Trout Fishing Report 2C – 2016
Marius Warnken, Sotirios Botouroglou, Bjørn Larsen, Niels Otto Bergseng, Svein Røbergshagen , Pål Wermåker, Geir Bangsund, guide and chef Vasily
Pina. The tundra was heated in a shimmering silver when we established camp saturday evening, on a beautiful Pina River, so characteristically carved by thousands of seasonal changes into a rugged, stony river, at first seemingly a little unfriendly but soon approaching an inviting mildness, as you enter its smooth, glassy glides in search for rising trout. The temperature was scaringly high, closer to 30 degrees, and the water slightly above 20, on our first evening, unlikely conditions for the fishing to be really good, but as usual there was no strict rules for predicting the mood of the trout on the tundra. To our favour was a reasonably good amount of water flowing through the river, despite dry and hot weather prevailing for days before our arrival. We established camp in the usual relaxed way, knowing we had plenty of time in the coming week to dig into som of the many secrets of this river, knot so much known for its number of fish as for their size.
It is always a special experience to walk the river together with the guests visiting these rivers for the first time and to see them make their first cast to a rise or a likely holding spot. But what is awaiting them is not always immediately and fully revealed and for Bjørn and Geir, the first evening did not bring any proper tundra trout to the net although they hooked into several good sized fish on our way upstream. They were later to land some of the nicest fish of the trip.
Sotirios started as usual in a slow pace, walked the short trip to home pool together with Niels Otto andt was quite instantly rewarded with three beautiful fish between 2 and 3 kg on the dry fly. Marius and Pål are always waiting for a fish to rise before making their first casts on the tundra and with the forewarning of the outgoing group of beeing really slow on setting the hook, they managed to steer their temper into several Pina beauties. When going to sleep in the early morning the sun was already intensly hot and we could just as well have left the sleeping bags at home. On Pina there is not much to speek off of shady vegetation reaching above knee level and the solution to cope with the heat was to put the thermarest outside the tent and let the eastern breeze cool the body to a reasonable amount of comfort.
As the week proceeded there was no change to the weather and we spent the nights fishing and at best, got a few ours of sleep in the daytime. The trout was surprisingly cooperative, even when the water temperature reached 23 degrees. The mayfly spinners where dancing in thousands along the shoreline in the slightly fading evening light, but they were at no time to hit the waters surface to lay their eggs and start a bonanza of rising fish. Instead we got an occasional hatching mayfly lifting off the surface and by patiently waiting along some of the best pools we could catch the Pina trout in the classical, way with a dry fly to a rising trout. There was at no time any problem to make the trout approach a dry attractor fly like a Streking Caddis or a Chernobyl Ant and a streamer would often be hit hard by an aggressive trout as if it was the meal of a lifetime. Sotirios got a hang on the Klinkhammer and it was his best fly of the week. Niels Otto learned a lesson of streamer fishing the first day but turned his attention to dries as the week proceeded. By a variation of fishing techniques suiting our own mood or preference we got the best of Pinas spectacular stock of big trout with close to twenty fish reahcing above 3-kilo. Numbers is only one way to express the quality of this river but I think the many individual experiences with trout taking most of the backing in speedy races way upstream or gulping trout taking a size 14 no hackle fly at close distance is a more telling way of the many mind blowing encounters we had with the Pina trout. If you ask Marius, i think he will never forget his 5 kg plus trout that unhooked itself just as it was going to be netted by Geir or Bjørn, taking positions on both his sides, ready to close the fiercesome battle to Marius´advantage. It never ended that way. Marius lost the fish but caught the biggest of the trip, a 4 kilo brown from the upper reaches of the Pina.
We did see a few caddis around but it seemed like this was the year for an early start of both mayflies and caddis., and maybe most of it was already done in the way of hatching insects. As the temperatur increased and the water level went down, the regular expectation would be for the fishing to slow down. It was rather the other way around. When fog entered the tundra from the Barents Sea on the night for the pick up and we were delayed by several ours, Niels Otto did not spend the time catching up on sleep after an exhausting week. He took his rod and raised at least ten trout to a Chernobyl Ant. Only two of them were properly hooked or followed all the way to the net as he was was fighting the fish hard in order to not exhust the fish before releasing it to an unusual hot environment.
Niels Ottos last night finished our week with a toatal of 81 trout above 1 kg.. Together with the excellent food and kind hospitality of Vasily, this was an unforgettable week on one of the most spectacular rivers of the tundra.