The graph abobe shows the catch results of Roxton's operation in Varzuga, it confirms our own observation and adverse climate conditions we experienced the past two years. The 14 fish per rod (per week) is their worst ever. But then again, it is simply unthinkable to catch that many fish in the featureless public beat where we spent a week. We have to admit they do offer quality fishing that justifies the price tag. I would recommend it to all anglers who can afford.

Anyway when spring comes in the north, it comes at a big stride. The signs were everywhere, to comfort our eyes at least.
The village of Varzuga shimmering in the midnight sun. Eerie silence reigns, with only occasional howl of dogs in the distance.

- Next
The air temperature climbed up to 10 degrees in the afternoon, so did the surface water up to 5. Hoping for the shift of salmon's activity we kept working on the water with due diligence, but there was no actions that followed during the day.

Oh, indeed we started to receive some actions - of trout and greyling. They are fine fish in their own rights, but too small to bend our double hand.
Fishing there was not easy to say the least. After hours of treacherous wading and persistence, I managed my 2nd fish. A bright fresh fish to reward my effort.
As we had anticipated, Kitsa was also flooding badly. Making a big contrast to the scene we remembered from the previous June (place the pointer on the pic), Kitsa was now flowing in a full swing, drowning the bush on both banks to a waist deep.

We struggled first of all to find a place where we can safely stand - as the river bed was soft and uneven, with lots of pot holes, and then to find a space to make half decent D-loop.
Even in the arctic north, this was not what we expected in June. The river was not frozen over (as it had been till mid May) any longer, but the water was frigid cold at 2 celcius. They lodge owner congratulated us, that we at least can wet the line - unlike the groups who visited there in the first 2 weeks.

Indeed, there was a sign of life - place the pointer to see the only action we saw during our day1.
Last year in 2016 we saw the earliest arrival of summer in history, which resulted in the poorest catch results in Varzuga's fishing record of the past 25yrs. And now this, we were there to observe the staggering extension of winter and resulting snow melt flood in June. What a luck, or the lack thereof, to experience the two extremes with just two visits!!
Day 4. We needed some change. After 3 whole days covering the very same water, we need a change, any change, even if just for the sake of a change!!

We hopped on a 4x4 to travel through the sandy forest to the lonesome fishing village of Kusomeni. As did the last year, we asked for a help of a local fisherman, Denis, to ferry us to Kitsa, one of the tributary of Varzuga.
Anatoly the lodge owner and Pasha the cook took a great care of us. The standard of food (both breakfast and dinner) was beyond our expectations. Along with freshly caught salmon, they served such local specialty as elk / reindeer meat, as well as berries and mushrooms picked up in the woods.

At the request of the guests, usually every other day, they prepare Banya (place the pointer on the pic), Russian style sauna bath. What a pleasure that was, after la ong day hard fishing.
Our morale ran high for a while, but after that one fish Mike managed to play for a minute or two, no actions followed during the first 2 days. Same for the fellow anglers - casting lures & flies - along the both banks.

The water temperature was 3 degrees celsius. Not with a warm feeling we kept casting, covering the seemingly lifeless water. To our blessing, the weather was changing for the better. Though the wind from the north was still bitterly cold, break of the sky and bright sunshine gave us something to hold onto.
2nd season in Russia. From the experience of the previous year when we suffered from high temperature and low water, we decided to go north this time a little early - in the first week of June.

This time Sayuri and Misa chose to stay home - salmon fishing with whole family is doable but boring - same water same place one whole week. I was joined by two of my fishing mates instead - Mike & Hama.

But yo behold, place the pointer on the pic, and see what greeted us underneath the sheet of thick clouds.
Fishy Trips
Varzuga in June '17 - 1
Fishing day 3, the moment came.

I was fishing with two sink tips teamed up, to get the fly down deep in the flood water. The fly was an oversized muddler minnow. Not a graceful fishing style as salmon fishing should be, but it is important to try something different when all else doesn't seem to work.
Here let me introduce the lodge we stayed.

This time we chose a Anatoly:s lodge on the left bank, in the small settlement of Varzuga. It stands in a nice location on a hill, some 200meters from the boat launch. They charge some 90euros per day full board, which I think is a great value considering the high level of comfort. Place the pointer on the pic to see the bed room on the 1st floor.