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

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Hot Sunshine

Date: 11 July

Air temp:13-24C
Water temp: 13C
Water height: -30cm
Number of rods: 14
Number of fish caught :16
Biggest fish: 15lbs Stephen L
No 30lb+: 0
No 20-29lbs: 0
No 8-19lbs: 3
Grilse: 13


Warm very bright sunshine.

Manager’s Comments:

Today was a tough fishing day with hot sunshine dominating proceedings. The fish were not in a taking mood and very few fish were seen moving on the beats.

Rob W at 7 Islands
Stephen L landed a fresh 15lber from below Lyliok rapids. Peter E had a 13lb fish from 7 Islands. Elsewhere the pods of fresh grilse running through provided intermittent sport.

Grilse masquerading as a salmon
Bill Drury

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Sunny Skies

Date: 10 July

Air temp:10-17C
Water temp: 12C
Water height: -28
Number of rods: 14
Number of fish caught: 34
Biggest fish: 26lbs Jean-Marc F
No 30lb+: 0
No 20-29lbs: 1
No 8-19lbs: 13
Grilse: 20


Sunny, cool NE breeze.

Manager’s Comments:

Today was a day of mixed fortune with some beats fairing reasonably well while others were blank. I am sure the quick change from cloudy to clear blue skies played its part.


Jean-Marc F landed a lovely 26lber from Lyliok in the evening topped off with a grilse. A good after dinner session.
26lber for Jean Marc F from Lyliok
There were also fish of 17-19lbs caught by Rob W, Gordon A and Branson A. The pods of grilse pushing through the pools continue to provide sport albeit fleeting at times as they are continuously on the move.

Bill Drury

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Thick Fog

Date: 9 July

Air temp:10-13C
Water temp: 12C
Water height: -27cm
Number of rods: 14
Number of fish caught: 24
Biggest fish: 17lb Mike M
No 30lb+: 0
No 20-29lbs: 0
No 8-19lbs: 6
Grilse: 18


Heavy fog clearing at lunchtime. Sunny with a cool breeze.

Manager’s Comments:

Today’s heavy fog meant that we drew up a walking program for the day fishing from Poachers down to Crow’s Nest.

Thick fog in the morning
The order of the day was a good healthy and sporting crop of grilse, 18 of the 24 fish caught were these well-conditioned little bullets.

Wading the Pots
The biggest fish of the day was caught by Mike M a cracking fresh 17lber from Lyliok.

17lber for Mike M from Lyliok
 The fog has returned this evening. Here’s hoping it has gone in the morning.

Bill Drury

Monday, 9 July 2018

Superb Start

Date: Evening 7 July and 8 July

Air Temp: 7C-10C
Water Temp: 12C
Water height: -26cm
Number of rods: 14
Number of fish caught: 42
Biggest fish: 26lbs David C
No 30lb+: 0
No 20-29lbs: 5
No 8-19lbs: 12
Grilse: 25


Partly cloudy, cold upstream wind.

First day
Manager’s Comments:

The evening of arrival was a real success for Peter E who landed a 24lb fish from Pump. Angus C landed his first Yokanga salmon shortly after enjoying his birthday cake!
Birthday cake for Angus C
The strong upstream wind was on everyone’s mind this morning and on certain beats it caused some problems.
18lber for Gordon A

The fishing remains steady and some good size fish were landed notably David C’s 26lber from Island. There were three very nice fish from Crows Nest. A 23lb for Rob W who also landed a 14lber and 18lber. There were also two 20lbers for Geoff B.

26lber for David C
The number of fresh grilse caught are rising and they continue to give good sport.

Bill Drury

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Week 30 June-7 July

Date: 30 June-7 July

Air Temp: 8C-25C
Water Temp: 11C-14C-13C
Water height: -16cm to -23cm
Number of rods: 15
Number of fish caught: 157
Biggest fish: 34lbs Jim Cochran
No 30lb+: 2
No 20-29lbs: 18
No 8-19lbs: 85
Grilse: 52

The team depart

The weather this week was similar to the previous week in that the good cloudy fishing conditions gave way to bright warm sunshine which thankfully changed back for the last three days.
Sunny day on the Yokanga
Manager’s Comments:

This week we had a number of anglers who caught their first Atlantic salmon and one, Jim C, whose first Atlantic salmon was a fish of a lifetime weighing 34lbs. Dreams can and do come true on the Yokanga!
Jim tells the story of his 34lber
There have been a lot of fun experiences this week and entertaining stories of various wading exploits and even rods taking off with fish on! Almost everyone in the group had a story of a big fish hooked and lost.

One that did not get away
The river temperature has now dropped back a couple of degrees again and the level has remained the same for the last four days following the rain we had earlier in the week. This is all good news and bodes well for the coming week.

Bill Drury

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Last Day of the Week

Date: 6 July

Air temp: 8-10C
Water temp: 13C
Water height: -23cm
Number of rods: 15
Number of fish caught: 23
Biggest fish: 25lb Rob Toth
No 30lbs+: 0
No 20-29lbs: 2
No 8-19lbs: 12
Grilse: 9


Cloudy, cool breeze, occasional drizzle.

Manager’s Comments:

A week has flown past and here I am posting the final fishing report of the week. With the continuing cooler weather we finished with a solid 23 fish for the day. Fresh fish continue to enter the system and all beats are at a good fishable height and have numbers of residents building.

Last day
Rob T continued to perform and scored the largest fish of the day, a fantastic 25lber. Well done Rob for keeping at it and for a great week!

Summer colours on the Yokanga
The lodge continues to run very well. Our chef is getting high praise from many clients and Den the waiter is ever attentive. No empty wine glasses here!

Delicious starter
Bill Drury

Friday, 6 July 2018

32lber Landed

Date: 5 July

Air temp 10C-8C
Water temp 14C
Water height -23cm
Number of rods: 15
Number of fish caught: 30
Biggest fish: 32lb Rob Toth
No 30lb+: 1
No 20-29lbs: 5
No 8-19lbs: 13
Grilse: 11


Cloudy, showers and cold wind.

New Yokanga beat map at the lodge
Manager’s Comments:

It was considerably better fishing conditions today, although the cooler north wind meant at least an extra clothing layer had to be worn.

Jim C fishing Upper Norcamp
The fishing was steady over all the beats and there were a good number of larger fish encountered but not all landed! Rob T was fishing on his own in lower Norcamp when he hooked, landed, measured and photographed and returned a 32lb fish, well done Rob.

32lber for Rob T
There are a good few pods of grilse on the move each day and when they appear in the pools double hook ups are common.

Max K with his 23lber from Lyliok
Five salmon between 20-29lbs plus another over 30lbs is a fantastic day by any standard. The weather is cloudy and cool again on this the last morning of the week, so we are hopeful of another good day ahead.

Bill Drury

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Some Clouds

Date: 4 July

Air temp 17C-16C
Water temp 15C
Water height -23cm
Number of rods: 15
Number of fish caught: 20
Biggest fish: 21lbs Justin Miller
No 30lb+: 0
No 20-29lbs: 1
No 8-19lbs: 11
Grilse: 8


Cloudy, muggy with light rain until lunchtime.

Manager’s Comments:

A muggy start to the day with rain until lunchtime. Hopefully it might be enough rain to influence either the water temperature or height. The anticipation of fishing with cloud cover was high after yesterday’s beating sunshine.

In too deep for the photo!
Andy B lost four fish in Lyliok in the morning. Justin M chose to fish the faster pocket water on Upper Norcamp to good effect losing as many fish as he landed, and in the evening landed a 21lber from Lyliok.

Fat Yokanga salmon
 A much cooler evening has enticed more rods out this evening, that and no games in the World Cup!

Suits you Sir
Bill Drury

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Blistering Heat

Date: 3 July

Air temp 20-25C
Water temp 14C
Water height -21cm
Number of rods: 15
Number of fish caught:12
Biggest fish: 20lb Jim Cochran
No 30lb+: 0
No 20-29lbs:1
No 8-19lbs: 6
Grilse: 5


Bright sunshine all day. It was 20C at 9am.

Blazing sunshine
Manager’s Comments:

It was a warm sunny day that definitely put the fish down and made the fishing tough.

Some innovation was applied by Jim C who turned a child’s toy into a tube fly! He landed his only fish of the day on it which was 20lbs!

Innovative fly pattern

Not available at Farlows
Another notable fish was a fresh 19lber for Rob T from Island.

Rob T with his 19lber
Max Krottenhaler kept up his average of catching double figure fish every single day this week with two 15lbers from Poachers.

Bear track in the sand
Evening fishing was minimal with only a couple of guys braving the mosquitoes. The option of watching the World Cup on the lodge TV seemed to be more favourable!

World Cup takes precedence over fishing
Bill Drury

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Bright Sunshine

Date: 2 July

Air temp 12-25C
Water temp 11C
Water height -18cm
Number of rods: 15
Number of fish caught: 31
Biggest fish: 24lb Rob Toth
No 30lb+: 0
No 20-29lbs: 1
No 8-19lbs: 18
Grilse: 12


Bright Sunshine!

Yokanga in the sun
Manager’s Comments:

The order of the day was protection from biting insects! Even though the wind was blowing, the heat today encouraged the insects to feast. As manager’s we recommend a daily dose of antihistamine, liberal applications of repellent and a head net for just the rare occasion. These precautions usually ensure that insects are not a problem.

Rob T at Sand Island
The fishing was good despite the very bright sun, again stories of a couple of big fish being lost. There are noticeably more grilse in the book today all very fresh spread across all the beats.
Heli transport to the river
Tono P continued to put fish in the book this time fishing Lower Norcamp. An 18lber and 14lber.

Tono P with an 18lber from Lower Norcamp
Rob Toth had a good day up at Sand Island and has shared the photo below.

Rob T again on Sand Island
Looking at the weather forecast it will be sunny and warm again tomorrow then cooling down again, hopefully.

Bill Drury