Monday 3 June 2013

A change in tactics

Yesterday was the hottest day of the season so far and whilst all the camps caught fish, the radio calls in the evening all focused on the fact that the afternoon was much harder than the morning. Interestingly and perhaps obviously, the smaller rivers, Pana and Kitza were less affected as they are much narrower than the main stem of the Varzuga and they offer many more shaded areas for the fish to rest in.

Middle Varzuga is the widest part of the river but with the many twists and turns there are always darker parts and the rods did well to exploit these. They landed 87 fish to the 12 rods, a superb day’s fishing when most people would have gone to the beach. John M had 10 to his rod whilst Hugo M demonstrated his epic wading prowess and skill with a single hander to take 12 for his day. They are getting up earlier this morning, having a longer lunch and then fishing into the evening.

Phil R's first Russian salmon
We are doing the same here at Lower but with most of the river exposed to the bright sun all day we are aiming for more extreme tactics. The guides were ready at 6am this morning and we will fish until 11, have a long siesta and then fish from 6pm to 10pm which will give us the best chance in these conditions. All of which was a great plan until many of the rods decided to celebrate Stephen’s birthday until very late at night – some of the guides looked a bit lonely this morning. We landed 13 fish yesterday which was not exactly what we were hoping for but given the conditions was really pretty good especially as 5 of the rods landed their first Russian salmon.

Feorder with Gordon S's first Russian salmon
At Kitza, Chic McS had an amazing day landing 18 fish to his rod. He hit the jackpot in Beaver Pit and then took more fish from the Boat pool. They finished with 40 fish to the 8 rods (the two rods who could not make it are much missed and our thoughts are with them) with most of the fish coming from the pools above camp. Great though Chic’s day was, the biggest celebration was reserved for Ralph W who landed his first ever salmon.

Ready for lift off - the stunning Arctic Terns
The 8 rods at Pana had 39 salmon for the day with Dick B landing 10 in his morning session. They are boating down to Lunch and then walking to Rock Pool where they then can go on all the way to Ponzoi. The team all have lunch together which is a lot of fun but does mean that they tend to miss out on the float trip which is a shame as I have a sneaking suspicion that it could be very productive up there.

More tomorrow when we will see if this change in tactics has paid dividends.

Charlie White