Rynda Fishing Reports 2002
A magnificent season draws to a close
This extraordinary season on the ‘Three Rivers’ draws to a close this week so that the excitement of our continued success is tinged with sadness. The trees are taking on a burnished gold as the tundra introduces swaths of purple and splashes of red. Mushrooms and blueberries abound. It is already dark at 9:00 PM. The ‘Northern Lights’ are starting to play their magic. The swans and geese are flying south and we must go with them for the same reason. But we will leave behind a large dedicated team of river watchers who will guard our precious salmon on the spawning beds day and night until the ice freezes over the fertilised eggs and we are assured of ever growing abundance and pleasure.
Since closing the Kharlovka Lodge on 24th August we have been fishing all of the “Three Rivers” from Rynda Lodge with small parties of friends catching about 100 fish a week of which a fair proportion have been fresh run MSW “Osenka” salmon. The average weight of salmon over 10 lbs has been 15.2 lbs. We have taken another five great fish so that our total for the season is 49 over 30 lbs of which 5 have been over 40 lbs with the best at 46.5 lbs. There are three days to go!
Amazing things have happened. Yesterday we realised four people had all caught their record salmon in the same day with fish up to 27 lbs. Hakaan Mathiesen took a 36 lbs sea liced “Osenka” salmon from Litza Upper Tent Pool having just played and lost another of similar size. Tom Christensen had a mature cock fish of the same size in the same pool. (Both these fish can be viewed above but don’t forget to double click to enlarge.) On Monday of this week Tom Sanderson hooked a monster on Rynda in Flekke Pool which he lost two and half hours later in Sunray having taken him through Prunella, Rupert and Rebecca. And finally a special moment in the life of Alec Sim who, at the age of 15 on his first night at Rynda, landed an 8 lbs sea run Arctic Char in Home Pool which by all accounts is a record in these parts.
Orii Vigfusson of the NASF, who are sponsoring our radio telemetry project, has been a guest this week and he too has caught his best ever fish after a lifetime of fishing and studying environmental impact on salmon rivers. He confirms that to his knowledge we are the only fishery in the world that has the power and determination to protect the inland salmon environment as nature intended. Having studied our activities and records he told us “It is more than likely you will exceed a catch and release total of over 5000 fish in the coming years with fluctuations in between.” Certainly we will continue to do everything possible to make this happen. But quite frankly this year’s total of about 3400 is enough for “gentleman” or women. Think about it – This season the average has been nearly 40 fish per day! Two thirds of these fish have been over 10 lbs and one third over 15 lbs.
The Rynda Record – An Awesome Experience by Mark Amey
Crouching tightly together and facing the hurricane Peter, myself and Vadim (our gillie) held on to everything for dear life. The noise was deafening, the wind trying to tear everything off and away from you. Suddenly it abated and lifted and headed down across the tundra. It was our helicopter. Pure silence now apart from the muted rush of the Rynda a stones throw away from “drop” off point. A green carpet would have been nice to finish off but what the hell! We tackled up and were guided to our selected spots. I had caught my first salmon within hours of landing from Murmansk and was well chuffed – if not a little surprised. I thought (and believed) one had to spend a probationary period of at least five years before one could even be allowed to sniff a salmon and yet I had, after 18 hours and 47 minutes of travel, I had, by the luck of the Gods caught, landed and sniffed my precious six pound silver sea liced salmon. Could there be more for me over the coming week? Of course I hoped so – I desperately hoped so – I didn’t want to make all this effort without a little exaggeration!
On the second day Peter, my fishing partner, already had two fish in the “bag” within an hour. I was happy – I wasn’t “ruffled”, I’d caught my fish yesterday and was feeling pleased. Bang! Something jolted my dreams away and was trying to take my rod away too! Having just bought it I wasn’t prepared to let it go too easily and duly held on and remonstrated with the perpetrator until Vadim came over to sort out our little disagreement. Another salmon – Hooked and lost – Too much. Had to sit down with a cigarette so my partners wouldn’t see my legs shaking. You can always tell a virgin salmon fisher – he has two crutches to support himself from the shakes – the real men only have one stick – for wading I’m told.
Having re-composed to the best of my ability it was suggested I drop my fly (so to speak) in Peter’s Pocket. I cast in and within three throws hooked into a log – I struck and it swayed back into the current; then it did something very strange for a log – it moved forward five feet and sent me some very heavy electric shocks. Vadim stopped what he was doing and was obviously trying to work out a way of removing my fly from said underwater obstruction. By now the said obstruction had sent me some other information. I am a big fish, you don’t know how big but you may realise by now that however much pressure you put on me with your puny little stick – I’m staying here! “Vadim” I said .. I think I’ve got a bit of a problem here chap – what do I do? Shall I poke it, call it names? I have been stood here for five minutes with my rod bent double, feeling and looking like a statue and frankly itching to get on with it.”
“Beeeeeg Fish” says Vadim. By now even Peter had stopped fishing to see what trouble I had got into. Vadim said something to Peter and he scuttles off to get the camera. Great – That is all I need. Meanwhile Muggins here is beginning to run through a checklist of all the knots he tied from the latest Mr Crabtree book. The fish moves…. It moves five yards across the pool and there it stops. I’m much more comfortable than you ! Apparently not ideal I’m told by Vadim. “Eet ees zwimming” he says. Good. Ten out of ten for observation I think and, before I can question the logic of his comment, Peter explains to me the fish will hopefully tire itself by swimming. Great idea, but meanwhile I’m getting a bit tired myself. And so it goes on. Fish moves, I try to hold it and cannot. I put as much pressure on as I dare. The rod is upright, I have a 22 lbs leader – my back and my left arm are beginning to ache.
At this juncture the fish dashes up stream heading for Norway Pool but 20 yards and the next thing I see is a salmon of very worrying proportions jumping clean out of the water and landing on my line with a resounding “crump”. Things are looking serious. I am not sure I am going to be able to cope with this one. This is for the big boys. It’s not fair that I should be on the other end of this monstrosity. I am still a virgin but I realise my time has come and I had better at least try to make it look as if I know what I am doing. “It is now one and three quarter hours Mark” says Peter. “Can’t believe it” I say, “Wasting good fishing time” – can’t believe I said that. My left arm and back are now seriously hurting and I am beginning to wonder if it is possible to get deep vein thrombosis is in my arm so I try a few finger exercises.
After two hours and ten minutes of constant pressure and extreme pressure intermittently this great fish heads off downstream for afternoon tea or something. There is some high pitched screaming from the reel and me, a loud “log” like splash as it disappears over a waterfall. Meanwhile I was forcibly moved by Vadim onto a large boulder 10 yards out through fast flowing water three and a half feet deep to keep in contact with the fish and now, for God’s sake, he wanted me to jump “lemming like” into his arms back into that same water and back to the same bank all the while trying to control and very powerful fly kite. I had no option .. I think he pulled me in and then sent me running down the bank over sheep sized boulders trying to keep in touch with something that had taken all my fly line and was making serious inroads into my backing. “Kweek” says Vadim “You stand on thees rock” – Not again – must pack one of those swimming pool ladders next time. Another ten minutes of wrestling and the fish has gone quiet and I can feel a strange rasping vibration on the line. We both know what this is and realise the line is chaffing on a boulder. Vadim wades thirty metres and sees the line wrapped around one boulder and half way round two others. He can see the fish banging its head against a rock each time I pull. I ease off the pressure and he very carefully after two minutes manages to release the line. The fish then disappears downstream for 100 yards heading for Saamii Pool. I left my rock willingly this time from the centre of the river and everything is totally out of control. I am up to my armpits in water and swimming being half towed by the fish and half swept by the river. Vadim was downstream with his big net and found he too could not run on water. I somehow managed to retrieve about 100 yards of backing onto the reel when suddenly the line gave way and parted. “Bother” (or words to that effect) I said…. The fly line and my precious fish were departing from me forever downstream. I screamed at Vadim over the water and by chance he heard me while he was looking for the landing net he had dropped in the river. Amazingly he saw the pink line and grabbed it. Meanwhile I had joined him and got the net. Here in total confusion Vadim was playing a giant salmon with his bare hands and I was the ghillie. I floated, floundered and splashed about and found the end of the line caught loosely under a rock. There was no way we could hand line that fish so somehow I had to thread the line through ten or so rings in four foot of water shaking violently.
A good time for a heart attack I thought. Somehow it was done and then tied onto the backing with a double “Granny Knot”. Back in business being towed and flowed until at last this amazing fish decided to make its last stand in a small hole. Slowly and nervously I tried to calm down. There it was just five yards away – It was colossal. Vadim, like me, wanted that fish desperately and like me could not bear the responsibility if either of us made a mistake now. It was an awesome moment. The fish was tired but it seemed the very mass of it could not possibly be moved by rod and line. It was now or never and I put as much pressure as I could to lift and turn it towards Vadim. The net went in and under the fish but it was too quick. Vadim stumbled into the deep water and had one more chance which, by the grace of God he took, and with a whoop of delight man hauled it onto the bank. It is beyond my ability to express the exhilaration and joy of that moment even though I had no idea of the significance of the occasion. There before me was this beautifully ugly monster with a huge kype. There was no way I could even start to put a hand around its wrist – I felt I could put both hands in its mouth. How could this be a salmon? I continued to shake for the rest of the day, found myself almost speechless at times and could not bend my arms for 24 hours. It was not possible to continue fishing – More important to be thankful and dwell on the meaning of life.
Peter and Vadim knew the importance of my fortunate achievement and set about the measuring and weighing. It was 121 cms in length and 59 cms in girth. It weighed 37 lbs. It was a well matured cock fish taken on an original Sunray Shadow from Laerdal. In total it had been a two and a half hour battle. Interestingly it had been hooked before – Someone has been telling the truth about the 40 lbs + silver salmon that got away!
Monday, 12 August 2002
Our apologies to all those who have written to ask why we are off the air. The reason is that something quite amazing has happened causing serious disruption to what little time there is left after fishing. Since leaving the agency world, having a damn good season and publishing how well we are doing at the ‘Three Rivers’ on the internet we have been inundated, in fact overwhelmed, with enquiries and applications. There are 320 places available on the ‘Three Rivers’ in 2003 and we have had nearly 600 places applied for. The interest is coming from all over the world including the USA. We had no idea so many could be interested. Needless to say all loyal ‘Rynda Types’ are secure in our private world – we just wanted to share with you our good fortune.
For nearly two weeks now the wind has come from somewhere around the North Pole so that the air temperature has been between 5C & 12C. Of course the reindeer knew it was coming and moved a long way south enthusiastically assisted by Rynda our English Setter who disappeared for five days and has returned exhausted. Actually we are a bit worried about her because she keeps running off after game and we have noticed few Ptarmigan this year.
Sometimes the wind has been quite strong and affected the fishing. But on the whole it has been to our advantage because it has kept the river around 10C – ideal for this time of the year. Last year it was up to around 15C and there was too much algae. A generally cold season has meant there have been very few mosquitos. In fact we have only had three or four days when they have been a nuisance. Most days we get a light drizzle and occasionally a good rain for a short time and this has been enough to hold the river up two to four inches above last season which is all that is wanted to make for good fishing.
Yesterday, in the second of Young People’s Weeks, one of the gang played a monster salmon for twenty minutes in the Canyon that broke him on the rocks. He is now in that strange mental state between mourning and ecstasy contemplating the meaning of life and the justice of it all. We will have him back on track within the next 24 hours but the real cure will be to top his father who had a 31 lbs fish back in June.
The rods have been averaging about two fish a day which keeps them more than happy. About one third of the fish have been grilse and the rest salmon averaging 12.5 lbs. Many of the grilse have been fresh but few of the salmon which makes it all the more rewarding when you catch one. Naturally we are all hoping for an early and plentiful start to the ‘Osenka’ run of 12 to 24 lbs fresh fish. It should happen any day now.
Zolotaya is very low and would not fish well every day so we visit only occasionally. Some of the guests are fascinated with this river in any conditions. Last week one pair had 6 each and claimed the loss of a ‘serious’ fish in Long Pool. They stayed the night and then went straight to the Loop. There they were stranded for 3 hours because of the helicopter. We expected a bollocking on their return but were greeted with ‘…we have just had the best fishing ever – in fact two of the best days of our lives’. Such is the way of things at Rynda – we are all in it together lost in nature and time.
One of our guests has turned to be a flora expert and this has added another dimension to our lives. Every day he added to the list and still caught fish finding time to sleep somewhere along the way just like the ‘Bird Man’. And he too has delighted us with an official list the ‘Flora of the Three Rivers’ which you can see by clicking on Rynda Flora. So now we have the base information for all of you with a knowledge of and eye for nature to build upon. We hope you will report additions to these lists and one day we will have the definitive work. Indeed our ‘Flora Man’ has observed two additions to the bird list – Golden Eagle (1 sighting) and Osprey (3 sightings).
A guest last week turned up with a book on mushrooms and he has started work on these. He points out that there are estimated to be about 1.5 million types of fungi in the world. Anyway he has left the book with us and there will be more to follow on this aspect of the Rynda Natural History Society. Perhaps someone will volunteer to do a study on the ‘Wolverine’. All that is necessary to observe them at close quarters is to lie out in the tundra and pretend to be dead!
Saturday, 20 July 2002
The great fishing bonanza continues! Last week we beat the all time Rynda record for fish in one week with 255 landed against a previous record of 205 set two weeks before. In the interim we have had a delightful social week with 180 between us. Let’s take stock:
This year we have taken 958 fish. This is 22.3% better than last year at this time. 18% have been grilse so that the average weight of the salmon has been 13.3 lbs. The total weight of fish is 5.2 tonnes at the half way mark. This is 33.5% more than last year. In other words there are more salmon that are a fair bit larger this year. We think this is much to do with the temperature of the Gulf Stream off the Faroes with better feeding at sea. Our five best fish have been 32, 32, 31, 31 & 30 lbs.
Zolotaya continues to intoxicate with pleasure but we are finding it is better to rest it a little. We recently discovered the sheets were being changed only once a week. This has now been corrected to a daily routine after use. Apologies all round to those who noticed. The whole point is the absurd luxury of it all. Michael’s little trick of heating the shower room even before a hot shower has proved very popular with ladies, as has the whole idea of the place. Adamant non-campers find themselves electing to stay the night. We have noticed the guests have started a small end of week whip round for Michael like they do for Sasha pilot and we think this is rather nice.
Life at Rynda has taken on new highs of delight and happiness with tale after tale of great endeavour and achievement spiced with short periods of ‘mourning’ for a serious fish lost. It is fascinating how you can never be sure how big they are until they are safely in the next. One of us was broken at the fly in Red Cliff after a 30 minute hard fight with a salmon believed to be at least 30 lbs. The fly was returned to him two weeks later having been attached to a 22 lbs salmon in Iron Gate. But it is true the very big ones frequently get away and one is more often surprised by the awesome size of some of these fish when they come to the net.
The river is now well stocked with fish right through to Reindeer Crossing. Some big ones have come out of Swan Lake and the Canyon and Five Pools will now come into their own. The Rynda has more or less found its summer low so that Black Cliff and Red Creek, to name a few pools, are much sought after. The water level is only about 2′ above last year. One of the reasons for a great season is that the temperature has never risen above 16.5C in the morning against 19.7C last year. It is 13.6C today as against 15.6C. There have been few mosquito days but come prepared.
We have now established a definite Gyrfalcon nest at Guy’s Pool on the Kharlovka. You can hear the young but you cannot see it from the river. If you look sharp as the helicopter takes off from the island your eye will catch the white droppings off a ledge high up the cliff on the right bank. The big nature story at Rynda is the Tundra Weasel. A family was raised under one of the cabins and somehow one sibling got separated. This has caught the imagination of female guests and staff who have been bottle feeding it. It is now based at Rynda House where it has moved on to raw meat and human fingertips. It frequently escapes from larger and larger boxes and is causing havoc. This misdirected attention is costing us several fish a day! We see a few reindeer most days but the great herds seem to be congregating around the Litza these days.
Tuesday, 11th July 2002
The first week of July this year was just about the best fun we can recall. It was a wonderful house party with great good humour and everyone is welcome back. As for the fishing we simply broke the fish/week record at Rynda with 205 landed. We did not cross the 30 lbs mark but had several serious fish (25 lbs plus) and many of 15 – 25 lbs range. To put this into proportion you have to realise that when we came to Rynda we were told to think in terms of 250 fish per year with a few over 20 lbs and the odd chance of a serious fish. We will probably do over 1500 this season.
Zolotaya was a huge success. Everyone stayed overnight at the Hilton and we caught 50 fish in the week. This river was unheard of before our time and now everyone looks forward to going there. Amongst other things Michael is an excellent camp cook and Russian pool rarely lets you down. Those of you who had a hard night will be pleased to learn good mattresses have now been installed.
The raptor nesting at Peter Pool has aroused much speculation. Passions have been aroused and the bird book is in tatters. The great debate is now over. We have another ornithologist in camp and he has proclaimed to everyone’s satisfaction that it is a Peregrine Falcon and not a Gyrfalcon. There is a Gyrfalcon in the vicinity but we do not know where it is nesting. Another bit of excitement was when a Sea Eagle decided to settle at Rynda House and keep an eye on the waterfall. It was the first sign that the grilse had arrived. A while back we told you about the Swedish Bird Man. He has sent us the list of the 64 birds he identified here and the approximate number of sighting. Just click on Rynda Birds to see it.
We are now into the second week of July and have another party of friends who know how to get the best out of Rynda and each other. They are not the types who fish after dinner however they still managed another Rynda record with 52 fish landed in a day one of which was 31 lbs. On the same day a new member of the team played a fish of approximately 35 lbs in the Long Pool at Zolotaya for 30 minutes. Vadim the guide had spotted the fish from the high bank in sunlight and directed every cast until the fish was goaded into action. Every mad dash could be clearly seen. What a pity nobody had a camcorder at the time. You may recall it was at Long Pool last season where we lost a 35 lbs fish in early September.
The river is dropping rapidly now that the snow bank has all but gone. It is still about 6′ above last year. None of us mind this because each day brings opportunities with new pools to fish. After last years success in drought we know that Rynda will continue to surprise in all conditions. It is and will continue to be well stocked with fish this year. We have had a bit of a heat wave recently and the water temperature went up to 16.5C but its now fallen back to 13C. Some years about this time it can climb to over 20C. This year we have the feeling the high Arctic Summer has been and gone – All three days worth!
The general air of happiness and good humour continues to pervade. The staff are doing the most incredible job working ridiculous hours and still smiling. These are magnificent fishing days offering special moments for each one of us that will live on in the memory for the rest of our lives. Maybe we are going through a peak this season – You never know until you have passed it. We suspect it will continue for the next few years because we are on an upward trend. Let us hope it works out that way and meanwhile enjoy the moment. In any event we will continue the extravagant protection we are giving to the ‘Three Rivers’ or should we say ‘Four Rivers’.
Wednesday, 2nd July 2002
It is 10 days since we last reported to you all. Here is wonderful news. In this short period we are delighted to inform you that no less than 280 fish were landed. Recently a few grilse have entered the river but the average weight of all fish for the season is still 12.8 lbs which is one pound better than last year.
The water level is holding up perfectly so that we are about 15′ higher than 2001. We have had a little rain and until recently it has been cold for this time of year. However now the short Russian summer has arrived the temperature of the water has shot up to about 13C. You should be pleased about this because the cold weather has been holding the fish back at 2nd Waterfall. Over the next few days the fish will spread out over the system through to 3rd Waterfall and we will spread out with them and enjoy the delights of Five Pools and the Canyon areas.
There have been some spectacular feats. One of us stayed up all night last week and came in with 15 salmon to an average weight of 14.5 lbs in the Home Pool area. It was a very serious case of the Kylberg Effect! Although we have landed only three fish of over 30 lbs we have lost two 35 lbs plus fish for certain after epic battles in Lower Home Pool and Cliff Pool. Today one rod came in with a 6lbs Brown Trout for supper as they are undesirable in the lower water. It is just about the best fun any of us have had in fishing. What more can we say! We are a select bunch of very happy people and behave accordingly.
The great innovative success this year is Zolotaya. It is amazing that to all intents and purposes we discovered the Rynda and now we have the good fortune to have struck gold again. In fact the English for Zolotaya is ‘Golden’. If Kharlovka is the King and Rynda is the Queen then Litza is the Prince and Zolotaya is the beautiful charming Princess with whom we fall in love. Everyone who has been there has stayed the night at the Zolotaya Hilton but we estimate the average nightly sleep at about 3.5 hours. It brings out the Boy Scout in all of us reviving memories of youth and adventure. The average number of fish caught in each 24 hours stay is about 7 fish per pair. One lucky angler took 10 fish with the Grand Master of the White Knights who himself had 6 fish. That night at about 2:30AM the fish could be seen dancing on the water as they moved from Sea Pool into Five Stones and one actually bumped into us. Our largest fish was 22 lbs taken in Russian Pool and landed about 500 yards down river having gone through (L) Banks Pool.
It is not all about catching fish. More and more the people who are Rynda types return and those who are not drift away or are encouraged to go to the more prolific rivers. Rynda is a private world where nature and good fellowship are all. We see it as the natural duty of a guest in a house party to be entertaining and to show consideration for others. We do not drink privately and share what we bring. Our conversation rarely extends to the outside world because this is an escape from the reality of normal life. It is our private world and we live in constant touch with nature. This week is the epitome of the Rynda philosophy. We all follow Voltaire’s advice for happiness in the last line of Candide.
By the way some of you may have shared the writers skepticism about Mice Bombers. They actually exist in nature and abound around the Sea Pool at Zolotaya. These chaps are highly intelligent and can figure out how to get from one rock to another when we cannot. They assess the current, take in the layout, and scamper about going a distance of several yards over water that must be colossal to a mouse. They are a bit more rounded than your actual domestic job. So anyway bring a mouse bomber and lets see if you can catch a salmon with it on Home Pool. On a more serious nature note we have received reports of a Gyrfalcon nesting near Peter Pool. We hope this is true and will check it out. Also one of the guests is really certain he saw a wolf and he was stone cold sober at the time. Don’t worry they are harmless individuals at this time of year.
Saturday, 22nd June 2002
By 15th June we took 45 fish averaging 15 lbs with the three best at 32, 31, 30. We have just said goodbye to five happy fishermen who last week landed 96 fine salmon averaging just over 14 lbs with the best at 28 lbs. Through the ‘Three Rivers’ last week the average per rod was about 20 fish which is quite amazing for early June.
It is beyond the writer’s ability to describe to you the situation here today. Quite simply the conditions and the fishing are perfect. One could not, or should not, ask for more. All of us fish with confidence and a sense of joy. The mind boggles at these results and ones good fortune.
Yesterday we test fished Five Pools and it is obvious the whole river is now productive. The Zolotaya Hilton is open for business tomorrow Sunday and I think you know who the first guest will be.
The water level is 21 inches above last year with a temperature of around 9.5C. We have had some rain that has done a little damage to our snow bank but we know conditions for the season will be much better than last year. The reindeer arrived last week and it is lovely to see them around. We miss our ‘Bird Man’ but now really notice the birds.
The first new house is just about complete and we are delighted with it. Rynda Village is taking on a character that we think you will enjoy. In the presence of Nikolai you must remember to say ‘Rynda New Village’ if you want him to continue to bring up a weekly supply of King Crab. Some of the guests went out to sea with him last week and had a great time catching these wonderful creatures – The rest of us has a great time eating them!
It is altogether a fabulous season. There is an air of calm and pleasure about as we each go about our thing and enjoy each other. We have even found time to go trout fishing with the usual success. Long may it last!
Wednesday, 12th June 2002
No news is good news but sorry all the same to the many kind enquirers! Yes – The salmon have arrived in numbers! Dead on time 10 days after Kharlovka and 5 days after Litza.
Just got back from Home Pool after a 35 minute encounter with a 27 lbs sea liced female. It was taken from the left bank rocks at the top on a short line. Oh what fun! Down the pool both sides of the key rock several times and then off to Lower Home Pool before there was time to move. In a full river it’s no joke getting into position to land these amazing early fish but we did, after a near drowning, on the third attempt.
But the real prize goes as usual to our ‘Guru’ with a 31 lbs cock taken in The Tail. This was a magnificent specimen that we had to kill. It is now immortalised as a splendid drawing. We have landed 30 fish so far to an average weight of 15.4 lbs. Of these 6 have been over 20 lbs. Young Andrew, who caught the 1000th fish last season, has had two of them. We have that feeling the ‘Kylberg Effect’ will kick in at any moment and rods will have to be dragged from Home Pool & Rock Island to eat and sleep.
Actually it has been a slow start because the temperature has been down below 5C and it is only in the last few days that it has been rising to just over 7C. But this is great for the season. Remember last year at this time we had a heat wave taking the water up to 11.5C. The small snow bank was taken away at this time leaving the river sadly low through until the rains at the end of August. This time we have much more snow and low temperatures and the river is quite majestic. Imagine not being able to walk the left banks of Five Pools. Fishing conditions may be ideal well into July.
Sergey has the Camp running very smoothly this year. Many of you will remember Victor our Chef in 2000 of ‘perfect porridge’ fame and will be pleased to know ‘all is forgiven’ and he is back with us. Lite Kola is turning into a fine Head Guide and the flexibility makes all the difference. All the usual staff are looking forward to seeing you.
We have a very interesting guest from Sweden in Camp at the moment. He is a really serious, indeed famous, ornithologist – They say ‘Birder’. Anyway he enthralls us with is bird watching activities each day. We are a little worried about him because he is out every night and then fishes by day. He is now up to 56 species and reckons it will be 70 or so by the weekend. He has really opened out eyes to a new wonder of nature. He finds many of them just by listening to their calls. It’s amazing and infectious. He promises to write a report which we may publish. Some of you might think of bringing binoculars this year.
A word on Zolotaya Tent Camp. It is brilliant! Thank you Volodya! You won’t believe it! It has already been named the Zolotaya Hilton. The General Manager is a wonderful character with a mouthful of gold and a twinkle in his eye called Michael. If you say ‘It’s a nice day’ he won’t have a clue what you mean until Vodka time but just like Vassily at Litza it matters not one bit. The form is every pair of rods have one day with their guide and on their own private ‘Helmsdale’. At noon you radio in and advise whether you are staying the night. If so you are collected at 09:30 hours the next day brought back to Rynda to freshen up prior to having the lowest beat on Rynda so that you can go out when you want. If you don’t want to overnight then fine you just come back as usual after a nice day out. The writer’s advice is that everyone should take a toothbrush!
Tuesday, April 16, 2002
We are already in camp making improvements and getting ready for you because it has been so mild recently. There is a good bank of snow. It looks like another early season but with a good flow of water to follow. Fingers crossed –It could be ideal.
We will operate a full season starting 1st June and ending 14th September 2002. The camp is taken in every week and we will have the pleasure of entertaining 162 guests this season. We are delighted so many of you want to return.
Kola Lite has been in the UK polishing up on his English prior to taking up his appointment as Head Guide. Next season he will organise your fishing and the ‘faithful’ Sergey will manage the Lodge and Camp. Rynda House will be occupied as usual.
The foundations are in place for the first two bedroom cabin with bathrooms well below the existing cabins looking across to Home Pool and this will be ready by the end of June next season. We will build another at the end of the existing cabins looking down on Home Pool during the season and, if the guests really like them, will replace all the old cabins over a period. They are a simple low profile design as illustrated.
The Zolotaya was such a success last year even through the drought that we have decided to protect it with a tent camp with a man in residence and HF radio as we do at Litza. In this way guests can go over with their guide and have a river to themselves for 24 hours fishing into the white nights enjoying barbecues etc or just resting by Russian Pool waiting for the fish to show. Of course some of us will want to skip the sleeping bag bit and be helicoptered back to Rynda Lodge for the night.
In addition there will be a number of small improvements such as new beds and mattresses but don’t worry Rynda will always be a wilderness camp – we are not about to turn it into a hotel!