Sunday 7 June 2015

No News Is Good News

This is a somewhat unusual blog today – from Wiltshire in UK rather than direct from the Varzuga, and I am light on ‘breaking news’ photos!  Charlie is staying at Pana Camp for a couple of days, a very useful chance for him to spend some time there and to look over the camp infrastructure. Our normal 2 hour visits with a millboard and a list might seem to be productive, however it is really only when you actually stay a couple of nights in a camp that you fully understand how it is working and what needs to be done.

It is a busy week.  All four camps are up and running and we have 39 guests this week, Bill Drury is anchoring the operation from our base in Lower Camp. He called in last night (Saturday night) with the call we all want to hear – all the guests were in the camps in good time and many were already out on the river.

Lower Varzuga on Friday - Brendan G
This morning it is pouring with rain again and looking at the forecast it looks like another unsettled week. Maybe not the most pleasant fishing conditions; but much better than a dreaded high pressure system that might park itself over the Kola for a week or more - great if you want a suntan, but that is not why you come to Varzuga.

Bill sent me a text to disturb my early Sunday morning, with the weather really closed in the HF radio reception is rubbish so Middle and Pana did not get through with a report this morning. Each camp has a backup satellite phone, they are expensive to use so for the morning call we work on a ‘No News is Good News’ basis – for the evening check if the we fail on the radio then the camps have to call in on the Sat Phone with a report.
Wiltshire this Sunday morning
At Lower Camp we have our Instructional Week with both Bill Drury and Eoin Fairgrieve on hand – a wonderful chance to experience some of the best salmon fishing with two masters of the art to guide and coach. Paul B got off to a good start with 3 salmon from Wires before dinner and over at Kitza they also had a handful of fish from the camp pools in the evening before Rosie served supper.

Mouse defences in Lower Camp
The water temperature is steady at 12C and this rain should keep the river topped up. Floating lines are working, my hunch is that an intermediate tip and a slightly heavier fly will be the killing method if you really want numbers rather than the fun (in my view!) of fishing a floater. It is too early really to predict the conditions for the week starting 13 June, let’s see how this week pans out first.

More tomorrow!

Christopher Robinson