Kharlovka Fishing Week 29 – 2012

Posted on 20/07/2012

While the vast majority of the staff have been claiming the Kharlovka camp as their ‘home’ for more than 15 years now and might have thought that they had pretty much seen it all before, last week reminded us again just how extreme Mother Nature can be when you come to live and play along the far northern coast.

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We started out the week searching for our oils and sprays again with bright sunny skies and the temperatures soaring to 30 degrees in the shade. With the rivers flowing low at a mere 4cm on the home pool scale, by Tuesday afternoon we had reached the highest water temperatures of the season with a concerning reading of 19.8 degrees C. Although it might have been better Bone fishing weather to begin the week, that afternoon the skies turned black with the guests had to take shelter from an impressive thunder and lightning storm.

Overnight the temperatures suddenly plummeted back down into the single digits, blanketing the coast with a thick layer of fog, making it impossible to fly the boys over to the Litza river. Then the winds began to pick up and that is when things really got ugly and it started to pour.

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While most of the team does deserve credit for trying, Thursday was one of the nastiest fishing days any of us had ever seen. Strong cold winds and heavy rain pelted us through the day and night. Come Friday morning it was obvious from the size and sound of the roaring tributaries that we had received an enormous amount to water. With clearing skies on our final day, we rushed down to the home pool and were shocked by its swollen summer size.

In fact, it appeared that the little Kharlovka creek now had more white water rushing down it than the mighty Kharlovka river did before the rain! Over the course of those two memorable days, the rivers had risen up 47 centimeters and dropped 9 degrees in temperature to a new record summer reading of 51cm on the home pool scale with a fresh summer water temperature of 11 degrees C. To give you some idea, we finished our first spring week this season with a level of 17cm and a temperature of 10.3 C?

Last week’s lucky team consisted of 9 new Finnish faces – 2 charming Russian ladies, 1 old Dutch friend and a veteran Swedish Master – who besides being treated to some extraordinary weather, were also in the social and educational experience of their lives. Kifpis – Nastroveeya and Prost! Thankfully, along with all the toasting and singing, Mikael was also back again with us last week to host his Frodin summer Master Class. Including those short but much appreciated 20 minute power point presentations every morning and evening around the dinning room table, followed by the handing out flies, lines and kit to all those in need and following up by joining every group for the majority of the day on the river, Mikeal was certainly a great addition to the week! While Mikeal wasn’t really allowed much time to fish during the day, he did manage to sneak away to the Kharlovka home pool for a few hours on the final afternoon following those epic rains to pull in back to back to back to back salmon!

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Traveling up from Moscow to learn more about Mikael’s fishing tricks, Maria and her daughter Anna had a nice week with several salmon and a few trout – including Anna’s first salmon ever of 12 pounds out of the Litza Falls. While this gave the Fins great reason to cheer, the ladies must have been too excited to snap a picture. Erkki was another one with a good 20 pounder who somehow, while we managed to get the photo of him with the big fish tie, failed to get the shot. While most of the salmon caught last week were silver grilse and fresh summer fish up to 18 pounds, the gang had a jolly old time sharing our 86 salmon over the stormy fun filled week.

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There was another great spectacle that occurred over the first weekend when the sun was at it brightest. While the Kharlovka salmon have been going through the falls on this strange low water season now since the middle of June, last weekend the conditions came just right for the salmon to jump the falls in numbers. For several days, until that storm moved in and closed the window again until much later in the season, we sat and ate our lunches, starring in awe at the large salmon leaping the 3 meters and disappearing into the upper river.

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With the rivers starting to settle back down and the clouds beginning to clear again, we are all looking forward to what might happen next!

Justin