Saturday 10 May 2014


Normally Sasha and I would have driven back to Murmansk yesterday; to top up on any last supplies and kit needed, then to meet our first guests this morning. It is a huge frustration for all of us here, and of course the fishers at home, that we remain locked in ice and snow.

9 May 2013
I recalled the scene last year and dug out the photo I took of Kari enjoying the spring sunshine on 9 May. The river was clear, a perfect height, and we were really looking forward to seeing our first guests. Yes – we had sunshine yesterday, but with a bitterly cold wind - and although you could feel the sun if you found shelter in the wind you had to really muffle up.
9 May 2014
 It was Victory Day, celebrating as I mentioned last year an important day in the Russia view of the world, the Soviet defeat of Fascism with the cost of 20 million lives. A big National Holiday and once we had finished our tasks here in camp the girls walked up to a party in the village. Their ordered walk on departure, stamping careful steps along the river bank around the softer and slightly treacherous ice berg fields, was in contrast to the return which might be described as somewhat disorderly. In any event all returned safely if not exactly gracefully – the Russian hospitality here is wonderfully generous.

True spring salmon fishing

I took the chance for my first cast this year, the water was up an inch or two and had started to get some colour in it with grass and sediment kicked up by the chunks of ice coming down. That looked encouraging from the melt point of view, but the fish seemed to be off – but I guess that is all relative such is the quality of the fishing here, and in 20 minutes I had my first springer and was glad to be out of the 1⁰C water. So, above is the first photo in five years of yours truly with a salmon.
Photo from my office window this morning
It is a touch milder this morning, I’m typing this in the office, with its view over the river, and can see an encouraging, steady stream of drips from the snow on the roof. The forecast continues to predict warmer weather tomorrow and rain which, I hope, should start the proper melt.
Christopher Robinson