Trout Fishing Report 3C – 2018
From left Harald Oterholt, Gena (chef), Svein Røbergshagen, Marius Warnken, Pål Asbjørn Jørgensen, Jon Erlend Dahlen.
We arrived the fabolous Pina River on a bright sunny evening, mentally leaning on a description of the seasonal progression just as it used to be in the old days. In other words pretty much normal. The weather good, the temperature nice and the water level at midpoint, not high, not low. and a water temp of 13 degrees. Well, there is no reason to believe there is anything kind of normal on the tundra, at least not for the trophy trout inhabiting these fabled waters.
The first night we fished the pools very close to camp and did not find a single fish. Even the pools downstream of camp, all the way to Pina Junction, did not seem to hold any trout at all. The seasonal distribution of fish throughout the river system is an issue of great interest and it has on occasional been encountered as a challenge. There is only one solution, walk until you can locate the fish and the fun will start. We did find the fish a ten minutes walk upstream. From this point and all the way as long as we bothered to walk against the flow of the river, the trout was sitting on the river bed, eating our flies again and again and everything seemed to be in perfect normal condittions.
The group was balanced by three rookies and two highly experienced tundra regulars, in addition to our chef Gena, a living encyclopedia of tundra knowledge. On the second day Jon Erlend and Harald turned a corner and saw exactly what they came for in the first place, heads and tails slicing the surface in sedate precisional attacks on small mayflies littering the glassy glide of a picture perfect pool. They stayed there for the rest of the day, taking turns between resting and fishing the pool and with no greedy approach at all they, initiated what was to become a graduall increase of personal bests for the rest of the coming days.
Marius has fished the Pina River on several occasions and he was the perfect guide for his father Påll, introducing him to one of the best pieces of river in the entire Pina system. A slow even flow of water, occasioanlly broken by small rocks, lasting for at least two hundred meters and potentially holding a trophy trout in every inch of water from top to bottom. Pina regulars has named this place The Strait., and for the entire week it was a continious source of excellent tundra adventures.. Pål broke the leader on his first hook up, but soon gained experience to hold the fish all the way to the net.
For all newcomers to the tundra rivers, the learning curve seems to be a very steep one. Furious battles are lost and won, sometimes at great emotional costs. Jon Erlend broke his rod on a fish the size only fantasy can imagine and a few casts later he lost his flyline in a monstertrout racing down hundred meters of heavy whitewater. All he could do was try to hold on. We later picked the line out of the river, and the fish had definately found a new pool to rest.
As forecasted, the weather turned gradually warmer throughout the week. The water temp rose from 13 to 18 degrees and a soft, southern wind swept the insects off the water. A tactic of fishing the rise was switched to fishing the water, a very familiar way of approaching the tundra trout staying closer to the rocky bottom. However, the conditions was not in favour of streamers and we continued searching the water with dries, mostly in the way of attractors. Gena tied us some very effective skaters and most of the week turned into more of a presentational progression than an imitative one. In total we caught 41 trout, the biggest 3,9 kg. The list of personal bests are too long to be recorded.
We all had unforgettable days on the riverand was treated in the best possible way by our chef Gena, always taking good care of our wellbeing in camp. His food is beyond excellent, and his advice on flies and tactics are of paramount significance. A big thanks to Kharlovka Company and to Gena for making this possible.