Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Take me up the Indel

It has been scorching hot here. The river has dropped dramatically in the three days since we arrived here at Pana. We have lost 8 inches of water and things are getting rocky in places. That does not seem to bother the Salmon who are merrily running regardless and equally taking the fly.

Yesterday we joined Paul D and Hamish W up river at Ford pool. Paul had two nice fish and then Henry Crawford caught a lovely fish in lower Honey Pot. We have been catching between 40 and 50 fish per day here. Kitza are doing well with all happy clients but due to limited text availability at both camps I don’t have any ball park figures currently.
On Sunday Matt and I had a go at hitching a single on the Indel and raised a couple of fish. So after supper on the Monday Beaney, Henry, Matt and myself set off into the woods. Mark L was going to join but turned in instead, certainly an error. The mission was to get some footage up the Indel. We combined my tele lens with Matt’s camera and video skills and attached a tiny Icelandic style hitch fly on. I was sent into “wade” and hitch whilst Matt filmed. We managed to raise 4 fish, land 2 and film one take. Kind of a big deal.

A slightly shorter blog today as Henry and I have very generously been allowed to join Sasha on the float trip on the upper Pana. There was rain this morning and whilst this won’t change the river levels it will mean cooler air temps and a change is always good in fishing.

Jack Selby

Sunday, 16 June 2019

From Pana with love

Assuming this has worked, we are now at Pana which also means that something very sad has happened - we have closed Middle camp a week too soon. There were fresh fish running into Birthday pool as well as Party and Lower Generator was lifting with fish as we took off in the helicopter to meet this week’s Pana and Kitza clients in Murmansk.

Last week, all three remaining camps had excellent fishing. We caught beautifully fresh fish throughout the week and all indicators suggest this will continue this week at Kitza and Pana. I met all of the clients at Murmansk with smiling faces, tales of big fish getting away and more importantly, many fish landed. I’ve said it a lot but it’s so nice to get to know so many clients across the camps in this way as you get to see them set their goals and then realise they have achieved them during their week. Be it big fish, a number of fish from a certain pool or see a Greenshank there is a strong chance they will realise those dreams in a week on the Varzuga system.

Last week Pana continued to build on early week success and finished with 413 salmon to 8 rods. We have always expect bigger fish at Pana and she did not disappoint, especially from Ponzoi. Last night, shortly after we arrived, I watched Matthew R hook and play a lovely fresh salmon right below camp and call for his gillie Guy R to net it - the whoops and hollas were hilarious. A very respectable 7lb fish released and Guy R looked at me and proclaimed “that's the average fish we get here” Not much more to be said there.

Having bumped into Ian W and Charles W at the airport, it was obvious that everyone at Kitza had a great week. They said that fish were spread right throughout the beats and there were catching good numbers to the 7 rods each day. They ended the week on 305 and everyone said how well they’d been looked after by Hamish and Bryony. 

Something I’ve also started to notice is how many clients are experimenting with fast stripped flies or paying out line to cover a distant boil and this only really comes from good catch numbers.

At Middle we truly had an excellent week. Only fishing 7 rods meant there was too much water for our rods to cover. But it also rested a lot of often hard fished pools. Bear and Generator produced fish all week which led to a 425 fish total for the week. We had a brilliant day of 89 on Friday but this was mainly due to the relentless fishing effort put in by Jim C.  If it was not for out of hours fishing then James N and Howard E would likely have been fighting for his title of top rod.

More entertainingly Jaime S and his son Javier S decided not to bring any clothes with them but instead packed a whole pig and more cured meats and tins of Mejillones en Escabeche than I could possibly conceive. They kindly cooked a spectacular barbecue with some of the most delicious home grown pork ever.

It’s warm and sunny today with a mercifully brisk breeze keeping the bugs at bay. We are off down to Lunch pool today for a look at the river as well as some photo opportunities. I look forward to updating on Wednesday with some fresh Pana images.

Jack Selby