Friday, 16 June 2017

Up river

Yesterday was an encouraging change. We had a slow morning with only 3 fish landed and little other action. This was a surprise as various pools are beginning to really form. The afternoon picked up however and we had 7 fish with 3 to Richard G fishing up river.

Fresh one to the net
Finding fish up river has meant we have had a beat switch and the guys who have never seen the upper river will get a taste of it today. Let’s hope more fish have moved in to make it a really special end to the week.  The water temperature is back at 6 and the depth on the gauge is -6”. Consequently those fishing heavier tips are still most often rewarded.

Jack M taking advantage of beautiful post supper fishing
Middle had a mixed day yesterday. Top rod Yury D had a tough day whilst others did better. They ended the day on 25 fish including 2 fish caught at Peartiha during a post supper fishing party with beers and music. I think the island is still spinning a bit this morning for a few.

Ian W's casual approach to the trip to the white sea
At Pana they landed 24 fish for the day and the majority were caught in the now defining pools. The river is dropping away steadily but a lot of the fish seem to be piling through. The sooner the river gets to it’s normal level the sooner these pools will hold the fish up. Much the same can be said for Kitza. However this morning Charlie T went out and started his account with 2 fish before breakfast.

Vodka Cocktails at the white sea beach club
Today is warm and sunny again. Our team took a tour to the white sea before supper last night and had a little drinks party at Kuzamon. However they were out in double quick time this morning with the knowledge that fish are showing up river. I have asked them for 30 for the day…

Jack Selby

Thursday, 15 June 2017

A rubber revelation

Yesterday at Kitza we saw a snapshot of the spectacular fishing that we are all yearning for. Up on beat one Jack M and Ian B hit upon a pod of fresh fish and whilst Jack M lost 3 good fish out in the fast water. Ian B landed one spanking fresh fish at Gold Mine as well as his 2 in the morning. It just shows you that having your fly in the water is what really counts. Jack M also landed a less fresh fish from 3rd Island.
Jack M with his fish at 3rd Island just before the action started
Over at Middle they netted 35 fish including a 14lbs fish for Nicolas G.  Added to this they also saw a mother bear and her three cubs playing on the bank. All in all a pretty special day. Toby reports that all the fish, almost without exception, were larger than average and mainly in the 8-9 lbs class. A little further up river Pana had 12 fish for the day and report the river is still dropping and seems to be finally finding some definition.

A quick dash with the net
Yesterday was my first chance to really test out the rubber boat. It has sat sadly lonely for more than 2 weeks now as it was slightly unstable for one person in high rapids. I loaded a roller bag with rocks to replicate a human up front and set off up river to scope out places that might now be fishable. I found little that was not still a raging torrent but I did find that the rubber boat really holds it’s own and will I have no doubt be excellent in low water conditions.

Team talk
Whilst we had a tough day with only 6 fish we are heartened by the sudden pod of fresh fish moving in yesterday afternoon and also by a very pleasing Perch caught by Michael G earlier in the day.

Ian B once again leads the way
This morning the weather is bright and warm with a very light breeze.

Jack Selby

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Water is still dropping

Yesterday at Kitza the river continued to drop and we are now below the point at which the marker stick went in. I hope to have to move it soon as the water will drop below the bottom of the scale.

Whilst the dropping river is great news the water temperature remains between 5 and 6 degrees so we are still fishing pretty heavy tips and tubes. Black and Yellow and Willie Gunns on copper tubes seem to be most popular along with Ian B’s Special Red Tube.

Michael G does it again in Heli Pool
The dropping river however did not equate to more fish and we landed 6 fish including another nice fish for Michael G in Heli. Theories abound but it’s very hard to speculate on what causes mother nature to offer what she does. We must play the hand we have been dealt and work hard.

Over at Pana they had 14 fish for the day which is a great improvement indeed. Beany caught one in Home Pool too. Certainly sounds like they have more fish arriving now which is a huge relief.

Charlie T and his family have been coming to Pana from the beginning with teams of clients and yesterday they popped open the champagne to celebrate the 10,000 fish caught in their week since the beginning. Impressive statistics.

Fishing down the true left of 3rd Island
Middle had a good morning with 16 fish landed and Paul d S landing a spanking fresh fish. They ended the day on 29 fish with some serious time put in on the river after hours.

Helo arriving at Pana
It was a mixed bag really and I’m not sure quite why. The conditions were perfectly good despite a bit of wind but still nothing was spectacular. Maybe today will see this changed.

Jack M fishes the sweet spot on Kitza's Heli Pool
This morning it is overcast with a little light rain. We are down to -2.5” on the gauge and still dropping. Pools are beginning to define and structure show through. Things are looking up and Ian B has promised me today is the day.

Jack Selby

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

A little pick me up

This morning the weather has switched from sunny to over cast again. Yesterday with an overcast start we saw a good morning of fishing compared to Sunday and the team landed 8 by lunch. Special mention to Michael G with a cracking fish of about 9lbs and another of around 5lbs. We are still not seeing anything in the 3-4lbs class that I have been expecting so let’s hope these are still to run due to the high and comparatively cold water.  

Michael G's fish
Middle had a good morning with plenty of fishing and once again Kevin and Karen C had a lovely time landing 11 fish from Birthday. The afternoon was slow in comparison to the morning and the camp ended the day on 30. It seems there was quite a party the night before so to have a good morning is a strong effort.

Things are really starting to green up
Pana landed 7 fish yesterday which although not spectacular by Pana standards is steps in the right direction. The river continues to drop and seems to be dropping around 6 inches each night so very encouraging.

A quick team talk on the Pana balcony
Finally with the snow now totally gone and the bogs beginning to diminish on the paths Lucy joined me for the walk down to Spey Bank and beyond. She has been working extremely hard to look after all our clients but has essentially been confined to about 100 square meters of camp for some weeks and really enjoyed seeing the beautiful river bank path heading down river.

Late afternoon at Reel Pool on Kitza
She was a little nervous about bears walking back on her own but she was back in the kitchen cooking supper on my return. I’m sure the bears would be more scared of her…

Bill P's beautiful fish from last week
Today I am confident that we will see a good few fish to the net.

Jack Selby

Monday, 12 June 2017

Strangely slow fishing

I was really expecting a great day yesterday with new teams putting in the hard graft at all three camps. Here at Kitza everyone fished hard for only 3 fish and quite a number lost. I spent the afternoon with Ian W who is salmon fishing again for the first time after 20 years. After a short brush up session on his left handed single spey he landed a nice fish on Third Island and then lost a second bigger fish at the net on Second Island.

Ian W's first day back to Salmon fishing after 20 years
Pana caught 2 fresh fish of about 7lbs just above camp today but the river below camp was remarkably quiet. The team at Pana are in many cases very experienced on the river so they will work hard to find the fish as they start to reach this delightful tributary.

Into a fish at Pana
Middle caught 22 fish with Yury D the top rod and some convincing efforts from first time visitors Karen C and Kevin C in Clarks and Generator. Toby gave some casting lessons today so hopefully this will pay dividends in the coming days.

12th June and still the river is in the withies
Walking down to Spey Bank yesterday morning it was really starting to green up with the birch leaves beginning to unfurl and a number of new shoots seem to have blossomed. We still have a water temperature of 6 degrees but the water height is somewhere between 5 and 6 inches meaning a number of different spots are starting to open back up to wading and with luck we will find them holding fish over the next few days.

Dropping at last on the Kitza gauge
Just as things start to feel right we seem to be thrown a curve ball but certainly conditions are improving minute by minute and if we had converted a few more of the lost fish we’d have had a good result. This morning is overcast but not too cold so hopefully this will be a more encouraging day.

Jack Selby

Sunday, 11 June 2017

A new dawn

With Lower now closed it falls to me to continue the blog from Kitza camp. Last week was a very interesting one with some pretty good days fishing considering the river was rising fast. This morning we have eager fishermen (and women) in our remaining three camps. 

Lovely fish from Middle
I’m quite confident for this week’s fishing here at  Kitza and hopeful that the Pana will really start to receive the fish they deserve. It’s tough for clients, guides and staff when fishing is slow and I think we all now need a reward.

Kitza and Pana teams inbound
Yesterday was change over day which went smoothly and pretty swiftly. We stopped into Pana first to drop off the regular team and supplies.

All out on Kitza Heli pool last night
It was good to see Matt and Beanie again and all the Russian staff.  We collected Jack M and headed to Kitza where we found the river had dropped out by 2 inches in less than 12 hours.  Heli pool produced one fish for Michael G before supper. Over at Middle they had 10 fish last night and there was rumour of two before breakfast also.

Pana Silver in the air
Today I’m heading out on the river to give Ian W some pointers on the art of spey casting and a trial with the Bill Drury Salmon outfit. It’s a great kit and the addition of a heavy tip has been invaluable this season with such big water.

I’m looking forward to typing this tomorrow with some really improved catches from all the camps.

Jack Selby