Kharlovka week 23 ending 5th of june
The mighty Kharlovka and Litza rivers are open and the salmon are rolling back into the system!
This season on the far northern coast, we opened with about 20% less snow pack than normal, in conjunction with the warm temperatures that arrived back in early May, the ice on the mighty Kharlovka broke up early on 12th May. Warm temps continued through the last half of the month melting the majority of the snow and ice before our arrival. This year we started out with on the first day with a river level of 59cm along with H20 temperatures of 2.5C – compared to last season’s record high opening conditions of 141cm with river temps of 2C.
It all began last Saturday when nine good old friends in addition to one jolly new ASR convert flew into the Kharlovka camp. Unfortunately, while there were three ‘naked men’ who arrived without their baggage, they were all greeted with a full selection of all the top gear to tide them over until we managed to get all their bags back into camp early week.
Although the boys arrived to beautiful bright blue sunny skies, with a light southern breeze and temps into the 20′s – looking back now, this was obviously the calm before the storm. By Monday, the clouds started to gather and the winds suddenly increased to gale force 25m/sec with gusts of approx. 100km/hr. By Tuesday, the clouds were beginning to clear however the high winds carried on making it almost impossible to get out a good line. Come Wednesday, the storm had subsided and we all woke up to calm sunny weather again with perfect fishing conditions.
However, this glorious day simply turned out to be the calm before the next storm as the dark clouds rolled back in bringing way to heavy rains leading to a substantial rise in the rivers of 24cm overnight into Thursday, bringing the rivers levels up 14cm more than the opening day of the season. Thankfully, the substantial precipitation along with the river levels began to drop again on the final day.
Like we always say, springtime as always been for believers only! With the arctic weather not surprisingly all over the place on the opening week, the fishing tactics included everything from ‘submarine lines’ of 900+ grains and snealdas on the upper beats, to floating lines and hitched sunrays between the storms on the lower pools.
There is something very special about leaving those first wader tracks and being the first ones to cast a fly down through the pools. While many of the large salmon managed to elude the team through the storms last week, including a couple of crocodiles estimated well into the upper 30 pound class, we all had a tremendous time battling the veritable spring conditions to go onto land the first 52 fresh springers of the season.
Highlights last week included our old friend Julian, who earn the right many years ago back in the late 90′s, to name Julian’s pool on the lower Kharlovka after a unforgettable day following series of large salmon. It was also a pleasure to meet our new friend Doug who besides landing 5 nice salmon, quickly blended into the rest of the veteran pack. And then there was Master class Mikael who not surprisingly landed more than his share of the catch everyday. There was also Hilli billi Iceland who taught us all a lesson that sunny Wednesday going onto land 8 mid sized salmon that included the first four of the season on a floating line and hitch sun ray. And last put never least, was Ingo who seem to enjoy every minute possible going onto land 9 very satisfying salmon on the week that included an 18 pounder for the road after dinner on the final evening.
There is something extra special about springtime above the arctic circle. Birds chirping straight through the bright nights, the soothing sound of water running everywhere, air so fresh that you instantly take notice, a pure silence that makes you reconsider your priorities. With plenty of weather and large salmon in the forecast again for next week, we are looking forward to everyday to come.