Atlantic Salmon Reserve Update: 5
Justin McCarthy reports on a fantastic week on the Kharlovka River.
What a fantastic week!
Last Saturday under dark, wet and windy skies, Vladimir and Bruce set the tone by landing a nice brace of 30 and 32 pounders. Not long after the big helicopter touched down on the Kharlovka pad with six more of Vladimir’s family and friends; we were expecting a group of 12 rods, but it was not all that surprising when several of the other high level ministers and businessmen were called away at the last moment and were unable to attend our gathering.
Weather-wise after weeks of cold rainy conditions, the sun finally popped out, which led to a brief spell of summer with warmer air temps up to 15C. Bright blue skies brought the river temps up to a fishy 10C however fresh breezes persisted from the north along with wall of fog that blanketed the sea. By Wednesday, however, the air temps were back down into the single digits, consistent drizzle had returned along with gusty winds that would challenge us for the remainder of the week – but the fishing was fantastic...
Обалдеть – translated is Amazing!
The famous last word spoken by Russia’s sports minister before having to return back to headquarters about half way through the week. He was here on a well-deserved fishing adventure following the organizing of the winter Olympics in Soche and, after excelling at a couple days’ of Arctic Spey casting lessons, we are proud to report that he flew away with a big smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye after landing several nice salmon including his new PB in the shape of a cracking 30 pounder.
In fact there were plenty of smiles to go around last week as all of Vladimir’s friends will be returning home with a disc full of big fish photos and stories to tell. The father and son team of Ivan and Prokhor worked well together learning a few new tricks along the way from guides Big Alex and Artur. Back for their second season in a row their experience and teamwork paid off leading them to 19 salmon that included a new 22lb PB for young Prokhor.
The same was true for Sergey who had twice the confidence and distance on his Spey cast this year leading him into eight good fish up to his new 22lb personal best.
Big fish Bruce also deserves a second mention for landing his new PB 32 pounder in addition to outfishing me on the Litza, landing another half dozen, before going on to find eight more good salmon on the upper Kharlovka – and all with his single hand rod along with his deadly hand tied McNae Sun Ray variants. After spending the last two weeks with us on the Northern Rivers, Big B, who will be 72 soon, commented “The more I am here, the stronger I feel. Now I am ready to take on anything.”
We would also like to congratulate Vladimir for having one of his best salmon fishing days ever on Friday landing 12 salmon to 20 pounds working his way down through Kharlovka Falls – opening up the Birch Bank and Guys pools. The vast majority were landed on a Green McNae. In addition to leading the way last week, Vladimir is now a member of our new ASR big fish club by landing an incredible 30 salmon up to 30 pounds on the week!
Vladimir Jr. also deserves an honourable mention for opening the Litza Falls this year, crawling down the steep left bank to pull out three nice salmon in the mid to upper teens in addition to a great 22 pounder further down river in the Dream Pool. Then, on the final day, Vladimir Jr. wisely decided to join his father up at the Kharlovka Falls landing six more great salmon that included his new PB – a 36 pounder!
Considering the wet, windy conditions and the limited number of rods enjoying the rivers here with us last week, we were very pleased with our final tally of 146 salmon. In addition to adding four more solid 30 pounders to the book, nearly everyone on the team found at least one good fish of over 20 pounds.
This season it doesn’t really seem to matter what the weatherman is predicting as rain or shine, the salmon are back in numbers and we are just starting to move onto floating lines and hitched sun ray shadows.
Stay tuned as the next couple of weeks are going to be a whole lot of fun!
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