Yesterday was a day when the fishing Gods smiled on us and we so nearly broke a long standing world record. Hugh, the manager at Middle Varzuga, came through on the radio at lunchtime to warn me that he was witnessing something quite special. It transpired that one of our regular rods had landed close to 40 fish at lunch. 

Sue C with one of 10 she landed yesterday

With the fishing on fire, it was obvious that the long held record of 66 fish landed in one day was under threat. This record was set at Lower Varzuga by Phillip Jannaway in the mid nineties and it has always been thought of as a one off and unlikely to be repeated. Despite a concerted effort, the day closed with 62 fish landed to the rod which is an amazing achievement in its own right but there was a palpable sense of so near and yet so far. 

It would be unfair not to mention his fishing partner, Peter W, who had 53 fish himself.  In usual circumstances he would have top billing but yesterday was not that usual!

Phillip V with his first Russian salmon

The rest of the rods at Middle also contributed to a staggering start to the week and they finished with 211 in the book to their 12 guests.

Here at Lower we had a superb day with the 9 rods landing 46 fish. Sue C was the top scorer with a personal best of 10 fish and we had several guests who all beat their own records of fish to their rods for the day. Supper was punctuated by several toasts to the successful and our vodka supply took quite a hit as we enjoyed an excellent dinner and a long post mortem.

Joan G at Bear Island

At Kitza, the very high river has hindered them slightly but Greig T made light of the conditions to land 5 fish for his day. The great news is that Tom reports that the river has dropped by nearly 2 feet overnight and that it is clearing quickly. They all saw several fish yesterday and hopes are high that it will improve as we go through the week.

There are, without doubt, a lot of fish in the river at the moment and the most successful tactic is to cast short and square with a sinking line or heavy sink tip and a biggish fly such as a Snaelda or a 1 inch brass tube. The majority of the fish are taking very close to the bank which is as we would expect with such a strong river as they sneak up the margins and keep out of the main flow.

Spring is definitely here

We have another bright and clear day this morning and I have just seen Phil W take a fish by the boats as he waited for his fishing partner so I hope to be able to report more of the same tomorrow.

Charlie White

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