Wednesday 18 June 2014


It was uncomfortably cool and wet yesterday and the river rose a couple of inches. Unsettled fishing conditions. Father and son, Peter and James D, remained out all day but the rest returned for lunch by the sitting room fire. The morning was tougher fishing while the air temperature remained depressed at around 4⁰C. The rain and drizzle eased in the afternoon, it was never warm, but certainly better than the morning, and the fishing picked up.

Hugh playing his first salmon on a skater
Fresh grilse were splashing through and I took Hugh S off in the afternoon to try and get him his first salmon on a skated fly. It is, by far, my favourite method to fish for salmon. It is ‘visual’ fishing, you can see the fly skating steadily across the pool, the take can be aggressive or sometimes like a lethargic trout taking a mayfly. It is also a winning way to learn fly control, and that was part of my aim with Hugh. Because the fly wakes across the surface you soon learn the effect that a downstream or upstream mend has on the speed your fly fishes at, and you can experiment lifting or lowering the rod to increase or decrease the speed.
Fresh grilse
Hugh soon had two fresh grilse on the bank, both classic surface takes on a glassy ‘tail out’ above Madonna’s. His smile said it all and we headed home to warm up in the banya. Our nine rods at Middle landed 49 salmon yesterday plus a pike. At dinner we thought we ought to make it 50 so Freddie and James came with me in the boat to try Party. The odds were stacked against us, it was raining and the air temperature 3⁰C – they rose a couple of uncommitted salmon but it was pretty dead really – as I was lifting the anchor for home Freddie hooked and landed a perch on a half inch skated tube. Not a salmon I know, but one of those minor fishing triumphs that we felt meant that we had not blanked on our mission.

The Perch
Pana too had a slower day, the water rose and it remained quite cold up there. They finished with a round number of 50 fish, 11 coming from the float trip. Kitza has again benefited from the lake system above, their water height has been stable now for three days and the water temperature also stable at a perfect 12⁰C. The Spanish team of nine had another cracking day landing 81 salmon, 10 of which were caught from well below camp in Long Pool as they continue to pour in from the sea.

We look forward to welcoming our new guests on Saturday – the weather looks, at the moment, a bit more settled next week. I suspect it will be the usual mixture of floating or intermediate tips and a range of flies from skaters, conventional double hooked flies of #6 - #10, or small’ish heavy tubes if you want to fish down and slow. Please remember that the weather conditions vary from really cold and damp to shirt sleeves in 24 hours – best to come prepared!

Christopher Robinson