The Varzina river is a full-flowing and very rapid river. The elevation difference can get up to 200m on less than 30km beat. The river starts running to the north, rising from Enozero lake, which in its turn is one of the biggest water storages on Kola peninsula. This stipulates the fact why during hot years, when water temperature in neighbouring rivers jumps up to +20C, waters of Varzina hardly warm up to +16C.
The trout population of the Varzina River is deservedly considered one of the unique concentrations of large wild brown trout on the planet not subjected to any assimilation. A rare place in the world can be compared to Varzina in quality and quantity of caught trout. And indeed, its size, which in other places is considered a trophy, is quite common on this river. The end of the season is especially interesting, when the average trout in the catch is more than 55cm, a third of the caught fish reaches 60cm, 70cm trophies are not uncommon each week. And what’s most surprising is, that, with such sizes, the average catch per rod can be measured in dozens per day.
The best time for dry fly fishing is July and the first week of August, then the streamer and nymph have the advantage. The ideal conditions for fishing is cloudy, slightly rainy weather. In such conditions you can fish around the clock. On sunny days it is effective to fish at night. The second half of August and until mid-September is the time for trophy hunting with a streamer for large specimens. During this pre-spawning period, more and more brown trout come from the lake, the river becomes shallow in the fall and the fish sites are easy to “read”. And even for inexperienced trout fishermen it is not difficult to catch fish, even without resorting to the services of a guide.
The fishing beat of the Varzina Trout Camp covers the upper part of Chiliavr and Enozero lakes and, accordingly, the short and very productive Kozel channel between them. The latter, being a narrow channel of 20 meters in width and no more than 350 meters long, collects the fish resources of the two largest lakes of the Kola Peninsula. Further, Varzina, flowing out from Enozero, rushes its waters to the Barents Sea. The beginning of its run takes place in the classic tundra zone, covered with dwarf trees and almost flat. About 4km from the lake, at the confluence of the stream on the right side, Varzina Trout Camp is located. Below it, the landscape gradually changes its appearance. It becomes more hilly. And already 5km later the river is squeezed by steep hills, where before the river flows into the Low Reach it forms the second waterfall of the Varzina river. This stretch of water is the boundary of the Varzina Trout Camp site.
Although the Camp is aimed at catching wild brown trout in the upper reaches of Varzina, Atlantic salmon also runs up to its pools. Usually, by the end of July, the fish has already overcome both Varzina waterfalls and could be caught in the “trout territory”. Below the camp there are places that every year give its guests salmon, which fly fishermen, who come to the lower camps specifically for salmon, would envy. There are, of course, not as many salmon as in the lower part of the river, but a meter long samples are caught here every season. So far, the Trout Camp's record for salmon is a fish of 112cm.
In addition, in summer the river is inhabited by Arctic char, which is a unique feature of this region on the Kola peninsula. Usually this fish does not enter the rivers from lakes en masse here. Char is usually small, around a kilogram or less, but quite a few large specimens are found occasionally. A char of 64cm was caught at the source of Varzina, and 82cm char was caught in the Kozel channel!
Pike is also found as by-catch in the river and nearby lakes, and often it's quite large. Fishing for pike in the lakes is very intersting in the first half of July. Many large specimens (up to 8 kg) come out to warm shallow water and are actively caught on poppers! This is very spectacular fishing - the popper is often attacked by several fish at once. The list of sports trophies in Varzina is not long, but its quality indicator is high!