Monday, 13 August 2018

2018 Yokanga Season Review

The 2018 season has seen the Yokanga perform at its very best. The spring melt arrived at exactly the normal time and with snow levels within normal parameters, the season panned out precisely as it should.

Spring arrived on time
The first week of June (Week 0) was the opening week of the season and was cold and with high water, so classic spring conditions hunting for smaller numbers of quality fish straight in from the sea. True to form a couple of huge fish were hooked and lost. One of them being a vast fish of about 40lbs, hooked and played by Michael F at Sand Island. During the battle the fish leapt repeatedly, more like a summer grilse, before throwing the hook!

Early season 30lber
The following three weeks of June saw some of the prime weeks of the season perform incredibly well with the main runs of large multi sea winter salmon. All the fish were in truly excellent condition, fat and fighting fit and guests reported 12-15lbers tearing off into their backing and giving them a seriously good fight.

Quality 15lber
July saw some warmer weather and rapidly dropping water levels and it was noticeable that the cooler days produced the larger fish. With a strong run of grilse and numerous smaller multi sea winter fish in the 8-15lb bracket, the July weeks were among the most productive of the season. The grilse were in superb conditions, really deep for their size and aggressive to the fly.

One of the dozen salmon over 30lbs
The river as a whole produced 823 salmon to the 87 rods that fished with us on the Yokanga in the 2018 season. That included 121 in the 20-29lb bracket, 12 of 30-39lbs and 1 over 40lbs. A total of 134 in excess of 20lbs or 16% of the entire catch across the season! The numbers demonstrate that the Yokanga is undoubtedly one of your best chances anywhere in the world to try for a large Atlantic salmon.
Largest of the season 41lbs
The largest of the season was an incredible fresh salmon landed by Ismo U that measured 112cm x 68cm (44 x 26.5 inches) and that went in the book at 41lbs. They are too numerous to list but notable fish over 30lbs included a 32.6lber for Marcus S from Upper Norcamp, a 34lber for Roger T from the first island of 7 Islands and a 34lber from Crow’s Nest in early July for Jim C which was his very first Atlantic salmon!
32.6lber for Marcus S
What the figures above do not tell is the sheer number, quality and fun had with the numerous salmon under 20lbs that do not catch the headlines. One glance in the record book and you can see rows of salmon in the mid to high teens. These can be aggressive takers and will test both your ability and tackle.

Many fish in the high teens
The nature of the river with its rapids and boulders is that the biggest fish have the advantage. Inevitably there were stories of big fish that came unstuck. Colin S hooked and lost what he considered to be the largest fish he has ever hooked on the Yokanga and he has landed plenty of 30lb salmon there over the years. He hooked it close to the bank in Lyliok and it towed him up and down for 15 minutes and breached in full sight of him and Big Andrei before coming off. Colin was near speechless on his return to the lodge that evening! That loss was hot on the heels of another smaller fish the same day for Colin that wrapped him around a rock and broke him. Other guests broke rods when playing fish and some people were on the receiving end when good sized fish disappeared into rapids and had them running down the bank after them.

Fancy catching one of these in 2019?
We much look forward to more of the same in the 2019 season. If you are interested in joining us on the Yokanga next season, please do get in touch soonest as there are limited rods available.

Henry Mountain and Peter Rippin

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Week 7-14 July

Date: 7-14 July

Air Temp: 7C-26C
Water Temp: 12C-16C
Water height: -26cm to -33cm
Number of rods: 14
Number of fish caught: 157
Biggest fish: 26lbs David C and 26lbs Jean Marc F
No 30lb+: 0
No 20-29lbs:  6
No 8-19lbs: 38
Grilse: 114


After a reasonably cool start to the week it was a hot finish with some sweltering sunshine.

Bright sunshine
Manager’s Comments:

Looking at the numbers we had a good start to the week with the cooler weather. As you might expect this was when the larger salmon were landed. There were two terrific fish, both of 26lbs, landed by David C Jean Marc F.

26lber from Pump
The increasing sunshine and air temperatures over the course of the week meant increasing water temperatures and consequently the bigger fish were elusive and reluctant to take a fly.
26lber for Jean Marc F
There has been a good push of grilse in the month of July and these fresh silver bullets have provided good sport throughout the week and have kept morale going.

Rob W at 7 Islands
I head home now after an enjoyable three weeks on the Yokanga. There follow a couple of weeks of Russian clients and our final week of the season will commence on 28 July.

Bill Drury

Hot Day in Waders

Date: 13 July

Air Temp:14-26C
Water Temp :16C
Water height: -33cm
Number of rods: 14
Number of fish caught: 19
Biggest fish:
No 30lb+: 0
No 20-29lbs: 0
No 8-19lbs: 0
Grilse: 19


Sunny, thin cloud and a warm wind.

Manager’s Comments:

It was another very warm day out on the river. With the water temperature at 16C and bright sunshine, the larger fish have become less aggressive. The odd one can be seen rolling, just enough to keep us focused. Today was another day for the grilse with 19 of these 4-7lb fresh fish landed.

Hot Weather
When the clients returned to the lodge they were very happy to get out of their waders! It was like being in your own personal banya!

Bill Drury

Friday, 13 July 2018

Grilse Galore

Date: 12 July

Air temp: 14-25C
Water temp: 15C
Water height: -32cm
Number of rods: 14
Number of fish caught: 21
Biggest fish: 10lbs David C
No 30lb+: 0
No 20-29lbs: 0
No 8-19lbs: 3
Grilse: 18


Warm and sunny.

Manager’s Comments:

A warm bright start to the day was compounded when due to circumstances out of our control we had to quickly draw up a walking program.

Ready for the walk
Despite the day remaining very warm and bright, the rods applied themselves well to the conditions and landed 21 fish. A very respectable number considering. The fresh grilse once again made up the bulk of the catch and comments of the great condition of these fish were spoken about by all the guests.

Changing fly in Home Pool
All is back on track for a normal program tomorrow so we are looking forward to a good final day.

Helicopter service again on Friday
Bill Drury