Friday, 28 July 2017

"Medium Fish"

 DATE: 28th July 2017

Air Temp: 27’C
Water Temp:13’C
Water Height: +.80m
Number of Rods: 16
Number of fish Caught:  10
Biggest fish: 25lbs Piam 
No 30+: 0 
No 20-29lbs: 3
No 8-19lbs: 7
Grilse: 0

Very clear day with a slight SE wind.

Managers comments:

I feel like today's conditions reflect well on our results. It truly was a blisteringly hot, calm day. The mozi’s where out in force and the breeze was, at times, non existent . However, being the Yokanga river, the fish we did manage to land where really quite fantastic. Arguably, by Yokanga standards they where “medium fish”, as Vova told Piam today when he landed his 25 pounder. But I'm sure most of you would agree that by any other salmon river, ten fish we caught to all be over thirteen pounds is really quite incredible, not to mention the three over 20. 

Sergie preparing lunch

Piam has had a wonderful week and finished off with a bang as he got a  beautiful 25 pound salmon in Lower Norcamp. Piam had his fish on a sunray shadow which seems to have been the flavour of the week. I think at least 80% of the fish have been caught on a sunray of sorts. If not on a variation of the Sunray shawdow, then on some form of black fly.
Safely in the net
Pierre T also managed a 20+ fish today. Interestingly his 23lbs fish today was in fact longer than his 25lbs earlier in the week. His fresh 25lbs fish was 100cm x 51cm. Today's 23 was 105cm x 48cm. An interesting contrast between fresh and old fish. Perhaps more significant with Yokanga fish because of the pure depth of fish that this river produces. The fish Pierre caught  today has potentially lost 4 pounds with its time in the river. Anyone who has set foot in the mighty Yokanga will know that you certainly burn a lot of energy just stood in the back eddies, never mind running the rapids! 
Flagging down the heli

Toby Burrell

Red Francis

DATE: 27th July 2017

Air Temp: 22’C
Water Temp:13’C
Water Height: - 0.11m
Number of Rods: 16
Number of fish Caught:  15
Biggest fish: 22lbs Paul Abib
No 30+: 0 
No 20-29lbs: 1
No 8-19lbs: 13
Grilse: 1

Cloudless skies, warm with barely no breeze & hot.
Managers Comments: 
Alain with fish from yesterday.
Another steady day today, very bright and very little wind. The team have been pulling out all the stops to try and get stuck into some fish. Piam even tried the upstream Red Francis this morning, which actually resulted in a lovely 17 pound fish. Nothing venture nothing gain… Well done Piam. 
Piam's fish on a Red Francis 
Again black seems to be the colour of choice today,  Yann fished through Lyliok three times from the right bank, first time with a little black stoats tail, he had one and a fair few pulls. The second time he fished it through with a cascade. Nothing at all, not even a sight nudge. Third time through he put  slightly bigger black & gold fly on, lots of pulls and lost a fish. Perhaps this is coincidence, or the fish in fact only want a black flies. 
Cedomir had an eventual morning in Upper Norcamp. First thing after arriving he was straight into a nice 10 pound fish. Moments later he hooked into a monster fish. Estimated by guide and angler to have been 15kgs or more. Cedomir had the fish in close a couple of times. Sadly the second time he got it in close, it saw the guide/Cedomir and pealed off down stream on its tail. A magnificent sight to see a fish of that calibre tail walking down the pool. Sadly in the process of its second tail walk the fly popped out and the fish was gone. A sad moment for Cedomir, but an exciting bit of action never the less. 
The river is starting to drop off fast now with all this bright sun, I assume it will do so for the rest of the season. Hopefully this will channel the fish a little more and allow us to really get stuck in. 
 Toby Burrell

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Black flies

Date: 26th July 2017
Air Temp: 16’C
Water Temp:11’C
Water Height: - . 40m
Number of Rods: 16
Number of fish Caught:  11
Biggest fish: 16lbs Piam Guillemaud 
No 30+: 0 
No 20-29lbs: 0
No 8-19lbs: 11
Grilse: 0 

Cloudless skies, warm with a light breeze.

Managers Comments: 

Finally we seemed to have lost the heavy sitting fog, we have in fact been left with quite the opposite. Today had a very Mediterranean feel to it, with plenty of beaming sun. 

Todays successful flee

The fishing was hugely varied among the team. Pierre had a very good day, landing three fish in total  from Poachers pool. One of his bigger fish was reasonably fresh - perhaps a small push of fish coming in. All of his three fish, and a couple of other pulls came from the same black fly (see photo above). Interestingly Gilles' fish last night where all on a similar, sun ray variant. 

The release

Piam also ended up with a good result today with three fish between 10 & 16lbs. His 16 pound fish was an incredibly well caught one. He was fishing through lower Norcamp when he had a slight pull, the second cast produced nothing. Piam then decided to change fly, again nothing… Three changes later he finally persuaded the fish to take on a small black tube. Perseverance is key and often pays off, well done Piam!

Pierre T with his guide Toli
The river is slowly dropping off again after the quick rise earlier in the week, and we are getting back to normal July weather. 

Pierre N with a fresh one under the blue skies

 Toby Burrell

A Magical Hour

DATE: 25th July 2017

Air Temp: 11’C
Water Temp:12’C
Water Height: +0m
Number of Rods: 16
Number of fish Caught:  12
Biggest fish: 25lbs Pierre Thomas 
No 30+: 0 
No 20-29lbs: 1
No 8-19lbs: 9
Grilse: 2

Fog until late morning, brief window of high cloud and a short shower of rain. 

Managers Comments: 

I woke up this morning and gingerly drew the blinds on my bedroom window, to my absolute horror the fog was still sitting low and for the fourth day in a row I could hardly make out the outline of the helicopter only 100ft away. 
Fish on!
As a team we decided to wait it out in the hope we might get a short window to take off. Finally at about 11:05 the fog lifted just enough for the heli to go. The troops were ready in a flash and we nipped up river, for the first time this week! Literally minuets after the chopper landed back in camp the fog came whistling back in meaning we were unable to do a pick up. Of course this is not a problem as all our boats have engines and even from the top beats its not a great distance when you've you got an engine.
Bomber time
 Fishing wise today was slightly more active, the ability to use the boats certainly helped, we could at least start to use the wind rather than fight it. Yann and his father had a productive day up at Sand Island and Cliff pool. They ended up with three between them, one of which was a fantastic 25 pounder. They reported other action too. 
20 pounds of fish in the net
Gilles has just got back form his night time session in Lyliok, a magical hour, he said. One hour of fishing from right bank and constantly touching fishing, one landed and a couple lost, all on a sun ray shadow. Encouraging stuff. 
Sun set through the fog.
I have never known this fog to sit in the bottom of the tundra like this for so long. Its very normal to have it one or maybe two days in a season. Five days on the trot however, is very tedious. I hope the pilots will have some work to do tomorrow!
Toby Burrell 

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Fog still sitting

DATE: 24th July 2017

Air Temp: 7’C
Water Temp:12’C
Water Height: +0m
Number of Rods: 16
Number of fish Caught:  5
Biggest fish: 22lbs Denis 
No 30+: 0 
No 20-29lbs: 1
No 8-19lbs: 4
Grilse: 0

Heavy fog, extremely cold with a very strong upstream wind. Patches of rain/sleet…

Managers Comments: 

Another traitorous day in the Tundra today, these phenomenal July conditions really are odd and just emphasise the peculiarities of this years season. I arrived here in the Tundra early may, we experienced one of the most bizarrely long winters the Kola has seen in the last 100 years. It did eventually start to melt and spring did eventually arrive. However this current weather only reminds of the long cold days we had earlier this season. It feels like we've almost gone back in time four weeks.  Last week we had days of up to 20’C today it was down to 6’C and an extremely cold North wind, you can really feel in right through to the core.
Denis with his 22
However there is nothing we can do about the weather, no use crying over spilt milk. Once again the team set off on foot from the camp to fish as far as they dared walk. Although the catch results today where not perhaps as high as one would like, the quality of fish was really fantastic. Denis had his first ever atlantic salmon, a lovely 22lb fish that was reasonably fresh. An epic battle, I was down in Lyliok and I could see fish on! I watched from a distance as they slowly pottered down stream from home pool with the fish on. After a good ten minuet fight, with no sign of coming in, I thought perhaps I will walk up and see. Just as I arrived they were releasing the fish. 
Gilles with a fish from Lyliok
Pierre & Gilles each had very good fish, 19 & 17lbs. Two fantastic fish one of which was nice and fresh. It is truly is an amazing river, the quality of fish that it constantly churns out is really fantastic. Only five fish today but in the range of 22-12 pounds, unbelievable! 
A lovely 19lbs fish
The gale force wind  continues to pump at high speeds up stream, making it incredibly difficult to cast, its forecast for a weather change on Wednesday. Hopefully we can at least get up the river with the heli tomorrow!
Toby Burrell

Monday, 24 July 2017

An Arctic day

DATE: 23rd July 2017

Air Temp: 6’C
Water Temp:12’C
Water Height: +.05m
Number of Rods: 16
Number of fish Caught:  5
Biggest fish: 13lbs Yann Thomas
No 30+: 0 
No 20-29lbs: 0
No 8-19lbs: 5
Grilse: 0

Heavy fog, extremely cold with a very strong upstream wind.

Managers Comments: 

Everything was against us today, the water is rising the temperatures have plummeted and the wind was at a very nasty angle all day. The river has risen half a meter over night and is back up to above 0 on the gage. The water temperature has dropped  4’C and the air temp has dropped over 10’C. Not to mention the brutally cold upstream wind. 
This Weeks Group

Despite the uncomfortable conditions and lack of helicopter, the guests geared up, braved the elements and set off on a mission. Just trying to get a line out to cover the fish was not an easy task today, especially when we don't have use of the boats. 
Can you spot the chopper?
Yann did exceptionally well, he hiked all the way up to beach and found a small pocket of shelter on the corner. With a bit of perseverance he soon found the fish and managed to get hold a couple. They both, I'm told, put up and excellent fight. Two fish, both similar, 10 & 13lbs. Well done Yann. 
Fly tying this evening
Cedomir also had a very well deserved fish in the rapids below Lyliok. He told me that is was perhaps one of his most enjoyable/satisfying fish he has ever caught. Not often to you have a chance of fishing in these extreme arctic conditions, that quite frankly make fly fishing damn near impossible. Especially so in the rapids below Lyliok as the wind really was roaring up the river at some speed. Cedomir said that, fishing alone was exciting but catching his fish was extremely rewarding. 
Fog, wind, rain, sleet... 
This evening shows no apparent signs or warming up, the fog is incredibly thick still. For those of you that know the lodge, you can't see the river from the balcony and only just make out the helicopter from the veranda. Its thick stuff! 
We can only hope for better conditions tomorrow, mainly fingers crossed for that horrendous wind to die down. 

Toby Burrell

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Weekl 15-22 July: The Magic Snood

Weekly Round up: 14th-22nd July 2017
Air Temp: 7’C - 28’C
Water Temp: 17-13’C
Water Height: -.60m - 0m
Number of Rods: 16
Number of fish Caught: 100
Biggest fish:  32lbs Sam Carlisle 
No 30+: 1
No 20-29lbs: 11
No 8-19lbs: 46
Grilse: 42
Av Size: 13.1lbs

This weeks weather has been all over the place, starting off warm & very little wind, ending the week with a couple of very cold days. Thunder lighting and strong NE winds. 
Managers Comments: 
Certainly up there with one of the most enjoyable weeks I've had on the tundra, camp life has been very cheerful, a very jolly group of fishers who never for one moment secede to enjoy Yokanga’s magic. 
Fish Landed!
This fishing has been fairly consistent throughout the week, every one had there day. With a group of accomplished fish like last week, it was really a matter of keep going until you find the fish. Some beats seemingly had more fish than others, luckily it kept fairly even and everybody experienced a couple of really fantastic days, catch wise.
Giles with a fish from the famous Lyliok

One story that continues to amaze is the story of James’ snood… A snood is a fishing neck scarf, this week is was not just any snood but a magic 20 pound snood. James used his snood every day bar two. Every day he used it he landed a fish over 20 pounds. On Thursday, to test the theory he didn't take it out, no 20 pounder…(He did get at 19). On Friday, he generously gave the snood to his fishing partner Martin. Sure enough the snood provided again, Martin had 6 fish 2 of which broke the 20 pound mark. Believer or not, it is quite a remarkable set of coincidences and I'm sure the snood will now never be left behind on a fishing trip! Aside from the lucky snood, I would like to congratulate James B on a couple of fantastic weeks fishing here. This week James landed five fish over 20lbs (one at 28lbs) amongst a fair few other very good fish. James you really are a fabulous fisher and great company, hope to see you again soon. 
James 'Bond' with one of his many 20+ pounders (notice snood)
Our biggest fish of the week goes to Sam Carlisle, 32lbs. An epic fish and a fish of a life time, it gave me great pleasure to honour you with the Yokanga big fish medal at the end of the week.  A well deserved fish. Not only did Sam have this fantastic fish but he also had numerous others of note. A lovely 16 pounder up the Lyliok river, which in these conditions is a great achievement. Also sam did manage a wonderful 25 pounder on the last afternoon. What away to end a great week. 
Sam with his 32 pounder

Gear and tactics this week, have once again, been unusual. Given that it is low (ish) warm water one would assume that light tackle would be key. Seemingly not the case this week. Im sure all 16 would agree with me that the majority of the fish taken this week, especially towards the end of the week were all on a deep moving fly. The two Wyvill bros, Eddie and D’Arcy had some success yesterday on heavy lines and long slow strips. Martin’s 6 fish also came from a lot of movement on the fly. Fly size and shape again has really had no pattern whatsoever. Fish were caught on everything from Frankon schneldas with heavy heads to small size 8 doubles. Another argument for, a taking fish is a taking fish, if the fly is in the right spot he's likely to grab it, regardless of the fly colour and shape. Theories are everything in salmon fishing!
Difference in working flies

A great week, big thanks to all and hope to see you again .

Toby Burrell