Hammer Sickle Fly Rod

Body Cavity Search. Those words kept ringing through my ears as large, hairy hands went into every dry box, duffle bag and camera box. “This is not for fishing”, was shouted over and over, in a thick Russian accent. My first fly fishing, photo trip to Russia’s Kola Peninsula was not starting out well.

My gear was being tossed around and drug all over the border crossing. Some of my gear was unpacked in Norway and some was spilled out in Russia and he wasn’t buying my story, which sucked, because I wasn’t even lying (yet).

Some of my gear was unpacked in Norway and some was spilled out in Russia and he wasn’t buying my story, which sucked, because I wasn’t even lying (yet).

““Why do you need a dive suit, rebreather, fins and a snorkel for fishing?”, this statement sounded crazy evento me, so I gulped out my best answer. “Well its for my underwater photography”, I answered. “Where is your fishing gear?” He said between his evertightening teeth. 

“Well, I actually don’t fish. I take pictures of fishermen fishing” I responded as best I could. I was thinking of makinga run back towards Norway, before the latex gloves appeared. He rolled his eyes and screamed, “Just go now and you better not cause me any problems!”

Thirty hours of drive time, crazy border guards, 700 pounds of gear, miles and miles of hiking, 24 hours of daylight, 2 million acres of roadless wilderness, hatches that engulf the sky, and huge wild brown trout. Was it all worth it??? HELL YES!!!

I later learned that another traveling angler attempted to bribe his way through. He may still be in prison.

Contributed By

Yngve Ask

Norwegian based Nikon Ambassador, Yngve Ask travels the world as a professional photographer capturing images that he describes as “A different view”. From the heights of the Himalayas to the rainforest of the Amazon to 30 meters beneath the Arctic ice fields, he’s a photographer without bounds. Yngve owns Scandinavian Outdoor and you can follow his latest adventure at www.scanout.com

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