Saturday 29 June 2013


It’s the end of the week and it's normal to have a contented tiredness after a week’s fishing; no more so than up here at mid-summer where the endless light changes the body clock and just one more cast before darkness becomes a 24 marathon. There is no darkness.

Planning the last night session
I have to hand it to our guests this week – Thank You for being such good sports. Right at the start we knew it would be tough going, the high pressure system had settled in and the water temperature reached crazy levels. 25⁰C at mid week. Fishing at night when the air was cooler was our best option and we have stuck to that all week. Everyone has mucked in, joked a lot and got confused over when to have a cold beer and when to have a morning cup of tea.

Vova heading back down river to end the season
Last night it was pretty still and muggy, luckily it had been cloudy all day, even so the water temperature remained at 18⁰C, still a challenge, but not to be daunted we set out at 22:00 with the Arctic sun starting to set to the north.

Malcolm with a really good salmon from Yovas
Tom led the way with seven salmon for the night from Dunkery down to Tiffinies. His father, Malcolm had six and Andy and Gerry G had three each from The Slabs, the top section of the river fishing really well. We ended the night with 26 salmon to take us to 103 salmon landed for the week, with many lost and quite a few adventures on the way; not our best score here by any means, but as we all agreed at breakfast this morning – the Varzuga is pretty remarkable even in extreme circumstances.

Juila, Lara, Luda and Sonya leaving for home
I leave here in a few minutes bound for Murmansk and then to see my garden at home. The transformation here  on Varzuga, over 7 weeks, will remain etched on my memory; an extraordinary change from the snow, ice and a brown, frozen landscape to a lush green meadow, full of wild flowers, butterflies and even delicate pink dog roses. A transition from true spring salmon fishing through to summer salmon fishing in just seven weeks – and 2,668 salmon landed at the Middle Camp. The guides pointed out that it is 63 salmon a day, they are pretty chuffed with that and well deserve all the praise this year.

So it is goodbye time and a massive, massive thank you to all our Russian friends here from all of us.
Charlie will summarise the season next week. In the meantime, until next May, do svidaniya.

Christopher Robinson