Friday 18 June 2010

A beautiful day but tougher fishing

Yesterday was a magical day to be on the river and when having a picnic at Snake Pit, sun shining and a light breeze, it was hard to think of somewhere better to be.

Gregoire De S playing a fish on Green Bank

However, it didn’t help the fishing much and it was a tougher day across all of the camps. Here at Middle we took 21 for the day with Hans K having a great morning on Fortress landing 4 fish.

At Kitza they had 22 fish and the star performer was Peter D with 8 fish, 6 of them from Old Dam where he had his big fish earlier in the week.

We have been seeing ospreys all week

Up river at Pana they had 37 with Charlie T and Ashton C combining to land the majority of the day’s total.

A quick tally shows me that we have so far caught around 3,500 salmon this season which is pretty amazing but perhaps the most amazing thing is that it will not go down as a vintage year for numbers on the river. We have had years with more fish but we have certainly had bigger salmon this season than in the past and I can’t remember another year when so many people have landed their first salmon. It is also hard to remember a year that has been more fun.

Kitza Camp in the sun

As ever, the last day seems to have crept up on us and tomorrow I will fly home for the final time this season and Christopher will be running things for the last week. Endless thank yous go to all of the camp staff and our Russian friends and partners; we are very lucky to be able to come here each year.

Charlie White

Thursday 17 June 2010

Did you hear it?

After 3 days of effort, enthusiasm, Gallic curses, lost fish and a lot of laughs, Joseph C beached his first fish yesterday morning and then proved it wasn’t a fluke by landing another one in the afternoon. The celebrations were long and loud and his valedictory speech was Oscar worthy.

Not the biggest but much deserved

That is 6 rods this week at Middle who have landed their first salmon as well as at least one I know of at Kitza – where else in the world of Atlantic salmon fishing is that possible?

Our conquering hero waves to his press

We ended the day with 27 on the bank with Tim P as top rod with 4 fish. It was a pretty awful day weather wise but everyone was wreathed in smiles when they came back in and all of the rods headed to the banya to ease aching muscles and warm up.

Jean Christophe fighting a fish on East Generator

The day at the top of Kitza was a great success with all rods enjoying the stunning scenery that is up there. They had 31 for the day whilst at Pana the 8 rods had 53 for their day.

Today is a much nicer day on the weather front but it is very bright. The fish might have their heads down so we are going to try some bigger flies through the deep pots in the rapids and will leave the skaters until this evening.

Charlie White

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Skated flies prove their worth

Yesterday was a slightly tougher day, possibly as a result of bright sunshine throughout. Those who experimented did better as it was not really a day for tried and tested tactics.

Doug U and Ron S decided that Sunrays and skated mini Pot Bellied Pigs would be a fun way to spend the day and they were rewarded with 3 fish apiece. One on Upper Birthday came clean out of the water to take Doug’s fly which it duly did on the way down. On Clarks in the morning, Ron had a fish attack the Sunray 4 times before deciding enough was enough – a very exciting way to fish and a great way of finding fish.

Doug U with one from Birthday

We finished the day 22 fish with twice as many lost. Bill P was the top scorer on 5 but the Belgian Olympic swimming trials were the main talking point as I think we are averaging around 8 swims a day – there are not many spare canisters left!

Gregoire De S trialling for London 2012

Kitza took 16 for their day and they are leaving camp early this morning to get as far up river as possible in order to try some different water and to also fish in what is amazing surroundings. With the picnic packed and Tom carrying the wine, it should be a great day.

Vova enjoyed his lunch

Pana had 43 with fish being caught on the float trip, which is up river and also down as far as Northumberland Avenue so all beats are producing good fishing.

Today is more overcast and the river dropped an inch last night so it looks like a better day for fishing, let’s hope someone told the fish...

Charlie White

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Close to 100 fish for the day

We had a good day yesterday and landed very nearly 100 fish for the day across the camps.

Arctic tern

Kitza had 30 to their rods and the highlight was undoubtedly Peter Dickson’s 18lbs fish from the Old Dam. A real cracker and straight in off the tide. Randall H has now landed 8 fish in his two days fishing which given that he has never fished for salmon before is some effort.

Pana had 41 again with Lord T utilising his unrivalled knowledge of the river to take 10 fish to his own rod.

Plenty of stoneflies for the wagtails

Here at Middle we had 23 and the prize for the top rod for the day goes to Gregoire De S who had 8 fish from East Generator and Fortress. Jean Christophe landed his first salmon and took some wonderful photos of the birdlife on the river, on which he is an expert.


Joseph C continues to impress us all with his determination to master the art of casting and suffered the agony of losing 3 fish yesterday – not long now and there is every chance that you will hear the celebration wherever you happen to be.

Jean Christophe with his first salmon

Jean Christophe with FFG - first fish grin

We caught fish yesterday on floating lines, sink tips, big flies, small flies and a skater so it is difficult to give definite advice but the one sure thing with this place is that if you are on the river you have a chance.

Charlie White

Monday 14 June 2010

More firsts

Well I am not building an igloo but I won’t be sunbathing for a bit either. It is cold but dry today and the wind has a bite to it – not quite what we would expect in mid June. The rain of yesterday morning pushed the river up a couple of inches but it appears to have stopped rising now and hopefully we are fishing a falling river once more.

Yesterday Eric C and Frederick M landed their first ever salmon and Joseph C cast his first fly. He did not connect but with his epic enthusiasm it would be verging on mean of the fish if they don’t reward him soon.

Frederick making sure he got to know his first fish

Frederick M had the good sense to leave his fish until the last minute so that everyone was going past him in their boats as he played the fish – big grins all round.

A rather more formal introducion

Kitza had 28 for their first day to the 7 rods and Pana had 41 to their 8. We have been using a combination of sink tips and straight floaters; neither one seems to particularly outfish the other but Doug U did have a fish on a skated fly yesterday so we will try a few more of those today.

Despite being overcast, the river looks beautiful at the moment with wild flowers lining the banks and the areas around camp. The Arctic Terns are here in force and there are Waxwings everywhere, flying around and chasing the insects on the river as we fish. Yesterday Doug U and Ron S saw a White Tailed Eagle so all we need now is to see a bear – I will go down to the woods and see what I can find....

Charlie White

Sunday 13 June 2010

The new week brings new weather

As in most remote places, if you don’t like the weather as it is then just wait 5 minutes and it will probably change. That has been the case this morning as we woke to heavy rain and strong winds.
James W with 1 of his 17 fish from last week - not bad for someone who has never been salmon fishing before

The breakfast table was full of dark thoughts as to how cold everyone would be but by the time all the rods got to the boats to go to their beats, it was much warmer and had stopped raining entirely. It is now quite mild but the wind remains.

Last night saw Arnaud L land his first salmon and I would like to show you a picture but in the excitement of landing it he took a bit of a swim and his camera is now on the radiator...

Nick M with one of the 307 fish landed at Middle last week

Bill P took 2 fish out of Generator this morning and the team have set off with high hopes. I know from the radio that fish were caught at Kitza last night and this morning at Pana so the week is off to a good start.

Garth with his biggest fish of the season so far....

I have now got access to Garth’s camera and I thought a few pictures of the fishing here last week would be fun to see. More tomorrow when I will be either sunbathing or building an igloo.

Charlie White