Kharlovka week 23 ending 3rd of June 2016

Posted on 06/06/2016

Springtime on the far northern coast is for believers only – and this season, with some hard work, determination, and a lot of luck, all their dream came true!

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Please click on any of the pictures to enlarge them.

Last Thursday we packed up the helicopters in St. Petersburg with all the secret flies and kit to start the season. We flew 1015km for a total of 7 hours, stopping the first time to rendezvous with our fuel truck on the only highway going north in the middle of the vast forest, then again in Umba after crossing the White Sea. It became ovbious when we stopped to stretch the legs on the southern Kola surrounded by lush birch with bright sunny skies and temps of 15C, that we would soon be arriving back to the far northern coast with prime conditions to start the big season.

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Last Saturday we got the party started welcoming back two Danish friends that were returning to settle the score with the springers, two Americans who ended up giving lessons on how to cast, along with four crazy Fins that were followed by three more crazy Finnish TV crew. With opening day water temps of nearly 10C and low water levels that started at 46cm and dropped over the week down to 28cm, it was Rock and Roll all day and much of the night from start to Finnish!

Honourable mention goes out to Ulrik for behaving so well and also for returning again to persevere including that memorable day on the Litza before the storm started to roll in that resulted in back to back to back salmon of 14, 15, and 20 bright fresh pounds. Allan, his partner in crime also makes the headlines for breaking one of his double hooks off in the mouth of a 30+ pounder. The next day he redeemed himself with a cracking 27 pounder even managing to press the button on his chesty video confirming this feisty fish took him to the limits of his 300 meters of backing. Tip – next time start running after it earlier or hold your ground and gamble with more backing! Then on the final day, after landing a couple of 15 pound beauties from the Kharlovka Falls, a great wind seemed to gust just as Allan was making a mighty backcast with his own rod – the line wrapped around our Loomis camp rod-reel-line sitting on the bank behind him – as Allan swung forward with everything he had launching the entire lot into the center of the rapids – never to be seen again..

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While Chuck and Peter could both cast like a golf pro hit a drive, Peter had the magic touch last week landing 15, 17, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 20, 28 pounders. That’s a lot of silver! We wouldn’t be surprised to see Peter back again next year.

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In addition to nearly setting a new beer drinking record, heading off each morning with backpacks that outweighted the guides, the Fins also seem to have the knack of finding the big salmon!

As quoted and Liked last week on ASR facebook page by about 150 other fishing fans – Yee Haa! Jari somehow managed to slip this 108cm – 35lb. salmon into the net midway down the rapids before his home made Francis dropped out of its mouth. Welcome to the ASR Big fish club!

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While all four of the fishing Fins (as well as the 3 TV crew) had their succusses, its looks like young Klaus will be the star of this episode landing 11 salmon averaging 16 pounds with a 21 pounder as icing on the cake. Unfortunately while there were many cameras present, they forgot to leave us any photos of Klaus. And speaking of cake – Happy Birthday again to Sampsa the video man who also seem to be able to cast with the best and needed to call in the rest of the crew to take over filming the film man for 8 salmon including including a couple of 23 and 24 pounders. Even the programs legendary producer Mika was able to get in on the big show when the sun came out with a 24 pounder from the Kharlovka Falls. Kikkelii!

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We had a lot of fun last week landing a total of 53 salmon – 14 were over 20 – with an average weight of 17 pounds for the week.

Year after year, it is always an enormous pleasure to return to Russia’s far northern arctic coast back to the mighty Kharlovka! Spring is that special time of the year that marks the beginning of a 45 day cycle of polar days with 24 hours of light when everything noticeably switches back into high gear on the tundra. The salmon are rolling back in – reindeer herds are on the run – birds chriping through the long white nights, the tundra turning green before your eyes. The bonus is being greeted by the same Russian staff that has called the ASR home for more than 25 years. For me personally and I’m sure many would agree, there is no greater contrast or escape to the hecktik pace of the big city life back home.

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Special thanks from the ASR to our new friends Mika and TV crew from Arktiset Vedet – Arctic Waters. We are looking forward to seeing the national and international TV episodes that are scheduled to be released later this fall. Stay tuned for the trailer that will be uploaded to our ASR site hopefully by July.

Justin