On my Russian fishing trips over the past few years I never went to the Kitza. It is a lower tributary of the Varzuga (almost an estuarial debouchement) and I would like to go one day but meanwhile here is a photo of the new lodge out there posted by Charlie White on his Varzuga blog last week.
What a place to go and what a place to be.
Here’s another shot from Roxtons blog (link on home page below). The water is bubbling through but it’s certainly low for the time of year. Well I say that but it is late May. With hot bright weather
Here are some salmon flies that have caught me fish. They are battered and worn. But a bit special.
Here are some more: Continue reading
It is around this time of year that I start thinking about fishing, more than usual. I found this photo from the archives which I particularly like. I was fishing Clarke’s up on Middle Varzuga’s top beat on the last afternoon of my late-June 2014 visit. Much upstream of here and you would be poaching in Pana’s water (the famous upper Varzuga beat).
Yes the line is hanging loose but I had to take the photo didn’t I? The rock just downstream is called Red Rock. I was told this by Brian Fratel who immediately identified it when I showed him the shot on my phone in Farlows after my Continue reading
Last night I saw a 5lb 4oz grayling. It was a dark and glistening fish, 63cm long, its outsize dorsal waving above a tubular gunmetal body, a wild eye looking out at its captor with quintessential alarm.
Okay, it was a photograph of this huge grayling, and the fish was caught in Arctic Sweden, not in the UK. But its captor, Anders Wallgren, was giving a talk on the wild fly-fishing in northern Sweden – Nordkalotten – and the sport to be had on the Tavvaatno (Atno means river in Swedish).
I was mesmerised. Anders has fished these rivers since boyhood and clearly he was talking Continue reading
Twenty months ago I was lucky enough to fish the best salmon pool in the world. It was a late season week in June 2014 and I caught ‘only’ 34 salmon for my six days’ fishing effort. But it was a ball. My lodge mate of that epic trip was Paul Rouse and he has recently sent me some wonderful photographs of the trip to Roxtons’ Middle Varzuga camp on Russia’s Kola peninsula. It is like living it all again.
So in that spirit I reprise some of those moments and I hope Paul – and our fishing friend Gordon B (back to camera, above) don’t mind if I reprise. As it were.
So that pool? Generator. The first night we landed on the helicopter on the Saturday I ventured out there before dinner. I tied on a Ross Macdonald-tied Calvin’s Shrimp [Terry ‘Calvin Harris Summer’ Mallin: “I LOVE the Calvin’s Shrimp”…] and on about the fourth cast round the line stopped and tugged the other way. Grilse, 5 lb).
A nice 2014 late June Generator salmon about to swim off. Unharmed.
Later in the week, a purple patch on the Wednesday afternoon ensued. I’d been dropped off by our Russian guide back at camp at about 3:30pm. It wasn’t that we were catching no fish but we had had ‘only’ two since lunch.
So I trudged, no sprang, up Generator to the Diamond Rock at the head and started fishing. Three hours later I’d caught five. It was fun.
The next morning, before breakfast, I went fishing. With Paul R and Gordan B. The picture below was taken by Paul as we walked up the bucolic pathway to salmon fishing heaven, at about 7am. I turned and managed a smile. And while obscured by foliage it somehow sums up something of the enigmatic magic of Middle Varzuga. I would like to go again but I’m not, this year. But Paul is, which is great.
Are you a shooting type or a fishing type? Me I’m the latter, of course. But I’ve shot clays three times in the past year, and this picture (sorry about the low quality screen grab) is me at Grange Farm situated on a big estate south of Peterborough. I wrote about it on Chloe’s website, East of England Online, here.
It was a really nice day, last November, because we then went on to a firework party at Rob Waddington’s lakeside gaff on the shores of Rutland Water. Rob is the former drummer of post punk New Romantic Eighties band New Model Army. However, I met him in a pub in Nithsdale one October…
I also shot clays last month, no January I think, at Elveden in Suffolk. Always did like shooting a bit – especially rifles on the ranges when I was in the CCF at school. Probably Continue reading