Thursday 2 July 2015


With the water now dropping towards summer height we are having to sharpen our concentration when driving the jet boats. A week ago the river was high, those of you who know Generator Pool will understand the height when I say that the pyramid rock at the top of the pool was fully under water.

Middle Camp 'phone rock
 For me this was slightly alarming, the rock is such an obvious marker as to the route through the shallows and without it showing it was easy to become disorientated. Now, a week later, the rock is out of the water by over a foot and with shallow, ripple’ly water it is much easier to read the route, albeit skimming through the skinny sections on the plane might temporally concern those guests not used to the drill.

Ivan and Michael H in action
Rocks in camp play a part in our lives too. We get mobile phone reception, only just, from the huge mast in Varzuga village 15 kms down river from here. Having a decent conversation involves balancing on a rock. The best place is just behind the banya – in fine weather this is sort of OK, if it is pouring with rain or if it is a still, mosquito’y evening the call can be short. After a few weeks here you get quite good at balancing on a rock, mobile in one hand and swatting flies with the other. Taking notes can be challenging.

Middle Camp Tundra Art
A couple of years ago I started my Middle Camp rock collection. Each day I try and find a rock or two to place on the sloping, wooden surrounds of the log cabins. Most of the guides think I am daft; however Big Misha seems to understand my concept of Tundra Art and will nod in approval if I find a particularly interesting rock. I normally take a few home to Wiltshire to place strategically in the garden or in the house. Last year I took a whopper home, a beautiful smooth rock, shaped by centuries of river water and ice. It weighed 5kg – (Finnair – my apologies!). This year Tiffinie has banned me from bringing rocks home, and I understand from overheard idle gossip in the kitchen that she has put Donna on full alert to make sure I do not smuggle any rocks home at the last minute.
Steen P and one of his four salmon yesterday
Enough of rocks – onto the fishing. The weather pattern repeated itself yesterday with a good fishing morning and then a bright, sun filled afternoon. We had a long, lazy lunch at Snake Pit and Anton amused us playing with the big boat and firing a vast spay of water across the river from the jet engine. We ended the day with a further 14 salmon landed to take us to exactly 100 for the week so far. This morning Gordon B could not repeat his normal feat of a salmon before breakfast, but his fishing partner Paul R landed good one of about 9lbs before the bacon and eggs.

Anton amusing us at lunch
Two more days to go – I’m off to Yovas where the rock selection is the best (and the fishing is not too bad either!).

Christopher Robinson