Saturday, 15 June 2019

Week 8-15 June

Date: 8-15 June

Air Temp: -1C to 30C
Water Temp: 11.5C to 6C
Water height: +5cm to -3cm to +40cm
Number of rods: 14
Number of fish caught: 42
Biggest fish: 35lbs Andy E
No 30lb+: 5
No 20-29lbs: 15
No 8-19lbs: 22
Grilse: 0


Yes we are on the Kola Peninsula but still it has been a wildly changing weather week! After the high of 30C and then the dramatic drop down to 0C it has still remained cold for the latter part of the week with air temperatures struggling to get much above 5C in the morning and then only rising a touch later in the day when the sun has put in a brief appearance.

Manager’s Comments:

The combination of rain earlier in the week and melting snow from Tuesday meant the river rose significantly for Wednesday which combined with very high winds made the fishing tricky. Conditions improved for the last two days of the week and this was reflected in the scores.

David M landed his personal best, a mint 33lber fishing at Boris’ Rock in Home Pool. The same day, Sam A had a successful evening on the right bank of Lyliok and landed a 19lber and 18lber.

David M and his 33lber from Boris' rock
Carl A also joined the 33lb club with a large cock fish which interestingly was also hooked close to Boris’ Rock. That is now the third 33lber taken from the middle of our Home Pool. They are definitely not the same fish but keep them coming!

Carl A joins the 33lber club
Markku L had a 28lb hen fish on Thursday from Golden Reach. The fight took some 35 minutes with the fish using the current to its advantage. In fact it took so long that Markku was obliged to hand the rod to the guide for a short time while he answered the call of nature before resuming the battle!

On the last day, having already landed a 22lber from Lower Norcamp, Erkki K landed a 31lber from Poachers. Shortly afterwards he then landed a third fish for his day, an 11lber. What a great way to finish. His 31lber brought the weekly tally of 30lbers to five.

Lyliok looking good
The water is relatively high and we finished the week with 7C water temperature. People have been using the full range of sinking tips and flies but there is no single winning formula. Medium sized snaeldas have been used a fair amount so feature heavily in the fishing record but salmon have also been taken on medium sized and sparsely dressed doubles. The water clarity remains excellent despite the rise in level by the way. There have been a number of reports of fantastically aggressive takes with large salmon attacking the fly on the surface which suggests that there is no particular need to go dredging!

Weather and water conditions have been far from ideal this week so congratulations to the team for sticking at it all week. All of the rods have fished this week before and appreciate that it is spring fishing where you fish hard for a smaller number of fish but are likely to encounter a quality salmon when you connect. With nearly 50% of the catch being over 20lbs this was certainly the situation this week. With everyone knowing each other there was plenty of banter around the dining room table and it felt very much a team effort on the river.

Different water colour from the Lyliok tributary
Given the very high percentage of larger fish, it is clear that the main run is still to come. The weather seems set to stay cool for the next week which will hopefully mean they will move through the system slowly so that we can have a good go at them.

Peter Rippin and Henry Mountain

Gremikha Camp, Lower Yokanga

We have received the following from James B, one of our Gremikha regulars.

Greg on the first evening
Gremikha Camp caught a total of 26 fish with Greg getting at least two over 30lbs and Tony one over 30lbs and 4 over 20lbs. Tony was top rod with 8 salmon, his best week ever at Gremikha.

Greg with another over 30lbs
 The fishing was very tough, with one day ending with the camp an inch or two under snow! By all accounts, the fish are yet to turn up in numbers, but those that were found, were on the large side. In particular for Greg on the first night, whose 110cm x 65cm fish, gave him an exhilarating fight.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Superb Start to the 2019 Season

Date: 8-11 June

Air Temp: -1C to 30C
Water Temp: 11C
Water height: +5cm to -3cm
Number of rods: 14
Number of fish caught: 21
Biggest fish: 35lbs Andy E
No 30lb+: 2
No 20-29lbs: 8
No 8-19lbs: 11
Grilse: 0


When the team arrived in Murmansk at 10am local time the weather was a steamy 27C. Tropical style rainstorms and thunder were over the Kola Peninsula and it had measured 30C at Yokanga Lodge that day. Quite something for early June!

T shirt weather in Murmansk
Sunday was very cold and windy with everyone grateful for a hot shower back at the lodge. Monday was a pleasant turnaround with temperatures in the low to mid teens and thankfully little wind making casting a pleasure.

Lyliok in stunning weather
But what a change in the weather on Tuesday... We woke to very strong upstream winds, low cloud, the air temperature at -1C and persistent snow. This combination meant no flying in the helicopter and sensibly none of the guests chose to even try and fish water close to the lodge.

A change in the weather
Manager’s Comments:

Water conditions on the Yokanga are nothing short of ideal for this time of the year. The water height is such that you can see all the features of the river and the fly swings nicely in all the favourite places.

Great water clarity at Heron Point
The week kicked off with Jake C landing the first fish of the Yokanga lodge season and his first ever salmon which weighed an impressive 21lbs. Andy E and Sam A both landed a fresh fish in Lyliok on the first evening so it was with some excitement that the party went to their beats on the first full day.

Jake C with his first salmon
Charlie M had a great start to his week with three fish weighing 28lbs, 22lbs and a ‘small one’ of 18lbs.
Charlie M with one of his three
The two camp managers wandered down to the Home Pool to have a few casts at Heron Point and lo and behold lucked out with a fresh 33lb cock fish!

One of the camp managers gets lucky
Monday was a red-letter day for Sam A and Andy E up at Sand Island and Cliff. Andy started his day with a 16lber from Sand Island and then landed his largest salmon ever, a fresh cock fish of 35lbs, in front of the keystone at the top draw of Cliff. Sam landed three, 11lbs, 14lbs and 17lbs and collectively they both reported plenty of other action. Dean M took a cracking 27lber from Upper Norcamp adding to the tally of fish over the magic 20lb mark.

Andy E with his 35lb cock fish from Cliff
After some superb quality salmon in the first couple of days, Tuesday was sadly a write off given the atrocious weather conditions.

Sam A with one of his three
The river is at a good height and has great clarity so most are using light sink tips (10 ft of slow sink) or intermediates. There seems to be no real need for huge flies and indeed there is a preference towards small tubes or even doubles in the usual garish colours.

This is the first week of the season and as expected we appear to be at the front end of the run. As ever it is a bit hit and miss as to where you might bump into a resting salmon. The quality of the fish is absolutely as we would hope for at this time of the year. The forecast seems set to be cold for the rest of the week but that will hopefully not deter the salmon from taking our flies when we can get out on the water again!

For regular readers of the Yokanga blog, we will be bringing you a mid-week update on a Wednesday and then a weekly report on a Sunday this season.

The wifi has been poor so we have had limited contact with the team down at the Gremikha Camp but word has reached us that they have landed a few fish, notably a brace of fish over 30lbs to Greg V.

Peter Rippin and Henry Mountain