Wednesday 9 May 2012

The first day

Yesterday was our first full day in camp with much to do. Before he had even set sight on our boat engines, Glenn in his first day here as our MMAT (Mechanic and Mender of All Things) was plunged straight into his new role helping the guides mend one of the Russian Skidoos. The ice is gradually clearing from the river, however we will not launch the boats for a couple of days yet and until then we depend on the skidoos to run supplies to camp from the village a few miles upstream.

Kari guarding Feoders skidoo
One of my first tasks each year is to get the office printer up and running and, as always, the mice had adopted it as their home over winter. Every year they make a nest of chewed up paper in the back of it and it takes a few print runs to clear the bedding and droppings out of it!

The guides, Jesse and Glenn got five boats up and running and they now sit on our camp lawn on top of a couple of feet of snow ready to launch later this week. Sadly for us there was no chance to fish yesterday, one of the Fish Inspectors went down to Heli Pool with a spinner and soon had a welcome 10lb supplement to his rations on the bank.

Tiffy, Jemima and Maryke having lunch watching the ice go past
The river remains low and not yet in full Spring flood, it rose a couple of inches yesterday then last night we had a hard frost which slowed down the melt. The water temp is a chilly 0.5⁰C – good news for the Lower and Middle Camps as the salmon will not push on fast upstream at the moment.

A large ice flow coming past camp
Today has dawned bright and clear, already the air temp is up to 10⁰C so we should see a further rise in the water level by the evening. The first birds arrived yesterday, the pair of ravens that nest opposite camp greeted us with a cacophony of calls from the pine trees across the river. No sign yet of the Pied Wagtails which are always my marker that Summer is truly on the way.

The boats ready to go
If you are coming on 12 May you should expect to find quite a bit of snow and probably ice on the banks and although it is highly unlikely you will have to do much deep wading, a pair of fleece leggings or ‘long johns’ under your waders would be advisable. Large, bright flies 1½” to 2”and a fast or medium sinking line or tip will probably be the best tackle.

P.S. Glenn has just measured the water height – up 3” overnight despite the frost – good news.

Christopher Robinson