Ponoi River Guides

Let us introduce our team of guides
Max Mamaev
Head Guide

With 19 seasons in the Ponoi, Max is likely the most successful Atlantic salmon guide in the world. He leads the PRC Guide Team on the strength of his example. His reputation precedes him, most definitely for his provenance as a guide, caster, and angler, though also for his ability to contribute such enthusiasm and quality to a day of salmon fishing.

Max Kantor
Guide

Max joins us from the USA where he recently completed an undergraduate degree in ecology. He grew up fly fishing for saltwater species in Connecticut, has chased trophy trout in the American West, and recently guided for salmon in Alaska. His diverse skill set and experience with various fly fishing techniques make for a great day on the water.

Cullan Ashby
Guide

Cullan was born and raised in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, and he began fishing at the tender age of 7. He guided for Tiger Fish at Shackleton's Tiger Camp in Zambia, then joined the Alphonse Island Guide Team in 2017. He quickly found his feet as a top guide. Cullan’s career in fly angling and guiding most recently led him to at Poivre Island, Seychelles, where he excelled at guiding for Permit. Cullan is a skilled photographer and enjoys spending time behind the camera.

Matthew Solon
Guide

Matthew Solon joins us from the west of Ireland, where he recently completed a course of study in Marine Science at the National University, Galway. Matthew has been a favored guide at Kau Tapen for several seasons now, working alongside Ryabaga Head Guide Max Mamaev.

Juan Medina
Guide

Juan Cruz hails from Bariloche in northern Patagonia, Argentina.  Having guided fly anglers throughout Argentina for species including golden dorado in the north to sea-run brown trout in Tierra del Fuego, Juan is becoming recognized as a leading professional in the field.  

Andrei Federov
Guide

Andrei Federov has been part of the Ryabaga Team since 1999. Andrei is a passionate angler not only on the Ponoi but also in his home waters. In the winter, when not busy ice fishing he guides anglers on The Rio Grande in Tierra Del Fuego. He hails from St. Petersburg and is the proud father of 2 daughters.

Danil Schelokov
Guide

Danil, aka “Big Dan", is a resident of Murmansk, and has fished for Atlantic salmon in the region since he was a small boy. Despite Dan’s physical presence, he is often remembered for his gentle, unflappable manner both on and off the water. Big Dan’s calm demeanor and extensive knowledge of the fishery makes for some very pleasant moments on a salmon holiday.

Alex Sokolov
Guide

Alex Sokolov hails from Umba, and holds a degree from the Forestry University as a forestry engineer. In 2016 he moved to St. Petersburg and has guided extensively on the Kola, both on the Umba River and on Ponoi. Alexey is a passionate angler and guide, who spends his off-season fishing and snowmobiling. He is a steadfast member of the Ryabaga Guide Team.

Freddie Duncalf
Guide

Freddie joins the PRC Guide Team from his home in the UK. Having grown up fishing the rivers of Wales, Scotland, and Ireland for Atlantic salmon, Freddie has developed a significant angling skill set. He has guided clients across Wales and the West of Ireland since finishing his Master’s Degree in Earth Science.
Evgeniy Danilov
Guide

Evgeniy hails from nearby Murmansk, and joins us for his third season in Ryabaga.  He has guided extensively on the Kola, and knows both the northern rivers and the Ponoi extensively.  His intimacy with the local landscape and geography is unparalleled.

Anatoliy Vaulin
Guide

A former Yokanga guide, Anatoliy is a native of Umba, where, like many, he grew up in a rich fishing culture. Anatoliy is an Army veteran, an accomplished artist, and a former fisheries employee.

Nick Sigov
Guide

Nick is a native of Murmansk and, despite his age, one of the most seasoned guides on the Ponoi River. Having spent summers on the Ponoi since he was 16 years old, Nick has a developed a keen “nose” for Atlantic salmon, and he manages to deftly locate the biggest fish in any beat he’s working.

Luciano Saldice
Guide

Luciano joins the PRC Team from his native Patagonia, Argentina.  He has extensive experience as both a trout guide and a golden dorado guide, and his knowledge of technical whitewater, and good angling water, is extensive.

Sergei Bistrov
Guide/Mechanic

Sergei Bistrov was born in Umba, and joined the Army after completing his education. In 1996, Sergei started working at the Umba Lodge for Loop Tackle Design as a diesel engineer, then moved into a guide role. He worked at Umba Lodge as a guide until 2003. From 2003-2005 Sergei worked for an enterprise called Silver of Ponoi, then took a guide position in Ryabaga in 2005. He has worked on the Ponoi ever since, both as a guide and more recently on the Mechanic Team. Sergei has three children and five grandchildren, and he enjoys engineering, mechanics, fishing, and construction. Though he is a full-time Mechanic, he still guides a bit on Ponoi.

A true skilful Team of Internantional English speaking guides, well trained, great spey casting instructors, fun to be with and always ready to help. A very strong asset that adds to an Incomparable fishing experience!