2018 is Ouzel Expeditions 28th year in Kamchatka Russia. Ouzel became the first western guide service to operate in Kamchatka in 1991. Founders Paul and Sharon Allred, were originally looking for great salmon runs, but couldn’t keep the gigantic rainbow trout, off their flies! No one complained, and the rest is history.
Ouzel introduced catch and release angling to Kamchatka and the use of Russian helicopters to access its beautiful rivers for fly fishing.
Today Kamchatka is famous for it huge rainbow trout thanks largely to Ouzel’s efforts beginning in 1991. The photo above is of our Russian Guides weighing and measuring the giant Rainbow of the Zhupanova river for a study of why the Rainbows are so large. We have found that these giant Rainbows spend several years in the ocean where they feed on the bounty of the ocean. Our studies show huge growth rings on their scales to indicate this rapid growth. Then they return to live out their lives in fresh water. This is very unusual behavior for Rainbows. But it explains why they are so big. These fish are not true Steelhead..
With Ouzel Expeditions Ed Exum caught the first Steelhead in Kamchatka by westerners on a 1992 trip. Yvon Chounaird, (owner of Patagonia clothing company) caught the second.
To learn more about the first years in Kamchatka with Ouzel, visit the link below or go to our blog and read the article “From Russia, With Fish”