The Incomparable Ponoi :

This short film was shot during the 2011 fishing season.

The Ryabaga Camp on the Ponoi River epitomizes all that we love about a remote fishing experience: the excitement of a true wilderness location yet an oasis of comfort; hospitality and fine cuisine; a totally wild Atlantic salmon population that is thriving – where the efforts to care for the stocks really do show positive results; and a team of people whose attitudes to service, work ethic and team spirit are second to none.

Well into its third decade of operation in one of the most logistically complex parts of the world, under the stewardship of the Ponoi River Co and Frontiers, the Ryabaga and Brevyeni Camps on the Ponoi River have achieved extraordinary recognition.

The Ryabaga Camp has a well-deserved reputation for phenomenal Atlantic salmon fishing. It offers remarkable numbers of fish, placing it statistically as the most productive river in the world, with balanced catches from grilse all the way to plenty of good-sized fish up to the 30lb mark. It encompasses all the methods of fly fishing, from long casts with double-handed rods to more delicate single-handed rod fishing with skated flies, the occasional upstream dry, endless wading or fishing intimate spots from boats. Our water is fly fishing only, and we adhere to strict catch-and-release policies. Over 50 miles (80 kms) of double-bank water offers guests unprecedented fishing. Generous beats are accessed using 17-ft jet boats and by hovercraft for the most distant beats.

For the well-seasoned salmon fisher or for the beginner, there is no better choice than the lower reaches of the Ponoi. Not only do the repeat guest profile and quality of service attest to this fact, but the catch statistics do too. These take into account guests from six to 91 years old, from first-timers to the most experienced. They reflect those with unlimited enthusiasm and those who take their time and enjoy the river. While there is no doubt that the Ponoi will challenge and reward the experienced and aggressive Atlantic salmon fisherman, we must also emphasize that there is simply no better place to learn to fish for these great game fish, and to build confidence and develop long-term skills from real-life encounters.

The Ryabaga Camp is pioneering in its dedication to the conservation of the river. In conjunction with the Polar Research Institute of Murmansk, the Ponoi River Co, and the Atlantic Salmon Federation, the largest tagging project of its kind for Atlantic salmon has been in operation for many years. An eighth of all Atlantic salmon tagged globally in a given year are done so on the Ryabaga water and the information gathered has not only benefited this river but the international effort to conserve Atlantic salmon. About 1500 salmon are tagged by the guides each season and all are recorded by the resident scientist who carefully monitors influential ocean temperatures, and assesses the results of the recaptures so that the guests can hear the history of the tagged fish they have caught. A succinct scientific presentation is given each week to the guests.

The camp itself enjoys almost as much recognition as the fishing. The Ponoi River Co has created a luxury wilderness operation in what must be one of the most remote locations. Its crew of 30, includes five mechanics, three chefs, four housekeeping staff, a massage therapist and doctor; each is highly trained and dedicated to offering the best possible service to our guests. Every effort has been made to make sure the camp and its staff have the best possible equipment with which to operate and ensure the finest food and amenities are available. Without the support of this camp team, we recognize that, no matter how good the fishing or the guide crew is, what has been achieved at Ryabaga Camp would not be possible. We are proud of them for their hard work and ingenuity in managing to keep the camp running perfectly with fantastic food that would be the envy of any first class city restaurant.

Relax in spacious American-made tents with carpeted wooden floors. Each tent features two extra-wide, hand-crafted beds with comfortable mattresses, premium arctic sleeping bags with flannel sheets and over-sized Finnish down pillows. Each tent also has a wood-burning stove that is lit for guests before they rise in the morning and in the evening before they return from fishing.

The camp has a luxurious shower building and Russian sauna that our guests always enjoy after a long day on the river. There are many facilities including a drying room and a fully-stocked tackle shop that is often the hive of fishing tales in the camp. The Big Tent, as we call it, is the social centre of the camp. It plays host to the dining room, bar and evening activities, such as the fly-tying bench and music if a staff member or guest can be persuaded to play.

Ponoi…for memories that will last a lifetime.

TO BOOK YOUR WEEK AT “THE INCOMPARABLE PONOI” please contact or visit Frontiers at:

US Office
Tel: +1 724 935 1577; Toll Free: 800-245-1950

UK Office
Tel: +44845 299 6212


Gin-Clear Media -
Director - Nick Reygaert
Creative Director - Steve Estela


Isaias Miciu Nicolaevici -

Additional Photographs - Tarquin Millington-Drake


Main Camera:
1 x Red One Mysterium Sensor
Canon Lens Mount

DSLR Cameras and Lenses:
1 x Canon 5DII DSLR camera
Various Canon lenses
5D Ikelite Underwater Housing

Underwater Camera:
Panasonic AG-HCK10 HD camera head & AG-HMR10 AVCCAM handheld recorder
Gates Underwater housing


Shot using the Red One through the open door of a Mi-8 twin-turbine transport helicopter
Thanks to Ryabaga helicopter crew


Moonlit Sailor "May Day" & "Colors In Stereo"
Courtesy of Deep Elm Recordings

Mastermind Theatre "Inside My Headphones" & "Maps"
Courtesy of Mastermind Theatre -

"Finding Oregon"
Composed and produced by Michael Nelson Rizzo -

Special Thanks to:
Tarquin Millington-Drake
Steffan jones
Matt Breuer
Sergei Zhurin


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