2013 ASR Salmon Season Summary

Posted on 13/09/2013

Dear friends of the ASR,

We have been having a very enjoyable time up here on the Northern Rivers lately! For in addition to the awe inspiring autumn colours, and the copious amounts of ripe blueberries and mushrooms, and that crisp clean arctic air, and those magical northern lights, this is also that special time of the year when the big spring salmon awaken and become aggressive again towards our boxes full of large coloured flies. And never forget about that added bonus of the big bright silver Osenkas that stir up the pools and along with our imaginations, as they work their way through the system.

Although we would normally have expected the high summer conditions to have given way long ago to odd cold front and those much anticipated autumn rains, this was unfortunately not to be the case and will officially go down in the records as the hottest and driest season since the camps were established some 22 year ago.

Nevertheless, and despite the ongoing indian summer conditions, our 3 Rivers program has provided some fantastic action again this season. In fact, over the last 3 weeks, there were 20 new personal best recorded that included a massive salmon of 47.4 (Kola Peninsula record for 2013?), 34 pound Osenka, and 33, 31, and 29.5 pounders.

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Looking at the season as a whole, while there was Charlie’s colossal salmon recently of 47.4 lbs and then another 10 great salmon over 30 pounds, along with just over 100 more that were larger than 20 pounds landed during the season, this was not a exceptional big fish year for the Kola Peninsula. The good news was that there were noticeably more mid sized salmon about this season as overall the Kharlovka camp landed 25.1% more salmon – and the Rynda camp 21.7% more salmon than last year!

However, we all know that there is a lot more to fishing than fishing! As well as the many old friends that we welcomed back to ASR during the season, we have enjoyed forming friendships with an encouraging number of new international guests experiencing the challenges and pleasures of our rivers for the first time. Many have been as captivated by the uniqueness of the rivers and the environment and have vowed to return. A good friend once reminded me that, “The philosophers tell us an essential ingredient of happiness is timelessness which applies to us when absorbed in our wonderful world of fly fishing amongst kindred spirits in harmony with nature.”

And finally, no summary of the season can be made without also reflecting the sadness that touched all of us during the season as a result of the tragic helicopter accident that occurred at Rynda in July. The loss of Rupert Beaumont, Mark Robertson and Alexander Dushenkov (Sasha) shocked us all but the warmth and support of so many of you, our friends, served to remind us of the unique spirit that seems to be generated by this special place. Whilst the Investigative Commission looking into the accident has yet to conclude its final report we remain as committed as ever to ensuring the highest standards of safety throughout our operations.

We are currently in the process of finalizing our fishing plans for the 2014 season. ASR invitations and applications will be sent out by the end of September. We are looking forward to fishing with you all again next season on the Northern Rivers! Justin