Trout Fishing Report 9A – 2016
Dream Kharlovka and First Knee Litza
Back from another fantastic trip on the Russian tundra. We were a seasoned team with 145 years of fly fishing experience and a total of 31 week’s experience from the Russian tundra. We thought we had experienced it all and that the combination of thorough planning and our strong tundra experience should set us up with success. But Tundra is still Tundra and we experienced conditions we never had experienced before, and we saw things we never had seen before.
Our group consisted of from left: Tomas Falkenberg, Are Bjørlykke, Helge Olsen, Roy Refsnes, Eivind Hagen (group leader), Frans Rensfelt and Gena (Camp manager):
We started in Dream Kharlovka and we were surprised of the high water level. Normally in late August the water level is low, but now the water level was 70-80 cm above normal. Many of the pools were unfishable and the water was just flooding through them. It was 25 degrees in the air and 16 degrees in the water.
The spring came early at the tundra this year and with the warm summer the season had come to an end. We saw a couple of trout’s jumping high up from the water telling us the spawning was ongoing. Adding also the high water level to the play we were not set up for success. Despite the tough conditions we put on our growth mindset and fished hard the first day – only to catch one single trout.
Next day 3 of us went down to Oset to check if the fishing was better there. Upper part of Oset were flooded and the pools were not fishable, lower part was a bit better and they caught some good fish there. We also caught a few in Dream that day.
We tried Dry flies, nymphs and streamers but it was hard to find the fish. The fish didn’t stay at the tails on the pools as they normally do. The best spots were slow shallow pools. We didn’t catch anything at the aquarium, which normally is one of the hot spots.
We also saw the largest fish we have ever seen before in on the tail below the ‘aquarium’ doing a head and tail just 5 meters from the bank. Probably a fish larger than 6 kilo. We tried for the fish a couple of days and in the end Are got his little brother which was a trout on 3,5 kilo.
On Tuesday evening we were picked up and went to First Knee Litza, a camp I had been to many times before and usually hold many large trout. The weather was nice and sunny with 20 degrees and the water level was around 40 cm high. The helicopter left us in paradise:
Autumn definitively arrived with amazing colours:
Fishing was also here tough and we managed only to land 4 trouts in the first evening. Just before it got dark, Frans took a nice 2,8 kilo trout just next to camp:
The next day the weather changed with strong northern wind, rain and temperature dropped from 20 degrees to 12 degrees. Tomas, Are and myself walked down to Second Knee were basically all the pools were too fast, and the tails that are normally well defined was not present at this water level and the water was just flooding through. The slow parts on the upper Second Knee held some spawning fish but it was difficult to hook them.
We got tips from Gena to tie large Kola Killer with gold heads and flash to ‘wake up’ the spawning fish. A couple of hours and beers later and we were equipped.
We got a few large trout’s on this pattern, so it worked. Tomas with his personal best:
The water level came down slowly and during the last few days the fishing got a bit better, the pools became more defined and we had many takes on the Skater and Kola Killer. We caught a few over 2,5 kilo but no real trophy fish.
The last couple of nights were rough. Thursday evening we had storm and on Friday the winter arrived at with -3 degrees. We also had an Arctic Fox in the camp a couple of days which is very rare.
Great to arrive camp after a long day fishing:
We had some amazing sunsets over Litza:
We had tough conditions this year, but I must say I’m impressed by the number of fish we landed in the end. 49 in total with 3,5 as the largest. It’s when the conditions are tough when you learn and grow.
Gena orchestrated the camp in an excellent manner with excellent food and pleasant guitar music making the camp life both enjoyable and comfortable for all of us. Moreover, he gave us good fly fishing advice on hot spots, different tactics and flies.
Can’t wait to next time!