Zhupanova River: Home to Some of the World's Largest Rainbow Trout
Kamchatka is home to some of the most remote, isolated and pristine freshwater fisheries in the world. A handful of rivers found on this wild and rugged peninsula are truly world-class; collectively in a league of their own with regard to huge, aggressive rainbow trout. One of these select fisheries is the mighty Zhupanova, a river known as home to what is arguably the largest rainbow trout in the world. With fish reaching lengths of 35 inches and weights of over 10 pounds, anglers have the opportunity to hook the biggest trout of their lives during a single week of fishing. Zendzur Lodge has access to over 30 miles of the river right from their doorstep – every mile accessible by jet boats operated by seasoned American and Russian guides. The lodge itself is also the most established fishing lodge in all of Kamchatka, with the finest amenities, accommodations, service, and food that any angler could ask for.
Just a 30-minute flight via Mi-8 helicopter from Petropavlosk, Zendzur Lodge sits atop a riverside overlook that gives guests a beautiful view of the Zhupanova River. In a part of the world where rugged and rustic wilderness lodges are the norm, Zendzur is an amazing exception – one of the nicest operations in all of Russia. Zendzur offers comfortable rooms, great food, and excellent customer service; a fantastic base of operations where anglers return each evening to enjoy a huge dinner, comfortable overnight accommodations, and on-site, natural hot springs. Each room at the lodge has either two or three beds, a private bathroom with flushing toilets and towels, and an entryway for storing waders and gear.
Food and Beverages
During a week at Zendzur, anglers can expect some of the finest Russian cuisine homemade right at the lodge. Fresh pastries, salads, fruits, seafood, soups, and several other entrees will decorate the table each evening with the main course of pork, chicken or beef to follow. It’s a perfect ending to a long day on the river. Breakfasts include hot cereals of many styles, eggs, bacon, toast, and fresh fruit. Lunches will be served on the river and include a variety of meats and cheeses, fruit, and freshly caught Dolly Varden cooked over an open fire. All beverages are included in the trip package and will be available throughout the day. Any additional alcohol other than beer will be an extra cost. It is recommended anglers purchase any other alcohol at the Duty Free in Anchorage prior to their departure.
Typical Length of Stay
Due to the set schedule of the once-a-week flight from Anchorage (ANC) to Petropavlovsk (PKC), the standard package at Zendzur Lodge is six (6) nights / five and a half (5.5) fishing days.
Activities for non-anglers are very limited in Kamchatka, and the Zendzur Lodge is primarily a fishing-focused destination. That said, anglers will enjoy the overall area itself, as the scenery of the nearby mountains provides breathtaking panoramic displays. Over the course of the week, each guest will experience tamarack and birch forests, wildlife, snow-capped mountains, a view of Zhupanovsky Volcano and salmon-rich, gin-clear waters.
Internet / Communications
There is no internet connection while at Zendzur Lodge and cell phones will not work. Sat phones are the best means for communication if needed.
How To Get There
Yakutia Air has announced that they will once again be flying the direct route from Anchorage’s Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC) to Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka (PKC) which is the quickest and easiest option. Flights will operate weekly from mid-July to mid-September. More information on these flights can be found by contacting Yellow Dog.
Arrival and Departure Times
With direct flight service to Kamchatka (PKC) from Anchorage (ANC), anglers can once again enjoy a quick and easy flight to the best rainbow trout fishing on the planet. The weekly Yakutia Air flight will depart from Anchorage on Monday mornings, with arrival in Kamchatka the following morning once the plane crosses the international date line. With this schedule, anglers will no longer have to overnight in Petro on their way to camp, instead of proceeding directly from the airport to the helicopter that same day. After a great week of fishing, you will arrive back in Anchorage the following Monday evening. You will arrive back in Anchorage the same Monday morning after crossing back over the international dateline. This early arrival back to the States allows plenty of time to clear U.S. customs and immigration to connect up with your flight home that same day. For any international anglers not looking to travel through Anchorage OR if you would like to spend additional time in Russia, there are options to fly through Moscow, Russia or Seoul, South Korea to arrive to Petro on different schedules.
A Russian Visa (which Yellow Dog will assist with) and a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining are required. Due to the remoteness of this location, Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures requires the purchase of medical evacuation and trip insurance.
Yellow Dog works directly with and recommends Kanna Travel. They can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact them at 855-739-3139 or [email protected] for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services, and trip insurance.
The stretch of the Zhupanova River where Zendzur Lodge is located in notorious for producing some of the largest rainbows found anywhere in Kamchatka – or the world for that matter. The Zhupanova also has a diversity of other species available including all species of Pacific salmon through the summer, arctic char, dolly varden and the elusive super Kundzha. While not found in all rivers in Kamchatka, the super Kundzha in the Zhupanova are some of the largest and strongest found anywhere in the world as well and can often exceed 30 inches in length. For anglers looking for to sacrifice numbers for shots at the fish of a lifetime, Zendzur Lodge is a great place to base out of for a week and target some really big fish!
Fishing each day on the Zhupanova is done by a combination of boat and wade fishing, with anglers and guides utilizing jet boats to run upstream and downstream of the lodge focusing on multiple sections of the river. While the Zhupanova is a larger river in this section and a lot of fishing is done from the boat, there are opportunities for anglers to get out and wade if you prefer. Most of the fishing is done with heavier rods such as a 7- 8 weight with sinking lines and heavy streamers. There are some opportunities for top water fishing with mouse patterns and occasionally dry flies, but the best way to target these larger fish is with big streamers such as sculpins and baitfish patterns.
Boats and Equipment
Each day anglers and guides will depart Zendzur Lodge via jet boat to run upstream or downstream from the lodge to fish the various sections of the river. There is very limited demo or rental equipment available at Zendzur Lodge, and it is recommended that anglers bring all fishing gear with them during their stay including rods, reels, waders, boots, flies and terminal tackle. Upon booking, Yellow Dog will provide anglers with a very detailed pre-trip planning guide that will outline all the required and recommend equipment for a trip to the Zhupanova and Zendzur Lodge.
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. All prices listed below are per person, based on double occupancy and quoted in US dollars.
6 nights / 5.5 Fishing Days = $6,995.00 USD
- Six (6) nights lodging at the Zhupanova River Float (double occupancy)
- Five and a half (5.5) days fully guided fishing (two anglers per guide)
- Possible arrival day and departure day fishing (will be dictated by transportation schedule and weather)
- All ground and air transfers to/from the Zhupanova River Float
- All meals while on the Zhupanova River Float
- All non-alcoholic beverages
What’s Not Included:
- Airfare to Anchorage, Alaska (ANC) and from Anchorage to Petropavlovsk, Russia (PKC)
- Hotel accommodations, meals and transfers in Anchorage (if necessary)
- All flies and terminal tackle, rods, reels, waders, boots and all other fishing equipment
- Russian fishing license (approximately $100.00 per person)
- Gratuities for guides and camp staff (payable in USD)
- Russian Visa and Visa processing fees
- Alcoholic beverages (beer and vodka available for purchase or bring your own)
- Trip insurance and Global Rescue insurance policies (required)