Wednesday 8 June 2016

Salmon theories

As previously mentioned, this is our 25th year on the river and given that we are talking about salmon and all of their mystical qualities, it seems only right that this year should have us scratching our heads more than ever before.
Richard S with one of 3 he had yesterday
We have 4 camps on the river and we open and close them according to our well documented history as to when the fish are most likely to be there in good numbers.  Pana, for example, is 80 miles north of where I am typing now and as a result, we open that camp 2 weeks after the start of our season here.

Nearly there...
This year we had a relatively early ice break (although not hugely so) and then had 4 weeks of intensely hot weather.  Lower has not really fished that brilliantly and the obvious answer is that most of the fish have slipped past us here and that Pana should have a bonanza – simples?

Straight back
Only it is not.  Pana yesterday had 9 fish to their 8 rods.  Really very odd and whilst Toby reported seeing fish, especially at their lower beat of Ponzoi, for whatever reason they would not play ball.

Another one
The other well known “fact” is that Kitza has a very deep and very cold lake at its head which means that we open this river a week later than we do here at Lower and that the run of fish will steadily build as we go through the season.  Again, that was not backed up yesterday as the 7 rods over there landed 12 between them.  Just a really strange day with the normally cooperative salmon on parts of this system deciding that flies were not for them after all.

Glynn D executing another perfect Snap-T
Bucking the trend in a major way was Middle.  They landed 53 fish to their 12 rods with Ian H and Caleb S the top rods on 9 fish each.  It is slightly galling that they are landing paint fresh fish as our rods here, fishing hard, know that all of those fish have swum straight past us for the past couple of days without so much as a hello.
Ura from Kitza, boating down to the White Sea
As Lower has been proving tricky we flew our rods to a beat just above Middle Varzuga.  It was a huge success and we landed 29 fish.  Jonathan K and Victor B were the ones to make the most of it and they had 6 fish apiece.  Flying to a different part of the river, landing fish and seeing what the Varzuga is really capable of meant that everyone came back in great spirits.  There are one or two missing in action this morning as we did not let the success go uncelebrated.

More tomorrow when no doubt we will have discovered that salmon like to climb trees.

Charlie White