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The twenty/twenty club

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Bernard Lunel and an Umba salmon Bernard Lunel and an Umba salmon

Read Bernard Lunel’s fabulous story from Umba, how he became the first and so far, the only double member in the Twenty / Twenty club.

Week 26 – Bernard Lunel tells – “My first and second day produced fantastic 26 Salmons between 8 and 17 pounds – all taken on small Billy Butt and Green Highlanders”. On the third day I was fishing the Krivetz. We took position with Big Nick in the Office pool. By the third cast a fish came op to the surface to have a look to my fly as to say “hello. Here I’ am…”A new cast and at this time, the fish took the fly.. Then started the Rodeo…One, two, three jumps, and like a rocket heading for the big rapid below Office pool. My old and trusty Hardy Perfect reel was screaming, when I simultaneously desperately tried to control the fish, because if he reached the strong rapid. I could say goodbye to the salmon.. The line and backing…for sure a really bad situation. Suddenly the fish stopped and he luckily decided to turn left, about 40 meters from me, at the end of the pool. He stayed quiet for a little bit, before starting again like a furious crazy horse..He was all over the pool. I play the fish no less than 50 minutes before we landed a “magnifique”27 pound salmon Exhausted but happy…very happy to be Twenty / Twenty member in just two and a half day I continued my fishing on the next pool just upstream Office pool.

In Island pool I caught two more Salmon. A 11 and 17 pounder – Holy smoke what a day.. The fourth day I caught 7 Salmons, making a total of 36 fish, and gradually I start to dream to become double member in the famous Twenty / Twenty Club!.. 'Why not' as my old friend and fishing guide Big Nick said… On the fifth day, my morning was spent in Doctor pool, and five fish between 14 and 18 pounds were caught, and another 3 were lost close the net. Fantastic Umba, I never see so many fish in a river in my life. They were fish jumping everywhere – it was a true Salmon festival. The afternoon was strangely quiet. “only” 2 fish” were caught, but all is relative, because in others circumstances, for example in Scotland, the same result in a half-day will be a dream…Anyway, now my total was 43 Salmons.

Coming back to the lodge, I asked Big Nick to fish during the evening until midnight, and we decided to fish again the wonderful Doctor pool. We started at 9 pm, and after more than 15 different flies, by 11 pm-No fish…0 Salmon. The pool looked empty…unbelievable! I was more than disappointed and I asked Big Nick for a small rest, taking the opportunity to smoke an Havana. After a while I saw my friend Olof from Sweden taking position at the head of the pool, far behind me, and after no less than 3 casts a Salmon took is fly. a big one jumping so many time before to net him…Well done Mister Olof. I was happy on his behalf, but telling you the true. I was a little bit upset about the situation. What was happening? Was my luck gone ?? Chewing my Havana I decided to try again, changing my fly for another one. The biggest I could find in my flybox. An enormous General Practitioner. Before I started my casting, I noticed a horrified and disapproving look in Big Nick eyes. After many casts without a touch, I started to think…I was casting in a swimming pool!” Yes you know Bernard, said Big Nick, it’s a very good fly when the water is cold with a high level, but in the present circumstances… I don’t know…I didn’t reply him! I was furious. Casting and casting again with the same result….nothing.

At 11h35 pm I decided to move, telling Big Nick to try Home pool. If someone were already fishing there we would go to fish Bar pool. Home pool was not free, so we took position in the Bar. Before casting Big Nick asked me if I wanted to change my fly? No I answered, we have not enough time..We are just few minutes before midnight. After the second cast, my reel started to sing..very timidly at the beginning, but after a while, maybe 10 seconds my Perfect was in screaming here wonderful tune. Looking at Big Nick I told him the water must be very cold in this part…with a king size smile! He was laughing….After 30 minute’s fight and a lot of pure adrenaline we landed a “superb” Silver dressed and sea lice salmon, arrived straight from the White sea – Big Nick scaled the fish—a little bit more than 20 pounds—-So happy ,we were singing the double “Twenty / Twenty member song”… The last day, going back to Krivetz I “just” caught one very fresh 15 pounder, adding up to a total of 45 Salmon.

Thank you UMBA, and thanks Big Nick,…it was a fantastic week Congratulation and many big thanks to Steffen. He is a perfect camp manager, and after 8 Umba seasons I can say, he is also a nice friend who knows how to create a cordial atmosphere in this superb lodge. Back to France, I read on the computer the report of this fantastic week. Steffen wrote that “I was dancing with the Salmon”…Yes, but maybe it was more Rock’n Roll with the Umba Salmon. Rock’n Roll ..Yeah !!!

Tight lines

Bernard Lunel

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