Thursday 17 May 2012

A big river

I thought that I may have made myself a hostage to fortune and I’m afraid I was right. We had a difficult day yesterday.

We had a gloriously warm day, really pleasant for this time of year, normally this would have been welcomed but it was this last thing we needed. With the air temperature up to 19⁰C by mid-afternoon the considerable amount of snow still left was melting fast. The little streams on the banks that we have hardly ever noticed in the past were roaring down and the river just continued to rise and it was pretty dirty.

9 May at Lower Camp - lots of snow
Middle landed 25 salmon for the day which was well down on the previous day of 70. At Lower we had to resign ourselves to fate – great credit to our guests, guides and Jesse who all stuck at it. It was indeed lovely weather to be out fishing in but there was little chance of the salmon responding.

A mild frost last night and warm again today – but the melt seems less, the river is steady, almost exactly the same height as this time yesterday and the old hands here feel that the worst is over. I saw Valentine last night, I’m sure that some Varzuga blog readers will recall him (our old friend with the accordion). Valentine knows the river better than most and he reckoned the worst was over – probably the highest river since 1995, and possibly higher than that.

Lower Camp today
With a river that seems to be settling down at last Middle Camp were into fish this morning and I hear were probably going to make a decent score today. It is still not easy on the Lower river and we are finding it difficult to catch fish, frustratingly a few are beginning to show, but they just will not take in the dirty water.

My guts tell me that the river will now drop, and I guess that next week could be excellent; it will still be high and probably cold, so be prepared for Spring fishing. With a modicum of good fortune I’ll be able to report a real improvement tomorrow.

Christopher Robinson