The Tzar’s Trout
Just before the turn of the (21st) century, my father and I traveled to Russia’s Kola Peninsula to shoot a couple of TV shows for OLN (now Versus). Along with Executive Producer, Jim Hagar, and good friend/guide, Juha Vainio, we shot at the Varzina Lodge for two weeks, focusing on the big brown trout of the Arctic tundra. The first show, The Tzar’s Trout, aired in 2000, as the pilot for a possible series called The Nature of Fly Fishing.
The fishing in Russia was spectacular, as was the scenery. We fished one river—the Sidorovka—all the way from its birthing lake on the tundra down to the Barents Sea. The middle section of the river was one of the most spectacular places that I have put a fly, with enormous boulders and deep, plunging pools. Native browns, sea-run browns, Atlantic salmon, and even Pink salmon, all came to the fly.
The other rivers we fished, the Varzina, the Penka, and the Drosdovka, all offered native browns, with a few in the double-digit range, along with Atlantic salmon. It was a great trip. After a short run on OLN, the show vanished, and sat in the Borger Media archives for years—until Hook.TV came along. Hook has posted The Tzar’s Trout on-line in four parts. Hope you like what you see: