White-spotted char or locally called Kundja is no doubt a great alternative for fly fishing in Kamchatka.
This predatory fish grows in Kamchatka normally to 4-5 or even 7-8 kg. It enters the rivers from the sea in July - August, and spawns in September. Unlike salmon, kundja feeds both in the sea and in the river. She is a real predator that preys on juvenile salmon and trout. To some extent, the kundja is similar in its behavior to the taimen; it loves to choose the best places for hunting on the river. As a rule, white-spotted char can be found where the fish has the ability to control a large volume of water, for example, a deep shore washed by the main current, or the end of a large stretch with access to a rift. Kundja especially often appears in places where there are rocks or boulders near the main current of the river, which serve as a shelter for fish and a convenient place for hunting juvenile salmon.
This unique specie of char can be caught in all layers of the water, it comes across both at the bottom and on the surface. If we catch it at the bottom and in the water column, you can use tackles similar to salmon - sinking lines, weighted flies. Fly presentation can be faster and more aggressive. All streamer presentation options can be used here with success. Most of the common salmon and rainbow flies can be used for Kundja as well. It can be useful to add an additional portion of colored flash or a strip of wool to the wing and thereby increase the size of the fly up to 15cm.
One of the most interesting ways to catch this predatory fish is surface fishing. Unlike salmon, white spotted char willingly rises to the surface and attacks the fly. Disturbing water surface and making splashes provoke the fish and makes a great fun for anglers to hunt for Kundja. It can be said otherwise - when fishing for trout with surface flies, kundja often falls on the hook. This is largely due to the fact that large trout choose places for staying and hunting, which are also suitable for kundja.
This fish is ultimately strong and has incredible amount of stamina in them. Hooking one with surface fly is a complete experience in fly fishing world.
The size of the surface fly can be relatively small. Foam flies equipped with a wool or flash tail are effective. For more aggressive approach , try to create a water splash or even a wave on the surface, or an additional crease of foam on the fly, which makes the fly a little buried in the water when pulling with the line, have worked really well. Such noise effects are sometimes better at provoking fish to rise to the surface of the water. It should be noted that fishing for kundja makes us look for fish in a fairly large area. Therefore, sometimes you have to cast far away, trying to get the most secluded corners or shelters suitable for kundja. Therefore, flies can be quite voluminous, but necessarily light and easy to cast. The shape of the body of the line can be different, but it is desirable to have the front cone short and powerful enough, according to the size and weight of the fly.
The usual size of kundja that comes across on the Icha River in Kamchatkais is 3-4 kg. Therefore, rods from 6 to 8 weight will do just fine. Floating and sinking lines and leaders, tippets of 0.28 -0.33 will be more than enough.
Grab some surface mouse patterns with you on the river, they are spectacular to fish and observe.