Kharlovka Fishing Week 25 – 2013
Last week the helicopter touched down on the Kharlovka pad and the same old smiling faces as usual came filing off to hug their guides and prepare for the exciting times ahead. Cabins were quickly claimed, bags unpacked and of course the flies were fiddled with before we managed to pull them all together for a hardy fish soup and draw for the beats.
Despite the approaching summer solstice with the longest days of the year, last week’s team arrived to dark arctic skies, heavy rains along with very cold temperatures in the low single digits. The rivers were on the rise for the first several days creeping up 10cm while the water temps dropped down to cool low of 7 degrees C over on the Litza. Unfortunately the clouds started to melt away on Wednesday with the temperatures soaring over 25+ degrees C again prompting the rivers to slowly recede back down to a perfect level of 23cm by our final day on the home pool scale.
While many of us are dedicated to our work, on the first Sunday evening our good Russian friend who had taken the Kharlovka house along with his own beat and guide for the week – had to amazingly depart and fly out on his private helicopter to return to his office after landing 5 nice salmon up to 25 pounds? The same was pretty much true for Sergey who landed several nice ones up to 20 pounds before getting called away half way through the week.
Nevertheless our remaining 11 men battled through to the very end landing a respectable 99 salmon on the week. It should also be noted that as we are only a couple kilometers from the sea that along with the fresh weather conditions, the vast majority of our salmon were bright chrome with long tailed sea lice.
It was a pleasure to see Sugai back again for the 25th time. Thankfully he will be able to add several more 20+ pounders and some spectacular photos to his upcoming salmon fishing memoirs. We would also like to congratulate our tall Dutch friend Harald who judging by the amount of time he spends playing with his flies, obviously dreams about the salmon all year and will not soon forget his 21 pounder late one night from the upper tent pool.
It was also reported that Ron’s reel nearly exploded again after his 50 minute struggle with a 26 pounder up at the Kharlovka falls. Meanwhile, Stewart and his mate Nick had a wonderful time including a new personal best 19 pounder during a squall down on the lower Kharlovka along with a couple of bright fresh 22 and 24 pounders for good old Stewart.
Honourable mention also goes out to David and Tim (his personal photographer) for their overnight effort in the Litza tent pool area landing 10 great salmon including a brace of 22 pounders.
Anatoly’s fly fishing skills are obviously improving every season where after warming up with 7 nice Kharlovka salmon up to 18 pounds, Anatoly had a memorable lunch with his good friend Vladimir along with a 25 pounder to make his day from the Litza tent pool.
However, our top honourable mention this week must go out to Vladimir who led the way with 15 salmon including a bright 27 pounder out of the lower canyon.
From the long white nights, to the lush summer tundra, to the enchanting return of the multi sea winter salmon – The northern Kola is without question a mystical land of contrasts and extremes.