Tuesday 24 June 2014


The Middle Camp on Varzuga lies on an island called Pond Ostrov. Our main home pool, on the East side of the island, is called Generator (years ago, when we had a tented camp, our generator used to be on top of the bank overlooking the river). If you made a reconnaissance of the 12 kms of river we fish here you would probably overlook the pool, certainly it would not be top of your list. Generator is a long, even draw, quite shallow and 1 km long; in high water all of it fishes well, in low water some sections are less productive, but having an even flow and a mass of underwater rocks and boulders it is highly productive.

Generator under the midnight sun
We tend to keep Generator out of the beat rotation system and it is fished mainly ‘out of office hours’ by those keen enough to have a cast or two before breakfast or in the evening. Generator flows South and the evening the light on it can be extraordinary as the Arctic sun sets to the North and the pines high on the banks are illuminated by a rosy glow.

This year at Middle Camp we have caught, so far, 4,567 salmon to 67 rods in just six weeks, of which 786 have come from Generator (for those looking to question the figure this does not include East Generator!). Many of those salmon have been caught by fishers experimenting in the evening with skaters, Bombers or odd flies that have lain in their fly box for years out of lack of confidence to use them elsewhere where salmon might be scarce.

At the weekend our real generator started to play up - badly so. Anton and the guides went down to the village to collect the spare that has waited for a few years in the store just in case we had a crisis. It weighs half a tonne; how they got it into the boat, let alone up the river in the 15’ boat is quite beyond me, but they did. To shift it from the bank onto site took the usual clever use of Tundra Technology - rope, planks, canter-levers and the ever present Russian strength.

It was a surreal sight – a half ton generator being manhandled up the bank, with one of our guests playing a salmon in the background in Generator Pool.

Tundra Technology and Russian strength
Yesterday we landed 63 salmon, with Simon R banking 15 of them including another 16lber as well. Clarkes, which has been a bit quieter than usual suddenly was full of fish and all beats continued to fish well; in the morning more pods of grilse splashed through. The water height and temperature is spot on at the moment, the only blot on the landscape is the strong North wind we have this morning, downstream thank goodness, but it is quite chilly so we are bringing the guests into camp to warm them up at lunch time.

Despite the North wind Gordon B came into breakfast with a huge smile having landed two salmon in Generator and lost a really good fish that took him well into the backing before doing an aerial cartwheel which threw the hook.

Fishing Snake Pit yesterday
This North wind seems set in for today and tomorrow - so I am off to get in more fire wood from the store and the banya is being lit.

More tomorrow

Christopher Robinson