Tuesday 27 July 2010

With the fly rod in the Kola Peninsula

                    Kola autumn - Horses, bears and fly-fishing

                     With the fly rod in the Kola Peninsula

By Mindaugas Banelis
September, while sizzling my lard on the Turkish beach and sipping Efes Pilsen, I was thinking about the fact that I had already fulfilled one of the annual duties of a father and husband - having had a family holiday “in the South”.
So it was high time to take care of the truly manly rest, which is fishing somewhere in the North. The target was salmon. I had decided that Kola Peninsula was the ideal place to travel to. So I set off. It was not the first time I was traveling to Kola, but it was the first time in the autumn.


Among the people travelling together there was only one whom I knew beforehand, “Zombis” (Mindaugas) all the rest were unknown to me.
Leonas joined us in Vilnius. One more fellow-traveller was Igor - a famous doctor and anaesthetist from Riga.
People like them are a true gift during a trip like this. Perfect companions when communicating with native people in the vastness of Russia where the convention of drinking vodka for breakfast, lunch and dinner is still very much alive.
Thus, our crew was finally formed in the territory of the brotherly Republic of Latvia. We were travelling from Riga to Tallinn, then to Finland, and having reached the North of Finland, we turned into Russia.
The driving duties were carried out by “Zombis”. He took us to the promised land of salmon with a seasoned Mitsubishi Land Rover, which, as it was later revealed, was not so old and proved itself as a strong and nimble “race car”.
Strong and nimble like its owner. “Zombis” a Lithuanian, tempered by the northern winds with manners and appearance of a joyful troll. He was taking the responsibility as a guide in the northern fishing. Perhaps the fact that before this trip he spent a lot of time in inclement Greenland talking to Valkyrie, made his aura sparkle especially bright. Sometimes he resembled a young devil from the animated films from my childhood. And while sitting at the table... Well, I digress. This is about fishing, isn't it?


Early in the morning we reached the point Salla, which is in the northern part of Finland. After the border and customs formalities we broke into the vastness of Russia. It was obvious that we were in Russia. I could feel it with my spine, due to the rough road and the potholes. It threatened braking us to pieces.
When driving through each larger hole the idea that our “race car” would give in before Kandalaksha was constantly slipping into my mind, but in spite of our grim forecasts our “race car” was swinging rhythmically as if teasing at Russian roads and its passengers. It was tossing us so that if we had an old man among us, his false teeth would have fallen apart.
The “massage” wasn't finished before we reached Kandalaksha, but our spines were screaming for care.
So having stopped at the gas station we started “balancing salt”. Perhaps it was strange to see four man “balancing salt”, but this exercise helps the spine disks to get back to its place and helps to avoid inflammation or strangulation of the nerve roots.
There is quite good asphalt road to the East from Kandalaksha, to the estuary of Umba and Varzuga. A very small part is not yet complete, but I think in a couple of years there will be an excellent asphalt road all the way to the Varzuga river.
The destination of our travel was Chavanga (Tchavanga, Chawanga) so we turned our “race car” to the estuary of Varzuga. “Ustja Varzugi” is a well known place, the symbol of which for many years was a ship turned on one side bearing an ambitious inscription TITANIK.
Unfortunately, this ship is gone now. Local people explained that it was taken by the metal collectors.
Global Economic Crisis.
It has even come to the distant North barely effected by civilization. The price of metal rose so much that the ship, which for many years wasn't interesting to anyone, was pulled apart almost by hand and shipped out for further processing.Car
There is a local resident in the estuary of Varzuga. He has lived here so long. that even he himself does not remember when he settled. He has a boat, oblong and narrow with an antique engine. He took us with all our belongings to the opposite shore of Varzuga, and there a particular vehicle – a technical relic - was waiting for us.
It was a ZIL. People who remember post-war years in the east, will remember the sputtering, coughing and roaring ZIL. With only three bridges available in the Kola Peninsula it was necessary.
It was climbing the rocks of the Kola like a beetle trying to reach a creamy bite at the top of kitchen cupboard. It was crawling through swamps, mocking at mud and water. It looked like the only goal for it was to take adventure seeking fishermen to the Northern rivers full of fish.
As long as there will be fishermen, it will live and travel. Traveling with this monster is a unique experience. I felt like a potato, a piece of wood or a tennis ball. We were shaken so much that any doctor would easily diagnose brain concussion or light body contusion.
After a while I realized, that if one does not want to break his neck driving the vehicle on the road peeved with nondescript size of the stones he has to use his hands, feet and teeth to grasp the sides of the body of the car. Otherwise - Amen.
After five hours of shaking my forces have almost departed form me (all the way I was holding the wooden sides with my nails and teeth trying to keep myself in the trailer and not to fall out, together with that I was pressing the box of food to the floor with my leg as I wanted to preserve our food supply of the week. Believe me five hours of such “extreme” is quite a bit.
Like even the longest and the darkest night sometime ends, the involuntary shaking of our team ended, too.
Having swam across the Chavanga estuary, ZIL stopped at our “cottage”. I will not go into depths about the everyday life of the North. I have written about it earlier.
The small houses of Kola villages belong to the Kolkhoz. The Kolkhoz, due to the activities and character of the chairman, is famous throughout the region.
Life in the houses is livable. Water is taken from the well. A toilet is the “hole” in the entryway. Why entryway? In winter when the frost is heavy one does not have to run across the field and it is likely that your behind will not freeze to the “throne”.
There are two rooms and two furnaces in the “cottage”. Electricity - twice a day. This is our life.


After such a “pleasant” journey, myself, “Zombie” and Igor tried to recover, stretching out on the bed allowing our bodies to rest after a long time of hard work.
Leon went to the river. We had a nap, then ate and then received guests, a local old codger. He has lived in the village Chavanga at the Chavanga river all his life. He knows all the fish in the river, and calls the local bears by names.
The old codger sat at the table, we asked him about the fish, questioned about pat holes and spillways of course with something liquid passing round the table, as it is custom here.
I do not remember which round it was. We're measuring in half litters. But the moment came when the old codger promised to take us to the place where fish climbs ashore by itself, where the bottom of the river shines with silver and where bears go to accumulate their winter fat.
We started to prepare our fishing rods, combed the flies, prepared snells, and tightened spool brakes. We were preparing ourselves seriously to fight salmon - the king of the river.
After dark Leon returned. Scared and shaking not able to pull himself together. At first we thought that he was frozen due to wind, but having looked into his staring and big owl eyes, we realized that something has happened.
We had poured something quickly into the glass and then into his throat. He swallowed the drops and started telling.
It appeared that he had hooked something in the river. That something pulled him so hard that he was in the river by his waist before he noticed. But that something was pulling hard, hauling line and did not want to let go release.
Leon was hooked by the “something”. It wasn't him who had hooked the “something”.
He said: "I thought it would drag me into the river, but I would not surrender alive. Either I would pull out the monster or it would take my soul to Neptune!”
He was fighting with that “something” for about an hour until the line broke. We were giggling, saying that he must have hooked a seal coming up the river for smelts, but inside ourselves we were thinking one thing only: new fish was in the river.
We would have fun, would have an adrenaline rush.


The morning was sunny, but windy. The wind increased further while we had breakfast. After a while it clouded over and began to rain and sleet too. In this weather the master would keep his dog inside - and we were preparing for fishing!
We were walking along the river, in the swamps until we were a few kilometers above the village. Here the river flows in a little valley and makes a twist. One can wade in the water almost to the other side.
An ideal place for fishing.
I decided to look for fish there. I was casting, trying to attract fish while the old codger from the day before attracted a beautiful, silvery female salmon of some 5 kilograms or 10 lbs. He proficiently grasped the salmon by its tail, crowned it with a rock and bundled it into his sack.
Shortly after a fish took my offerings. A male salmon had shown interest in a pink fly. A beauty, spruced in its wedding garment, bronze with bright red dots and a very bright belly.
I hadn’t seen such beautiful fish before, but then I haven’t fished the autumn in Kola before.
In Lithuania I usually don't fish during the spawning season.
The toddler was not large. About 2 kilograms or 4 lbs., but spectacular.
A brief photo session and the fish was freed.
We were crossing the river the whole day, and caught a few more toddlers. My body was covered with a wonderful sense of tranquility. Everything around had the smell of North.
Lying on the shore I watched fish jumping in the river. I pulled out a flask; a sip of peat drink warmly ran down the throat pleasantly dizzying the head.
The day was ending.
The sun was hiding behind the trees
It was time to go home. The body was calling for rest.


Morning came soon.
We had had a long talk about fishing in the candlelight in the evening. Candlelight because the electricity here ends at midnight. We had recalled our previous trips and gone to bed late.
“Zombie” the troll offered to travel through the swamp, but only in the places we the locals mow the grass.
The proposal was accepted, so in the morning led by “Zombie” we were making our way through the swamp. We were going for six kilometers, not not just a few hundred meters.
To tell the truth I wanted to drown “Zombie” in the swamp, but the diabolic child felt right at home.
It is very difficult to make one's way through the swamp. Some places the water barely covers your boots, some places you go in to the waist. You climb to the top and everything starts over again. You jump from hump to hump. Miss the hump and you are in the wetland to the waist.
The heart pounds in a monstrous speed, and the pulse is so hard that one can feel the neck arteries.
Finally we somehow reached the fishing spot.
There were lots of fresh piles indicating that we were not alone here - that there were bears around. One, two, three? Nobody knows.
The fish were biting perfectly, but all were black.
There were many fish.
Very many.
We thought that we were on the spawning grounds, but after having examined the bottom, I understood that this wasn't the case. The spawning waters were most likely further up the river. We were not going there.
Let the fish make children. We were fine here.

I had noticed a large male. It was poking around, showing back and tail like a dolphin. The fish was spectacular, with a tail as large as my two hands - and they are bigger than on an average man!
I was casting to the male for a long time, but didn’t catch it. It would have been a nice photo, but I failed.


Fishing in Kola is an extreme. In addition to salmon one can see a bear or meet an elk or a deer. Wild horses live along the lake near the village.
The following incident happened some time ago: a drunk tourists came out of the village shop with bread loafs and several stallions wrestled him to the ground and robbed the bread.

I tried to take a photo of the wild horses. They disliked it and one stallion with black mane showed his teeth and galloped towards me. I had to jump on the old ZIL to avoid him.
I have been to the Kola peninsula many times, but this was the first time in the fall. It is somehow unusual that night comes in Kola. When coming to Kola in the summer it is light all day long, and this time we had to spend evenings in the candlelight.
Electricity in the village is turned off at midnight, so there are only two options left: either going to sleep, or to sit in the candlelight.
We were sitting, spending the evenings talking. During the evening talks we decided to go up the river with the land-rover.
The running costs of the land-rover is about twelve dollars per kilometer.
Too expensive for your taste?
Try to find it cheaper in the tundra!
But we decided to go anyway.


In the morning a Volvo 4WD was waiting for us. I liked this Swedish machine. So small, light, maneuverable, petrol-powered four-cylinder engine, with thick tires.
We went about twelve kilometers up the river with it. We were brought to the upper resort where a Polish group had been fishing a week before. They had a fantastic catch of a silver fish going upstream.
This information made our eyes bright. We were certain to catch now.
The salmon were biting perfectly. Lots of fish were jumping in the river. During that day I managed to catch eight salmon. All smartened with wedding clothes, beautiful and colorful.
However, salmon does not spawn in this part of the river - the bottom of the river is still unsuitable. The salmon prepare to spawn much higher up the system. I have been in such places where the bottom is gravel. Small, nice stones. This is where the spawning is happening.
We had caught a lot of fish, but we didn’t find fresh, bright fish, that had come recently from the sea.
Apparently, the school that came ten days ago had already gone upstream in the river, where they were waiting for the time of spawning.
The day passed quickly. The whole team got about forty fish. Impressive!


We reached home in the dark. We had enjoyed good fishing, but we also enjoyed the sauna with birch brooms, where we could revive our bodies, aggravated with pleasant tiredness.
I have to say that the sauna was perfect without luxury attributes the exact “ruskaja bania”. Steam was hissing in the steam-room, lightness filled the chest, heat percolated to the bones.
I was lying on the bunk and my mind was flying above the river where I saw fish shimmering with silver. Fishermen were nearby on the shore with fish soup made of fresh fish.
I felt like shouting out “Oh... Liapota!”.
I like the sauna. I have built one at home. A sauna is a part of the life style here.
In Lithuania I use it each week, sizzle with my friends. We flog each other with birch brooms. We have our sauna traditions, too: during the last look-in we pour a propolis (bee-pitch) solution on the stones and breathe deeply. Propolis is useful for inhalation, and will strengthen your immunity. After the sauna there is another tradition. As the famous Russian general Alexander Suvorov said: “Posle bani portinki pradaj, no stopku zdelai.” Nice
We sat at the table after the sauna. I haven’t spent such a nice time in a long time.
No mobile, no TV.
We even forgot that the world is shaken with financial crisis.
I cared about nothing except for the fly I was going to use tomorrow, where we would go, what to expect from a increasing wind and rain.
I even didn’t think about that the holiday in North came to an end.
I glanced into the mirror - a completely different person was looking back at me, with weather-beaten cheeks, two-week beard, green eyes, and not even a drop of tiredness from work!
In the mirror I saw a happy person enjoying life. The one I used to see some twenty years ago.

I didn’t want to pack my things and leave this beautiful land.
I speculated that it might be my last trip to the Kola Peninsula.
I have been here six times.
Perhaps a bit too much for one country.

Life is short, and therefore one wants to see new places and choose other fishing trips. Moreover, Russia is no longer as it was ten years ago. Materialism has made its way here, too. Local “businessmen” require much more than the service costs in Western Europe.
This spoils the mood, as the local “player” is a monopolist, as he is a businessman as well as the government representative, and has no competitors.
Therefore he is forcing you to pay a lot for nothing. This gets on your nerve these days in Kola.
I think another trip should be to the North of Norway. There are a lot of rivers that I didn't fish. Also I would like to show the North to the family, for them to finally understand that the Southern resorts are not for me.

Chavanga, Czawanga, Strelna river, salmon fishing in Russia, peche au saumon Russie, pesca de salmon Rusia, pesca del salmon in Russia, fiske lax, lov lososu v Rusku, fang von lachs in Russland, salmon fly

Arctic char paradise

After several years of exploring Greenland’s rivers we’ve managed to locate literary the most prolific fisheries on that harsh island and the most efficient means for reaching them. Our fishing grounds are quite away from civilization and can be reached either by sea or air. For an upcoming season we’ve developed two groups of programs revolving around boat and helicopter transfers.

We are pleased to invite you to join us on the unforgettable fishing trip to Greenland.

Friday 23 July 2010

Nymph salmon fishing.

 In most cases, we catch a salmon equally, a method of a classical wet fly, we throw downwards and across, selecting further speed, a direction and depth.
 The method of a wet fly in all variants is productive enough. "The salmon" fly in usual, habitual execution, was created just for such technics. But…
  This June on Chavange some hot days have warmed up water unusually early, the River remained as in spring high and rather turbid from an impurity of peat from the overflowed bogs. Such combination not too is pleasant to fishes, at them character and appetite on spring salmon   is corrupted. Usually we pass to smaller and more modest flies, but wished all the same have not received. Or fish absolutely wishes nothing or it is necessary to change technics of catching. It seemed to me that on large flies does not peck, and small I cannot spend as it is not necessary, I can achieve their correct position in water.  
 I already had some experience of catching on usual wet flies  which hardly you will carry to the salmon. For example, the salmon always not bad concerned flies with a metal head which could play a provoking role or to serve as an imitating detail. In some cases, the metal head, first of all, improves conducting. A fly to keep on a current or in deep places where it is not easy to get on level of the fish nose easier. It would Seem, the 100-th gramme, but for small fly it is a huge difference. And additional 15- 20 centimetres of depth too are essential to such bait. 

    But in high, moreover and rather turbid water standard variants have seemed not absolutely effective. If have gone on this way what the tax of flies more close to fish was necessary to connect them on tungsten heads (Bead Head Nymph). Only in their weight I can explain revival of interest of a salmon to a fly.

Distinctions between some wet flies and nymphs are rather conditional. More than that, the difference of classification groups is defined sometimes not by anatomy, and a catching method. When in a hand there was a fly with a tungsten head, it became clear that the front sight has outgrown frameworks wet and it is time to catch it, as the nymph. And cast to do not across and downwards, and to throw it upwards and across, to make standard nymph cast.

To fall outside the limits habitual work as a wet flies it has appeared not only it is productive, but also it is interesting. I will not begin to assert what to catch the nymph it is necessary always and everywhere. Just I want to notice that after a week efficiency of the nymph has considerably fallen. Water has brightened up, level was gradually normalised and on the foreground there were advantages of a wet technique in work on the areas.

Chavanga, Czawanga, Strelna river, salmon fishing in Russia, peche au saumon Russie, pesca de salmon Rusia, pesca del salmon in Russia, fiske lax, lov lososu v Rusku, fang von lachs in Russland, salmon fly

Dry fly salmon fishing.

                                             Dry fly salmon fishing.

   Some experiments seem deprived of practical sense, simply absurd. I about catching of a salmon by small dry flies. If it was a question about bombers and provokers similar to them then it would be not necessary to mention it. Interest of a salmon to objects on a surface - history old and peculiar not only to the rivers of the north Kola. The same curiosity is shown by a salmon everywhere to the most different subjects dragged at a surface. Bomber it is only known in flyfishing a variant of a superficial bait. On a surface catch and metal lures. 
 Aggressive dry fly fishing
  There is a method of catching of a salmon a wet fly which is close on presentation level to the dry. The fly  fastens in asymmetric knot and at cast downwards and across moves at a surface. At most currents and directions of cast depends, as it will go. If to throw across, the fly is dispersed on an abrupt loop and goes with a wave at the surface. If to direct a cord downstream, the fly behaves more easy and leaves more deeply. This method of provocation described as riffling hitch, was at one time very popular. In it  is a lot of nuances and to apply it costs not only on the salmon rivers.
 Provocative surface fishing
   Bomber fly is intermediate between weighty  lures and small on the size artificial flies. Its size and buoyancy have appeared approaching for traditional salmon tackle. But I think, matter is not in a flies, and in a furrow. The furrow involves not only salmons as chubs   and other fishes react. It is possible to go further and to remember the fact of interest of salmon fishes described in the literature to a place of an input of a scaffold in water, here the furrow too is formed at bait movement.  
 Real dry fly fishing
  Therefore not ploughing bait which effect is almost natural, and persistence of catching on a usual drifting fly is curious. With   salmons attacks  on dry I considered episodes of last years casual, and did not try to give to them any ordered kind. I and now cannot systematise somehow catching of a salmon on a dry fly. The provocation element in small caddis, for example, is doubtful enough in my opinion. Not aggression, and curiosity or elements of food interest can be motive. Anyway fish pecked on usual   grayling  preparations. I remember simple deer hair caddis fly    on barbless    hook of 10-12 sizes, in it there was nothing special or special.  
 Variants "dry" the technician, thus, happen are effective enough, though are engaged in them in almost exclusively summer. It is considered to be that at this time the salmon loves leaves to a surface. But activity of a salmon decreases in warm water, it reacts to standard baits is worse. Then, we think that business is simple in a low water level, and to catch there, where more small, on plums before rifts, on an example more correctly. But the salmon rises to a fly and on deep places, and not only in the summer, and so on. Uneasy to find sense in reaction of fishes to a dry fly. Probably, matter is not in fish, and that in the summer we are simply more inclined to reconstruct a fishing tackle on an easy harmony to indulge trout and grayling, and at the same time and to experiment with a salmon.
Chavanga, Czawanga, Strelna river, salmon fishing in Russia, peche au saumon Russie, pesca de salmon Rusia, pesca del salmon in Russia, fiske lax, lov lososu v Rusku, fang von lachs in Russland, salmon fly

Saturday 10 July 2010

Chavanga salmon fishing. New article (Italy).


Read below in Chavanga blog, May 2010


Sunday, 23 May 2010


 Murmansk - penisola di Kola - fiume Chawanga   (Chavanga river)
 Testo e foto di Antonio Pozzolini

In 45 anni di pesca a mosca ho catturato molti tipi di pesci, spesso improbabili, come un grosso polpo catturato con una crazy charlie, sotto gli occhi esterrefatti dell'amico Mauro Borselli, mentre tentavo, senza fortuna, di catturare delle grosse salpe che grufolavano nell'acqua bassa dell'isola di Cipro.
Non mi posso, certo, lamentare, avendo catturato diversi “ pesci della vita “ , quali un huco taimen da un metro e 32 cm. in Mongolia, una leccia da 20 kg. in Spagna e salmonidi di ogni tipo compreso il rarissimo salvelinus leucomanis o salmerino a macchie bianche nella lontana Siberia asiatica. Ma una grave lacuna macchiava il mio curriculum di “ ciapapèss “ : non avevo ancora catturato il mitico salmone atlantico. Questo esclusivo pinnuto è il simbolo stesso della pesca a mosca, almeno di quella anglosassone, e gli sono stati dedicati fiumi ( spero pescosi ) di inchiostro.
Sono stati spennati stormi di esotici e policromi volatili per ideare e costruire migliaia di affascinanti mosche espressamente dedicate al re dei pesci ed eserciti di pescatori si sono consumati i neuroni celebrali e prosciugato il conto in banca per avere TUTTI I...SALMO (Salar ) FINISCONO IN GLORIA
l'emozione di avere in canna questo magnifico animale. Personalmente ho sempre ritenuto poco adatta al mio carattere irrequieto la sua pesca.
Dalle innumerevoli letture e dai racconti di amici e clienti avevo tratto la convinzione che, visto che il salmone non si nutre in acqua dolce, fosse impossibile interagire con lo stesso e che la sua cattura fosse, oltre che aleatoria, anche piuttosto casuale.
Nel lontano 67' ebbi modo di contattare telefonicamente Lee Wulff per chiedergli delle spiegazioni circa l'utilizzo di una rigidissima canna da 7' in bambù da lui disegnata e inviatami, per dei test, dalla Sharpe's di Aberdeen, con la quale collaboravo e lo stesso mi riferì che era stata progettata per pescare salmoni che lui catturava con mosche secche sull'amo del 16 ( sic! ). Sosteneva di aver catturato esemplari da 16 lbs. nel New Foundland ( Terranova) con questa assurda attrezzatura.
Ho sempre pensato che si fosse preso gioco del giovane ed inesperto moschista di un lontano paese, finchè, al Pozò Fly Festival di un paio d'anni fa non espose un tour operator francese che organizzava viaggi di pesca al salmone nella penisola di Kola, in Russia, in un fiume dove sosteneva fosse frequente catturarli a mosca secca . Il costo non era proprio di quattro ceci e un fagiolo, ma comunque nettamente inferiore a quello corrente sul mercato. Mi è sembrata l'occasione giusta per allargare i miei orizzonti, conoscere nuovi paesi, nuove tecniche e fare nuove esperienze.
Come prima mossa ho partecipato a un corso di lancio con canna a due mani e tecnica scandinava tenuto dall'amico Valerio sul Piave, organizzato dal Mosca Club Treviso, allenandomi successivamente sul Brenta in piena.
Unitamente ad altri 4 amici che già mi avevano seguito in altre avventurose trasferte, il 30 di Luglio ci imbarchiamo alla Malpensa con destinazione Murmansk via St. Petersburg , carichi di speranze, attrezzature e l'immancabile scorta di viveri italici per far fronte alla possibile carenza di cibi all'altezza dei nostri raffinati palati.
Avremmo pescato per 7 giorni, in esclusiva, sullo Chawanga, nel Sud della penisola di Kola.
All'aeroporto veniamo accolti da Vasyl e suo figlio, le nostre guide, che a bordo di un pulmino, previa tappa a Kandalaksha, dove ci procuriamo ogni sorta di viveri, cartoni di birra e numerose bottiglie di vodka, ci conducono a Umba, cittadina alla foce dell'omonimo e famosissimo fiume. Qui cambiamo mezzo di trasporto e veniamo caricati con armi e bagagli su di un pulmino fuoristrada UAZ che in un paio d'ore di strada sterrata ci porta alla foce del Varzuga altro mitico fiume da salmoni.
Trasbordo su di un camion di tipo militare e altro paio d'ore a diretto contatto con l'incredibile e affascinante paesaggio della costa del Mar Bianco per raggiungere la nostra magione, una tipica casa locale nel villaggio di Chawanga, alla foce del fiume dove avremmo pescato per 7 giorni.
 Vasyl è un medico ma ha scelto di svolgere questa attività perchè gli permette di dare sfogo alla sua grande passione. E' simpaticissimo, estremamente disponibile, paziente e preparato e in inglese ci informa che in questa stagione l'acqua è piuttosto bassa, la temperatura decisamente alta e che bisogna pescare con attrezzature leggere, approcci cauti, code galleggianti, mosche di piccole dimensioni su ami del 10-12 facendo derivare la mosca, senza dragaggi ad esplorare le tipiche zone di stazionamento che ci avrebbe chiaramente indicato. 

Wow!!!approcci cauti ?? attrezzature leggere ?? mai così bello !!
decido di estremizzare il concetto e di pescare con canna 9' con coda WF5 galleggiante, finale da 9' a nodi cui aggiungo in punta 80-90 cm. dello 0,24 in morbido nylon dicroico.
Il primo giorno ci rechiamo a monte per circa 4 chilometri. Una scarpinata non indifferente tra i meravigliosi colori del bosco e una esplosione di fiori e funghi.
Pesco piuttosto poco, preferendo osservare Vasyl, cercando di capirne il modus operandi, ovvero dove e come pescare per perfezionare i meccanismi di questa pesca con la quale sono alle prime armi.
Utilizzando una piccola Munroe Killer su amo doppio del 12 sento un paio di tironi e a causa della ferrata troppo anticipata, perdo un paio di salmoni che si sganciano dopo un acrobatico salto. Sono imbufalito, frustrato e mi sento fuori pesca..
Nel tardo pomeriggio inizia una discreta schiusa di effimere e sedges e si notano diverse bollate. Decido di pescare a secca e monto la stessa imitazione di tricottero su amo del 16 a gambo lungo barbless , che uso normalmente sul Brenta e che imita perfettamente gli insetti presenti.

Finalmente gioco in casa e catturo moltissimi piccoli, graziosissimi ed aggressivissimi salmoncini non più lunghi di 20 cm. , alcuni temoli di taglia discreta, e una trota, presumibilmente di mare, di circa un chilo. Mi sto divertendo come un satiro quando la mosca scompare in un piccolo gorgo....
...ferro e sento una forte trazione dall'altro capo della lenza. Caspita un timallosauro!!... penso di aver incannato un temolo da Guinness dei primati ma, dopo alcuni secondi, un pesce valutato intorno ai 3-4 chili si esibisce in un salto a candela.
 Non credo ai miei occhi!! il mio primo salmone atlantico fa di tutto per non farsi catturare. Salti, fughe, colpi di testa, insomma, tutto il repertorio di un pesce selvaggio convinto di rischiare di lasciarci le pinne. Sono in mezzo al fiume e retrocedo fino a riva dove Vasyl lo agguanta per la coda e lo blocca. 
 Poso soddisfatto per la foto ricordo prima di rilasciarlo. Il mio primo salmone atlantico a mosca secca!!  niente male come primo approccio!! Lee Wullf non mi aveva preso in giro come ho sospettato per oltre 40 anni.
Il giorno successivo, a bordo di un cingolato, ci rechiamo a monte di 7 chilometri.

La zona è fantastica con un alternarsi di lame e raschi e pescando in maniera tradizionale con la Munroe Killer del 10 salpo 9 salmoni oltre a un decimo che riesce a rompere il filo, probabilmente usurato, dopo una violenta fuga. Uno di questi ha ingoiato in profondità la mosca e Vasyl decide di capocciarlo per rifornirci di proteine nobili e omega 3.
 A cena , la sera stessa, ce lo ammannirà, cucinato alla bielorussa, ovvero a tranci, in padella, con erbe aromatiche. Sono abbastanza sorpreso di una abboccata con aggancio così profondo da parte di un pesce che, secondo tutte le più accreditate teorie, cessa di nutrirsi in acqua dolce, ma Vasyl mi conferma che spesso ha trovato larve, ninfe, mosche e sanguinerole negli stomaci dei salmoni e che quindi non necessariamente a tutti si atrofizza l'apparato digerente e che addirittura alcuni maschi rimangono nel fiume per due stagioni comportandosi come pesci stanziali. 
 Nei giorni successivi abbiamo utilizzato l'incredibile mezzo meccanico per farci scarrozzare nei posti migliori e supportati da un tempo piuttosto bello e da una temperatura gradevolissima, abbiamo catturato molti salmoni tra cui, personalmente, una grossa femmina di 4 spanne e mezza, quindi oltre i 90 cm. che ho tentato di far fotografare all'amico Marcello che si trovava a circa un centinaio di metri. Lo stesso, molto impegnato a pescare, rimase insensibile alle mie implorazioni, urlandomi in vernacolo toscano: “ Ovvia ! Ecchè sarà mai ! “. Il laido sapeva perfettamente che il giorno prima la mia Nikon Coolpix era malauguratamente caduta in acqua annegando miseramente, rifiutandosi , ipso facto, di collaborare malgrado una lunga esposizione al sole, ricarica della batteria e rianimazione bocca a bocca...
Proprio il quarto giorno ho vissuto la mia esperienza più emozionante. Tutti i giorni alle 18, in riva al fiume, veniva organizzato uno dei tre pasti giornalieri che consisteva in ogni sorta di nefandezza quali, salumi, formaggi, carne in scatola, biscotti e dolciumi vari, il tutto annaffiato da te o caffè bollenti, da abbondanti birre e dall'immancabile vodka.
Dopo il primo giorno mi sono reso conto di non avere il fisico per reggere questa sorta di sovralimentazione e quindi ho scelto di continuare a pescare alla faccia dei miei compagni crapuloni.

Proprio all'ora della merenda mentre, lupetto solitario, sto pescando in uscita di una lama veloce dove avevo già catturato un paio di discreti salmoni, la mia solita Munroe Killer si blocca improvvisamente. Ho la sensazione di aver agganciato il fondo. Realizzo che si tratta di un salmone che peraltro non si muove di un centimetro. Deve essere grosso, decisamente più grosso di quelli agganciati sinora. Dopo alcuni istanti incomincia a muoversi lentamente, scuotendo la testa e mi rendo conto dell'enorme potenza che è in grado di sprigionare e capisco che la mia cannetta da 9' coda 5 e il filo del 24 sono assolutamente inadeguati. A conferma dei miei timori parte come un treno attraversando il fiume. Dopo un rush di una cinquantina di metri salta fuori un paio di volte.

E' veramente grosso, forse più di un metro ed è incazzato come una tigre.... Guadagno la riva per potermi destreggiare meglio. Dopo una breve tregua dove si ferma immobile come un masso, riparte e risalta. Con la mia attrezzatura non ho nessun controllo e la bestiaccia se ne va a spasso alternando pause, ripartenze e salti. E' passato un quarto d'ora, ho un attimo di sconforto e in preda alla disperazione urlo con quanto fiato ho in corpo sperando che qualcuno accorra in mio aiuto. Ahimè, invano. Riacquisto il mio ben noto sangue freddo e ricomincio la battaglia con rinnovata fiducia. Freddo, determinato, inesorabile. Capisco che sarà una lunga battaglia ma sono intenzionato a vincerla. Dopo altri lunghi minuti lo porto a riva in acqua bassa. E' un grosso maschio, caratterizzato da una testa enorme con un becco non molto accentuato, non proprio completamente argentato ma comunque piuttosto fresco. E' in perfetto assetto di nuoto ma a portata di mano e tento di prenderlo per la coda. Riparte a tutta birra..... Altri lunghi minuti di lotta ed è nuovamente a riva, ma saranno necessari altri tre tentativi prima di riuscire a fare un tailing adeguato. E' passata una mezz'oretta. Sono stanco ma eccitatissimo e ammiro per alcuni istanti questo magnifico pesce, rimpiangendo la prematura dipartita della mia macchina fotografica che mi priva dell'opportunità di un magnifica immagine che rimarrà comunque indelebile nei miei ricordi di pesca .
Nella parte bassa del fiume, a circa un paio di chilometri dalla nostra abitazione, il corso d’acqua presenta delle cascate con delle grandi e profonde pools che, anche se meno produttive a quel punto della stagione, avevano il vantaggio di poter essere pescate senza dover scarpinare in assenza del cingolato. Ne ho approfittato per sfoderare il cannone a due mani, più per un mero esercizio tecnico, che per una effettiva necessità. Ho avuto la soddisfazione di catturare un paio di salmoncini e una trota di mare di circa 55 cm.

E' stata un'esperienza bellissima. Ho catturato 26 salmoni che rappresentano uno score notevole per un debuttante ma, cosa ancor più importante, tutti hanno catturato i loro primi salmoni, e per di più alcuni a secca.
  La compagnia affiatata, la disponibilità e la simpatia delle guide, l'ambiente fantastico hanno contribuito a rendere questa vacanza veramente molto piacevole. 

Per coloro che volessero cimentarsi nella cattura del salmone atlantico mi sento di consigliare questa destinazione, considerando che i prezzi sono notevolmente calati in quanto Vasyl si appoggia direttamente alla  www.pozo.it


Stagione: dalla fine di Maggio a metà Ottobre.
Costo : €.2.300/persona per gruppi di massimo 6 pescatori.
Supplemento di €.200/pers. per gruppi di 2 pescatori.
Il prezzo include 7 giorni di pesca, accoglienza e trasporto da/ per aeroporto di Murmansk o stazione di Kandalaksha ( 3,5 h. di treno da S. Petersburg ), first aid medico ( la guida è un medico ), permessi, 4 gg.di trasporto con cingolato al campo, guide e pensione completa.
Sono esclusi il visto consolare, l'assicurazione medica (obbligatoria ), mance e il viaggio aereo per S.Petersburg ( consigliamo la compagnia Russya, che pratica ottimi prezzi ).
L'eventuale prosecuzione per Murmansk o il treno per Kandalaksha offre l'opportunità di visitare S.Petersburg.
Ulteriori informazioni su clima, mosche ecc. li troverete sul sito:
www.pozo.it  o  www.pozoflyfishing.com

Antonio Pozzo

Where is the biggest one? salmon fishing in Russia.

                            Where is the biggest one?
I have paid attention to developed stereotypes of catching on familiar   rivers. Going near to the friend who has got for the first time to Chavanga (Chawanga), I saw its errors in a choice of places of catching. Without reading the river, it came into water not there where it is necessary, dipped "fly" in unpromising from my point of knowledge places and for some reason quickly left from the best sites which I showed it. But when, eventually, he has reconciled to my remarks and manuals to pleasure both has caught the first salmon. The next days it already not bad was guided and caught stably.
The best place at some experience becomes obvious. The good place is always filled with fish - and that differs from "bad" places where is not present fish activity and there are no fishes. Therefore catching of the person knowing differs avarice of movements - unlike actions of the beginner rushing about on coast. But in this correct, faultless choice of places happens and the error consists: we meaningly jam on zones of a congestion of fishes, and such congestions, as a rule, consist from equivalent under the status of medium-sized copies.

In the beginning of summer the salmon searches for the best places - and constantly "old" and "fresh" fish mixes up. Certainly, strong and large individuals take the best places, but for what the best - for the future spawning or safe as parking? Probably, trout fisherman remember an old sign: if on small river one for another comes across a trifle - means, hardly it is necessary to expect a large trout. And on the contrary: if on the river there is a suspicious silence - means, "huge" left on hunting. The similar situation can develop and on the salmon rivers, and so - we in vain jam on "the good" places filled actively reacting to flies but medium-sized fish. And the present monsters stand to themselves in loneliness, without reacting on running by fishers and their flies flashing in the distance.

Chavanga, Czawanga, Strelna river, salmon fishing in Russia, peche au saumon Russie, pesca de salmon Rusia, pesca del salmon in Russia, fiske lax, lov lososu v Rusku, fang von lachs in Russland, salmon fly

Friday 9 July 2010

Big trout fishing in Russia.

 The far rivers of the Southeast of Kola peninsula in the middle of a season are of special interest for fans of catching of a trout. The affinity of the sea provides circulation of this fish in a current of all season. The end of May and the beginning of June in high cold water a local and sea trout meets on all bottom sites of the rivers Pulonga, Bab`ja, Lihodeevka. The small   river Kumzhevaja bears a name meaning Trout river. In the middle of summer are most interesting estuary of  these rivers. Quite good copies of the trout who have come from the sea come across. But August and the beginning of September will be the most interesting time for catching. At this time it is possible to count on capture of the present monsters in 2,5-3 kg rising on spawning.

Chavanga, Czawanga, Strelna river, salmon fishing in Russia, peche au saumon Russie, pesca de salmon Rusia, pesca del salmon in Russia, fiske lax, lov lososu v Rusku, fang von lachs in Russland, salmon fly

Fresh or resident salmon. Salmon fishing in Russia.

  The river is good that always other, as new. And this season too has begun with riddles. The fish finishing a spring course of a salmon was late already on days 8-9. To catch on the estuary site, always successful in early season, it was boring. But on Chavanga river  always it is possible to try a fly on the top sites, there. Where there is a fish who has come into the river earlier. She is autumn fish, salmons who have come into the river in the winter and fish of spring run who has passed after an ice descent. This salmon differs from fresh, that has more dark, hardly a violet back.

Chavanga, Czawanga, Strelna river, salmon fishing in Russia, peche au saumon Russie, pesca de salmon Rusia, pesca del salmon in Russia, fiske lax, lov lososu v Rusku, fang von lachs in Russland, salmon fly

Tuesday 6 July 2010

Big fly – big trout. Salmon and trout fishing in Russia.

                               Big fly – big trout. Salmon and trout fishing in Russia.

It not already a joke. We observe jumps of large trouts on reaches and among stones in a stream, but we can not pick up an effective flies in any way. So proceeded until it became clear that the trout attacks smolts. That is hunts on extraction large and fast. At attentive supervision it was possible to notice, how smolts are scattered on a surface, often jumping out of water and dancing on a tail.   It was difficult to find a suitable fly in 10-12 sm long, but sometimes it was possible to tempt a hunting trout on a large fur streamer.

Chavanga, Czawanga, Strelna river, salmon fishing in Russia, peche au saumon Russie, pesca de salmon Rusia, pesca del salmon in Russia, fiske lax, lov lososu v Rusku, fang von lachs in Russland, salmon fly

Sunday 4 July 2010

Tam gdzie lipienie walczą jak łososie a łososie biorą jak lipienie

Maciej Król

zut pod katem 45% w dół rzeki, mucha przechodzi nad miejscem, w którym woda minimalnie zwalnia, zdradzając zagłębienie w dnie, szarpnięcie, wyskok i kilkunastominutowy hol. Kolejny salmo salar przechodzi sesje fotograficzną. Schodzę krok niżej, taki sam rzut i prowadzenie muchy, tym razem ryba nie wyskakuje, tylko od razu wyciąga cały running line. Idę za nią, jednocześnie walcząc z rybą i kamieniami, które podcinają mi nogi. Udało się, równowaga utrzymana, jedna kąpiel mniej, zdobycz jest podobnej wielkości, rezygnuje ze zdjęć, odhaczam ją w wodzie. Powoli schodzę w dół bacznie obserwując nurt, szukam miejsc z wartkim prądem. Tego dnia łowię jeszcze siedem. To średni wynik, najlepszy z naszej piątki ma piętnaście.

Wieczorem, jest co celebrować, przygotowujemy sushimi, tatar. Dobrze smakuje rosyjska słonina, bo temperatura spada do – 12C.
Rano trudno się wygrzebać ze śpiwora, chociaż Rzenia zdążył rozpalić ognisko. Piękna, nasycona złotem i purpurą jesień na półwyspie Kola jest łaskawa, w dzień temperatura przyjmuje wartości dodatnie. Rzeka nie zamarza, nie pada śnieg i wciąż z morza Białego wchodzą srebrne ryby.
Dwa lata temu na łamach WMH (artykuł, o którym mowa znajdziecie na tej również stronie) opisałem moją pierwszą wyprawę na Kola, podróż przez bezdroża półwyspu gruzawikiem, i wiezdochodem (gąsienicowym pojazdem przypominającym amfibię), nasze zmagania z milionami komarów oraz łososiami. Wtedy ten uroczy zakątek świata odwiedziliśmy w czerwcu. Tym razem wybór padł na wrzesień. Na tej wysokości geograficznej to już ostatnie tchnienie jesieni, jednak warto było podjąć ryzyko. Jesień na północy oślepia gamą pastelowych barw,. I tylko te stare, drewniane, walące się szare chaty w mijanych dieriewniach swoją surowością nie pasują do tego raju. Z jednej strony pełne uroku, wywołują wrażenie podróży wehikułem czasu przez carską bezkresną Rosję, z drugiej są dowodem ubóstwa o jakim my już dawno zapomnieliśmy. Oczywiście nie wszyscy żyją w nędzy, nigdy wcześniej nie widzieliśmy na raz tylu landcruzerów, lexusów i wszelkiej innej maści najdroższych marek samochodów, jak w mijanych po drodze miastach.
Na ujściu Warzugi, przez którą się przeprawiamy, niespodzianka, biały wieloryb, biełucha wpłynął do rzeki i nie wiedząc czemu podążył w górę. Czyżby śladem łososi? My ruszamy dalej. Przed nami kilkugodzinna podróż ciężarówką (wielkim starym Ziłem) po kolskich bezdrożach, oznaczonych na mapie jako droga krajowa. Trakt ten mógłby służyć za najtrudniejszy odcinek rajdu Camel Trophy. Mozolnie podążamy nim aż do zapomnianego przez Boga i sowieckich towarzyszy, kołchozu Wastok Komunizma. Tam przesiadamy się na wiezdochod. Notabene, to już szósty środek transport w tej podróży. Gdyby zawiódł tylko jeden z nich, nie udałoby się dojechać na miejsce, trzeba się liczyć z taką ewentualnością planując taką wyprawę.
Nad rzekę docieramy prawie o zmroku, najpierw sprawnie rozbijamy duży namiot, który będzie naszą jadalnią, wieczorem knajpą. Następnie każdy rozbija swoją pałatkę i idzie do „pubu”.
Pierwszy o świcie wstaje Robercik, i niebawem wraca z łososiem 86 cm. To niezwykle mobilizuje całą resztę. Wszyscy rozchodzimy się po wodzie, każdy na swoją ulubioną, sprawdzoną na poprzednich wyjazdach miejscówkę.
Ryb jest równie dużo jak przed dwoma laty, jednak są znacznie większe od tych wiosennych. Wtedy 80 cm było wydarzeniem, tym razem to codzienność, wiele przekracza 90 cm, trafia się też magiczny metr.
Po przekuciu wszystkich łososi w pobliżu obozowiska, rozchodzimy się coraz dalej, jedni w górę inni w dół rzeki. Każdy stara się zapamiętać jej każdy skrawek. Woda jest niska, odkrywa kamienie. Ta wiedza będzie niezbędna gdy wrócimy tu wiosną.
Tylko poranki budzą frustracje. Wśród nas jest kawalarz, który chowa nasze buty. Znajdujemy je nawet 100 metrów od obozowiska. Nie ustają podejrzenia, idące w oskarżenia co do autora tych ciężkich dowcipów.

Chavanga, Czawanga, Strelna river, salmon fishing in Russia, peche au saumon Russie, pesca de salmon Rusia, pesca del salmon in Russia, fiske lax, lov lososu v Rusku, fang von lachs in Russland, salmon fly
Gdzieś w połowie wyjazdu natura zmusza mnie do opuszczenia namiotu tuż przed świtem. Robię kilka kroków i staję jak wryty. Przede mną stoi puma. Przecież Rosja to nie Ameryka! Natychmiast postanawiam mniej pić. Jednak zjawa nie znika. Okazuje się dużym rysiem, który spokojnie, bez paniki skrywa się w tajdze. W pobliżu znajduję dwie pary butów. Przynajmniej wiadomo, że to nikt z nas. Jednak następne noce nie są już takie same. Nasłuchujemy a pod namioty podchodzą lisy, ogromny hałas potrafią robić lemingi. Te małe zwierzęta wabi ciepło ogrzanego powietrza w naszych namiotach. Potrafią wykopać norkę tak, by wyjść z niej do środka. Oczywiście te drobne incydenty nie odstraszają nas od wędkarstwa. A wyniki z każdym dniem, gdy poznajemy najbardziej łowne wzory much są coraz bardziej imponujące.
Każdy z nas wędkuje z innych, jedynie słusznych powodów. Dla mnie nie byłoby wędkarstwa bez podróży a podróży bez wędkarstwa. Te rzeczy nawzajem się uzupełniają i są nierozerwalne jeszcze z trzecim elementem – możliwością obcowania z nieskażoną przyrodą. Tę harmonię uzupełnia magia dwuręcznej muchówki. W tej metodzie samo rzucanie jest magiczne a gdy jeszcze efektem udanych rzutów są hole łososi, to osiągnęliśmy wędkarskie spełnienie. Ja tak właśnie czułem się przez pierwsze cztery dni wyjazdu, spełniony i nasycony. Tak bardzo bałem się, że to uczucie minie, postanowiłem powiedzieć dość łososi, jestem syty. A przecież ta rzeka kryje w sobie inną wspaniałą dla muszkarza rybę, lipienia. Zawsze o nich wiedzieliśmy, czasem brały na łososiowe muchy ale nigdy nikt nie poświęcił im wystarczająco czasu w pogoni za srebrem.
Ja będę przez dwa ostatnie dni polował na lipienie. Niestety temperatury są tak niskie, że nie ma szans na rójkę a co za tym idzie suchą muchę. Nie szkodzi, na nimfę też fajnie. Wędka 5, przypon 0,15 a na nim klasyczna brązka. Kilka rzutów, ruch sznura na wodzie, zacinam i sreberko wyskakuje do góry. Stoję osłupiały, czyżby mały łosoś, jednak odejście ryby, które w ręku czuję jak by stukanie telegrafem upewnia mnie, że mam na kiju okazałego lipienia. Ryba jest niezwykle silna, ponawia skoki i sprawia, że na lekkim zestawie hol jest równie emocjonujący jak walka z łososiem. Dopiero po 9 minutach ląduje kardynała na brzegu. Nigdy w życiu nie trwało to aż tak długo. Miarka, komisja sędziowska przystępuje do pracy, werdykt – 47 cm. To mój rekord. Może łowcy szczupaków (za których łowcę też się uważam) nie zrozumieją mojego szczęścia, jednak gorąco namawiam, duży lipień na delikatnej muchówce to kwintesencja wędkarstwa. Tego dnia, łowię ich jeszcze wiele, żaden nie jest mniejszy niż 40 cm, większość mieści się pomiędzy 45 a 47 cm (kto kiedyś łowił lipienie - rozumie co tam się wydarzyło).
Wieczorem znowu jest co celebrować. Każdy z nas ma własne powody, wszyscy ich sobie na wzajem zazdroszczą ale moich zazdroszczą szczególnie.
Rano wychylam ociężałą głowę z namiotu, rozglądam się, liści jakby połowę mniej. A te które zostały są pokryte szronem. Nie jest to zbyt zachęcający widok do dalszych ruchów, jednak to już ostatni dzień i należy wykorzystać go do końca. Za moim lipieniowym przykładem idzie Robercik, reszta ciągle nie jest syta łososi. Na początku nie mogę dobrać muchy, wczorajsza brązka nie działa. Jednak po chwili zmieniam kolor muchy na szarą i zaczyna się orgia jak z poprzedniego dnia. Jedno z brań jest jednak inne. Po zacięciu następuje bardzo długi, wykonany w ekspresowym tempie odjazd a po nim seria wyskoków. Łosoś na nimfę, zdumienie mija i rozpoczynam walkę. Nie daję sobie wielkich szans (przypon 0,15, wędka klasy 5). Jednak po każdym odjeździe ryby idę za nią odzyskując z powrotem sznur na kołowrotku. Po 20 minutach wyraźnie czuję, że ma dość. Udaje mi się go podholować, wprawny chwyt za ogon i mam przepięknie wybarwionego samca już z rozwiniętą kufą. Do okazów może nie należy, ma jakieś 2,5 kg. Jednak to ten, spośród wielu (na 5 wędek złowiliśmy 170 łososi w 6 dni) pozostanie na zawsze w mojej pamięci.
Maciej Król

Chavanga, Czawanga, Strelna river, salmon fishing in Russia, peche au saumon Russie, pesca de salmon Rusia, pesca del salmon in Russia, fiske lax, lov lososu v Rusku, fang von lachs in Russland, salmon fly