Monday 6 June 2011

Varzuga exercise

We had another excellent day yesterday and the radio calls in the evening were a cacophony of noise as each camp manager tried to tell their own stories as to what had happened in their camps.

Hugh, the manager at Middle, managed to establish air time and related a story regarding Hugo M fighting a big fish that gave him a serious work out. Whilst fishing Snake Pit he hooked a fish that stripped him of all of his line and took him 300 yards into the backing with the drag on his reel as tight as it would go. When it was clear that he was going to run out of line he started running down the river. 100 yards later he realised he could not keep up and summoned the boat. With some deft work his guide got him into the boat and started to follow the fish downstream. Sadly the fish continued to scream away to the White Sea and the inevitable “ping” that followed could only be acknowledged by a shrug of the shoulders and the fact that some of the big ones will get away.

Dan B with his first Russian salmon
The 12 rods at Middle had 83 fish for the day with Jim R taking 12 fish to his rod.

At Kitza we have a small team of 3 rods being looked after by TV star Paul Young. As was perhaps inevitable with his experience, Paul had 12 fish to end up as the top rod whilst the final total was 22 fish for the day.

Further up river (by about 80 miles) we welcomed 8 friends back into Pana and their experience of the river showed. Jean H was the top rod with 13 fish and they had 40 in total with Barrie W landing a nice fish of around 12lbs from Northumberland Avenue.

Julian P and a thick set fish taken from Green Bank
Here at Lower Varzuga our 7 rods had a slightly tougher day as they worked out the beat, the wading and the vagaries of fishing in Russia, of which 6 of them are new to. 18 fish were landed with Julian P, the only rod who has been here before, taking 6 for the day. Whilst it might not have been quite the flier I was hoping for in terms of numbers, it is clear that our team here is determined to enjoy every minute of it and we had an excellent dinner last night that lasted well into the evening.

"Sit down please"- our rods and guides this morning
It is a quite beautiful day today with much less of a breeze than we faced yesterday and lunch will be a picnic on the river. The water dropped by about an inch last night and most rods have now moved fully on to floating lines whilst a skated fly was tried yesterday evening. If this warm weather continues, this visually exciting way of fishing will become the norm and we can start to really experiment with summer fishing tactics.

Charlie White