Friday 3 July 2015

The Last Boat In

Another season here on Varzuga has flown by. It seems only yesterday that we opened up the camps, kicked the mice out of their winter quarters and prepared for our first guests. It is just seven very short weeks fishing on this remarkable river.

Middle Camp on 14 May
Fishers back at home find it difficult to believe when I say we are closing Middle camp tomorrow - until the 14th of May next year. Lower Camp will stay open for tourists and we will fish there for the autumn run of salmon for a week or two. But other than that, all the camps, Pana, Kitza and Middle (Pond Ostrov) are now closed. The boats and engines are secured out of the way of any spring flood, the doors of the log cabins will be padlocked tomorrow and the guards are now here for their long, lonely winter.
Terry and Donna on the last lunch run
Charlie will summarize the season next week, in the meantime a brief glance at the figures shows that we have landed 5,190 salmon so far - and with eight keen fishers out there on our last day, plus Finn the Fish, we should get over the 5,200 mark. It has not been a bonanza year like the vintages of 2012 and 2014, but better than 2010. It is quite a lot of salmon landed. 

One can never have too many rods
And now peace returns to the river - for 10 months – no more fishing - the salmon are left to complete their life cycle.

Up here you get a ear for helicopters and boats – I’m as deaf as a post as my family will readily tell you – but I can hear a helicopter from miles away and can tell, by the sound, which boat is coming in. I was lucky last night to catch a photo of our last boat coming in (Gordon S had had a lean day so Terry took him out after dinner and they avoided a blank). It was nearly midnight and a huge, full moon was rising from the South, contrasting against the midnight sun lighting up the stand of fir trees opposite us. Quite surreal. I guess one of the reasons this river gets under your skin.  

Sonya selecting wild flowers for her dining room arrangements

As always a huge thank you to all our Russian friends on Varzuga. Here at Middle Camp, Big Misha, Vova, Anton, Danya, Ivan, Sasha, Uncle Vova, Luda, Genna, Natasha, Arina and young Sonya.

The last boat coming home
I hope you might join us for our 25th year on Varzuga in 2016, either here on this magic river, or just via the blog.

Farewell until next year.
Christopher Robinson