Kharlovka Fishing Week 28 – 2013
Following nearly one month of non-stop hot sunny conditions, the weather finally broke just in time for the arrival of our latest group of guests. It was obvious from the very beginning when twelve of Vladimir’s best Russian fly fishing friends (along with good old English Joe) all piled off the big helicopter that we would certainly be in for a memorable week. Half of them we recognised straight away as they had been a part of the recent grand opening in St. Petersburg of Farlows on Palace Square.
Although we started out last Saturday with our normal 20+ degree temperatures for both the air (and the little bit of water that we have left in the river) – that night the skies finally darkened. Thunder and lightning were followed with much needed rains through the night. Unfortunately this seem to provide just enough moisture to wet the dry tundra and raise the river up one centimetre to -11cm on the home pool scale. Partly cloudy skies with short spells of drizzle and sun along with cooling temperatures that ranged from 10 to 20 degrees C followed for the remainder of the week. Although it was a bit breezy at times, with very few mozys left about recently, we couldn’t really grumble about the weather.
Adoring the best new fly fishing kit in the business, we wasted no time sorting out the beats and choosing the guides carefully to maximise our chances. As there were a couple of proud fathers and sons, and another half the group that were still learning to cast like champions, in addition to good old Joe who mentioned on the first night that he had caught a few salmon before in Alaska and also in Ireland – we were all absolutely delighted to land 81 atlantic salmon – in addition to multiple personal bests. Unfortunately rods were snapped and lines were severed again – as everyone seem to have a story about the big one that got away;)
Sun ray shadows, willie gunns and golden killers did most of the damage. It must also be said that the vast majority of our salmon were bright fresh in from the sea again. While our successes were pretty evenly spread out last week, honourable mention must go out to Vladimir S for catching his first 7 salmon up to 18 pounds on fly. While V.S. was not bothered about taking photos, thankfully we snapped a shot of his good friend Yuri with his bright silver PB.
We should also mention young Gregory’s memorable night at the Litza tent camp landing 5 salmon in a row on his willie gunn before finishing off with a 6th good sized salmon in the middle teens that exploded on his green bomber.
Ivan and his son Prokhor came back with smilies on their red faces everyday however their most memorable moment had to be on the upper Litza where Prokhor landed several great salmon on his hitched SR including a personal best 17 pounder. Unfortunately we are missing the photo of his big fish so we are replacing it with this quick release 13 pounder he had later on in the Dream pool.
Other highlights included Vyacheslav’s silver bar out of the rugged rock pool – in addition to our good friend Sergey’s nice 23 pounder that he caught on his secret fly from the Flat stone.
However it was Andrey that received the final toast last week with his feisty 24 pounder that he found lurking around down in the Litza Military pool.
And last but not least there was good old Joe who we called several times over the winter to warn him that this week was rapidly filling up with interesting characters. In addition to several nice salmon up into the middle teens, Joe finally memorized his first Russian word – Nastarovia!
Special mention goes out to all our great friends who fished and socialized every minute until the very end. In fact, last week gave new meaning to our nightly celebrations, where following long saunas and a tasty dinner that included countless toasts, we moved onto a high stakes putting playoffs on the new Kharlovka green.
With cooling temperatures, dark cloudy skies on the northern horizon, and plenty of bright silver splashing about – we are looking forward to another great week on the mighty Kharlovka.