surroundings, as it is somewhat smaller than the Kola.

The night air temperatures around this time range between 45 degrees Fahrenheit and reach into the 70-ies during the day. The water temperature is typically between 45–60 degrees Fahrenheit. The first weeks of July sees higher air temperatures and lower water conditions. The grilse run begins, adding numbers to the caught fish and sheer joy so typical for these juvenile leapers that eagerly grab your flies. Towards the end of July the run tapers off, however the fishing remains strong as fish are plentiful throughout the entire river system, but rising water and air temperatures can combine to create more challenging conditions. Smaller flies and stealthier approaches are the order of the day.

Dry fly fishing and the riffling hitch techniques come highly recommended at this time. The accomodations at the camp are in cottages with private bathroom and shower. The dining/sitting area is in a separate building with a beautiful circular shaped veranda, serving as a bar overlooking the Home Pool. Here one can relax after the day’s fishing, enjoy a drink (or two) with your fellow anglers and watch the salmon leap. This sight invariably ends with the urge to run back to your cottage, grab your tackle, and go after the teaser. Well, whatever you do, while in the camp you are never too far from fish as they are always within a cast, 24 hours a day.

Activities on the Kola Peninsula.

Not to much activities here apart from the fishing , you can always add a few more days of fishing to your week on rivers close to Murmansk such as Western Litza , Pecha , Ura and Ulita. You can stay over night or two in Murmansk for relaxing and experience some of the great night life. There are some good restaurants in Murmansk.


Recommended rods for Kola River is 12,6 and 15 feet double handed rods for line 8 to 10.

Single handed rods 9 – 9.6 feet for line 7 – 9.

A top quality Reel for Double handed that must contain Minimum 150 meters of 30lbs. backing line.

A top quality Single handed reel containing Minimum 100 meters of 20 lbs backing line.

Lines: Floating – Intermediate and sink tips. Bring some fast sinking lines if you are fishing early season.

Leaders: 12 – 14 – 16 – 18 – 20 – 24 – 30 lbs braking strenght.

Fly line cleaner ( for longer cast )

Reccomended Kola Flies.


Welcome to a new dimension in flies specifically selected and dressed for rivers of the Kola Peninsula.

Jason Thornton has a vast resource of practical knowledge having experienced all seasonal challenges during 50 actual weeks fishing numerous Kola rivers since 1994. Following exhaustive field trials of fly patterns and materials, in all temperatures and water heights, Jason has, with his extraordinary fly tyer Peter Nightingale, produced a range of 11 flies that will certainly give you an advantage over the fish and cover the entire season.

Within the listed flies will be found patterns of our own design. All our flies are dressed using premium grade materials including, where applicable, Shadow and Silver Fox, Bear and Polar Bear, Jungle Cock (genuine) and Boars Bristle.

The materials used in the construction of these flies have been chosen to impact maximum movement, colour attraction and sparkle.

Jason was truly amazed at the instant success by all these listed patterns during his field trials, finding he was out-fishing by a mile other anglers fishing their more traditional patterns.

The Spring Tubes

rogieokRogie: An established pattern worth its place in any fly box. I first tried this fly in 1995 whilst fishing Varzuga and the results were staggering. Can be fished up to mid season. Tied on plastic and aluminium tube. Available in 2″, 1.5″ and 1″.
Spring Silver: A creation of Peters’ and one that I used for the first time with great success in 2004. A cracking looking fly with all the colours that work on the peat stained rivers of the Kola. Tied on aluminium tubing. Available in 2″ and 1.5″.


Kola Green: Our version of the famous Green Highlander. Available in double and tube to give a great all season killing fly. An additional fly from 2005 following successful field trials during my week on Varzuga and Pana in 2004. Available in 1½” & 1” tubes, and 6 & 8 doubles




Jointed Shrimp Fly: in Orange (see top) and Yellow (see bottom)

A totally revolutionary fly and from its conception, proved unbelievably successful with fish almost looking for the fly box!!!! This fly can be fished throughout the season. The pattern is made in two parts – a “main” fly body and a tail section. On hooking a fish the main fly body runs freely up the line reducing leverage. Fewer fish are lost.

Available in .75″ only (N.B. main body length given)

Summer Doubles

The Shadow and Kola Shrimp are our two favourite ultra effective shrimp patterns. Shrimp fly patterns account for the greatest number of fish caught during the summer period. Will fish brilliantly in the peat stained rivers of the Kola Peninsula.


While fishing one of my Kola weeks a dramatic improvement was realised with the introduction of the Mediator. A summer fly that I will not be without anywhere, especially on the Kola. Long tailed fly, giving contrast and remarkable movement.

Available in sizes 6, 8 and 10 doubles

yellowshadowshrimpShadow Shrimp: – Silver (see top) Yellow (see bottom)

We have found a much improved shrimp pattern which combines Silver and Arctic Fox with vibrant hackling. Excellent in both strong and quieter flows of river due to the method of tying and the mobility of materials used.

Available in sizes 6, 8 and 10 doubles.

kolashrimpredKola Shrimp Fly: – Red (see left) Black (see right)

This fly offers different colour combinations and style to the Shadow Shrimp. Long Boars bristle feelers give the fly its own unique action. A great fish teezer!

Available in sizes 6, 8 and 10 doubles.

the_right_gear* Petes Riffle Special

A cheerful and devastatingly effective piece of “precision engineering”. Hence no photo!!! Based on the famous Newfoundland method of catching salmon in low water. A  small dressed tube with colour coding. Available in 0.5″ tube only

N.B. Supplied in pairs for Left and Right bank fishing.

Once your flies have been tied, they will be sent to you by Special Delivery in time for your trip. Please add 6.2eur p&p to your order.

Costs: All flies 5.80eur  *Petes Riffle Hitch 5.8eur per pair. We can supply Loop double hooks for your tubes in sizes 4, 6 and 8. Cost 75p each.

Other great flies for the Kola Peninsula is the Icelandic Snaeldas brass tubes in various colours ( they are deadly !!) and for the summer water the hitch tubes and long wing version of Black and Blue , Collie Dog , Stoats Tail and Black Sheep. Do not forgett to bring the Red and Black Frances both in brasstubes and in flies double hooks sizes 6 – 8 – 10 – 12 and 14.


  • Rods for Kola river – 13 to 15 feet double handed rods for line 8 to 10.
  • Single handed rods 9 – 9.6 feet for line 7 – 9.
  • High Quality reels for Double and single handed rods must contain minimum 150 m of 20 to 30 lbs backing line – Buy the best stuff you can get.
  • Lines: Floating – Intermediate and sink tips.
  • Important for Kola river – Bring some fast sinking lines if you are fishing early season.
  • Plenty of leaders: 12 – 14 – 16 – 18 – 20 – 24 – 30 lbs braking strenght.
  • Fly line cleaner ( for longer cast )
  • Gore – tex waders.
  • Wading shoes


  • Tape measure.
  • Leader material – 12 lb. Up to 30 lb.
  • Dry fly flotant.
  • Clippers.
  • Repair kit for Waders.
  • Some sinking tip for extreme situations.
  • Pliers.
  • Wading stick.
  • Pocket torch with fresh batteries.
  • Kamera and video etc. With fresh batteries .
  • Bag or backpack for daily equipment.
  • Mosquito repellant.
  • Sun glasses.

Clothes and other items – The weather is very unpredictable and it can change dramatically within very short time so it will be very sensible to bring both something that will keep you warm and dry in rainy and windy day and on the other hand something that is more comfortable when the sun is dancing for 20 odd hours a day. The following list may inspire:

  • Fleece trousers and jacket.
  • Warm socks.
  • Fleece gloves Hat and scarf.
  • Waterproof fishing jacket Waders (breathable).
  • Fishing shirts and vest.
  • Cap.
  • Sneakers or short boots (boat fishing in hot weather).
  • It is also advisable to bring: Ear plugs for helicopter flights, snoring tent partner and screaming reels.
  • A couple of big plastic bags for wet clothes and booths when leaving.
  • Personal medicine and painkillers.
  • Cash in USD for bar, gratuities etc.

Usual temperatures.

  • May: Day temp. Minus 5 C. to Plus 15 C. Night temp. Minus 10 C. to Plus 10 C.
  • June: Day temp. 0 C. to Plus 25 Night temp. Minus 3 C. to Plus 15 C.
  • July: Day temp. Plus 10 C. to Plus 28 C. Night temp. Plus 5 C. to Plus 15 C.

Please do not forgett your visa / passport , your flight tickets and the Lax-a telephone numbers in case of emergency +354 5576100 or +354 8927146 or +354 8936110 or +354 8527522 e-mail arnibald@lax-a.is or steffen@lax-a.is

The accommodations at the camp are nice rooms in a large hotel style building. The dining/sitting area is in a separate building.Here one can relax after the day’s fishing, enjoy a drink (or two) with your fellow anglers and share stories about the fishing. Well, whatever you do, while in the camp you are never too far from fish as they are always within a cast, 24 hours a day. The Kola lodge is only one hour away from the Murmansk airport , very convenient and no helicopter ride needed.

2015-06-23 11.38.14

Kola river Russia Kola Peninsula Travel itinerary:

There are several ways to fly to Murmansk.

One and the most comfortable one is to fly to Helsinki on a friday night for an overnight stay at a Helsinki airport hotel – please read more under flight in the top tab.

Arrived to Murmansk, our staff will be waiting for you when you come through the passport control and take you directly to the Kola river lodge by car. The drive takes approx. 1 hour. As soon as you arrive to the lodge you will have an early dinner then gear up and get ready for fishing the home pool and the other pools in short distance from the lodge.

The return flight departs around 16:00 arriving in Helsinki in the afternnoon, giving most of the anglers a chance of a connecting flight to their home destination.

Fishing Schedule:

Breakfast at 07:30, fishing from 09:00 until 18:00 hours in the evening. Lunch on the river, your guide will prepare hot soup, sandwiches and coffee. If you prefer to have lunch at the lodge it can be arranged. After 18:00 you head back to the lodge, where dinner is served around 20:00. After dinner you are welcome to fish the homepool if you wish, or make a special arrangement with the management of the lodge to fish other beats on the river in the evening. In that case you would need a car, boat and a guide, which is available at addititional cost.

Estimated arrival at Kola lodge on arrival day 16:00 p.m. Deaparture from Kola lodge last day of the week 10:00 a.m.

Booking Information: 50% of the price is due upon booking and the balance 4 months prior to departure date.