The Savan River system is a wonderful fishery with many of its trout in the 22-24 inch range and fish up to 30-inches hooked each season. It is a spring creek system with crystal clear flows and a vibrant ecosystem. The Savan is easily floated and the wading moderate to easy. Its flat, shallow and wide with a pumice and gravel bottom strewn with a few obvious boulders. Overall the terrain is gradual, making getting around a breeze. Vast rolling mountains and volcanoes flank the broad valley it courses through, and partway down the river there is a series of idyllic hot springs, perfect for a relaxing midweek soak.
The river runs for over 70 miles, and features countless springs and one major tributary. Fish readily take streamers swinging across the current, and as with other rivers in Kamchatka, a mouse will also produce aggressive takes. As a spring creek system, there are ideal conditions for aquatic insect hatches, too, though dry fly opportunities aren't common-place, they do happen throughout the season.
The season at Savan begins in the middle of July, and runs through August. A variety of salmon runs enter the river throughout the season, including king, chum, sockeye, and silver salmon. Because it is a spring-fed system, the river is always clear, and always wade-able.
Location: A 45 minute helicopter flight south of Petropavlovsk
Fishing Program: The Savan angling program employs a guide rotation system, so each group of two anglers spends two days with each guide. Staff consists of one Western head guide and two Russian guides. The head guide is a talented professional with years of Russian and/or other international camp management experience. They are selected not just for their significant on-water talents, but as curious, enthusiastic representatives of Kamchatka.
Russian guides come from varied backgrounds, usually associated with biology, wildlife management, hunting, trapping or commercial fishing. Fly-fishing being a relatively new sport to Russia, guides come equipped with varying levels of fly-fishing knowledge. Some are exceptional, having been guiding anglers for 10 or more years. Others have been brought on board for their skills as woodsmen and boatmen, whose technical abilities are still evolving, but who are in rhythm with the lives and habitat of rainbow trout. Every staff member works to see the smile on your face when you hook up.
Wilderness expeditions on the Savan are based around a loose daily schedule of breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by camp breakdown and getting on the river by 9 a.m. The angling days are long and the weather can range from warm and comfortable to cold and wet quickly. The Savan is shallow all the way across, with numerous braids and channels. While fish will hold along the edges, in side channels, and around boulders and logjams, they also hold in the middle of the river in shallow buckets and depressions created by spawning salmon. Another great thing about the river is when you are around spawning salmon, you do not need to fish beads or egg patterns! Mice will almost always be a good producer for big rainbows, while streamers and sometimes dry flies will also produce trout, char, and sometimes salmon as well. Fish everything, and you will be surprised at how many giant rainbows you will find, sometimes in just a few inches of water. Where there are no trout, there are usually schools of Dolly Varden char from 14-26 inches.
Lunch will be packed with you by the guides, or served shore-side by the camp staff each day. A cook and camp assistant travel in a separate raft and do the large majority of "camp work." Each pair of anglers are responsible for maintaining their own tent and inflatable sleeping mattresses. All camp equipment – except your sleeping bag - is provided as part of the trip.
At the end of the last full day of fishing, everyone will board the rafts and row the last few miles of the Savan down to BaseCamp, where you'll join the other group that had been fishing the Ichanga. BaseCamp is a comfortable building with beds for up to 11 people, plus a spacious bathroom with flush toilet and a hot shower. Dinner is usually late the last night, and a special affair with both groups regaling each other with stories, toasts, and fishing yarns from their wilderness adventures.
Accommodations and Meals: Anglers will spend all their nights in two-man expedition tents with comfortable pads. You will be responsible for providing your own sleeping bag and towel. Make sure your luggage is waterproof, as it will not fit in the tent with you. Please let us know if you have any requests such as dietary restrictions or health concerns. The crew will erect a dining tent and cook tent at each stop. Feel free to use the dining tent as a “lounge” area if the weather is inclement.
At the camp each guest is provided with a limited 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.
Meals will be simple yet tasty with a mix of mostly pork and chicken dishes. There are a lot of root vegetables, potatoes, carrots, etc. Breakfast is typically eggs with a side of ham, bacon and even crab. There is always bread, crackers, cheese and other small hand food items on the table to snack on and add to the meals.
2020 Rate: $6850 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 the river.
Not Included: Airfare to/from Petropavlovsk, Visa fees, fishing license, gratuities, fishing equipment, personal liquor and personal gear including a sleeping bag, towel and medical evacuation insurance.
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, five species of salmon, char
Season: July to September
Capacity: 6 anglers