Simply put, the Ozernaya is hailed as one of Kamchatak’s greatest trout fisheries. A broad and shallow river reminiscent of the Henry’s Fork, the Ozernaya is home to incredible populations of rainbows in the 20 to 27 inch class, trophy grayling, kundzha, Dolly Varden and coho. No matter when you visit this river, all you will need is a solid 7-weight, a floating line, a fistful of mice and sculpin and a strong fish-fighting arm! Anglers sleep streamside in simple, comfortable, two-person A-frame cabins complete with built-in padded cots, light and heat. The camp features a classic Russian banya (hot shower tent) and a main dining tent where hearty meals, beer and vodka are served each evening. Anglers will access more than thirty miles of pristine water with the aid of aluminum jet boats and skilled American and Russian guides. All fishing is done while wading and there are a number of interesting walk-and-wade tributaries awaiting adventuresome anglers. For those who want to experience the ultimate combination of high catch rates, large and unsophisticated rainbows, and true Russian wilderness, this is the ultimate trip. The Ozernaya has been called the greatest trout stream of all time. We believe the Ozernaya is the crown jewel of Kamchatka; a spring creek with an unbelievable number of large Rainbows averaging well over 20 inches. Easy to wade and gin clear, much of the fishing is visual. The Ozernaya has every single ingredient for large rainbow trout: bugs, salmon and a large sculpin population. The Oz is also blessed with fabulous runs of silver salmon ready to explode on wogs or poppers. These chrome bright battlers, available from early August until the end of the season, are sure to test your will.
The Ozernaya River is a broad beautiful spring creek type river that headwaters roughly three hours north of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in a remote mountainous region. Due to its spring fed nature it is a rather stable system that receives impressive runs of Pacific Salmon and Dolly Varden. The river typically flows between 1,000-1,500 cfs and is characterized by easy wading.
The river is densely populated with wild rainbows that range from 16-25 inches with larger specimens present. They respond very well to skated mice, and other skated dries, and while streamers work well, they are rarely needed to catch fish. In addition to rainbows the river has lots of Dollies in the 2-5 pound class as well as plenty of Pacific salmon including sockeyes, chums, kings and silvers. The indigenous Siberian White Spotted Char known as Kunja is also present, though not in large numbers.
Hook Size Restrictions:
An important note concerning leaches, streamers and mice: Please do not bring streamers on long shank hooks. It has been shown in many studies of Alaska Rainbows that long shank J-style hooks cause an increase in mortality. We do not use anything larger than a size 4 gap hook 4x long. Please do not bring mice tied on bass style stinger hooks. String leeches with trailing hooks are OK as long as the trailers are short shanked #4 or #6s. The guides will often look through your boxes and help select the appropriate flies.
Accommodations and Meals:
Anglers will spend all their nights in simple yet comfortable fixed A-frame cabins. The camp will be equipped with cots, showers and a dining tent. Anglers will sleep two per cabin and be responsible for providing their own sleeping bags and towels. Please let us know if you have any special requests such as dietary restrictions or health concerns.
At the camp each guest is provided with a certain amount of complimentary alcohol – a couple of beers per guest per night and one bottle of vodka per group per night. Additional beer and vodka will be available for purchase at a nominal charge. We have found that the most convenient place to purchase Scotch and other fine liquor is in Anchorage at the duty free shop just before departure to Kamchatka (located next to the terminal.) The camp is equipped with soda, water, coffee and tea at all times.
You will need a valid passport and a Russian tourist Visa. Once we receive your deposit for your trip to Kamchatka, we will provide you with all the information needed to get your Russian visa. You will need to obtain your Visa approximately 2 months prior to departure.
Travel and Health Considerations:
Bears: You will see bears. The guides carry guns. Bears normally run quickly and are hard to get good pictures of. Make plenty of noise while on the river. Do not bring bear mace.
Bugs: OFF has a new kind of insect repellent with both DEET and "Skin So Soft" in it. DEET, the main ingredient in most insect repellents works well against mosquitoes but does not work that well against black gnats and no-seeums. The Avon product, “Skin so Soft” works well against black gnats and no-see-ums. Shoo Bug jackets are also handy. You don't have to spray the insect repellent on yourself; just put it on your shirt and hat. Aerosol insect repellent is nice, that way you don't have to get it on your hands, although it is pretty hard on fishing line and plastic.
We recommend you bring extra cash in case of an emergency. Please do not bring traveler’s checks as they require going to bank and the lines there can be very long. Travel with cash and bring only new clean, non-damaged $100 and $20 bills. Russian banks and stores only accept clean, new bills. More and more places accept credit cards these days. Ouzel accepts MasterCard or Visa. There are bank card machines all over now where you can obtain Rubles right from them.
As a guideline we recommend that each guest travel with approximately $500-$600 for staff & guide gratuities, etc.
We recommend guide & staff gratuities of approximately 10-15% of your package price. This should be given in cash to the head guide at the end of your trip.
In an effort to maintain your own sanity, try to adopt a casual “roll with the punches” attitude when traveling in Russia. While your host’s rarely excel at explaining the where, when, how, why and how longs that invariably accompany travel in less developed areas, they will come through and do their best to get you to your destination quickly and safely. Once you arrive at the Heli-Port, take comfort in the fact that Russian MI8 helicopters are immaculately maintained in terms of mechanical service records etc. At first glance this might be hard to appreciate because their cosmetics are often overlooked. The black streaks emanating from the jet units are not the result of oil leaks but rather due to the fact that they burn kerosene. In all honesty, we feel that these crafts are safer than Alaskan float planes, and they are always accompanied by a three-person crew consisting of a pilot, co-pilot and engineer. Your gear will be piled in the rear two-thirds of the plane and you will sit on simple bench seats along the walls. Several of the windows actually open and you are free to take photos from them. Once in the helicopter, please be seated and put in your earplugs. Top speed is about 110 MPH and the flight takes 3 to 4 hours with the refueling stop. There is no lavatory on board.
When packing your carry on luggage, we strongly recommend the following: warm clothing, rain coat, water bottle, plenty of snacks (it can be a long trip to camp and there is no meal service on the chopper) and simple toiletries in the event of an unexpected weather-related overnight.
The weather in Kamchatka is temperate and coastal. It gets a lot of snow in winter and spring runoff is high and muddy in June. The weather is a lot like that in the Rockies; July and August temperatures can be from the 50’s to the high 90’s, cool nights, hot days. It’s warmer and a little rainy, much like Alaska. September is in the 70’s but can frost.
The camp is not near any medical facility. In emergency situations, a charter flight may be required to reach a medical facility. Guests have the responsibility to disclose any special medical, physical or dietary needs to the lodge ahead of time.
Note: Medical evacuation coverage is required for this trip. We recommend Global Rescue coverage.
We highly recommend you bring a personal water filter or squeeze bottle water filter. You can just dip these bottles into the river and drink it. The inexpensive personal charcoal water filters are all you need. Or, you can bring a water bottle and fill it from the large water filter.
As the climate is extremely changeable and a wide range of temperatures and conditions can be expected, we recommend layering clothes. Typical fishing clothing consists of synthetic long underwear, fleece jacket and pants, hooded sweatshirt and a good fishing rain jacket. Fingerless gloves are nice for cold mornings and bring along a warm hat for early and late season fishing. For anglers made particularly uncomfortable by biting insects, pack along a mosquito head net if visiting during the first half of the season.
2019 Rate: $8,195 per person for a 6 night/5.5 day package
Included: Accommodations and meals, guided fishing, meet and greet in Petropavlovsk, round-trip helicopter transportation between Petropavlovsk and camp, limited vodka and beer in camp.
Not Included: Airfare to/from Petropavlovsk, fishing license, gratuities, personal liquor and personal gear including a sleeping bag and towel.
Note: Anglers who miss their scheduled transfers to the lodge will be responsible for any incurred costs related to delays and special transfers.
Species: Rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, Pacific salmon
Season: July - September
Capacity: 8 anglers