Sunday 2 June 2019

Sunday Round Up

Yesterday we said goodbye to a lovely team of largely regular clients and they were happy to have enjoyed the fruits of their labours on their respective camps. Now in my 4th season of taking over from Charlie on the Murmansk change over day, it was great to see all our clients smiling and telling tales of the fish they caught as they checked in. Things have become extremely smooth in respect of departure and arrivals at Murmansk and it's great that so many faces are now totally familiar.
Nice fish from the Kitza
The speed of turn round between arrival and helicopters is so quick and smooth thanks to our excellent team on the ground that it felt like a heart beat and I was in the air with the Pana and Middle teams. We dropped in at Pana and caught up with old friends briefly before heading down to middle and frankly enjoying the warmer weather and good runs of fish.
The Argentinian Connection
On friday all camps fished well ending with 179 to 7 Icelandic rods for Pana. 12 rods at Middle Varzuga managed to catch 712 fish for the week despite some limited fishing hours due to both illness and horrendous wind and rain. Lower ended up with 353 for the week and I still await the final for Kitza but I know they had excellent fishing from speaking to Jamie K and Michael G at the airport.
Wading Essential
Many people think of the Varzuga system as the place you go to dangle your string in the water and the fish evict themselves onto the bank. But what really shows is those who can wade and cast a long line when needed tend to make their own luck. I hear a lot that the river is at an in between height. Whilst this can be considered to be true to a degree there are places where fishing a short line across the close in channel pays dividends too. There are always angles that you can exploit and that really explains the truth of Russian Salmon. If you work hard and think about the way the water behaves and the salmon within you will likely catch more than you ever expected.
Earlier in the season I was chatting to Peter W who mentioned that as he was fishing he realised he was continually watching his line come round and never took enough time to look around at the bigger picture. Here we are on an island with like minded Russian people whose passion is catching fish but also they have a great passion and respect for their wilderness and the wildlife that resides here in summer. Along with the occasional bear and elk we have seen 38 species of bird from waders to terns to bullfinches.
Ringed Plover at the top of the island
Today there is a bit of a breeze blowing drifting clouds through a pretty blue and sunny sky. The water has stopped rising and the fishing last night was great with lower catching 23, Pana getting 11 and Middle 32. This morning the river was 11 degrees here and the air was the same but would not be at least 15. We are fishing intermediate tips or full float with a slow sinking poly leader. I predict that by the middle of the week we'll be fishing a skated fly on full floating. Peter Rippin from the office fished a sunray for an hour last night but with no joy. I suspect that will change rapidly in the next days.
Peter Rippin at Bear
Next blog on Wednesday.

Jack Selby