The graph abobe shows the catch results of Roxtons's operation in the same
river 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 more than justify the handsome price.
I would highly recommend to go for 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.
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
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
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 1st day fishing.
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, there was no actions to follow during the first
two days. Same for the fellow anglers - casting lures and 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.
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.