The Zapadnaya Litza River is a river in the north of the Kola Peninsula in Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It is 107 km in length.
The area of its basin is 1,190 km². The Zapadnaya Litza River originates on the Kuchintundra and flows into the Barents Sea. Its biggest tributary is the Lebyazhka River.
Many fishermen have described the Litza as simply the best Salmon River in the world. Characterized by its massive boulders, fast runs, gorgeous pools – this challenging river, may provide an explanation to the extraordinary size and power of the Litza Salmon.
With just 9km of Salmon water between the impassable Litza Falls and the sea – these are not your typical gravel-bottomed
spawning grounds. It is theorized that the big broad tails, typical of Litza Salmon, holds the genetic recipe to their success, being a prerequisite to gouge out a spawning bed amidst the stones. Whatever the reason may be, the average size of Litza Salmon
is without question.
The river is as beautiful as it is majestic, running a deep path through the tundra, really only opening out briefly at Snowbank Pool before dropping away into final gorge, Military Pool and opening up to the Barents Sea. For many the highlight of the week is the
Litza Tent camp where all guests (weather depending) will have the opportunity to spend a night in comfort on the river. Many a
huge salmon have been taken in the Tent pool area including a 47.5 lb Salmon that was landed less than 100 yards from the camp!
Along with its sister river the Kharlovka, these are two of the world’s most prolific rivers for big Atlantic salmon. The combination of awesome big fish and the manageable size of the rivers is a great asset when compared to other Kola destinations. Both wild and challenging they can also provide some of the biggest silver rewards anywhere. Big Salmon facts: Largest 3 Litza salmon – 42,
38, 37 pounds There were 49 salmon landed over 30 pounds (Kharlovka and Litza rivers) in one season 20.3% of the salmon was over 20+ pounds Largest 3 salmon in the last 10 years 47.5, 47, 46 pounds.
Strictly Catch and Release NR have substantially invested in a major conservation program, called “Back to Nature”, for the
protection of the Atlantic Salmon in particular and the “tundra” flora and fauna in general – In accordance with the Mandate of the Atlantic Salmon Reserve established in June 2007:
ALL FISHING SHALL BE BY “CATCH & RELEASE” ONLY. Please remember the following guidelines: Never pick up a fish by its tail. Never drag a fish up onto the bank. Keep the fish in the water as much as possible while unhooking and photographing it. Never handle a fish with dry hands. Use barbless hooks, pinching down barbs is sufficient and do not use treble hooks.
The first encounter an angler will have with a Litza Salmon is in the aptly named Military Pool, so called as it looks onto a disused Russian military base. Strewn with huge boulders, which characterize the length and breadth of the Litza, it is this sort of makeup
that may provide an explanation to the size and power of the Litza Salmon. With just 9kms of Salmon water between theimpassable Litza Falls and the sea and with no typical gravel-bottomed spawning grounds it is theorized that the big broad tails that are typical of Litza Salmon, hold the genetic recipe to their success, a prerequisite attribute to gouge out a spawning bed amidst the stones. Whatever the reason may be, the average size of Litza Salmon is without question.
The river is as scenic as it is majestic. The Litza cuts a deep ravine sided channel through the tundra, really only opening out briefly
in the lower 1/3 of the river before dropping back into a final white-water gorge, Military Pool and the open sea. For many anglers
a highlight of the week is the Litza Tent camp where all guests will have the opportunity to spend one or two nights, in comfort, on
the river. Deprived of just a few creature comforts afforded by the main Kharlovka camp it compensates by putting anglers a casts distance away from a pool that will hold a 40lb+ salmon at almost any time of the year. (A 47.5 lb Salmon was caught less than
100 yards from the sleeping tents!!)
No Atlantic Salmon fishing season is ever the same and each and every week can and will produce not only its own challenges but also the incredible high’s that drive people to this salmon fishing mecca. The seasonal guide below provides an indication of what
you might expect throughout a typical season.
Early - Mid June - The rivers will typically be high, powerful and cold. Fishermen
coming at this time need to be suitably prepared to deal with the conditions, but the rewards are substantial. The average size will
be close to 20lbs and the fresh run Salmon as powerful as they are silver. This is a time of year when there can be absolutely no compromises in the strength and quality of your fishing gear or equipment.
Mid June- Early July – As the water levels start to drop and the temperature rises the Salmon will fill the entire length of the river
systems below the two waterfalls. This is the prime of the season and can produce some absolutely exceptional fishing. The Salmon
will be in the rivers in solid numbers, most will be chrome silver in colour and the taking conditions at an optimum. It is the prime of
the season and places are highly sought after.
Mid July - Early August – The rivers will now be dropping away to summer levels and with it comes a change of tactics. This is quite possibly the most exciting period of the season as the fish will start to shy away from conventionally fished flies and instead turn their full attention to hitched, skated or bombed flies. Expect to see huge Salmon charging down a hitched size 12 or 14 fly or have a Bomber skated on the surface savagely attacked time and time again. The hooking rates may go down but adrenaline pumping surface action will be at a peak.
Mid August - September – Although the rivers can be low, cooling rains are typically on the forecast. This is the time when the big
cock Salmon start to become territorial and aggressive. Once hooked the Salmon are more likely to stay within the confines of the
pool, as opposed to hurtling straight back to sea and it is no coincidence that the highest proportion of really big fish are landed during this period. As the season draws to a close the mystical Osenka Salmon make their appearance. Equipped for a full year in
the river and weighing 15-25lbs Osenkas are a force to be reckoned with.
You will need a valid passport and a Russian tourist Visa.
To organise your fishing trip to the Litza River contact the following company for more information or to make a booking:- Pesqa Inc. 2298 Bowker Ave Victoria B.C. V8R2E4 Canada Phone Number: +1 (778) 747-2950 Email: Skype: pesqafishing