Kharlovka week 28 ending 13th of july 2018
This week we welcomed a hugely international group of fishermen to Kharlovka Camp, where our tent poles were adored with the flags of Russia, the United States, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia and Japan. It’s a wonderful thing when a love of salmon fishing is able to connect people from all corners of the globe.
Fishermen were greeted by extremely favourable overhead conditions at the beginning of the week – overcast skies and cool air temperature, paired with a 12C water temperature meant that catches on day one and two were excellent – 21 fish on the first evening alone. At dinner on day one, we were pleased to be able to toast our new friends from South Africa and the United States who wasted no time at all in landing their first ever Atlantic salmon – always an achievement to be celebrated!
At breakfast on day two we received news that one British rod who spent the first night at Litza tent camp took 11 fish on the first day – a fantastic evening’s fishing.
Fortunately the favourable river and weather conditions persisted on day two with a good mix of fresh multi-sea winter fish and sea-liced grilse taking the fly very aggressively. Another first Atlantic salmon was landed by the younger of our two South African guests, a fine 15 pounder from Kharlovka Falls pool. It’s fair to say that the river is now fully populated with salmon from the sea to the falls, with every likely-looking lie holding a fish. When a glimmer of sun shone through the clouds, guests reported seeing rows of fresh salmon lined up below the Kharlovka falls when looking down from a high vantage point, making it possible to watch from above as a fish took the fly.
Sadly, the cloud cover dissipated on day three and, despite some optimistic rumours that it would return later in the week, it never did. Conditions became more challenging as the river level fell, air temperature soared into the twenties and the water temperature increased to almost 18C. Catches slowed slightly but fishermen focussing their efforts on faster, more oxygenated water continued to catch fish. Across both systems, large runs of fresh grilse provided great sport if you could get your fly into the faster moving pockets. All rods reported sea-liced grilse in excellent condition – fat from successful feeding at sea and shaped like silver torpedoes.
Golden Killers, Cascades, Sunray Shadows and small hitch flies accounted for most fish, with small dressed doubles such as Green Highlanders also taking fish in the low water. Our Swedish guest found fish willing to rise to dead-drifted Bombers on the East Litza, as well as getting creative with rubber-legged nymphs to tease fish out from deeper holes during the bright, sunny weather.
The two largest fish of the week were caught on day three by our Norwegian and Japanese duo fishing on the East Litza. A 25 pound fish fell to a Golden Killer in the Spawning pool, while Military pool yielded a 24 pounder on a Sunray-Monkey.
In all, despite low water conditions and bright sunny weather, our international group of 11 guests managed to put 193 fish in the book. We look forward to inviting our United Nations of fishermen back next season!
Tight lines from Jonny at Farlows Travel and Team Kharlovka!