Wednesday 23 May 2012

A change in the weather but some extraordinary fishing

Yesterday was a busy day in every sense and after the excellent weather we have been having it was somewhat of a shock to have some snow and hail showers.  A cold wind added to the chill but it did not seem to affect the fishing in any way.
Eric W with one of 30 he hooked yesterday

At Lower Varzuga we had a bumper day with the 9 rods landing 75 fish between them.  Eric W hooked close to 30 fish but in the end only put 6 in the book whereas Michael E had a slightly better conversion rate and finished with 22 landed to his rod. 
The story of the day however was JP’s fish – a 20lbs bar of silver taken from Bearlets.  Unfortunately, his guide was too busy releasing the fish to take a picture and I only knew that we had photographic evidence of it when JP showed me the pictures in the helicopter as we went over to Kitza for the changeover, by which time it was too late to copy the picture for the blog.
Kate and Tolli
I flew up to Pana with the camp manager and cook, Mungo and Kate, to open up that camp for our first guests arriving on Saturday.  The river is high and is probably only 4-5 feet off the bank but it is obvious from the water line that it has been higher previously and it already dropping quite quickly.  It was great to see the team up there and Tolli greeted us with a huge welcome as did Dima, the head guide.

In the evening we did the midweek changeover with Lower Varzuga and Kitza.  We took our 9 rods to Kitza and picked up the 10 rods who have been fishing over there.  The Kitza has dropped enormously (I would guess by around 3-4 feet) since I was there on Saturday and with every inch that it drops, the fishing improves. 
Looking upstream at Kitza last night
They finished with 32 and it was a keen and eager team that we picked up.  Greig T had one after supper and the two rods who have been out before breakfast this morning have been rewarded as Bill P has landed two and John G-H has had one.

At Middle Varzuga the fishing continues to astound.  The 12 rods landed 290 salmon for the day which is an amazing figure to type let alone write in the book.  Hugh has asked me for more sheets to record his catches and I am beginning to understand why.  There were so many personal bests recorded that it is hard to know where to start but Paul R landed 26, John R had 25 and Paddy F took 24 fish out of Peartiha in the morning session alone. 2 fish of over 15lbs were landed and amazingly, Peter W and his fishing partner have recorded back to back days of over 100 fish between them. 
Pana yesterday afternoon
They quite rightly had a big celebration last night as one of our regular rods called a halt on his fishing day when he got to 65 fish.  We shall never know if it was tiredness that beat him or a reluctance to break the record but either way it was an extraordinary day.

It is cold and overcast again this morning but if that lends itself to a similar day to the one we had yesterday, there will be very few complaints from here.
Charlie White