Sunday 5 June 2016

Tuition week

Yesterday was a long one.  Strong headwinds meant that it took us much longer to get to Murmansk than we would normally expect but in anticipation of that, we had set off early and the charter flying to Helsinki was not too late in leaving.
Brendan G on Bear Island 
Unfortunately our late arrival into Murmansk meant that we then got stuck behind 3 domestic flights and we had to wait our turn for the only luggage truck in the airport to take our bags to the helicopter. Relaxing and chatting in a bar, with free drinks, sounds good until it goes on for slightly too long!

However, as soon as everyone is in camp and has their first look at the river, the waiting is swiftly forgotten and the anticipation kicks in.

Champagne cocktails at the White Sea
Last week was perfectly respectable but was in no danger of breaking any catch records.  We finished with 783 fish landed across the 4 camps to 39 rods which is just over 20 fish per rod for the week.  It sounds a lot but expectations of the river are high and it felt like quite a tough week at times.

William P-S with a hard earned fish from Heli
There is no doubt that we had weather that would have had the clerk of the course at Epsom heavily watering the ground and a glaring sun that often felt relentless.  That didn’t help but everyone was determined to make the most of it and we had a really fun week.

Bruce B on Kitza
Saturdays seems to be weather changing days and that was the case yesterday.  We took off in glorious sunshine and were somewhat surprised to see snow out of the helicopter windows an hour into our flight.  It was seriously cold when we got to Murmansk and it was when we got back here in the evening.  Some rain, a cutting wind and grey skies are what we have now – thankfully!

Ditch W and Eoin Fairgrieve ready for action this morning
This week is our tuition week at Lower Varzuga.  Bill Drury and Eoin Fairgrieve are here to pass on their expert knowledge and it is always great to see people improve their casting, wading and fishing skills. Learning how to really catch fish rather than just cast for them is a unique experience and it has proved very popular.  It seems, however, as if Phillip T doesn’t need any help at all as has landed 3 before breakfast to give everyone a boost and it was a purposeful team that strode out this morning.

Charlie White