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 fishing beat of the Cliffhanger Lodge is limited by the Nizkiy reach in the upper part of Varzina. Flowing from this reach Varzina forms the Horn Jack pool. In fact, this is not one pool, but lots of very good spots scattered along about 2km of the river. In addition to Atlantic salmon, there are good-sized wild brown trout and lake char. This is a very good site. It is little used due to its distance from the camp. And it begins to work well closer to August, in the second half of the season, when the parking areas are completely filled with fish.
The next pool is Sweep. A wonderful, fairly large classic salmon pool with a smooth current that does not weaken even in low water. This spot gives way to a large pool “Big Falls” with the largest waterfall of Varzina. The biggest fish of the season are often caught on this pool. This fact perfectly characterizes it. The best time for Cliffhanger Lodge guests is July, when the fish accumulate in front of the blocking their path waterfall . In August the biting here dies down. Below the Big Falls pool there are several local spots that "work" with varying success depending on the fish run.
Then the river breaks into Filippov Lake, the largest lake on Varzina’s route to the sea. The Cliffhanger Lodge is set up at its source. The Home pool of the Lodge is the outflow from the lake. It is the beginning of a deep canyon that sharply compresses Varzina to a width of only a few meters. Salmon rises here towards the end of June and is caught until spawning.
Despite the fact that trout and resident char are still present in the pools, the dominant inhabitant in the river below the Lodge is Atlantic salmon.
The pool of the same name as the Сamp is located downstream in a 10-minute walk. This is probably the most beautiful place on Varzina. The promising and exciting Cliffhanger pool is located in the middle of a canyon section of the river, so you will need some climbing skills to get down to it.
Another pool with similar characteristics, Last Chance, is located just below the one described above. It is also part of the group of “home” pools and the journey to it will take no more than 15 minutes from the Camp.
Downstream, the canyon ends in front of the Long walk pool, where some of the largest trophies of the Varzina river were caught. It's a productive pool that "works" for almost the entire season.
All the words said about the previous pool apply to the next place - the Boulders pool, although this spot is radically different in the character of the river. The pool fully lives up to its name. Littered with large stones, it is quite difficult for catching and landing large fish.
Our fishing beat is closed by the pearl of Varzina, one of the most productive fishing spots, fantastic Finnpool. This pool is one of the best pools on the Kola Peninsula. "Finnpool" is wide and deep enough for the fish to stay in for a long time, from the beginning until the end of the season. Individuals weighing from nine to twelve kilos are not at all rare here. But in general, it's enough to say that the largest salmon of Varzina's history have been caught here. What else does a salmon pool have to show?