Kharlovka week 28 ending 11th of July
We had another exciting week here on the Northern Rivers with great numbers of beautifully fresh fat summer salmon that ranged into the upper teens along with plenty of shinny grilse that were pouring into the system.
Vladimir and his son Vladimir both kick started the week off right by landing eight salmon each on the pools of the upper Kharlovka last Saturday morning before flying back to greet the new incoming guests and then departing on back home after lunch.
Following weeks of cool cloudy weather, last Sunday morning we awoke to summery conditions with bright sunny skies and temps into the twenties. Then after warming the rivers up to nearly 15C, the winds shifted back to the north again on Tuesday and the air temps plummeted back down in the single digits.
Fog and mist rose from the rivers until Thursday when the sun popped back out again leading to the warmest day of the season, with some sunburned faces and tropical temperatures into the high twenties. Then not surprisingly on the final afternoon, the weather flipped around again, rain clouds started to reappear on the horizon and the temp dropped back down into the single digits.
Never mind the weather, our latest group of seven lucky lads were absolutely delighted to hear that a group of six Russian businessmen had canceled at the last moment leaving the rest of us with many more pools to fish and salmon to catch than we were dreaming of. Two young son’s from one of the businessmen who were eager to learn how to fly fish were quickly despatched from Moscow to take their place, bringing our team up to nine.
Grigory who is 14 and his brother Alexander 13, both deserve special credit for showing up to learn how to spey cast which, together with the great assistance from their personal guides Jenya and Sergey, led the youngsters into their first 25 salmon ever. Stop the press – The boy’s father arrived back from Moscow just in time on the final evening to watch Grigory hoist this 36 pounder up for the snapping cameras.
Andre and Sasha and Alex, who all team up to manage the Farlows fly shop on Palace Square, also get honourable mentions for hooking about 10X more salmon than they managed to land. It fact, fishing mostly floating lines and skated flies during the first half of the week, that was the situation for most of the group. Nevertheless Andre and Sasha were more than pleased to join us here for the first time going on to catch 19 good fish. As this was Sasha’s first time fly fishing for salmon we would like to congratulate him on his new P.B. 15 pounder.
And then there were are close friends Justin MS and Mark who did consistently well everyday, fishing all levels of the water from both banks with dozens of deadly patterns to land a total of 37 salmon on the week. Although JMS, who was shooting more film than photos, landed more than twice as many good fish into the middle teens as his mate, it was their guide Kola who snapped the best shots.
With an odd number of boys on the team here last week, the camp manager slipped away with the rod and camera on Sunday and Monday to join his friend Michael and Big Alex for some quality control down through the pools of the upper Kharlovka that was followed the next day by testing out all the pools on the lower half of the Litza.
Those two magical days led to 21 salmon up to 20 pounds along with a couple of creative selfies – while Michael who has now fished with nearly all our guides, went on to have his “most enjoyable week ever” here with us landing another 22 for our team on the week.
The rivers are slowly dropping a couple centimetres a day down to a perfect summer level of 23cm along with a temperature of 13.6C. Although the weather was probably too pleasant most of the week for the boys to get their hooks set properly into the really big fish, we were all extremely pleased again to add another 205 salmon to the Kharlovka book. Next week Mikael Frodin will be here giving a Summer Master Class to a team of 14 internationals. With dark skies and mild temps forecasted to return, it should be very interesting to see what happens next.