Friday 15 June 2018

A better day

Yesterday saw better catches over all three camps. The weather remained largely mild here and the wind held off a fair bit. There was a cold shower just before lunch but the stiff upper lip came through and we had a great Peartiha picnic bathed in lovely sunshine. For some the morning had been good including Steven H who had 4 from Golden Hole. He then managed a 5th from Clarks despite it having been thoroughly fished in the morning.

Charlie C with a cracking grilse

There has been no particular pattern to what has been working other than “fly in the water”. Steven had his fish on a cone head snaelda and Kevin on a tiny little green bodied willie gunn double. Some are fishing intermediate tips and others are fishing full float with a poly leader.
Peter W putting the Scandi to good use

Will G yet again doing the business

The thing that has surprised me most this year has been the weather. At the beginning of week 3 it was shorts weather and now here we are still layered up and wrapped up against the cold and wind. Whilst today is better there is nothing to say it wont change and there is still a chill in the upstream wind.
Steven H with one of many
 Pana have reported the river has finally stabilised much like us. The river came up another 2 inches yesterday but has since lost a half inch. Up at Pana they had 9 fish for the day with 3 from the float for Charlie T. Graham T had 2 and Patrick H got one from Ponzoi. James J had 2 on the home beat and James P had one.
Ralph C up river
Over at Kitza they had had 15 on Wednesday and yesterday fortunes were up with 18 fish. However Ollie reported that the fishing actually felt less fruitful with less fish hooked and lost for those they caught. Bryan P and Richard G had one each from Clay View and Richard went on to land 4 from Shute and Spey Bank. Ian B had 2 from Gold Mine. Alan M had 3 from Boat Pool as did Mark L.
Kevin C with a splendid deep fish
There must have been something in the air last night as both Kitza and Middle had a Kitchen Party. Ollie’s team seem to have dressed him up as a girl and put lipstick on him. I look forward to seeing the pictures. Here the team looked a little jaded this morning but all went out with true grit and determination.
Only blog safe image from last night
For those heading out today layers and bug spray is the key and a flexible set up because what 2018 has proved is there is no predicting the weather, river or fish.

Jack Selby

Thursday 14 June 2018

Up a foot

Once again Kitza held it’s own yesterday mainly due to the lake that feeds the bulk of the river protecting them from a sharp rise. We had sparse moments of glory but the river rose all day meaning for many fishing was tough. The nice gravel bars we had been fishing are now too deep in most cases but the likes of Birthday and Peartiha are now back in play and for Brendon G this was a winner banking 2 fish over 10lbs in weight. Will G got a fish in the morning from the upper river and Peter W christened his new line with a brace from Dunkery Corner.
Brendon G with a cracking fish from Generator
There were certainly a few fish running yesterday with reported sightings right through our beats but they were not hanging around to chase flies. We are all hopeful that the rise in water will bring a few more of the pods of fish into our beats to replace those running up.
12" rise in the last 48hrs
Ralph C with a lovely fish from up river

If the fish are running hard I hope they are heading for Pana as they had another tough day yesterday with 3 fish for the team. Conditions were very tough with cold air temperature and a rising river all day. Patrick H and James P were up river on the float section and landed one each and James J had a fish before a picnic lunch.
Brendon G with Peartiha fish 1
Brendon G with Peartiha fish 2

The weather yesterday was pretty cold but lunch at Peartiha seemed to be in the only warm spell of the day. We had a lovely sunset last night so Will G, Charlie C, Jason S and myself took the big boat down to Party to skate a sunray. We did have a fish boil at the fly but it missed by a mile and eventually we decided a beer by the fire was the smarter choice.
Azar once again joined us for a picnic at Peartiha
This morning it is milder and the sun is out. The water is currently 9 degrees and with the rise in the river we are fishing slightly heavier with larger flies. Whilst it’s great for boating and certain pools I’m just crossing everything that it brings a bunch of new fish into the system and more over all the beats.

Jack Selby

Wednesday 13 June 2018

Up she rises

As predicted the river has come up 7 inches since yesterday morning. The rise will make boating easier but wading trickier. The recently introduced water has also forced the temperature down to 9 degrees. Whilst the rising river did not stop us catching it certainly slowed things up added to a very strong wind. For those who know the river well Clarks corner can be very tricky in strong wind with it seemingly coming at you from every direction.
Will G with a lovely fish from Party Rocks
Kevin C and Karen C toughed it out up there in the morning until the cold took it’s toll and they returned for a well earned rest by the fire. In the afternoon it was also extremely cold and windy but they fished the full session and Kevin was rewarded with 2 lovely fish.
Kevin C and Sasha with a lovely fish from Fortress
Jason S took top rod for the day with insider information from Will G for two fish at Party rocks and a fish from Snake Pit. I waded out to the middle of the river to see Peter W who seemed to be struggling with the wind. It turned out someone had “Custom Tuned” his shooting head and one cast showed me it was not well weighted to the rod. I waded back and brought him my Rio Scandi head which he declares is an utter pleasure to cast. Think that line will be heading home with Peter.

Ralph C all set to go

Another cracking selfie from Brendon G
We ended on 13 yesterday but somehow it had felt like more. There was certainly a pod or two of fish about and there were quite a few fish lost for those landed. I imagine the rising river triggered a few fish to run. Now we just have to hope enough of these new fish stick around for the next two weeks.
Camp pets are nesting on cabin 3
Steven H showing off his Snap T
Kitza had a slower day but still managed to land 18 fish. They reported heavy rain in the morning followed by heavy wind. Ian B had 6 fish with 3 from Clay View, Bryan P had 4 also with 2 from Clay View giving them a boat total of 10 fish. Josh C caught 2 with a 15lbs fish from Rackmans. Charles W had 3 from Beaver Pit and Sergei’s. Pana reported 6 fish landed due to the rising river.
Jason S with a cracker from Party rocks
This morning it was sunny with a clear sky but still 7 degrees. There is a down stream wind and it’s slowly clouding over. We are however having a picnic lunch at Peartiha again unless the heavens open.

Jack Selby

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Wet, wet and wet.

I awoke very early this morning to the sound of very heavy rain on the cabin roof. It proceeded to rain hard through the night and is this morning drifting between heavy showers and light rain. The air temperature is down but water temperature is still 11 degrees. Everyone has gone out despite the onslaught but the “lunch” will be at camp today for sure and I suspect quite drawn out.
Kevin C and Guide Sasha with a cracking fish
Yesterday was quite windy at times but relatively mild and after a disappointing morning a fair few fish were caught across the board with Jason S catching 4. Many of the fish were fresh and it seemed the short spell of action was timed from the bottom beats to the top and those in the right spot had a relatively busy spell. Will G had 3 for the day as did John G. I headed out to see Steven H and Chris S and take some photos. 2 fish jumped in front of me, then Chris hooked one which in turn caused another to jump. Sadly it did not hang on but I got a nice picture of the bent rod.
Simmons wading
Kitza had another great day with 35 fish landed. Richard G had 8 fish with 4 from Clay View, Brad had his first ever Salmon in Sasha’s followed shortly by his second. Mark L had 5 including a lovely 12lbs fish from Chopper Island. Joch C had a great morning with 3 from Sasha’s and 2 in Piddling Pool. Kitza are also reporting a deluge today and their first mosquitos. To be fair I had expected to see these much sooner but the cold weather I think has held them back. Pana had a mixed day with strong wind but they landed 17 with Charlie T getting 10 to his own rod.
Charlie C with a fish from up river
Brendon G with a selfie in Generator
Last night I took the younger members of the team out for a fish from the boat in Party. We anchored up with a few beers and fished out either side with an occasional 3rd rod fishing deeper. It was a nice evening as the wind dropped and Will G and I did some casting tuition. Once we got his shooting head working as it should he was zipping it out and hooked a fish towards the draw off the side of the gravel bar. My deeper line also managed to get a hook up and a few other knocks to boot. Being a shallow river there are not many deeper holes that can be fished this way but Party is still one.

Will G into a fish on Party bar from the party boat
Will G's reward for tweaking his casting
Between yesterday morning and supper last night the river had only dropped quarter of an inch and when I checked it this morning it had regained that quarter. I will keep an eye during the day but so long as the river does not colour a rise can only be a good thing. Not only stirring things up but meaning we can get about in the boats more easily over the coming weeks.

Jack Selby

Monday 11 June 2018

Well done Kitza.

Yesterday started warm here at middle. The wind was low and the sun was out. As I sat to type the blog out on the steps of our lodge I was really warm. Then the cloud rolled in and it was remarkably cold still. We had a mixed morning with 1s and 2s here and there; much as we saw last week.
Picnic lunch at Peartiha
By lunchtime we had still air and the warm sun was back out. We had a picnic lunch on Peartiha beach which certainly ran on longer than usual as people warmed up and rested. After lunch the same was true of the fishing except Kevin C who had hold of 5 in quick succession but sadly only landed 2. Brendon G’s unwavering determination out of hours paid off and he had 3 fish from Generator. We ended up with 14 for the day with a couple of fish in the 10lbs range.
Brendon G having success round the island
Over at Kitza they had some sport all through the beats. Bryan P had a splendid day with 8 fish landed. 2 fish from Shute, 4 from Green Glide and 2 from Gold Mine. Josh C had 4 with 3 of those coming from Sergei’s. Ian B had 5 fish and Alan M had 3 with one of about 10lbs from Heli pool. Ollie reports than many of the fish are still fresh which is great news. We often expect Kitza fish a little later so this is expected. Here at Middle we are still catching a few fresh ones along with a good number that came in just after the ice break.
Ivan watching like a hawk as John G gets to grips with Simmon's
Pana landed 17 for the team, Charlie T and his fishing partner Andrew G landed 5 fish each from the tail of the lagoon down to White Rock. They reported losing a fair few fish too. Graham T landed his first ever Russian Salmon on the float trip and his fishing partner also landed one. The river is in perfect condition and is dropping slowly.
Wading out on the bar
Yesterday we had rather a number of live jackets go off. None actually from proper swimming but from a stumble or slipping from a rock. The wading here is not as easy as many people tend to believe with big shiny rocks hiding down every run. However wading a bar in the middle of such a huge river is a truly amazing way to fish.
John G rewarded on Simmons
This morning it is mild and still but over cast. We lost one inch of water in the last 24hrs and the water is still 11 degrees. Whilst colour does not seem to matter, with all sorts of flies being fished (many I have never seen or heard of before,) size certainly does and those catching most consistently are fishing size 8s or 10s. Whilst things can change very quickly in the wilderness it would be wise for anyone heading out next week to pack a few 8s,10s and 12s in their fly box as well as the usual size ranges.

Safe release
Whilst the blog is not really designed for personal requests I promised Kevin and Karen that I would send their love to sons James and Charles. They are having a wonderful time here and keeping everyone up beat and positive.

Jack Selby

Sunday 10 June 2018

Extremely Jolly Teams

Saturdays will never be the same. Prior to Charlie returning to the UK my Saturdays were rather civilised. Wave goodbye to the clients, polish off the rest of the bacon and back to bed for a sleep. Not so this week. I headed out with a very cheerful team from here at Middle and collected a somewhat jaded (and bruised) team from Pana. On arrival in Murmansk everyone was very positive about their weeks and despite not being as productive as we have seen in the other years everyone had worked hard and been fairly rewarded.
James H-B had a great week at Pana
I found Bill and Ceri in a somewhat monosyllabic state and quickly deduced the magnitude of their end of season party. To their credit they had brought me the supplies I had requested and it was sad to say goodbye. There were still a fair few of the Gremikha clients (the lower Yokanga camp) in the departures hall and so it was good to catch up with them and hear of their 75kms boulder scrambles to get to the pots and pools where monsters lie. Paddy V was elated but exhausted.

Hugh M returns a spanking fresh grilse on Simmon's
 Having done change overs last year there were many familiar faces at arrivals and it made for a quick and easy handling process. Sasha was a wonderful help as ever and we had Middle and Kitza on the helicopter in double quick time. Fishing here was pretty much as standard last night with Jason S catching 2 fish and a total of 6 fish. What was positive was there were 2 fish caught from Bear which was little fished last week so well rested. Pana reported 4 fish but seemed more concerned with the rugby result and Kitza only reported that the helicopter whiskey took it’s toll on a few of the team (see image below)
Mark L fuelling his helicopter ride
Reflecting on last week we had 518 fish over the 4 camps and this was in the face of extreme weather and some really bizarre conditions. Here at middle the river came up 6” over the week and Pana was reporting hail and sleet and gusting wind most of the week. Water temperatures dropped and air temperatures plummeted but still we managed to do a bit better. There are still fresh fish coming in and whilst they might have raced through Lower there still providing Kitza, Middle and Pana with a gentle stock. I don’t ask much but if we could keep the water level and fish run constant for the next few weeks it would be a lovely way to end the season.
Pana camp from the air
This morning is mild with a gentler wind and we are planning to be back at Peartiha for lunch. I have a resident bird expert in the form of Chris S and so I am looking forward to hearing what he has found and showing him my pictures of the Ruffs. Water temperatures are back to 11 degrees and we only lost quarter of an inch in the last 24 hours so floating lines and small doubles are the norm with a few people on an intermediate poly leader or tip. A red fly seems to have been the popular choice and I suspect now it will bear fruit as everyone adopts this. Bucking the trend was Julian G who caught his fish on a green highlander. I’m now off to Simmon’s to see how things are going and take some more photos. A truly beautiful part of the river.

Beanie doing what she does best

Jack Selby