Trout Fishing Report 8A – 2018

Posted on 22/08/2018

Just came back home from another great trip at the Tundra!
We were a diverse group consisting of 5 fishermen from French Guiana, Germany, Norway and a Guide from Russia. Two in the group had indeed black belt in Tundra life and the other 3 were newcomers to the Tundra. But despite being Tundra newbies they brought with them 75 years of extensive fly-fishing experience from all over the world including Argentina, Chile, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Cuba, Greenland, Venezuela and Germany!
It was both the diverse cultural and fly-fishing experiences the group brought to bear that helped us to manage the challenging conditions that laid ahead of us. Because this time it wasn’t easy!

My group consisted of from the left Andre Kristiansen (Norway), Holger Rogge (Germany), Luganscky Volodya (Russia & Chief Camp Officer), Are Bjørlykke (Norway), Jean-Marc Pintrand (French Guiana) and Eivind Hagen (Norway & group leader).

My team

On Wednesday we saw a bear in the far distance but for some strange reason we never saw it again #flair

From the left Luganscky Volodya, Jean-Marc Pintrand, Holger Rogge, Andre Kristiansen, Are Bjørlykke and Eivind Hagen.

My team2

And to the report itself:
We met with the previous groups for breakfast at Azimut hotel learning that the water level was low and the water temperatures were high. But the weather forecast projected a change in the weather bringing temperatures down to 12 degrees and scattered rain, so we were hoping for better conditions. We arrived Rynda camp in the late afternoon and got a warm welcome from Nadya and Nicolai.

Fantastic food being served in the Rynda camp. I must try the salmon program one day

Rynda lunch

We arrived Kharlovka and Wulfs Lair around 8pm to the lowest water levels I have experienced in my 11 years at the Tundra. In fact I heard from Rynda that the water levels had never been so low during their 20 years of operations. The Tundra was warmer than Madrid this summer and we saw the result of that now. Extreme low water levels and 18 degrees in the water. I tried to hide my disappointment and brought some positivity in the group by giving them some local vodka

In normal conditions this rapid upstream camp is an arena of nightly caddis hatching circus. This time it was completely dry.

Wulf waterlevel

Me, Holger and Jean-Marc went downstream to one of my favorite tails and the three of us only got one 1.8 kilo trout that evening. Are and Andre went upstream to maybe the most productive tail on the beat and just got a 2 kilo trout. The vodka could not hide the disappointment in the group when we went to bed that night.

We caught a 5.5 kilo trout at this tail 3 years ago. Now this place was a shadow of itself and very shallow.

Wulf waterlevel2

The weather changed the next day. The temperature dropped and we got some scattered rain. I was hoping the water level would go up, but during our stay at Wulfs the water sank with 2cm each day. We regrouped and hoped that the drop in temperature would make the trout more active. When the water level was so low, the number of hotspots shrank, and the trout got very spooky. We needed to bring the ‘Hemsila’ tactics to bear with longer leaders, thinner tippets and we fished from standing on our knee 2 meters from the bank. It yielded some results and we started to get a few 3 kilo trouts, but the tails got quickly spooked.

We did manage to land some beautiful iceage trouts in Wulfs. Here is Are with a nice 3.2 kilo trout from home pool.

Are 32

Me with a nice 3.2 kilo trout from one of the pools upstream camp.

Eivind 32

Volodya tried his best to keep our mood up and arranged for a romantic outdoor dinner

Wulf outdoordinner

On Tuesday we didn’t fish in Kharlovka and we just sat down in camp relaxing waiting for the pickup at 2pm. All in all Wulfs Lair was a disappointment and we only got 11 trouts with 3.5, 3.2 and 3.2 as the top 3.
Things changed dramatically when we arrived Litza and Swan Islands! The water level was low but it seemed a bit higher than Kharlovka and the water temperature was perfectly 12 degrees! Also the water level slowly increased 1-2cm each day we were there as well – bringing us better and better conditions. Im not sure the reason why Kharlovka and Litza had so different conditions. Maybe because lower Litza river is larger than upper Kharlovka, or it had been raining more in the water systems in Litza or perhaps it was more snow there during winter.

No need for stress when you are on the Tundra.
Anyway that first day in Litza turned out so magical as what I had dreamed of all winter. The first 24 hours in Litza we landed 18 trouts!! Andre landed a 5 and 3 kilo trout, Holger landed a 4.3 and 3 kilo trout, Jean-Marc landed a 3 kilo trout and Are landed 7 trouts! Our high shoulders varnished, and we were back in business!

Holger hipflask

Andre with the group’s biggest (5 kilo) and his new personal best!! An epic fight which Jean-Marc safely netted.

Andre 5

Jean-Marc got many trouts the second day in Litza and this 3 kilo was his biggest.

JeanMarch 3

Me and Holger went to the tail downstream the lake at the sami cabin and Holger buried deep in his Patagonia pockets to try out a technique which worked well there. The reward was a beautiful 4.3 kilo Litza trout!

Holger 43

The days at lower Litza treated us well. We gradually found our zen and started to fish better and better.

Swan sunset

The cabin at Swan Lakes which we have become so fan of

Cabin

On the last day me and Are went for a long walk down towards first knee and we landed several large trouts at each pool ending the day with 13 trouts among us and with several trouts lost. I think the conditions will improve in the days to come so I hope the VIP program spends time on the lower Litza.

Pool after pool we managed to land beautiful trophy trouts. Here is Are in action.

Are Swan

Andre and Holger after a great day fishing.

Andre Holger

So despite the difficult conditions, with 5 fishermen and 3 new to the Tundra we managed to get a descent result and we had so much fun doing it!
i. We got one of the largest trouts on the Tundra this year with a whopping 5 kilo!!
ii. All group members got a +3 kilo trophy trout!
iii. We got 10 fish above 3 kilo!
iv. 2 out of 5 members of the group got new personal records! 5 and 4.3 kilo!
v. In total 52 fish above 1 kilo!

And Volodya managed our camp in a brilliant way and made Michelin star Tundra food. It was not an easy crew to please including a French guy who has never been to McDonalds in his life and only tasted ketchup once! But Volodya never failed to impress us with his Tundra meals!

Also please find our executive summary expressed in its Tundra roughness here on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5rOeB31Su0&t=223s

All in all we had a great visit to the Tundra A truly amazing experience with good company and we tapped into the potential of world class trout fishing! Where in the world can you get dry fly fishing for wild brown trout better than this?
I’m really grateful to be part of the trout program, it’s such an enriching experience on so many levels. Big thanks to the ASR, Kharlovka and Volodya! I must admit after just a few days in civilization I already miss the Tundra… and I’m very much looking forward to next year!

Tight Lines,

Eivind Hagen

Tundra blues