Saturday, 20 June 2015

Weekly Report

14-21 June 2015

Air Temperature: 4C-17C
Water temperature: 9-11C
Water height: -9 - 13cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 121
Biggest fish: 33lbs Philippe Gouzer
No of fish 30lbs+: 5
No of fish 20-29lbs: 39
No of fish 8-19lbs: 77
Grilse: 0

Weather: Everything from extreme wind from all corners of the compass and heavy rain/hailstones to light breeze and bright sun

Comments: What an interesting week. It is clear that the healthy fish are running through the system incredibly fast and therefore the best beats are at the very top of the middle river. Sand Island, Cliff and 7 Islands are proving to have a good head of fish and especially the biggest fish. Lyliok has been productive as always, having the benefit of the long rapid below and classic fly water above but middle beats like the Norcamps and Island are yet to begin to stop fish for long enough be productive. It was great to see Crow’s Nest coming into shape and if the water drops during this week this beat will fish better and better. Poachers also proved productive with so many classic resting areas positioned above long rapid sections. This theory is backed up by fishers from the lower camp catching relatively few fish of smaller sizes and by many of the larger fish being caught in the upper lodge beats still having sea lice. It is a case of the water being warm enough and low enough for optimal running conditions.

It was nonetheless a fantastic week to be at the lodge with many returning fishers who have become friends over the years and a few new faces experiencing Yokanga for the first time. Honours were spread fairly evenly and just when certain fishers got the feeling that luck was not with them their fortunes would change - huge battles resulted in really special fish for Jack, Olivier, Andrew, Philippe, Michael and Simon. Certain fishers always seemed to have the "Fish Gods” on their side and the "Bann Special” was without doubt the fly of the week for Jonathan. Berndt had constant fishing all week and Jacques and Louis accounted for some lovely salmon too. Andrew landed one of the fattest salmon many had ever seen from Home Pool - by all right it should have been 21lbs or so but shaped more like a carp than a salmon with girth/length ratio of 60+/100 it weight in at 27lbs (it was re-checked on two scales several times just to make sure our eyes were not deceiving us!) First visits to Yokanga gave a taste of what the rivers offers to Paul, Marc, Michael and Philippe - all of whom added a lot of fun to proceedings so thanks to them for bringing lots of energy and laughs. Martin and Simon were full of fun and thanks for Simon for giving the end of week speech in Russian - thanking staff and guides for their efforts. Five fish over 30lbs for the week, 36% over 20lbs - we look forward to what next week brings!

Big Fish

19 June 2015

Air Temperature: 5C-16C
Water temperature: 11C
Water height: -9cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 15
Biggest fish: 33lbs Philippe Gouzer
No of fish 30lbs+: 1
No of fish 20-29lbs: 4
No of fish 8-19lbs: 10
Grilse: 0

Weather: Light breeze and bright sun interspersed with heavy winds and short bursts of heavy rain.

Comments: The last day of the week did not provide the numbers of fish we hoped for but it certainly did provide another fantastic fish to Philippe on the top island (right draw) of 7 Islands! Philippe had seen no action for most of the day and in the final hour decided to check out a particularly slow and deep piece of water. Line went tight and after a tussle of 25 minutes an immaculate 33lb cock fish was landed - the largest fish of the week! Martin also had a nice day with two very fresh fish of 14lb and 22lbs from Paocher’s beat, Jonathan had four fish from Lower Norcamp (good to see that beat starting to produce a little) and Andrew had a wonderful 29lbder from Lyliok after an epic battle.

The day finished with a particularly lively staff and guests Friday night party, leaving a few feeling a little fragile for the trip back to Murmansk the following morning. During the party Head Guide Andrey presented Michael B’ with a photographic book on Arctic species to commemorate his 17 years fishing at Yokanga and to thank him for all the support he has shown the river, guides and staff over those years.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Curate's Egg

18 June 2015

Air Temperature: 10C-17C
Water temperature: 10C
Water height: -13cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 16
Biggest fish: 29lbs Olivier Devictor
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 8
No of fish 8-19lbs: 8
Grilse: 0

Weather: light breeze all day from the north, sunny and patch cloud. Generally warm.

Comments: we did have a small rise in water after all, and without doubt some new large fish came into the river. Some beats did not produce fish today but others offered quite a lot of action, albeit not many entries to the book. Jonathan and Berdt hooked 9 fish between the on Norcamp, landing 1 each, Marc Philippe and Michael also saw a number of fish in the hourglass of crows nest and the main draw, hooking 7 and landing 1 each. Possibly the sun was the reason for slightly short takes? The fish that arrived in the evening were of the highest possible quality, with ridiculous proportions (girths of 55 - 60% of length.) Andrew had a 27lb fish from just above Heron Point only to be trumped by Olivier who landed a 29lb stunner from Pots. Jack also had another epic battle in Poachers which ended with the fly coming out after several hundred yards of chasing down rapids. 50% today of 20lbs or over.

Last day tomorrow, let's hope for a strong finish to the week.

Temperature Plummets

17 June 2015

Air Temperature: 4C-6C
Water temperature: 11C
Water height: -13cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 23
Biggest fish: 29lbs Jonathan Murray
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 9
No of fish 8-19lbs: 14
Grilse: 0

Weather: Strong and very cold north/northeast wind and persistent drizzle. Wind dropped a little toward the end of the day.

Comments: A really cold, wet and windy day but some lovely fish being landed such as Jonathan's 104cm 29lber from Island and Jacques' 28lber from 7 Islands (2nd island river right channel below chute).

Philippe landed a hard fighting PB of 21lbs and Paul landed three very fresh fish fish, one liced. Very few fish showed on any beat during the day, likely due to the air being so much colder than the water. However two large pods of fish came through Lyliok around 8pm and 10pm respectively, Jack landing three of the later group weighing in at 10lbs, 22lbs and 23lbs.

At the end of this wet and very cold day we have the impression the river may be rising a little, we will know in the morning.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Double Thirty

16 June 2015

Air Temperature: 7C-15C
Water temperature: 11C
Water height: -11cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 24
Biggest fish: 32 x 2 Michael Gumener and Jack Meredith
No of fish 30lbs+: 2
No of fish 20-29lbs: 5
No of fish 8-19lbs: 7
Grilse: 0

Weather: Gentle westerly building a little in the afternoon as cloud cover rolled in.

Comments: Our fishers are still seemingly targeting smaller numbers of fish than at this time in a regular year, however the quality is there for all to see! Michael was invited to Poachers by his great friends Marc and Philippe and proceeded to use his Park Shrimp (3/4" copper tube) to "poach" their water to great effect landing a 27lb fish from the main top draw and a 32lb hen from the "badlands" between Poachers corner and Beach - a great fish and rare spot for anything other than summer grilse!
 7 Islands was good again producing lovely fresh fish to 27lbs for Jonathan and Berndt and Norcamp began to produce with Andrew and Donald landing a few in the upper section. Generally the team are fishing sink tips and tubes still with brighter patterns taking the lead.

Michael B kindly invited Jack to fish his Lyiok left bank evening rotation - an invitation that did not go to waste as Jack hooked a huge fish in the top "pot" which when landed 45 minutes later in the top of Crow's Lake weighed in at 32lbs. A great moment for Jack and really exactly what Yokanga is all about. You can have a lean few days and just when you feel luck is not on your side you have an epic battle and land the fish of a lifetime.

Oleg, the night guide, also reported a small number of very large fish showing at midnight as they moved up through Lyliok and Home Pool.....wonder if anyone will connect with them tomorrow?

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Seven Islands

15 June 2015

Air Temperature: 4C-15C
Water temperature: 11C
Water height: -8cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 19
Biggest fish: 30.5lbs, Simon Bath
No of fish 30lbs+: 1
No of fish 20-29lbs: 6
No of fish 8-19lbs: 12
Grilse: 0

 Weather: A lovely warm morning with sun and a light breeze then overcast and very strong upstream north east wind in afternoon.

Comments: A fantastic fish for Simon from the penultimate draw of 7 Islands - one of six from the beat including two fish in the mid twenties for Martin. Sand Island also fished excellently as did Poachers in the morning before the wind got up on Beach and Lake.

Upper and Lower Norcamp and Island are not producing yet. Fish seem to be going straight through them without resting, hopefully that will change during the week as the water is a lovely height for those beats.

Monday, 15 June 2015

New Team

Evening 13 and 14 June 2015

Air Temperature: 6C-14C
Water temperature: 7C - 10C
Water height: -6cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 24
Biggest fish: 30lbs, Jonathan Murray
No of fish 30lbs+: 1
No of fish 20-29lbs: 8
No of fish 8-19lbs: 15
Grilse: 0

Weather: A windy morning, overcast, bright sun and warm in the afternoon.

Comments: What a difference a day makes! Fish are beginning to run through the lower beats in better numbers, still not really showing but being hooked and lost or landed, and are beginning to stop in the uppermost beats.

Upper Norcamp produced a couple of fish but Lower Norcamp and Island are still thin. Crows Nest produced again and Hourglass in its middle section is coming into shape.

Jonathan landed a phenomenally fat, carp-shaped 30lb cock fish from Lyliok on a Bann Special and Michael had a fantastic 27lb fish in the evening. It's also nice to see the bank fishing at Home and Heron point starting to work well.