Thursday 14 May 2015


Yesterday, Wednesday, we had the weather we really did not want. Rain. We have a lot of snow this year in the watershed and, ideally, we’d hope that it melted slowly over the next few weeks. Nothing shifts snow faster than rain and by mid-day it was overcast and damp with steady rain right through to the late evening.

Middle Camp yesterday morning
The river is now really high, pushing through the withy bushes in Heli Pool at Lower Camp. The forecast looks a little cooler and with little or no rain for the next few days, so the river should settle down by the weekend. In any event next week we are going to be fishing a high, cold river - true Varzuga spring conditions and although not an ideal height we will find the fish. We will not have all the beats in play at this height, but the salmon will be tucked into ‘laybys’; I chatted with head guide Feodor this morning and he felt that Heli Pool, Bear Corner, Janaways and Sviats should all produce fish. When the river comes off a couple of feet we will have much more room.

Donna at Middle
Terry, Donna and I went up to Middle Camp and met the team up there who were opening the camp up and getting the boats in the water. The camp looks in good shape, Misha has made a new table for the extended veranda, quite a bit of woodwork has been painted and Donna has made new curtains for the Main Lodge. We have the same guiding team too and they seem to be itching to get going on the river.

Sasha, Daniel and Vova at Middle, Lower Bear in the background
At Middle we ran up the river as far as Beach and the banks look clear of ice – at this height of water almost all the ice is washed out and some spots looked pretty fishy. Peartiha, Snake Pit, Lower Bear, Fortress and of course Generator all looked good. Today Terry and Donna will run back up to Middle and will continue opening up. Sasha and I go shortly to the village where more supplies have arrived. It is all coming together quite well at the moment. Our helicopter is due to arrive this eveing and we can start moving more supplies and kit about. Next week we go over to Kitza - Ura reports a high river over there, but a good clean out of the ice.

Getting ready for our first helicopter

More tomorrow.

Christopher Robinson