Wednesday 26 June 2013

A Hard Days Night

We had yet another blisteringly hot day and after brunch everyone crashed out following our first nights fishing. In the evening Hugh took the water temperature and was somewhat reluctant to announce the news that we suspected but really did not want to hear, 25⁰C.
Andy and Vova - Yovas last night
My experience over a few years dictates that at 17⁰C or over, salmon become reluctant to move far to take a fly and at 20⁰C they become torpid and almost impossible to move. So 25⁰C was going to be a challenge. With the undying optimism that only salmon fishers and Jesuits possess, undaunted we set off at 10 p.m.; the guides working miracles and still getting the boats right through to the top of Yovas despite the water now being at the lowest of the year.

Royal Deeside at 2 a.m.
It was a hard days night – I accompanied Rob and his son James on the lower river.  James was casting beautifully, really well, and normally would have been handsomely rewarded. Rob picked up one fish in the tail of Peartiha and after a quick snack at 2.30 a.m. we fished down through Generator – not a touch or any sign of interest, not even a grayling. We finished, with the sun well up at 6 a.m., on the point of the Island and in the faster water James moved three fish, one to a Skater, one to a Sunray and one to a Green Machine, all lazy half-hearted attempts by salmon that would normally have nailed the fly.

Gerry with Vova and the first salmon of his three last night
Hugh went up river to Yovas with Andy and Gerry C; Andy got his first Varzuga salmon, Gerry had three and lower down Norman also had three. Again it was the streamy water of the rapids, with the extra oxygen, that yielded a fish or two. Other than that it was the odd one here and there. Really tough going to be honest and we have retired back to camp tired, disappointed perhaps, yet content to have been out on the river all night and to have given it our best effort.

Young James at the Point of the Island this morning
A great pity really as the fishing here at Middle Camp can be so good in low water, we just are stuffed by this bizarre hot weather - my mood not made much better when Tiffy called me last night to say we were low on logs in the wood shed at home; chilly back at home I gather.

Oh well – tomorrow's another day I guess, but that is confusing too as we are already tomorrow and the camp debate over what is breakfast, lunch and dinner continues. All I know is that Maryke continues to ply us with food, now more chilled soups and sorbets rather than the usual hearty cold weather fare. No one quite knows what the etiquette over drinks at ‘breakfast’ is – so we have agreed anything goes and there was a good mixture of red wine, tea, strong coffee and our two young ones tucking into well deserved chilled beers.

As I type the sun is beating down again. I’m just hoping against hope that we get a break from this heat – such a keen team here, very frustrating. Such is fishing I guess, but being so proud of the river the guides, Hugh and I really want our guests to experience it in better conditions.

Yours frustrated from Varzuga

Christopher Robinson