Learning to be quiet, at last.
Fishing wise, this place on left bank appeared better - due to its closeness
to the main current as I said above, and the river bed here offered a bit
more irregularities where salmon should stop to rest.
I had Sayuri cover the likely spots over and over at good interval, but
alas, no response of salmon whole day. The consolation prize was a couple
sea trout, though not big, only to 42cm.
Back in the lodge, we had visitors like this, and we even saw the northern
The shorter days reduces fishing hours, but it was not all that bad thing
As soon as we started fishing, we picked up some half hearted resistance.
Sure enough, they were those pinkies, spwawned out and waiting for their
They were so numerous. If we complete the down cross swing and wait a few
seconds too long, we ended up catching those poor thing.
Day 2. We steer our course to the left bank, which offers better wading
access to the main line of the current.
The days are short. We quit fishing at 5pm and went back, to enjoy the
sauna bath then the gorgeous dinner. Misa and Sayuri liked the lodge very
So we flew to Murmansk again, and spent 8hours on the road again, to come
to the village of Varzuga once again.
On our previous visit in early June, the island in the middle stayed under
water. Now at last, we could see it dry and above.
The bank on this side is steeper, and was covered in snow packs as we visited
in June. Now the bank was free of ice, but there still was no flat pebbly
beaches where Misa can spend her time. Baby sitting takes a lot of care
and patience, especially in such a narrow stretch of land.
Autumn here up north is short, and the temperature plummets noticeably
day by day. To prepare against bad weather we brought a small tent along.
Luckily during our visit this time, the daytime temperature climbed still
near 10degrees to our relief.
The very same public beat but has different appearance now in Autumn, and
the water was running lower by, say, 2 feet, making the bank much more
easier to walk along.
Varzuga is one of the rivers that receives healthy run of autumn salmon.
The number is not great, surely much less than the summer run, but autumn
fish are fat and powerful, willing to take small flies on the surface,
according to Anatoly the lodge owner and my friend at flyshop in Moscow.
I had tied enough of those flies for my summer trip, which did not have
a chance due to the high water. At last I might give them some nice swim!
To go, or not to go, that was the question.
With the company I work for, there is a small window of holiday opportunity
in end September. Nice season in Japan, but not quite so here in Russia.
It can be snowy already. For a moment I thought about going south, to Europe,
but no, not enough days off to make it a worthwhile.
After a lot of thinking, I settled down with Varzuga yet again. Simply
because she's the nearest option where we could expect a decent fishing.
Varzuga in Sept '17 - 1
However once in the water, we noticed the current was still quite powerful,
and compared with our first visit in June '16, the water was still higher,
say, by a foot.
On the rocks there was a thin layer of algae developed during the warmer months, demanding full attention when wading.
After sound sleep, we took a boat up the river to the same public beat.
Immediately we noticed great number of carcasses of the humpback littering
They are natives of the Pacific and not endemic to this region, but were
introduced during the Soviet regime to support the commercial fishery.
They are 2 year fish, and the migration fluctuates every other year. Here
in Varzuga, they come back in big numbers in odd years.