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Kitsa river (tributary of Kola) may be the best fishing trip around Murmansk...

I would like to draw the attention of salmon fishing lovers to one river, which is undeservedly in the shadow of its famous neighbor. Both rivers are located in the north of the Kola Peninsula and belong to the Barents Sea basin. One of them, the Kola River, is known to all fans of giant Atlantic salmon, but the second, the river Kitsa, somehow escapes the attention of fishermen. I will give a very short description of this river and name its main positive and negative sides. This is best done by comparing it to the Kola River.

So, the Kitsa River is the largest tributary of the Kola River, both rivers join together 35 kilometers from the sea. The organization of licensed Atlantic salmon fishing and protection of both rivers is carried out by the Murmansk state organization MurmanFishVod.

- Kitsa is located near Murmansk, half an hour's drive from the airport

- River flows through the wild territory almost with no settlement around, apart from last 2 km to the junction with Kola

- The total length of the licensed part is about 30 km, starting from the junction with Kola and all the way upstream. The entire fishing area can be conditionally divided into 2 parts

-The lower section, Kitsa Rapids (zone 8) starts down from the highway bridge and all the way down to the junction with Kola river. It is a series of rifts and well-defined pools. The fishing area is about 2 km. This part is especially good at the beginning of the season, in June and early July, when large Atlantic salmon, still holding in the deep pools on the Kola, begins to climb higher up the river of Kitsa.

– The second part of the licensed area is located above the highway bridge. Upper Kitsa (Zone 9). This is a new beat to all of us. It is relatively difficult to access. Interesting places for fishing start 5 km above the road bridge on the road to Murmansk. The upper pools of the river are located in an untouched, inaccessible territory, delivery is possible only by special transport (caterpillar). This area has great prospects and potential and it is more convenient for fishing in high water than most of the pools on the Kola River. There are plenty places where salmon stop for a long time, this is an area where fish await spawning. 10 km of a good and comfortable double bank fishing.

- There are 3 accommodation options for anglers to choose from:

  • High comfort stationary tent camp on the upper section of the river Kitsa

  • Famous 5 star Deer Camp on the Kola river

  • Karavella hotel on the junction of Kitsa and Kola

- C&R licenses only are issued for Atlantic salmon fishing and only for fly fishermen

- The number of licenses is limited each year. Only 6 anglers are allowed to be on the river at the same time

- license validity period - 12 hours

- the river is protected from poachers and by state fisheries authorities and private organizations

-The proximity to the Kola river makes it possible to use both rivers for a fishing trip. Anglers have a choice depending on the state of the rivers or personal preferences

- Kitsa is smaller than Kola, which can be regarded as an advantage, especially at the beginning of the season during high water levels

- Due to its smaller size, the river Kitsa is comfortable walking and waiding on both sides and is perfect for fly fishing from the right and left banks

- Anglers on Kitsa are not as dependent on the help of guides as on the Kola River

- Salmon from Kitsa are biologically identical to salmon from the Kola River. They have the same weight and size

- Apparently, the size of the Kitsa river salmon herd is changing in the same way as the Kola river herd. Cycles with a rise and fall in the number of Atlantic salmon can be judged only from the data of a Net installed on the Kola River 12 km below the junction of the rivers. All salmon going up the river are counted here. Some of those fish are salmon of the Kitsa River.

- According to ichthyologists who monitor the abundance of salmon, the population peaks were observed in 1974, 1984, 1992, 2001-2002. In recent years, the maximum or peak of the salmon population on the Kola and Kitsa rivers was in 2013.

The proximity of the river to the big city of Murmansk can be regarded as a disadvantage. Although it doesn’t stop many anglers who seek to catch a huge salmon of Kola. But I think its worth to regard it as an advantage. The Kitsa River, like the Kola River, may well be the ordinary week of fishing program for most anglers but we must keep in mind that being so close to the airport would make it a perfect 2-3 days addition to your already planned salmon holiday on another river on Kola Peninsula.

Who would say no to 6 days fishing on your beloved river + 2-3 days on famous Kola or Kitsa as a bonus?!

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