Kharlovka Fishing Week 26 – 2012
At these sort of northern latitudes one should expect a bit of veritable weather over the course of the week however we have been battling extreme shifts in the conditions for the last fortnight. Last week’s gang of 14 old friends and new faces arrived to low cool rivers, blazing sunny skies, warm southern breezes and pleasant temperatures of 25 degrees C. Without a cloud in the sky, this is how it would remain until Tuesday when the barometer finally started to drop and the dark clouds began to roll back in. Heavy rain and cool gusty winds followed for the next 24 hours. Then for the remainder of the week we were faced with warm rising rivers and cool air temps. At one point the river temperature was at 16.3C while the air temperature was at 5 degrees C. And let’s not forget about the wind which seemed to accelerate through the week. Before it was all over the rivers had risen up 13cm to a final day reading of 19cm on the home pool scale – which puts us just about back to average for this time of the year.
Although the fishing conditions have been quite challenging lately, we really needed the rains to freshen up the tundra and to put a bit of flow back in our swing. Despite the rising rivers we managed to land half of our 60 salmon on the final 2 days of the week leaving everyone with a smile and a few memories to get them through the year.
Vladimir started the week off by inviting his friend Ilya to drop by the Litza Tent camp for breakfast and a few casts. Following a short debate with Valentine about which color and size the Sun Ray should be – Ilya was immediately whisked off to his favorite spot overlooking the Barents Sea on the Military pool of the lower Litza. As amazing as it might seem, there were very few minutes during his one hour in the pool that he was not fighting a great salmon.
Like a heron working down the right bank he brought a 20, 22, and a 24 pounder back to back to back into Valentine’s net before boarding his fancy new helicopter and disappearing over the hills again to the south.
As usual the Kharlovka veterans who return year after year always seem to have the advantage. Last week it was Big John with his tasty Finnish hot sauce that managed to pick a couple of nice fish a day who was quoted with a sharp Yorkshire accent – “which is really all you need when they’re this size!” While John has landed countless 20+ pounders here along with a special fish or two over 30, he was happy to pick up another 10 hard earned salmon last week including 3 more over 20 pounds.
While wind and rain don’t really make for great pictures, unfortunately there didn’t seem to be many photographers in the bunch last week?
Upon drying out his kit from the long soggy day and enjoying one of Oleg’s juicy BBQ’ed steaks, our new friend Gena set out after dinner with nothing more than his life vest, a stick and pocket full of Sun Rays for a few casts down in the Lower tent pool. Now just out of screaming distance, Gena suddenly hooks into a monster and remembers that he left his camera back on the drying rack. His great salmon reportedly charged around the pool for 30 minutes before Gena was able to contain it in a small pocket along the bank. Although Gena forgot his new camera back in the tent, he thankfully had his tape measure going on to record a length of 108cm. Estimating this Litza salmon to be around 33 pounds, it is a shame we don’t have a big bright photo for you as this salmon was fresh from the sea with lice!
Special mention also goes out to the Americans, Alex and Jim who did not even come close to beating Russians in chess! Although Big Alex managed to finish small Alex off in a matter of minutes, with small Alex going behind after the first move of his pawn, our new American friend did go on to land a great 22 pounder on his single hand rod!
Egor was another one who did well last week pulling seven nice salmon into Volodya’s net up to 20 pounds. And so did Matt who works in the city and says he enjoys just being here. “My 19 and 20 pounds, plus the memories of all the ones we had nearly had on the surface – were simply icing on the cake!”
And if you can beat them then join them! One bright sunny morning just before the rain storm was about to arrive, Vladimir decided to invite his good friend Bruce out for some trout and char fishing way up on the tundra. It was like a Chinese fire drill, with the two of them running and hopping about on the boulders pulling in one after another. Of course it does help if you own the helicopter and you can jump around and hit a couple of the hot spots. By the time it was said and done and we were all starving for lunch at 4 o’clock, the two boys had pulled in some 10 beautifully tasty char and about 30 tundra browns up to about 1.5 kilos.
We are using small flies and tubes of all sorts – also Sun Rays and bombers. The rivers are currently at a level of 18cm on the home pool scale with a temperature of 13.5C. We are predicting a productive week with more big salmon to come as the weather seems to be calming down…