Friday 20 June 2014

Big Windy

The wind from the North really kicked off yesterday, and it was cold and grey. At breakfast Misha just said "big windy" and Donna knew it would be a tougher day on the river so she set about a really warming lunch.

We lunched up at Snake Pit again and by boat Donna delivered hot pizza, masses of soup and stuffed baked potatoes to warm up the fishers. Despite the wind we did well and the team of nine rods landed 74 salmon with James D, Freddie P and James F all into double figures again.

Terry delivering Donna's Dial a Varzuga Pizza service
Hugh S and James G fished the very exposed Party Pool in the morning where the wind gave the normally smooth glide quite a wave. Hugh landed a really good fish of about 16lbs, his largest so far. In the afternoon they fished Simmons which they declared ‘stuffed with fish’ and in a very productive two hours landed 15 salmon.

Ivan with Hugh's biggest salmon - 16lbs
Despite the wind experimentation continued and Freddie P had two good fish on a tiny skater. I always encourage trying flies or methods here on the Varzuga that at home you may not have the confidence to fish. Many rods leave here delighted to have set a personal best record for a day’s salmon fishing but with a tinge of regret that they had just thought about ‘how many’ rather than trying out different methods and flies.
Terry, Mark de G and Ivan
Pana, being well up river from here and higher in the watershed, had a really cold day with the same strong North wind. Rollo reported a slower day and they finished with 34 salmon in the book – even so not exactly a salmon fishing disaster! They picked up quite a few fresh grilse, probably the big run that we had come through here at Middle earlier in the week. Kitza remains its consistent self and our Spanish team had another excellent day with 65 salmon.

James G, Hugh S and James D relaxing and warming up with a fire, backgammon and Bloody Marys
The week has flown by and this morning breakfast was over quickly and the rods have set off to make the most of this remarkable year on Varzuga. Tomorrow I go to Murmansk to meet our new guests so I will not update you until Sunday morning – it looks at the moment like we will end up with around 1,200 salmon to 26 rods this week. The three groups in Middle, Kitza and Pana have fished pretty hard in some really varied and cold conditions; I expect quite a lot of snoring on our charter jet home.

Oh! – Emma – have those scissors ready – I’m afraid Freddie really is coming home in his waders.

Christopher Robinson