Friday 15 June 2012

Still rising

Such is the nature of the Varzuga watershed, consisting solely of virgin tundra and bog, that even heavy rain takes a day or so to percolate through to the river. We must have had more rain than we thought on the 12th and 13th June as yesterday the many small streams that feed the river were noticeably full and noisy and the river continued its slow rise.

David KW with one from the boat
At Pana (80 km upstream from us here at Middle Camp) our manager, Mungo, reported the river to be well up, 9” over two days and getting a boat down to the holy grail of Ponzoi should be possible for a few more days. At Middle, where the river is wider, the total rise of water height is 6 ½” (17 cm), causing us to adjust the beats to make the most of the changed conditions.

Lunch opposite Clarkes yesterday
Despite the rise, the water remains crystal clear and the temperature steady at 14⁰C. Full
floating lines or a floater with an intermediate tip are working well and bright flies with
yellow, red and orange remain the favourites.

Pana landed 98 salmon yesterday, the catch pretty evenly spread amongst the eight rods and all of the
beats up there are fishing exceptionally well. Over at Kitza the catch was a little off
yesterday and they put 34 fish in the book before going down to the White Sea for a stroll
on the beach at midnight. That might sound bizarre to you back home – but it really is an
extraodinarily spiritual experience, the light is quite magical and it is something that lives in
people's minds when they reflect on their trip here.

The White Sea beach at mid-night
At Middle Camp we landed 78 fish with Ian S reaching a remarkable land mark for a salmon fisher landing 100 salmon in five days fishing.

The rods have just set off for their last full day on the river, this week seems to have flown
by, tonight we’ll have a barbeque by the river and the usual farewell party before
reluctantly boarding the helicopter back to Murmansk on Saturday morning.

Fishing a skated fly at Party Pool
We look set fair for next week – the rise in water has come at a perfect time and the river looks in excellent shape.

Christopher Robinson