Saturday, 25 July 2015

Weekly Report

Date: 18-25 July

Air Temp: 7C-17C
Water Temp: 10C-12C
Water height: -21cm to -28cm
Number of rods: 15
Number fish caught: 208
Biggest fish: 22lbs Kim Waters
No 30+: 0
No 20-29: 5
No 8-19: 35
Grilse: 168

Weather: Other than a sunny first evening and a sunny last day, I don't remember many such near perfect weather weeks for fishing. It has been just about ideal. Temperatures have been cool and days have warmed up. Skies have remained essentially grey with good cloud cover and wind speeds have been enough to keep the insect life at bay without hampering the casting.



Manager's comments: The last week of the season has produced more fish than any other week of the season. There have been a lot of grilse which has kept morale going with sporadic bursts of activity. There has been contact with fresh fish up to 20lbs but the biggest fish have been elusive with the stable weather conditions. Certainly the fresh fish have been charging through the water we fish from the lodge and fish with long tailed sea lice have been caught up as far a Upper Norcamp.



It has been a fun week at the lodge with guests from England, Scotland, Wales, Spain and Sweden. The group got on famously through a shared passion for salmon fishing and there were plenty of laughs around the bar in the evening. It is a great sadness to be finishing the season with fresh fish still entering the river in good numbers. The fishing can still remain good until mid August and we will be looking at ways to keep costs down to extend the season a little longer.

It seems like only yesterday that we were looking forward to the season with great anticipation and now here I am signing off on the last blog posting. It is an opportune moment to thank all our clients for their loyal support during the course of the season and to thank the guides, lodge team and helicopter crews for making it all happen. Roll on 2016!

Fish Lost

Date: 24 July

Air Temp: 11C-15C
Water Temp: 12C
Water height: -28cm
Number of rods: 15
Number fish caught: 16
Biggest fish: 16lbs Anders Romson
No 30+: 0
No 20-29: 0
No 8-19: 5
Grilse: 11

Weather: A grey start turning into a blue sky day with a strong upstream wind.



Manager's comments: The last days fishing was in fact the hardest and least productive of the week. Many fish of all sizes seemed to be lost. Geoff lost four on the trot but he was not alone in the numbers of fish he lost. Is it the bright sunshine which is somehow affecting the way they take? The week seems to have disappeared remarkably quickly.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Long Tails

Date: 23 July

Air Temperature: 8C-11C
Water Temperature: 12C
Water Height: -26cm
No of rods: 15
No fish: 24
Biggest fish: 17lbs Jose Miranda
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 0
No of fish 8-19lbs: 2
Grilse: 22

Weather: More of the same on the weather front. A coolish start and warming up. Grey skies and a gentle upstream wind with a brief period of light drizzle.



Manager's comments: Grilse continue to run the Yokanga in reasonable numbers giving guests some good sport. They must be running hard, in what are ideal running conditions, as another one with long tailed sea lice was caught at Upper Norcamp.
Jose M caught the biggest of the day, 17lbs from Lower Norcamp. Jim F changed his fishing tactics to Scottish style cast and swing with no stripping. He had a slow, deliberate and positive take and found himself into a good fish. Guide, Vova, remarked "Big Fish" a remark he tends to reserve for fish of an exceptional size. After a good fight the fish was nearly done and both rod and guide had a good view of the fish when for no apparent reason it just fell off. It would undoubtedly have been the best of the week by some considerable margin and possibly could have been a personal best for Jim who has previously landed a 32lber on Yokanga.

Spruce Moose

Date: 22 July

Air Temperature: 8-10C
Water Temperature: 12C
Water Height: -25cm
No of rods: 15
No fish: 35
Biggest fish: 22lbs Kim Waters
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 2
No of fish 8-19lbs: 2
Grilse: 31

Weather: Much the same as previous days! Overcast, little to no sun and a light breeze. Ideal!



Manager's comments: The grilse are giving people plenty of action. Most are being caught right in the very tail of the pools. Tackle is varying from sink tips to full floaters and flies are generally doubles and smallish tubes. Congratulations to Kim W for landing a well deserved 22lber from Lyliok and to Jim F for again breaking the 20lber barrier. One of the days highlights was seeing a moose at Upper Norcamp.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Surprise Visitor

Date: 21 July

Air Temperature: 12C
Water Temperature: 11C
Water Height: -23cm
No of rods: 15
No fish: 43
Biggest fish: 21lbs Jim Ferrie
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 1
No of fish 8-19lbs: 5
Grilse: 37

Weather: A cool grey day with the occasional sunny spell. A light upstream breeze.

Manager's comments: The big surprise of the day was a seal that was seen in Lyliok at 11am. Three further sightings followed on beats upstream with the seal last seen as far up as Island.
Congratulations to Lucas R for catching his fourth fish of the week on a hitched fly. Jim F had a mint fresh 21lber from Lyliok after dinner which was kindly tailed by brother Alan. Only 24 hours after commenting on the good value for money of Shakespeare rods and two of them broke in one day!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Silver Bar

Date: 20 July

Air Temperature: 12C-8C
Water Temperature: 11C
Water Height: -23cm
No of rods: 15
No fish: 41
Biggest fish: 17.5lbs Matt Harris
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 0
No of fish 8-19lbs: 9
Grilse: 32

Weather: An ideal overcast day with a light upstream wind. The temperature started dropping quickly in the afternoon.



Manager's comments: Again, the morning was generally quiet with the vast majority of fish being caught in the afternoon. Matt Harris took the largest of the day 17.5lbs from Lower Norcamp. Michael F lost a bar of silver that could have taken the honours but unfortunately it came unstuck having behaved like a tarpon, jumping ten times and head shaking.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Lyliok Pots

Date: Evening 18 and 19 July

Air Temperature: 8C-17
Water Temperature: 12C
Water Height: -23cm
No of rods: 15
No fish: 49
Biggest fish: 20lbs x 2, Martin Webster, Jose Miranda
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 2
No of fish 8-19lbs: 12
Grilse: 35

Weather: A cooler start to the morning, getting warmer through the day. Sunny spells and little wind.

Manager's comments: The cool morning meant no action for anyone until 11am. First time Yokanga visitor, Jose M, landed a 20lb fish at Cliff and Martin W took a 20lber from the Lyliok pots.

The grilse seem to be running in good numbers. As ever we see very few fish move on Yokanga and always seem to catch more than we ever see. Either way the grilse are giving us plenty of action. No sign of the really big Yokanga salmon but they always seem to put in an appearance at some stage.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Weekly Report

Date: 11-18 July

Air Temperature: 5C-10C
Water Temperature: 6C-9C
Water Height: -21cm to -19cm
No of rods: 7
No fish: 156
Biggest fish: 33lbs Rudi Navratil
No of fish 30lbs+: 2
No of fish 20-29lbs: 8
No of fish 8-19lbs: 59
Grilse: 87

Weather: A remarkably cold week for mid July. Mostly overcast with occasional rain preventing the river levels from dropping.

Manager's comments: What an outstanding week. While known for big salmon, many people forget that Yokanga has good runs of grilse and smaller salmon all through July and even into early August. This is unusual for the rivers on the north coast.
First time salmon fisher, Rudi Navratil, took the best fish of the week, a sea liced  33lber from Cliff.
The week averaged 22 fish per rod. There are not many places to do that and know with certainty that you are fishing over salmon of 20lbs and 30lbs on a daily basis!

More Grilse

Date: 17 July
Air Temp: 11 C
Water Temp: 10 C
Water height: -20cm
Number of rods: 7
Number fish caught:15
Biggest fish: -
No 30+: 0
No 20-29: 0
No 8-19: 4
Grilse: 11

COMMENTS:   Weather remained warm and overcast. Fishing was good with fresh Grilse caught on all beats.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Bug Special

Date: 16 July
Air Temp: 10 C
Water Temp: 9 C
Water height: -19cm
Number of rods: 7
Number fish caught: 23
Biggest fish: -
No 30+: 0
No 20-29: 0
No 8-19: 12
Grilse: 11

COMMENTS:   The weather is stable and much the same as yesterday. There was no rain but the sky remained overcast and it was an almost windless day. Definitely a day to apply insect repellant!

Smaller Fish Day

Date: 15 July
Air Temp: 8 C
Water Temp: 9 C
Water height: -20cm
Number of rods: 7
Number fish caught: 23
Biggest fish: -
No 30+: 0
No 20-29: 0
No 8-19: 12
Grilse: 11

COMMENTS:  While it has warmed up a bit on Yokanga, the weather is remaining relatively cool which is helpful for the fishing. The day produced some rain showers but we do expect to see the river to move much. A light breeze meant generally good fishing conditions but no large fish were landed today after yesterdays sea liced 33lber.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Prime July

Date: 14 July
Air Temp: 5-6 C
Water Temp: 8 C
Water height: -23cm
Number of rods: 7
Number fish caught: 36
Biggest fish: 33lbs - Rudolf Navaratil 
No 30+: 1
No 20-29: 4
No 8-19: 13
Grilse: 18


WEATHER:  Cold and grey still with light morning rain.
COMMENTS:   Well done to Rudolf N on his first Salmon trip in Russia with another monster this time in the holy grail of 30lbs... Great stuff and sea liced to boot!

Great Grilse

Date: 13 July
Air Temp: 7 C
Water Temp: 9 C
Water height: -26cm
Number of rods: 7
Number fish caught: 31
Biggest fish: 25lbs Rudi Navratil
No 30+:
No 20-29:1
No 8-19: 10
Grilse: 20


WEATHER:  
COMMENTS:   

Monday, 13 July 2015

First Salmon

Date: 11 evening and 12 July
Air Temp: 6 C
Water Temp: 9-10 C
Water height: -26cm
Number of rods: 7
Number fish caught: 31
Biggest fish:    30.5lbs        Rod: Martin Mullane
No 30+: 1
No 20-29: 2
No 8-19: 11
Grilse: 17


WEATHER:   Overcast, cold and rainy through the day.
COMMENTS:   Well done to Martin M for his 30.5lbs fish on Saturday evening. And well done to Rudolf N for his first time in Russia, first time fishing for Salmon and his first fish weighing in at 25lbs!

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Weekly Report

Date: 4-11 July
Air Temp: 4-11 C
Water Temp: 9-11 C
Water height: -10 to -18cm
Number of rods: 16
Number fish caught: 160
Biggest fish:    30lbs        Rod: Ian Eckersley
No 30+: 1
No 20-29: 22
No 8-19: 75
Grilse: 63



WEATHER:   Everything from bright sunshine and nearly cloudless skies to rain and hail. The only constant was the NW wind. 



COMMENTS:   It is generally accepted that numbers are down on all Kola rivers this year, but with a week of 160 to 16 rods the fishing is still pretty steady. There has been the odd quiet session for some rods here and there, but then balanced out by a few bumper outings - such is the nature of fishing. Offered a week of fishing where you catch 10 fish per rod, with at least one twenty and 60% of fish are salmon over 8lbs - I’d take that any time! The wind blew upstream pretty well all week, and at times was quite ferocious, but this did not deter the stalwart team of guests for most of whom this was not their first rodeo. If the water could have been covered more effectively on some days, perhaps the weeks total may have been greater? What certainly was a feature of the week was the daily story of huge fish lost. Early season is traditionally the best time to catch a really big fish, but the numbers of encounters over this last fortnight suggest there is a very real chance throughout the seven week season.
Lodge life was a lively affair with several comics and the Irish love of story telling and the craic. Great company both on an off the water.

Lower Norcamp

Date: 10 July
Air Temp: 9 C
Water Temp: 10 C
Water height: -18cm
Number of rods: 16
Number fish caught: 23
Biggest fish:    23lbs        Rod: Ross Varian
No 30+: 0
No 20-29: 4
No 8-19: 7
Grilse: 12


WEATHER:   Overcast, brightening through the day. Gentle NW breeze.


COMMENTS:   Every beat produced fish, but seemingly thin pickings with about one fish to each rod. However, Lower Norcamp was a different story with Eric W and Rod H-J landing five between them (best 18lbs) and lost two fish; one in the twenties and the other described and bigger than the combined weight of everything they landed!! After a classic big fish take “I thought it was stuck on a rock, then it moved” the unseen fish steadily made its way up into the pool and kept on going for 150 yards apparently totally unperturbed by Eric leaning into him. Having explored the majority of the pool the fish headed back to the tail and the rapids below where he came unstuck. Un-sighted we shall never know what it was, but Eric will remember this fish for some time yet! Elsewhere on the river Ross V landed his biggest of the week at 23lbs near Boris’s Rock and brothers Martin and Jerome M tucked into an on form Crow’s Nest landing five with a couple of twenties to note.

Bomber Action

Date: 9 July
Air Temp: 8 C
Water Temp: 9 C
Water height: -16cm
Number of rods: 16
Number fish caught: 20
Biggest fish:    21lbs        Rod: Mike Bowsher
No 30+: 0
No 20-29: 1
No 8-19: 11
Grilse: 8
WEATHER:   Very thin, patchy cloud cover and a bright start to the day. Clouding over after 4pm.
 

COMMENTS:   Seemingly no rhyme nor reason to salmon behaviour - Bright sunshine today and some beats fished well under these conditions while some waited for the afternoons cloud cover before showing fish. Rob W and Stephen L had 6 fish from Crow’s Nest between 4pm and 6pm, Mike B landed his PB of 21lbs at Seven Islands (well done Mike!), Pat M produced 3 from Lower Norcamp and Ian E continues to pick up fish where others have no joy including one landed and one lost on a bomber! It’s amazing how fish will move with meaning to the surface even in relatively low temperatures.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Crows Nest


Date: 8 july

Air Temp: 10-11 C
Water Temp: 9 C
Water height: -13cm
Number of rods: 16
Number fish caught: 27
Biggest fish:    30lbs        Rod: Ian Eckersley
No 30+: 1
No 20-29: 3
No 8-19: 13
Grilse: 11

Weather: Gentle downstream breeze, warm and overcast


Manager’s Comments: Almost perfect salmon fishing weather today – it felt like a lovely July day!  With the river dropping the fishers left the lodge in great spirits and expecting good action. Sean M landed a nice 14lb hen first cast from the first of the 7 Islands and brought to an end a tough couple of days for him with another fish that tore off downstream causing his reel to “bird’s nest” – thankfully the fish stopped and a 10lb hen was landed! Elsewhere on the river Ian E landed 3 fish of 14, 15 and 24lbs from Crows Nest (what a lovely beat in July!) Stephen L and Rob W landed 6 between them and lost several others. It was clear that in the higher water and rough weather fish had moved about quite a bit and some previously productive beats proved hard going whilst others served up nice surprises for hard working fishers.  Not feeling the day was quite done, Ian E headed down to Pump after dinner and hooked into a huge cartwheeling fish that was eventually landed at Heron Point - many of you will know just how far downstream that is – that weighed in at just over 30lbs – the first real Yokanga monster of the week…….although the previous 4 days have yielded 17 fish between 20-29lbs – not exactly minnows! What a fantastic end to the day!

Small Double

Date: 7 July

Air Temp: 6C
Water Temp: 9C
Water height: -10cm
Number of rods: 16
Number fish caught: 36
Biggest fish:      28lbs x 2     Rod: Rob Hall-Jones and Stephen Lodge
No 30+: -
No 20-29: 3
No 8-19: 17
Grilse: 16

Weather: Cold and heavy breeze (again from the north), though during the day  the wind dropped a little and the temp rose a degree or two. Light cloud cover in the evening.


Manager’s Comments: Fractionally improved weather improved the fishing markedly, although as ever some beats were more productive than others. Geoff B landed 7 for the day to 20lbs and Stephen L and Rob H-J both had cracking fish nudging close to that magic 30lb mark. Edwin O lost a very large fish on a floating and small double fly and we all felt that the big fish are still very much in the game – which keeps everyone on their toes! Encouraging numbers of fresh summer 2SW salmon in the mid teens are pulsing through the beats and taking well when covered and the grilse run joining them is building also. Fingers crossed for the weather to continue to improve.

Personal Best

Date: 6 July

Air Temp: 4C
Water Temp: 10C
Water height: -13cm
Number of rods: 16
Number fish caught: 24
Biggest fish:     27lbs      Rod: Pat Mullane
No 30+: -
No 20-29: 6
No 8-19: 14
Grilse: 4

Weather: Bitterly cold upstream wind all day with hailstones (!!!) at times.



Manager’s Comments: Seriously tough weather for July! Those fishing above 7 Islands found their boat blown upstream of the anchor on several occasions! If fishers could find a sheltered corner then fishing was good and there were plenty of fish to target.  Rob W has three fish of 17, 24 and another PB of 26lbs from Lower Norcamp, and Stephen L had a brace of fish of 10 and 20lbs from the same beat. 2 big fish were lost by Pat  and Jerome and most fish that were landed were targeted using sink 3 tips and Willie Gunn or Cascade type patterns. If it wasn’t for the weather we feel like the tally would already be very impressive for the first days of this week!

Powerful Resolve


Date: Evening 4 and 5 July
 
Air Temp: 6C
Water Temp: 11C
Water height: -15cm
Number of rods: 16
Number fish caught: 30
Biggest fish:   25lbs x 2            Rod: Martin and Pat Mullane
No 30+: -
No 20-29: 5
No 8-19: 13
Grilse: 12

Weather: Warm downstream breeze on evening of 4th then strong and very cold upstream wind from the north east all day Sunday


Manager’s Comments: An enthusiastic group of largely Yokanga regulars hit the river on the first evening, from Boulder Alley down to Lyliok, and were well rewarded with 8 fish including a lovely 21lb fish for Martin M above Pump. Sunday proved testing with a very cold, very strong wind chilling everyone to the core, however fish were picked up and everyone had a bend in their rod at points during the day. Rob W braved the cold evening to pick up a PB of 24lbs from Lyliok and lost another couple of good fish – “fortune favours the brave!”

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Weekly Report

Date: 27 June-4 July

Air Temperature: 5-14C
Water Temperature: 12C-14C
Water Height: -22cm to -18cm
No of rods: 10
No fish: 70
Biggest fish: 34lbs Alain Vanthier
No of fish 30lbs+: 1
No of fish 20-29lbs: 7
No of fish 8-19lbs: 53
Grilse: 9

Weather: Temperatures have remained remarkably cool but stable for the majority of the week. There has been some sunny weather but cool air temperatures have meant that the water temperature has been pretty constant giving generally good fishing conditions.
Manager's comments: It is proving a tougher year than normal on the Kola Peninsula as a whole (Norway and Canada as well) and this week was no different. The rewards are there though for those that persevere.


There were only nine grilse and plenty of the salmon landed were in the high teens so everyone got to see there backing during the course of the week!

There are not many places in the world that you have a genuine chance of encountering a big fish. Seven fish fell in the 20-29lb bracket and the most noteable fish of the week was caught by Alain V, an exceptional 34lber. Well done Alain!



There were at least a handful of other encounters with salmon of a similar size this week. They came unstuck for a variety of reasons such as heading into a rapid but the majority were lost for no real reason, often when the fight was nearly won and when the fish was clearly seen. These things often go in waves of good or bad luck so let's hope that guests in the coming weeks have luck on their side.

All in all it was a relaxed but fun week with representation from the UK, Australia, France, Spain and Iceland. Hope to see you all again next year, same time, same place!

Strong Finish

Date: 3 July

Air Temperature: 11C-8C
Water Temperature: 13C
Water Height: -18cm
No of rods: 10
No fish: 15
Biggest fish: 22lbs Nicolas Boisson
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 2
No of fish 8-19lbs: 10
Grilse: 3

Weather: A cloudy start developing into light rain and a dropping air temperature. Gentle downstream breeze. Nearly ideal fishing conditions!


Manager's comments: It was in fact our best day of the week and every single rod of the 10 in camp caught a fish today. A great way to end the week.

Pat B took three and lost another six on Lyliok and Crows Nest. Nicolas B had his best day of the week with three from Poachers including a 22lber.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Arctic Chill

Date: 2 July

Air Temperature: 5C-12
Water Temperature: 12C
Water Height: -16cm
No of rods: 10
No fish:
Biggest fish:
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 0
No of fish 8-19lbs: 8
Grilse: 3

Weather: I should be careful what I wish for in terms of weather as there was a distinct Arctic chill in the air this morning. A mild upstream wind with air temperatures not rising until mid afternoon.


Manager's comments: Today was a day of many losses, the majority of them falling off well into the fight for no real reason. Three notable big fish were lost. Arni lost an old cock fish which ran the rapid at Island and then came off close to the net after they got a good look at it. Peter T had terminal tackle failure with 35lb fluorocarbon at Poachers. Alan M also lost one after 15 mins at the hourglass at Crows Nest. On a positive note we saw a few grilse caught and Alan landed fresh sea-liced fish of 17lbs and 19lbs at Crows Nest. Good news to see fresh fish of this size coming along with the beginning of the grilse run.

Short Rise

Date: 1 July

Air Temperature: 8C-14C
Water Temperature: 12C
Water Height: -15cm
No of rods: 10
No fish: 7
Biggest fish: 20lbs Arni Baldursson
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 1
No of fish 8-19lbs: 6
Grilse: 0

Weather: A bright sunny day with a light breeze. Wonderful casting conditions and a stunning day on Yokanga.


Manager's comments: Diligent readers of the blog will note that the water has crept up a little today. This must be the result of the few heavy downpours we had on Mon night. I expect the water will quickly drop back to where it was. Either way, it seems to have put the fish off a bit today or perhaps it was the extreme sunny conditions we experienced. Many beats were blank today after three quite good days given the season the whole of the Kola is having. Arni B lost a big fish up at Sand Island which disappeared into the rapid where he played it for a while before the hook came out. He still landed a nice 20lber and 19lber from Sand Island and Cliff. Here is hoping that we don't need the suncream for the rest of the week!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Grilse Running

Date: 30 June

Air Temperature: 8-12C
Water Temperature: 13C
Water Height: -19cm
No of rods: 10
No fish: 13
Biggest fish: 18lbs, Nicolas Boisson
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 0
No of fish 8-19lbs: 10
Grilse: 3

Weather: Cloudy with sunny spells. A strong wind blowing from all directions!



Manager's comments: There was generally a good amount of action with another 10 or so fish lost. Both Upper and Lower Norcamp now seem to be producing fish on a regular basis which is encouraging. The first of the grilse seem to be arriving to supplement the summer run of salmon that we have throughout July on Yokanga. Nicolas B had the biggest of the day at 18lbs from Upper Island. Intermediate tips and medium sized tubes or size 6-8 doubles seem to be working best for people.


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Black Clouds

Date: 29 June

Air Temperature: 6C-12C
Water Temperature: 12C
Water Height: -21cm
No of rods: 10
No fish: 11
Biggest fish: 34lbs, Alain Vanthier
No of fish 30lbs+: 1
No of fish 20-29lbs: 1
No of fish 8-19lbs: 9
Grilse: 0

Weather: A grey start turning to sunshine and clouds. During the helicopter pickup, black clouds rolled in which developed into several heavy downpours.

Manager's comments: The team caught quite a few sea-liced fish many of them 10-12lbs and hen fish. Enric S was being rowed to a new fishing spot and having left his line dangling was watching the fly skate on the surface when it was taken aggressively by a fresh 11lber. A novel way to catch Yokanga salmon! Alain V hooked a fish in Poachers and after it jumped a couple of times Arni and Vova agreed it was a good fish but nothing special. They then caught sight of it in a bay and revised their view but said nothing to Alan. It weighed an impressive 34lbs.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Conditions Improve

Date: Evening 27 and 28 June

Air Temperature: 6C-12C
Water Temperature: 14-12C
Water Height: -22cm
No of rods: 10
No fish: 13
Biggest fish: 22lbs, Pat Butler and Michel Terrasse
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 3
No of fish 8-19lbs: 10
Grilse: 0

Weather: What a difference a day makes! The new arrivals were greeted by chilly weather, overcast skies, occasional drizzle and a light upstream wind.


Manager's comments: Finally we seem to have good fishing conditions! The water has dropped back a couple of degrees and the skies are grey. More like normal weather on Yokanga.
Enric S had a good start taking two beautiful hen fish, both of 18lbs and in the river for a day at most, from Upper Norcamp. The beat has not fished so well over the last couple of weeks so it was great to see it perform as the water is a perfect fishing height.
Pat B, having had some casting practise on another river on the Kola Peninsula, landed a fresh 22lber from Sand Island. Michel T from France also landed one of the same size from Lyliok.
What the figures do not show is the actual sizes of the fish. So many are in the middle to high teens. For the benefit of Yokanga blog readers, here is a summary. 1x10, 2x12, 1x14, 1x15, 2x16, 1x17, 2x18, 1x20, 2x22. Every single fish is a bar of silver straight in from the sea and fights like crazy under the conditions we have. If conditions remain then we hope to have similar action tomorrow.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Weekly Report

Date: 20-27 June

Air Temperature: 8-21C
Water Temperature: 11C-21C
Water Height: -8cm to -21cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 83
Biggest fish: 34lbs Soren Celinder
No of fish 30lbs+: 1
No of fish 20-29lbs: 14
No of fish 8-19lbs: 66
Grilse: 2

Weather: A particularly sunny and windy week, firstly upstream and then downstream for the last few days. With it came warm summer temperatures.

Manager's comments: Conditions were far from ideal for fishing but Yokanga certainly looked her beautiful best with water at a perfect height and every beat and pool fishing well with all features well defined.

The week had a great start but bright and sunny weather definitely hampered fishing and wind made for tricky casting at times. Dull conditions on the last day saw the fishing results pick up but it was definitely a week for perseverance.

The week did produce some quality fish with every fifth fish being 20lbs or more. At one stage of the week Colin J had 5 fish averaging 22lbs. There were some exceptional salmon in the high 20s. Straight in from the sea these gave people some great battles, some of which were won and one notable one which was lost. These encounters leave us all wondering what could have been and I suppose is part of the reason that makes Yokanga so unique and keeps us coming back hoping that we might be the lucky one. The fish of the week was a bright silver 34lb fish caught by Soren C.

The river is in good shape and if mother nature gives us some decent fishing conditions we should see catches increase week on week. We are seeing a few grilse entering the system so watch the space for updates in the coming days and weeks.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Final Flurry

Date: 26 June

Air Temperature: 16C-10C
Water Temperature: 15C
Water Height: -21cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 20
Biggest fish: 28lbs John Horlock
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 2
No of fish 8-19lbs: 17
Grilse: 1



Weather: A cloudy start to the day with occasional broken sunshine and gentle rain. A downstream wind with a dropping temperature through the afternoon.

Manager's comments: It was a final flurry to the week with sea-liced fish being caught as far as Sand Island.


Colin J lost a fish estimated at over 30lbs after it ran a rapid and tangled his line around a rock. The whole flyline was lost as a result. John H landed a super fresh cock fish of 28lbs from Pump first thing in the morning, a small consolation having lost something enormous the previous day.

John's Hog

To further expand on John H's epic battle here it is in more detail:

Previous Contact with Hog Salmon

John H hooked what seemed like a very good fish in Poachers which refused to move before tearing down the rapids. Rod and guide followed in the boat with line fast disappearing off the reel. The fish then held behind a large boulder in the rapid allowing John to catch up, retrieve a lot of backing and get some flyline back on the reel. He fought the fish there for a time trying to bully it towards the bank but the fish refused to budge and kept firmly down. Having rested up, the fish again headed downstream, this time nearly emptying the spool of backing. Again John and his guide were forced to follow in the boat. Once the fish was out of the rapid, the problem was now to get backing onto the reel fast enough. The boat was fast floating down the rapid with the fish in the pool below so inevitably they lost touch. Fearing that the fish would be gone, John wound in as fast as he could and miraculously the fish was still on. In a pool where fish can easily be landed, they were now in a good position to land whatever they had on. Thinking the fish would now be exhausted, John kept up the pressure only for the fly to come out for no particular reason.


The entire episode lasted 20 minutes and at no moment did the fish seem to tire and they never once got a look at it. John has had over a dozen fish in excess of 30lbs from Yokanga and said he had never experienced strength like that. The fish was in control all through the fight. One wonders what sort of size it could have been.

Running Fish

Date: 25 June

Air Temperature: 19-21C
Water Temperature: 14C
Water Height: -19cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 8
Biggest fish: 17.5lbs Chris Agar
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 0
No of fish 8-19lbs: 7
Grilse: 1

Weather: A cloudy start with light rain that cleared to broken sunshine. Light breeze building to strong downstream wind and a sunny evening.



Manager's comments: A few more running fish were seen today and a number of the fish caught were sea liced. Rae B and Peter F both caught a fish from the neck of the pool below Lyliok rapids, the first time this has produced this week.
John H hooked what seemed like a very good fish in Poachers which refused to move before tearing down the rapids and remarkably stayed on. But sadly came unbuttoned in the calm water.


Thursday, 25 June 2015

Cliff Double

Date: 24 June

Air Temperature: 15-19C
Water Temperature: 13C
Water Height: -17cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 8
Biggest fish: 26lbs Colin Jones
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 2
No of fish 8-19lbs: 6
Grilse: 0

Weather: Mostly overcast with sunny spells and a light downstream wind. With a southerly wind it felt hot and at times humid.



Manager's comments: The results were no better with the improved fishing conditions. Fresh fish were seen running through Home Pool and Beach in the afternoon and it could well have been from them that Chris A took two fresh fish from Poachers weighing 12lbs and 16lbs in the closing minutes. John H then lost a larger fish which came unstuck after it wrapped the line around a sub-surface boulder in the middle of the pool. The prize of the day has to go Pete W and Colin J who landed a 24lber and 26lber respectively up at Cliff.


Arctic Sun

Date: 23 June

Air Temperature: 6C-18C
Water Temperature: 12C
Water Height: -12cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 10
Biggest fish: 21lbs Christoffer Celinder
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 1
No of fish 8-19lbs: 9
Grilse: 0

Weather: Cloud cover to start which cleared to yet more bright sunshine and an equally strong upstream wind. Where did the forecast rain and cloud go?



Manager's comments: A very tough day on the river. The Yokanga looks stunning in Arctic Circle sunshine but the sporadic pods of fish are tough to catch under the conditions. After dinner Pete W was rewarded with a 14lb and 15lb fish (both with sea lice) from Lyliok left bank. With the river still bathed in sunshine after dinner, many of the party chose to enjoy some Russian beverages and rest the river for tomorrow!




Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Three Four

22 June

Air Temperature: 10-20C
Water Temperature: 11C
Water Height: -9cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 16
Biggest fish: 34lbs Soren Celinder
No of fish 30lbs+: 1
No of fish 20-29lbs: 1
No of fish 8-19lbs: 14
Grilse: 0

Weather: Another day of sunshine with one or two high clouds. A strong upstream wind made for very difficult casting.


Manager's comments: Given the less than ideal conditions it was a slower day on the river with a couple of beats blanking. It is a question of hunting the resting fish as with the current water height there are plenty of good holding spots.
Chris C had been deposited on a rock mid river to have a few casts while his father, Soren C, fished one of the 7 Islands. Soren hooked a good fish which having jumped a few times then took off downsteam and they had to follow. Chris had to wait 45 mins on his rock while Soren landed a stunning mint fresh 34lb cock fish, the best of the season so far.


Many people are now using doubles, sizes 6-8, on intermediate and slow sink tips. On occasions using heavier tips and a bigger fly (snaelda being the favourite) on the deeper/streamier sections.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Old Guard

Evening 20 and 21 June

Air Temperature: 12-15C
Water Temperature: 11C
Water Height: -8cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 21
Biggest fish: 28lbs, Colin Jones
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 8
No of fish 8-19lbs: 13
Grilse: 0

Weather: The team of regulars arrived in camp to wall to wall sunshine which persisted all through Sunday. Ideal fishing conditions these were not but did not dampen resolve.



Manager's comments: After the usual early dinner on arrival, the party set about the task with enthusiasm and landed 4 on the first evening with another 3 lost. John H and Colin W had a 20lber and 21lber respectively from Pump. The sunshine on Sunday did not stop the party getting stuck in with high expectations. Every beat produced at least a fish which was encouraging. Pete W and  Colin C decided to persevere on the main draw at Poachers for much of the day and landed 3 fish weighing 20lbs, 22lbs and 28lbs. Quite some avererage! All in all a great start to the week and much to look forward to.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Weekly Report

14-21 June 2015

Air Temperature: 4C-17C
Water temperature: 9-11C
Water height: -9 - 13cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 121
Biggest fish: 33lbs Philippe Gouzer
No of fish 30lbs+: 5
No of fish 20-29lbs: 39
No of fish 8-19lbs: 77
Grilse: 0


Weather: Everything from extreme wind from all corners of the compass and heavy rain/hailstones to light breeze and bright sun


Comments: What an interesting week. It is clear that the healthy fish are running through the system incredibly fast and therefore the best beats are at the very top of the middle river. Sand Island, Cliff and 7 Islands are proving to have a good head of fish and especially the biggest fish. Lyliok has been productive as always, having the benefit of the long rapid below and classic fly water above but middle beats like the Norcamps and Island are yet to begin to stop fish for long enough be productive. It was great to see Crow’s Nest coming into shape and if the water drops during this week this beat will fish better and better. Poachers also proved productive with so many classic resting areas positioned above long rapid sections. This theory is backed up by fishers from the lower camp catching relatively few fish of smaller sizes and by many of the larger fish being caught in the upper lodge beats still having sea lice. It is a case of the water being warm enough and low enough for optimal running conditions.


It was nonetheless a fantastic week to be at the lodge with many returning fishers who have become friends over the years and a few new faces experiencing Yokanga for the first time. Honours were spread fairly evenly and just when certain fishers got the feeling that luck was not with them their fortunes would change - huge battles resulted in really special fish for Jack, Olivier, Andrew, Philippe, Michael and Simon. Certain fishers always seemed to have the "Fish Gods” on their side and the "Bann Special” was without doubt the fly of the week for Jonathan. Berndt had constant fishing all week and Jacques and Louis accounted for some lovely salmon too. Andrew landed one of the fattest salmon many had ever seen from Home Pool - by all right it should have been 21lbs or so but shaped more like a carp than a salmon with girth/length ratio of 60+/100 it weight in at 27lbs (it was re-checked on two scales several times just to make sure our eyes were not deceiving us!) First visits to Yokanga gave a taste of what the rivers offers to Paul, Marc, Michael and Philippe - all of whom added a lot of fun to proceedings so thanks to them for bringing lots of energy and laughs. Martin and Simon were full of fun and thanks for Simon for giving the end of week speech in Russian - thanking staff and guides for their efforts. Five fish over 30lbs for the week, 36% over 20lbs - we look forward to what next week brings!

Big Fish

19 June 2015

Air Temperature: 5C-16C
Water temperature: 11C
Water height: -9cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 15
Biggest fish: 33lbs Philippe Gouzer
No of fish 30lbs+: 1
No of fish 20-29lbs: 4
No of fish 8-19lbs: 10
Grilse: 0


Weather: Light breeze and bright sun interspersed with heavy winds and short bursts of heavy rain.



Comments: The last day of the week did not provide the numbers of fish we hoped for but it certainly did provide another fantastic fish to Philippe on the top island (right draw) of 7 Islands! Philippe had seen no action for most of the day and in the final hour decided to check out a particularly slow and deep piece of water. Line went tight and after a tussle of 25 minutes an immaculate 33lb cock fish was landed - the largest fish of the week! Martin also had a nice day with two very fresh fish of 14lb and 22lbs from Paocher’s beat, Jonathan had four fish from Lower Norcamp (good to see that beat starting to produce a little) and Andrew had a wonderful 29lbder from Lyliok after an epic battle.


The day finished with a particularly lively staff and guests Friday night party, leaving a few feeling a little fragile for the trip back to Murmansk the following morning. During the party Head Guide Andrey presented Michael B’ with a photographic book on Arctic species to commemorate his 17 years fishing at Yokanga and to thank him for all the support he has shown the river, guides and staff over those years.


Friday, 19 June 2015

Curate's Egg

18 June 2015

Air Temperature: 10C-17C
Water temperature: 10C
Water height: -13cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 16
Biggest fish: 29lbs Olivier Devictor
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 8
No of fish 8-19lbs: 8
Grilse: 0

Weather: light breeze all day from the north, sunny and patch cloud. Generally warm.



Comments: we did have a small rise in water after all, and without doubt some new large fish came into the river. Some beats did not produce fish today but others offered quite a lot of action, albeit not many entries to the book. Jonathan and Berdt hooked 9 fish between the on Norcamp, landing 1 each, Marc Philippe and Michael also saw a number of fish in the hourglass of crows nest and the main draw, hooking 7 and landing 1 each. Possibly the sun was the reason for slightly short takes? The fish that arrived in the evening were of the highest possible quality, with ridiculous proportions (girths of 55 - 60% of length.) Andrew had a 27lb fish from just above Heron Point only to be trumped by Olivier who landed a 29lb stunner from Pots. Jack also had another epic battle in Poachers which ended with the fly coming out after several hundred yards of chasing down rapids. 50% today of 20lbs or over.



Last day tomorrow, let's hope for a strong finish to the week.

Temperature Plummets

17 June 2015

Air Temperature: 4C-6C
Water temperature: 11C
Water height: -13cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 23
Biggest fish: 29lbs Jonathan Murray
No of fish 30lbs+: 0
No of fish 20-29lbs: 9
No of fish 8-19lbs: 14
Grilse: 0

Weather: Strong and very cold north/northeast wind and persistent drizzle. Wind dropped a little toward the end of the day.



Comments: A really cold, wet and windy day but some lovely fish being landed such as Jonathan's 104cm 29lber from Island and Jacques' 28lber from 7 Islands (2nd island river right channel below chute).



Philippe landed a hard fighting PB of 21lbs and Paul landed three very fresh fish fish, one liced. Very few fish showed on any beat during the day, likely due to the air being so much colder than the water. However two large pods of fish came through Lyliok around 8pm and 10pm respectively, Jack landing three of the later group weighing in at 10lbs, 22lbs and 23lbs.




At the end of this wet and very cold day we have the impression the river may be rising a little, we will know in the morning.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Double Thirty

16 June 2015

Air Temperature: 7C-15C
Water temperature: 11C
Water height: -11cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 24
Biggest fish: 32 x 2 Michael Gumener and Jack Meredith
No of fish 30lbs+: 2
No of fish 20-29lbs: 5
No of fish 8-19lbs: 7
Grilse: 0

Weather: Gentle westerly building a little in the afternoon as cloud cover rolled in.


Comments: Our fishers are still seemingly targeting smaller numbers of fish than at this time in a regular year, however the quality is there for all to see! Michael was invited to Poachers by his great friends Marc and Philippe and proceeded to use his Park Shrimp (3/4" copper tube) to "poach" their water to great effect landing a 27lb fish from the main top draw and a 32lb hen from the "badlands" between Poachers corner and Beach - a great fish and rare spot for anything other than summer grilse!
 7 Islands was good again producing lovely fresh fish to 27lbs for Jonathan and Berndt and Norcamp began to produce with Andrew and Donald landing a few in the upper section. Generally the team are fishing sink tips and tubes still with brighter patterns taking the lead.


Michael B kindly invited Jack to fish his Lyiok left bank evening rotation - an invitation that did not go to waste as Jack hooked a huge fish in the top "pot" which when landed 45 minutes later in the top of Crow's Lake weighed in at 32lbs. A great moment for Jack and really exactly what Yokanga is all about. You can have a lean few days and just when you feel luck is not on your side you have an epic battle and land the fish of a lifetime.



Oleg, the night guide, also reported a small number of very large fish showing at midnight as they moved up through Lyliok and Home Pool.....wonder if anyone will connect with them tomorrow?

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Seven Islands

15 June 2015

Air Temperature: 4C-15C
Water temperature: 11C
Water height: -8cm
No of rods: 16
No fish: 19
Biggest fish: 30.5lbs, Simon Bath
No of fish 30lbs+: 1
No of fish 20-29lbs: 6
No of fish 8-19lbs: 12
Grilse: 0

 Weather: A lovely warm morning with sun and a light breeze then overcast and very strong upstream north east wind in afternoon.



Comments: A fantastic fish for Simon from the penultimate draw of 7 Islands - one of six from the beat including two fish in the mid twenties for Martin. Sand Island also fished excellently as did Poachers in the morning before the wind got up on Beach and Lake.


Upper and Lower Norcamp and Island are not producing yet. Fish seem to be going straight through them without resting, hopefully that will change during the week as the water is a lovely height for those beats.