A flying visit to the UK

My first post from a smart phone! !!

There is nothing that I like about large airports and long haul flights, they are just painful. The only redeeming thing is getting there.

It is sollal (the lunar new year ) in Korea so for a couple of days leave I could get a week off, so I have taken the opportunity to visit my father in North Yorkshire. I also get the added bonus of being able to get some of the kit I need for my trip to Kamchatka.

Outward bound trip. I left the house at 700 am for the 3 block walk to the Gangnam bus station. During the walk I weaved through the stragglers leaving the night and those who were still eating at the street stalls. I will do a post on street food at some stage.

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Gangnam at dawn

I caught the express bus to incheon airport which took 50min, the airport was packed it took over an hour to check-in and get through security.  The 12 hour flight and drive to Essex to my cousins house was uneventful.

As usual the evening was fabulous , we laughed all evening, the conversation was far too rude and un politically correct to even mention. The food however was unbelievably good (as I have come to expect ) the meal was an example of what great British home cooking is.  The main was steak and kidney pudding, crunchy puff pastry top with a rich sauce with the steak and kidney.  This was accompanied with mashed potatoes, peas, carrots and parsnips. Desert was trifle with sherry custard.

Meals like this are why I travel. 

On to yorkshire today.

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Which fishing adventure in Kamchatka?

The choice of trips to Kamchatka is moderately broad, my only real constraint is that it had to be during the long summer school holidays while my family was away, this meant the trip had to be in July or August.  The next consideration was the target species of fish, this was a moderately easy decision, it had to be rainbow trout. Although there are options for salmon and other migratory fish, they all seem to play second fiddle to the resident rainbow trout.

There are three main types of fishing trips available, lodge based, semi permanent camps and float trips with a new camp every evening. I will describe these trips in detail later on in this post, it should be remembered that these are general descriptions of the trips and there are multiple variations on each theme.

For the lodge trips you get helicoptered to and from the lodge at the beginning and end of the weeks fishing. The main meals (breakfast and dinner) are served in the lodge while you take a packed lunch with you for your days fishing.  Each day you jet boat to the area you will be fishing before returning to the lodge in the evening.  Translation for my Aussie friends jet boat is a flash American way of saying flat bottomed tinny with big out-board on the back.

Options for lodge trips include Zendzur Hot Springs Lodge on the Zhupanova River, Camp Oz on the Ozernaya River.

The semi permanent camps, with this type of trip, you are helicopter to the upstream camp fish for a couple of days in that area then float down to the next camp fish for a couple of days and repeat for the final downstream camp, then a helicopter trip back to Petropavlovsk. Generally the accommodation could be described as rustic, the accommodation being either hard floored permanent tents or huts. Most seem to have hot and cold water on tap and a communal eating area.

Float trips, for the float trip you helicopter into the head of the river with inflatable rafts and all the equipment and supplies that are required for the week, you float down and fish a new part of the river every day, the camp is set up every night and packed up every morning. At the end of the week you are picked up and helicopter back to Petropavlovsk.  The camps consist of sleeping tents, a washing tent and a communal shelter for eating, drinking and talking. This may sound very Bear Grylls but if you consider that for most trips there is one guide between 2 fishers and 1 or 2 other staff responsible for the camp it seems that the camp management part would not be too onerous.

I decided that what I wanted to do was a true exploratory trip, when being adventurous, be really adventurous!!! In November 2015 I started to contact the outfitters looking for a suitable trip, however true to form, there were no true exploratory trips being run in the available time window….. Bugger!!!!

My second choice, a float trip, there were several available and the wilderness float to the northern rivers of Kamchatka by The Fly Shop (an outfitter, discussed previously) sounded to be the best fit for me. In discussing this with Michael Caranci, a travel associate at The Fly Shop I discovered I was wrong, there was something better! By combining the wilderness float trip to the northern rivers and a semi permanent camp trip to Sedanka Spring Creek I could save $3,000 and get and extra 7 days fishing#. After a couple of days gnashing my teeth about the extra cost and vacation time I would need to use,  I decided that I would do the combined two week trip, after all when being adventurous, be really adventurous!!!

So my Trip looks like this.

  • Tuesday, July 26, 2016: Petropavlovsk, transfer to camp which is an 1 and ½ hour helicopter flight refuel and a further 45 min flight to camp 1, Sedanka Spring Creek.
  • Day 1 Walk and wade fishing from Upper Camp
  • Day 2 Float and fish to Middle Camp
  • Day 3 Walk and wade fishing with jet-boat shuttle and short float back to camp.
  • Day 4 Float and fish to Lower Camp.
  • Day 5 Jet-boat to wade fishing.
  • Day 6 Morning walk and wade fishing from Lower Camp. Afternoon departure and helicopter transfer to the northern rivers Wilderness Float.
  • 6 days float fishing
  • Return Home Monday 8 August

That’s the plan any way, when I have more information I will publish a full itinerary.

# woman’s hand bag logic, if you can buy a handbag that has a recommended retail price of $785 for $485 you have saved $300, there will never be a mention of spending $485.