For those of you thinking of putting away the winter wardrobe, refreshed from the recent Easter holiday and believing that spring is almost upon us, a Kola peninsula reminder that the fat lady hasn’t quite sung yet! The image above was the scene last week in downtown Murmansk….
Ok so we wouldn’t suggest that every day of winter has seen this sort of weather, but it does go to illustrate the fact that it’s a brave person that forecasts the snow levels and water prospects for the coming season before the middle of April.
All too frequently, what looked like a light winter of snow on the Kola Peninsula has been stood on its head during March, and even early April, by bursts of cold weather and big snowfalls and it remains to be seen how 2016 will finally shake out.
So far, we’ve seen moderate snowfall comparable to the previous winter 2014/15. As is often the case, by March the snow depth can remain broadly the same but the water in the snow blanket continues to creep up as fresh falls simply compact the snow. By way of reference, the level at the first week of March 2015 was 67cm of snow with 177mm of water estimated in the blanket. The first week of March this year was 66cm and 165mm respectively. However, to re-iterate the point about late season snowfalls, 2013/14 saw similar levels in March then almost double over a three week period of late March /April snow and cold weather. Stay tuned to the website HERE for more snow/water updates over the coming weeks.
The end of the long polar night heralds the first opportunity to make a significant visit out to the camps to take stock of things. This year is no different and, during a week of somewhat more clement weather than the last few days, the team headed off in convoy from Turmanyi to do just that.
The team headed off in convoy
Rynda Camp, Home Pool and up to Tolstoi seem rather more tranquil than is likely in just nine weeks’ time when the team return to open up camp in anticipation of the start of the season. By then the ice melt should be well underway rendering the river rather more fierce, as the big water of early season comes through and the ice breaks up. In the meantime, for a little while longer, the tundra will be cloaked in hushed silence.
For those used to the warm weather of July weeks at ASR, the tundra during winter looks rather different.
By now, many of you early season aficionados will have started to receive your official booking letters and invitations. We’d encourage you to press on with getting your visas in place, always remembering that the Visa Processing Centres (certainly in the UK) observe the Russian public holidays as well as the local ones. We are welcoming back many friends this year as well as some new ones who have taken advantage of the odd opening that has arisen. As with previous years, the season is now almost totally committed but with the inevitable last minute changes in circumstances, it remains the case that the odd rod has become available and, if you would like to be notified of these do get in touch with Justin as soon as possible.
Similarly, as you start to think of any kit that needs replacing before your visit, don’t hesitate to get in contact with our colleagues at Farlows and Sportfish in the UK (Tel. 020 7484 1000) or, if you are travelling from elsewhere and plan on investing in a particular rod or reel for your ASR visit this season, we can endeavour to have it supplied to you straight into camp for ready for your arrival by Farlows Rynda or Kharlovka.
It won’t be long now until the ice breaks…
Best wishes from Justin, Vladimir and the ASR team,