Trout Fishing Report 4A – 2017
I have again had the pleasure of visiting the Kharlovka river for a week with good friends. This year my group consisted of Kola veterans that have been travelling with me several times before. The group this year was 5 people (we had one shortfall) from left front; Glenn Christensen, Øyvind Dahl, Tom Tuskin (group leader), Tommy Lafton, Luganscky Volodya (tundra Chef) and Trond Bentestuen. We had for this year made own logo and new jackets for the trip.
We had been preparing a whole year for this trip with fly tying and sharing experiences from trips we have done before. And now, we really looked forward to a week with hatching and super conditions. As the winter passed and we heard of record snow levels, late spring, flooding rivers, bad fishing conditions reports from participants returning from week 27 and more, we lowered our expectations a little bit as we arrived in Murmansk. But as we all know that when you sign up for a trip like this you cannot always predict weather and conditions, you must do the best out of the conditions you get! Tundra is tundra
Saturday evening we arrived safely at Wulfs camp. We had to move the camp over to the other side and a bit higher up due to that high water levels that made it impossible to use the old camp site. First evening was spent investigating a little bit up and down the river. With no hatching we had little luck the first evening with no fish. The next day we decided to split our group on both sides of the river. We also decided to bring the boat to a small lake further up to make crossing the river and fishing a little easier due to this high water levels. With boat you can also reach small rocky Islands as you can see with Tommy stranded on a rock on one of the pictures below. We found some rising fish taking mayflies higher up in the river and managed to make them take our flies. Everyone caught fish this Sunday with the biggest of 2.8 kg.
On Monday, the weather cleared up and we prepared for a sunny day. Three of us decided to take a longer walk upstream Wulfs camp this day to see if hatching might have started higher up in the river. This was a struggling walk with more than 30 degrees’ temperature in the air and millions of mosquitos and flies. The trip for us ended up with no fish during the day time. Øyvind and Trond however decided to try to fish from the boat and found a few rising fish taking Mayflies on the small lake upstream the camp. Both of them managed to have some of them take their flies.
Tuesday the water level had gone down and we had perfect conditions, but the hatching of insects seemed to still be on hold. Maybe due to that there was quite a lot of wind this day. We had some mayflies hatching and had some luck with finding rising fish that we managed to catch. This day we also really felt the mosquitos coming making us putting on the funniest costumes. We also managed to do some fly tying in the tent in the evening which ended up in some rear creations from Glenn ☺
Wednesday, finally!! Hatching!!! More than 20 fish caught this day! Optimal conditions, major caddis and mayfly hatch on a very local place upstream (all hatching took place within only a few meters). Highlight from this day was Tommy’s new personal record of 3.5 kg and Glenn caught a monster of 5,3 kg (I had the honor of helping him net the fish). For Glenn this was an unforgettable fight which lasted more than 35 minutes! I let the pictures speak for themselves, awesome day with unforgettable moments shared among very good fishing friends!
Thursday and Friday we had a weather change to more colder weather. Hatching was still ongoing at very local places but still not all across the river system. You really have to search, be patient and wait to see rising fish. Some of us had a lot of bad luck these days loosing quite a lot of fish although using very strong tippet. We shared the best spots between us and made sure that we all had fun and opportunities to cast on rising fish.
To take a trip like this with dedicated and passionate fly fisher men is always a pleasure. It is amazing to see and share the happiness a person feel when he finally have a trophy trout in the net! Sometimes I’m so lucky to capture some of this (funny) expressions on camera ☺
All together we caught a lot of fish during the week, with a total of 84 fish above 1 kg. Water temperature was between 11 to 18 degrees during the week. Everyone caught fish above 3 kg, and three of us made new personal records! The breakdown of the statistics is an average of 2,3 kg!!, 17 above 3 kg!! and 35 above 2 kg and one awesome fish 5,3 kg! Almost all fish caught on dry flies, only one fish on nymph (nothing on streamer)!!!!! Two of us with new personal records (Tommy and Glenn)! It was however difficult fishing with fish that where very selective on flies even though hatching was ongoing with both caddis and mayflies. It was also very strange to see and experience how local hatchings can be. Everything we experienced regarding hatching took place only within a few meters at certain spots on the river. You really must spend time on the river, be patient and willing to walk a bit if you want to find rising trout. The reward makes it worth it ☺
I’d like to raise a big thank you to Volodya, our friend at campsite, always there to provide excellent service for us! My group really appreciated your service and we all see you as one of us in the team. Thank you to Kharlovka company and the ASR program that makes it possible for us to visit these rivers at The Kola Peninsula and experience the World’s best dry fly fishing for wild brown trout!
See you again next year!
On behalf of the group best regards to everyone
Tom Tuskin, Group Leader