It's hard to believe it is already the middle of June, but it's time to update the sometimes sublime salmon-fishing in Russia - which this season continues to march on in classic style. All rivers are now opening including the later-opening Yokanga. Henry Mountain of the Flyfisher Group confirmed a great first few days on 'Russia's trophy river' with two salmon over 30lb swimming up from the Barents Sea and grabbing the flies of his clients' rods (and unlike all of the fish hooked on this river, being brought to bank). In the first couple of days an additional 16 salmon in the 20s of pounds were also netted. Henry heads out to host Yokanga's weeks 3 and 4 shortly.
The Ponoi is a well-oiled machine and glories in the numbers of its fish but while Week One into Week Two there registered a great many small grilse, there is the whole superb season here to look forward to - with fishing continuing into the early autumn after a short break. AAPGAI rod Alan Maughan was out there to help add material to the film Incomparable Ponoi, for the first two weeks - before continuing his globe-trotting angling in Iceland next week.
The Varzuga operation is now being overseen by Roxtons' founding director Christopher Robinson (the man who started the whole darn thing with his post-Glasnost foray into the south Kola and discovery of what he immediately recorded on his map as 'Salmon El Dorado'). Hard to believe there are only now two weeks or so left of their season (although rumour has it an 'experimental' trip will take place in September to hunt for late Varzuga silver). The good numbers of fish continue to come and a six inch rise of water following heavy rain only brought more expectation of fish by keeping the beats accessible at Pana and Middle camps.
The Kharlovka? A good first week of June with 95 spring salmon, with 39% of these larger than 20 pounds. Five monster salmon of 36, 34, 32, 31, 31 pounds were also caught. Mikael Frodin was master of ceremonies for this 'Masterclass' week, holding lectures and riverside instruction. Never a dull moment with MF who heads out to the river made famous by former owner Peter Power again today.