Wednesday 15 May 2013

To Kitza

We flew over to Kitza yesterday taking Tom and Donna and a full load of supplies. Ura and Luba were there to greet us; wonderful to see them again and enjoy the peace and quiet of that special place. The camp looked well up together, Ura and the team have been busy building a new store beside the kitchen, the banya floor has been repainted and a new floor put down in the dining/sitting room. With the new wooden dining chairs (like Middle Camp – finally!) it was all looking pretty good.  Donna was thrilled to find a brand new cooker and for Tom there was a new generator. Glenn did a ‘once over’ on all the outboards, we left them a spare one and lots of spare parts then flew back in the evening to Lower Camp.

Kitza Camp Pool
On the way over Tom had a text from David P requesting the breaking news on river height and temperature etc. So, David and all you keen Kitza fishers, here is the news and some rather dull, grey photos – it was that sort of light that I think even Matt Harris would have been challenged to take a decent shot.

The water height looked perfect, just off the scrubby bushes in Heli Pool. The water temperature was 4.5⁰C which was pretty much what we expected. Camp Pool looks a touch high at the moment, it is really a medium/low water pool. From the air Sasha’s Pool was begging to be fished – yet again time did not permit a quick go and we left Tom pretending that he had lots to do and would not fish for a day or so, but knowing full well that as soon as our helicopter noise had faded to the West he would be doing a little test fishing just to satisfy himself that the salmon really were there.

Kitza Heli Pool
As always things can change but the start at Kitza on Saturday looks promising and thankfully no repeat of the very high water of last year.

On Lower and Middle yesterday conditions were tougher – none of us really know why, the fish are here in good numbers but they were just ‘off’ for some reason. But ‘off’ on Varzuga is slightly different compared to other rivers and Lower Camp managed over 50 salmon on the bank. Yet again Richard M showed us how to do it and has now landed 57 salmon in just three days. As I mentioned on the blog yesterday we have some really chunky fish coming through and we had several yesterday well into double figures; every salmon seems to be straight in from the sea, in wonderful condition and with that translucent purple, silver and blue sheen to them.

Roma and Robin M with a really chunky springer
Hugh also reported a trickier day at Middle, they had 38 up to dinner with a few guests determined to go back out afterwards. Bizarrely the pool of choice at this time of year, Clarkes, yielded only one fish for the day – an unheard of event! The water temperature was only 4⁰C yesterday so it is unlikely that the salmon are pushing on fast, but to explore a bit Hugh will push a team or two up Yovas Rapids today to see if there are pods of fish in the many resting places they make use of in the canyon.

Matt L with one of 7 salmon he landed yesterday - his third day salmon fishing!
Today is another rather grey, dull day, quite chilly still and we’d love a day or so of sun. The air temperature is stuck at 5⁰C and the water temperature the same. Jamie has just left to prepare a salmon BBQ at Bear Corner for lunch – not exactly BBQ weather but that has not dimmed his Aussie enthusiasm.

More tomorrow.

Christopher Robinson