Rynda Fishing Week 28 – 2013
Guest report by Sue Mills and Tim Gray
It never became clear precisely what a small Irish contingent, destined for other Kola Peninsula rivers, was celebrating……if that is the polite euphemism. It cannot have been the rugby as the Lions had not by then won. Surely it cannot have been Wimbledon as we simply cannot recall any tradition of Irish tennis. Perhaps it is similar to French Cricket. And The Ashes remains a total secret as we write. Either way one comatose Irishman failed to make the ‘plane on Saturday morning in Helsinki but had checked in his bags the previous evening. And it went downhill from there as the ‘plane then ran out of battery somewhere over Finland and had to divert.
Activity during our week on Rynda was epitomised by the unfailing energy of the guides but rarely has so much salmon action been witnessed……although contact, as we learned, did not often put fish in the net. The river was low and recovering from a heat wave. Temperatures in the water fell through the week from 19 degrees to 11.5. Air temperature fell from 23 degrees to 9 on the last day and we saw rain in some quantities. An older member of the party mentioned hail. Presumably pour encourager les autres.
Luigi and his grandson Thomas delighted us by bringing real French charm to the party. Noblesse et politesse was in much evidence from them as the English on some recherche de temps which should have been perdu insisted on going back to childhood with resultant appalling conversational franglais. By coincidence Luigi’s first ever salmon, and the best of the week, matched Thomas’s age of 18. Indeed having arrived via Moscow Thomas had his first two salmon on the bank before we had all arrived.
Sue and Nico, as ever, brought avuncular practical tips and fishing knowledge to all. Things were much improved for the Third Age, led by Luigi, in a newly found tradition of enhancing ice cream, indeed it seems all puddings, by the liberal application of iced vodka. Perhaps this inspired the sense of both purpose and pride in a determined slog down the right bank of The Canyon to Twin Slabs by the Mills detachment, a challenge ducked for some years, and fortunately rewarded by a fish each. However, and owing to a long held Rynda tradition, we do not talk about numbers.
We can, on the other hand, speculate about weight and particularly of fish lost. One of the stories was of a fish so big on Zolotaya that it would not fit in the net. Tim the master caster had an epic fight and the fish had surrendered. Estimated by Yura the guide at 28lb and comfortably over a metre in length it was finally slipped over the net only for this cracker to gather its final strength to disappear to the depths. However it is the true measure of Rynda fish and their quality that every guest can recall each battle. Toby can tell you his in ascending or descending order of weight. But his telling statistic is that, with his father, they lost over 70 lbs of salmon in their last 24 hours in the Camp. That is three pounds an hour!
This all pales into insignificance when we come to the escapades of Dominic and Chris. Prep School friends are made for each other and their hilarious series of bets and games amused all the party. There were competitions for the most mosquito bites, silly hats, the capture of the smallest fish and other more conventional stuff. Dominic lost two over 20lbs. Neither had originally suggested a brandy appreciation evening and it is unclear who won on that occasion.
Beyond all our fun and excitement we wish only to thank the home team. For we all think of this as home because it feels like home. And that is testament to all the hard work of the staff and, as we all still feel, the enduring legacy of Peter. French appreciation of the bon confort et haut cuisine is some recommendation. Rynda undoubtedly has style and the guests would make contributions in this area but for the fact that style, by definition, has to be effortless.
Talking of style Sasha continues to amaze us with his helicopter prowess and everlasting smile. We think things everywhere at Rynda have moved forward and in just the right spirit and ethic. Three cheers for Kola and his formidable team. How grateful we are to Vladimir.
78 fish in total were caught, the largest being Luigi’s first salmon of 18lbs however, on multiple occasions fish over 20lbs escaped to push up further Rynda’s reputation for quality fish. Things look good for the future.