It's getting busy in Murmansk: Russian season moves up a gear!
A report from Christopher Robinson to his Roxtons salmon-fishermen and women travelling out to the Varzuga for their fourth week of the Kola season said it all: 'On Saturday June 2nd we have quite a big charter flight from Helsinki to Murmansk. Our four Varzuga camps are full and we have the first big weeks for Ponoi and Kharlovka.'
Christopher also noted it was a busy weekend at Helsinki as it was the start of the Finnish summer holidays.
To rods travelling out to Middle and Lower Varzuga, and the tributaries Kitza and Pana, he noted: 'The water is still a bit higher than ‘average’ for this time of year; the water temperature, apart from Kitza which remains cool, is about 10°C. Despite the water temperature being perfect for floating lines the slightly higher water means that an intermediate or slow sinking line/tip may just have the edge in terms of catches. So worth bringing an intermediate if you have one – I’d hope that floating lines should be the main weapon as we move into next week. Kitza is being stubborn! – well worth having a line and flies to deal with water temperature of between 7°C and 9°C.'
Meanwhile Frontiers reported that the Ryabaga Ponoi season had started with a bang. The team of 14 rods had caught 456 fish in the first three days not including yet the success in the magnificent Home Pool.
The Frontiers guide team of 8 Russians and 7 foreign guides was, they said - a truly high quality team with worldwide experience with decades of experience on the Ponoi.
Hopes were high that the huge bumper years of 2002 and 2003 might be returning?!
Finally, Kharlovka looks to break new ground under new ownership. Watch this space for news of this great North Kola river and also catches from the Yokanga, 'Russia's trophy river' where its huge salmon negotiate boulders the size of cars and the initial band of salmon rods try not only to hook them, but to get them in to the bank, starting their season on June 9th.