Friday, 22 May 2015

Stable River

It has remained pretty mild for this time of year and the forecast looks reasonably settled for next week. Varzuga veterans will know how changeable it can be up here and you really do need to be prepared for that cold North wind that on occasions catches us out. I use which gives you the forecast at Umba, some 130 km to the west of here.  Like all forecasts you just need treat it as only an indication of what the weather will be; keep your warm gloves and hat in your day pack!

Lunch Pool at Lower Camp yesterday
We had a benign, warm spring day on Thursday. There is a distinct hint of spring in the air and boating down from Middle Camp in the morning we passed skeins of ducks, geese and two pairs of swans all heading north to their breeding areas. The ravens opposite us at Lower Camp have started on their nest – about 5 days later than last year for some reason.

Signs of Spring
The water temperature this morning is 9C and we are debating moving on to intermediate tips, or perhaps even trying floating lines on the shallow tails of some of the pools. Yet the river remains high, we had a few hours of heavy rain in the evening,  and this morning the river is steady, no drop overnight; so the general consensus is to stay with medium sinking tips just now. I suspect that next week, if the river drops off a few more inches, then we can start the change to floating lines.

Geoff F and Sergey setting off this morning
At dinner last night the Lower Camp team of eight were really chuffed to have banked 69 salmon and to have got well ahead of Middle Camp who had a duller day and finished on 40. Not quite sure why that was – something to do with the party on Wednesday night?

Jonathan B with a bright spring salmon at Lunch Pool
Earlier in the week the salmon seemed to be holding back below Morskoy Rapids at Lower Camp however with the increase in water temperature they are starting to run in real numbers and we can see them splashing through to thier way upstream. Toby Burrell, the Pana Fishing Manager is out here this week and willing the salmon on up river to Pana which we will commence fishing on 30 May.
Kitza from the helicopter yesterday
I went over to Kitza in the afternoon to see Ollie and Rosie and to drop off more supplies. They had landed a couple of salmon from Camp Pool and Sasha’s, the river is dropping in slowly and remains at about 5C – if you are fishing Kitza next week expect it to be higher and colder than Varzuga. You ought to have at least a medium sinking tip and a handful of heavy flies. We have suitable flies in camp if you get caught out!

Christopher Robinson