Kharlovka Three Rivers week 37 ending 12th of September
The Kharlovka, Litza & Rynda/Zolotoya – Statistics for the final week of the season:
United Nations of: England, Russia, Italy, Finland, Austria, Sweden, Belarus
Number of Salmon: 129
Number of anglers: 12
Biggest fish: 26, 27, 28, 30, 30, 30 pounds
Rynda/Zolotoya: 41 salmon of which 3 over 20lbs
Litza: 54 salmon of which 8 over 20lbs
Kharlovka: 34 salmon of which 5 over 20lbs
Personal Best Fish: 4
Solid finish to a fantastic season! There were 7 flags proudly flying over the Kharlovka camp to welcome our latest group of international guests back for what would turn out to be another exciting, yet final week of the season. As all the boys will surely attest, including our 2 new friends Roberto and Alex, the group quickly bonded together making for an exceptional week of camaraderie and good sport.
Arriving on the back of last weeks rain storm which bumped the rivers up a much needed 6cm, the guests were also aided during the first few days by mild temps along mostly cloudy skies and short spells of light drizzle. This led to consistent fishing results for the group through about Wednesday when clouds thinned and the winds of change blew in with strong gusts on the final day up to 50Km/hr. Nevertheless, over the last 3 weeks the conditions have actually been rather mild for this time of the year as the air temps never did drop below zero with the rivers finishing with final mid Sept. reading of 11C.
Along with the accelerating darkness at night, it’s the cool temps towards the end of the season that activates the big spring salmon in addition to drawing in the bulk of the Osenkas (Fall run) to the system. While we hooked a few big bright silver ones and seem to see many more, we only managed to land a handful on the final days as often they would appear for a moment to liven up the pools before dissappearing again somewhere upstream. Nevertheless, their brief presense often lit the area up leading to a later hook up by one of the big spring fish.
Most of the pools on all the rivers were stuffed with jumping salmon and continued to produce right up to the final day, with the magical Litza coming on especially strong providing 8 great salmon to finish the last week ranging between 20 and 30 pounds. Most of the fish seem to be dropping back over recent weeks with the lower beats of the Kharlovka and Rynda rivers providing the majority of the action.
Honourable mentions this week start with our friend Chris for landing this thick 27 pounder out the Secret pool and also must go out to Roberto for his 27 pounder in Crack pool and also to Guenter for breaking his P.B. twice over the week with 20 and 22 pounders.
Always a pleasure to see the super Swedes Timo and Michael and Peter back again for the umpteen time? Although Timo went down with a cold early in the week which he ended up giving to his favourite guide Sasha before recovering again and going on to finish off strong with two dozen fish for him and Michael who together managed to land a couple over 20 pounds – unfortunately breaking off the biggest ones which after all the pancakes we fed them was really quite unacceptable!
Special mention also goes out to Richard who with the aid of Volodya his Russian guide along with the devotion of Sean C. his personal English guille, finally managed to break his long standing P.B. with this giant 30 pounder. It should also be noted that this big fish had been promised to Richard before his arrival as he decided to try his luck on one of the later weeks this season in the hopes – later to be convinced, that he would finally land the big one.
Our good friend Yuri also deserves special thanks! for producing Russia’s most popular fly fishing magazine, who together with his partner Alex, not surprisingly had a tremendous time cracking the code with their boxes full of deadly late season flies. Fishing everything in the box from Big Baldy variants to sexy sun rays, along with all the shrimps and golden killers, Yuri led the way with 19 salmon that included 5 great fish ranging from 20 to 30 pounds.
And last but not least – after missing the Helsinki charter flight to Murmansk and then having to scramble for a last second ticket to Ivalo in the far north, that was followed on by haling a cab for 5 hours across lapland to the end of the pavement where we met our good friend Markku right on cue with the chopper to transport him safely into camp to join the rest of the guests for a well deserved Saturday dinner. Come Sunday, Markku’s travel nightmares seemed to have been completely forgotten returning back to the lodge all smiles after landing a solid 26 pounder off the lower Kharlovka. Thankfully Markku went on to have a memorable week for all the right reasons landing 13 nice salmon including another good fish over 20 along with a most pleasing 30 pounder from the middle Litza to end this memorable season. Checking carefully on the final day for any stowaways, we made sure Markku didn’t miss his ride home!
We are pleased to report that the 3 Rivers program was a tremendous success!
Total for the 3 weeks of the 3 Rivers programme:
Number of Salmon: 479
Number of anglers: 39
Average fish per rod: 11.25
Biggest fish: 30, 30, 30, 30, 31, 35, and 36 pounds
Rynda/Zolotoya: 181 salmon of which 11 over 20lbs
Litza: 171 salmon of which 24 over 20lbs
Kharlovka: 122 salmon of which 13 over 20lbs
Personal Best Fish: 17 (43% of the guests!)
As all good things must end one day we have come to the conclusion of a magical season. It’s always exciting when you can look back and can say it was great success!
There were a total of 2626 salmon landed on the ASR.
Kharlovka had 44.5% more salmon than last year.
Rynda with a 20% increase on last year.
There were 1008 more salmon (38%) than 2012!
Big Fish Stats:
26 salmon greater than 30 pounds
54 greater than 25 pounds
205 over 20 pounds on the year (14% of the Kharlovka salmon)
Considering spring’s late arrival this season which led to exceptionally high water and extended cold testing conditions during the month of June, overall, we had an exceptionally jolly time with some tremoundous results. However, we all know that nothing great ever comes easy when salmon fishing above the arctic circle for without all the challenges the adventure would be routine. To be able to escape the boundaries of normal city life and return to this pristine angling paradise is nothing less than therapy for the soul.
Beyond all the encouraging numbers, it’s been an enormous privilege to spend another season here on the Northern Rivers and a pleasure to reconnect with all our old friends that we have made here over the years and to making some new ones we that we can look forward to seeing again next year. To conclude, we would again like to say ‘Bolshoy Spaseeba’ to our dedicated Russian team who without question went out of their way to make this wonderful experience all possible for us. After some 20 legendary years here on the northern tundra we are in the process of giving the famous Kharlovka lodge a much needed facelift including a fresh shell, new windows and roof along with an improved outdoor gathering area. Nothing on the ASR ever stands still for long, just as we reach a plateau it is time to start climbing again. For the team here, as well as for many of our guests, we are already looking forward to coming ‘home’ again next year.
As the land of the midnight sun prepares for another long winter’s sleep, it is time for us to depart and let nature takes its course. We remain dedicated to protecting these, some of the last of the wild Big salmon rivers. Under the close watchful eyes of our team of Special Forces, the ASR will now rest undisturbed once again, allowing these extraordinary fish to continue on their remarkable journeys.
For now, we have to say goodbye to this encouraging season feeling both grateful and content and with great reason – optimistic for the next! We are currently in the process of finalizing our fishing plans for 2015. ASR fishing invitations will be sent out by the end of September.
We wish all of you a safe and happy winter and look forward to fishing with you all again next season on the Northern Rivers!
Justin and Vladimir