Kharlovka week 23 ending 6th of June 2014
Springtime above the arctic circle has always been for believers only! Following the three early seasons including last year’s record high temps and low water conditions, this year the boys returned back to the Kharlovka camp to find more typical spring conditions to open the first week of the season. While there was certainly more snow and ice lying about than normal, we were not excepting the weather conditions to be so pleasant with mostly sunny skies, warm southerly breezes, and daytime temperatures that reached into the 20′s for the majority of the week.
Although we began with frigid water temps of 1.5C, the rivers warmed quickly over the week to a more comfortable and encouraging temp of 6C. As a result, the balmy spring weather led to a steady rise of approximately 6 to 8cm/day in the rivers from a relitively normal opening level of 1.18cm to a near record height of 1.41cm+ – before our measuring stick was washed away. The rivers finally peaked and began to level out on the final day.
To give you some idea the water was flowing over the big rock at the top of the home pool and through the birch forest, also under the picnic table on the Litza Tent pool, and we probably won’t see the island on Guys pool for another week or so.
Undeterred by the challenges, the team armed themselves with heavy sinking lines up to 1000+ grains (special thanks to Mikael who was extra generous with his Guideline kit) in addition large tubes of 8 to 12cm. At first it was like trying to find a needle in haystack, until early week when the first fresh springers started to appear. While the warming river temps were drawing more and more salmon into the system as the days progressed, by the end of the week when the rising rivers had transformed the pools into thick rapids with the lower right bank of Julian’s and the tail of Rock pool left remaining as some of the only soft water pockets left to fish on the entire Kharlovka. The Litza was simply too powerful and turbulent to really get a line down in until the very last day when Mikael dredged a brace of 20+ pounders out of the Military pool. In addition, Mikael also had several big beautiful salmon off the lower Kharlovka in addition to an amazing sea trout of 16 pounds!
Along with many meters of kelts, the team did well to land a few hard earned springers a day until the end of the week when the rivers finally started to recede opening up new places to fish resulting in six more memorable salmon including the first fresh fish on the season of 19 pounds that was landed in the home pool forest.
Come Friday afternoon the team returned back to the lodge all smiles and sun burn faces – looking much fitter than they had when they arrived. It seems that several of the boys didn’t get enough and booked up again for round II on some of the last available rods for the 2014 season. We would also like to congratulate our new friend Jonathan for landing his first salmon ever of 23 pounds.
In the end our 10 good friends, several of whom have been joining us on the opening week her since the very beginning more than 20 years ago, managed to land the first 20 salmon of the season including 10 great fish in the 20 pound class up to 27 pounds. While the average weight for the week was a solid 19.15lbs, nearly everyone had a story to tell about something much more serious that slipped away. Great company mixed together with the fresh spring conditions – made for a most enjoyable opening week. Although our next group of lucky lads will continue to be challenged by cooling temps and sustained high water conditions, there are encouraging early signs that this is going to be an exciting season to come.