Friday 29 June 2018

Kitchen Party

Last night went just a little bit, slightly Turbo! An overcast day certainly created some action but mainly for Sean M. He landed 2 fish, one from Clark’s and one from Green Bank.
Sean M with a great fish at Clark's
To celebrate Sean decided that he would create a kitchen Party and with little resistance from anyone else he took down Gordon B with him. One thing I can be sure of is he won’t catch any fish where he is this morning!

Another for Sean M
Despite tough fishing conditions we have had a wonderful week here at middle. We have a reduced team but the team is still working hard.
Middle Camp by air
Jana, Natasha and Ura were set to painting detail yesterday. Millie and Luda have separated the over stock and Mischa has now taken the last of the extra supplies back to Varzuga.
Painting detail
It’s easy to think lightly of all these jobs but without our wonderful Russian team we would literally have no way to look after our clients. It’s a heavy debt we owe these hard working and ernest people.
The morning after
Today we have rain, the river has only dropped 2 inches and is down to 13 degrees. Let’s hope to end on a high.
Over stock
Jack Selby

Thursday 28 June 2018

Stumped by the sun

Yesterday remained true to it’s 4am start with building heat and bright sun. Never a great mixture for fishing. The water temperature came up and the fish had sun in their eyes all day.

Paul P hard at work
The Fantastic Four seemed less than fantastic when they arrived back last night having fished very hard indeed all day. They had covered pretty well every pool they could and were very keen to double check today’s forecast still remained.
Despite a blank day Paul P and Sean M headed out into the cooler evening air and fished hard after supper. Sadly it was not to be.
Floors and doors up for repair
This morning we have cloud, a little rain, air temperatures below 20 degrees and some impressive confidence. Fingers crossed for a change of fortune.
Cabin 5 with a new shiny floor
Mischa and Ura 1 have been busy repairing the client cabins with renewed floors where needed, repairs to doors and they have rebuilt the guide team’s deck area. Previously if I leant on the balustrade it was all I could do not to go over. Now it’s a work of art.
New guide quarters deck area
Hopefully the cloud will make all the difference today and the dedication of this intrepid team will be rewarded.

Jack Selby

Wednesday 27 June 2018

Another Scorcher

Yesterday was again roasting hot. The day started with an air temperature of 18 degrees but the sun was streaming down from 4am. There was a great debate as to whether changing fishing hours might help.

Paul P with a lovely fish at Pasha's
It was decided that, as generator had been the best chance of some action, normal hours would remain and if early morning conditions were good it was best to fish generator rather than be out on the river and similarly in the evening.

Captured on the GoPro
Paul P had a nice fish from up river and a few others were lost. Paul has a vast number of GoPro cameras and has footage of almost all of the week’s fishing. As long as he keeps catching I will get Images for the blog.

Ura happily doing what he loves best
 It’s easy as a client staying on the island for a week to forget about what happens outside of that short week. Equally as a manager it’s easy to forget about what happens outside my 8 weeks here.

Winter caretaker accommodations
Of course the supplying of engine parts, kitchen equipment, drinks orders etc. play a big part of my winter but when it comes to the island it’s easy to imagine it just left to the wild.

All paths lead to the water or ice
This of course could not be further from the truth with a full time security detail provided by the village. They have a cozy little cabin, a banya and a small boat. Once the river freezes they can collect supplies from the village and receive delivery of firewood. I know a lot of people who would thrive on this kind of roll.
Miniature Banya for once
Today is again jolly hot. The river is down 2.5 inches again and the water temperature is 16. The forecast for tomorrow is showers and rain on Friday. Let’s hope that materialises early.

Jack Selby

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Casting Salmon

Yesterday the weather started off well with overcast skies and light showers. The fishing on paper was better with 4 fish landed and Gordon B landing 2 on a fly tied by previous Middle Camp client and his brother Ian B. However for these 4 fish there were less takes and lost fish.
Sean M's fish from Clarks
Clarks performed well though and 3 of the fish were taken there. Red is starting to form a bit of theme in fly choice now and I’m sure this will slowly be self fulfilling.
Paul P with one from Clarks corner
Yesterday Paul P had a good battle with a fish that was almost at the bank when everything went slack. Resigned to the loss Paul made an attempt to recast and found his fly had snagged the bottom. He made a few more powerful attempts before the snag woke up again and took off out to the deeper water once more. I feel slightly bad for telling this story but Gordon B has the whole thing on film.
Golden Eye ducks at Party
With the change of the season we have seen the bird life evolve with Barrow’s Goldeneye, Wigeon, Scoters and Mergansers arriving first as the ice broke.
Goosanders over Generator
 Soon after the Ringed Plovers, Greenshanks, Sandpipers and Ruffs appeared.
Ruffs at the top of the island
We now have a number of juvenile Goosanders, a Red Throated Diver and a White Tailed Eagle keeping us company.

This morning the sky is blue but there is a nice breeze to keep the bugs moving and the water temperature is 15 degrees. The river has dropped by 2.5 inches making certain wades much easier and longer.

Jack Selby

Monday 25 June 2018


Thankfully this morning we have some cloud cover as yesterday was utterly scorching. The sun beat down and the wind blew. Both boats headed up river to fish opposite banks.
A fish from upriver
Paul P and Sean M fished hard in the bright conditions to lose a few and land 1. This added to Sean M’s fish first thing put him on 2 which was the total for the day. Paul R and Gordon B also reported a number of lost fish but Gordon managed to land a pike.

Whilst wading opposite Gordon B, Sean M slipped in for a dip and looking over to the far bank saw Gordon also having a swim. I never encourage swimming here let alone synchronised. Luckily the sun soon had them dry but not before the Mosquitoes had taken their fill.

Sean M on Generator
Last night everyone headed out after dinner and Gordon and I went down to Party to skate a sunray and a bomber. Sadly the only thing interested was a grayling only marginally bigger than the bomber but it was a beautiful night.
The team at Middle
In Murmansk on Saturday I was told off (indirectly) by Lucy as her mother had declared the blog to be “all about fishing”. With this in mind I am going to aim to do a section on other topics each day this week.
Meadow Crane's Bill
There are an amazing variety of wild flowers here and as the globeflower and forgetmenots go over we now have wild raspberry, violets and crane’s bill starting to come in. Sadly we won’t see what comes next or the beautiful colours of autumn that always splash the tundra with yellow, red and browns.

Jack Selby

Sunday 24 June 2018

The Fantastic Four

Yesterday in Murmansk we said goodbye to the Pana team and the Kitza team. Both were looking a little worse for wear but not nearly as bad as I had expected. Matt, Beanie, Ollie and Lucy are all now safely back to their respective home countries (well Matt is probably in transit still) and we are the last remaining camp here at Middle. We have a reduced Russian team having said goodbye to Ivan, Vova and Sasha on the helicopter yesterday.
A lovely Kitza salmon from last week
Last week here at Middle the river continued to rise and we landed only 3 fish on Friday leaving us with a total of 48 for the week. Jon P had one from Bear… again and Gordon M had one on a 1 inch Willie Gunn. Despite tricky fishing conditions with bouts of heavy rain, howling wind and flat calm mosquito time everyone fished hard by day and played hard by night. Certainly the largest dent in our beverage stocks of the season and some hilarious jokes to claim as my own!
Kitza camp in full bloom
Pana finished up on 56 fish with a respectable 12 on the last day. Everyone seemed pretty up beat in Murmansk as they had enjoyed a really fun week with a few fish each and some great memories as ever.
Kitza grilse
Kitza ended up with 94 to 5 rods, many of which came from Paul R’s rod effort. The last day they landed 16 fish with Jose M getting 9. The Kitza team were very happy with their week’s fishing and they reported landing sea-liced fish even on the Friday. Whilst Kitza is very much a later river, on account of it being colder water from the lake, it’s nice to see the run still coming.
Final change over of 2018
We are down to 4 rods here and 4 very determined and skilled rods they are. Paul R had a fish from the pot above Bear before we arrived back to camp (especially impressive since we made it back in double quick time). Everyone set out to fish last night with Gordon B heading to Bear and Sean M and Paul P coming to Generator with me. They fished hard before supper and Sean had hold of one.

After supper Paul P and Sean M headed back out and landed 4 fish making a Saturday total of 5 to 4 rods. Paul P had 3 of them. This morning before breakfast Sean M landed one more fish so we are already doing pretty well for one afternoon and evening. This morning everyone is off up river splitting the beats left and right and allowing for the whole of the rest of the river down to the island should things be slow up top.

Despite Friday evening blowing a howling gale and nailing it down with rain the river only came up another inch and is now pretty clear. The water temperature is 16 degrees and we have blue skys and hot sun. Small flies and long leaders are this team’s special skill so I am hoping we should see a reasonable return this evening.

Jack Selby