Biggest of the week

It’s well known that the prolific run of Varzuga salmon does not always comprise the biggest fish among the Kola rivers (have I pitched that right?) But for the record, here’s a shot of the biggest fish I caught last week.

Actually, we’re now on Wednesday on my daily, seven-days-in-arrears ‘live’ blog [I know, it’s creaking at the seams this one] and this well-built chap was caught at 12.30pm on the Tuesday, from Bear Island. One of those fish that leave you turning up for lunch feeling somewhat animated and yet without the powers of speech: ‘How did you get on Henry?’ ‘Ah… Ah…Good!’
Just say you’ve had an amazing morning, because, out on the Kola Peninsula armed with a 15ft salmon rod, you probably have..

Ah yes tackle, throughout I fished my trusty 15ft Orvis Shooting Star rod with a Waterworks ULA Force Spey kindly lent me by John L. And the shooting head attached to the Vision shooting line on my reel was the light-blue RIO AFS – it’s a slow sinker basically, with a short fast-sink Versileader on the end to turn it into a slow-sinking sink-tip. A shortish (Hardy 19lb fluorocarbon, brilliant stuff) leader led to an orange shrimpy tube or a black and greeny conehead. Or a bloody great 2 inch brass tube Cascade when the water coloured up as it did on the final day, giving me one of the most

One from Jackson's Pot. Looks cold eh? It was at times

exciting 1.5 hours of the week with running fish smashing into my fly and yanking line out of my hands as they hooked themselves in the middle of the Bearlets pots (otherwise known as Jackson’s – ‘He’s 79 you know’ – Pot.)

Actually it was on Wednesday, a week before I write this, that I had a great little spell on the home pool – Heli.

Here I managed to winkle two or three out from the hotspot with the big rock towards the tail. It was raining and that just added to the ‘Scottish’ feel to the experience. A big, big shoot, running line flying out (I think I whacked it overhead) and fishing round nicely then, at 45 degrees: The Prescott (two Jags).

Wow rain on the Varzuga - I must be dreaming. One from Heli on Wednesday

So I’ll just post a few more Wednesday shots now – one of the heli pad just above the aforementioned Heli pool, one of Jess James with an evening fish from Heli reflecting the rays of the setting sun, and probably one or two more. Next post tomo..

And finally, looking the other way towards the last shot but one, from the porch of my lodge. Tune in tomorrow!


About henrygiles

Born to fish forced to work and fish
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4 Responses to Biggest of the week

  1. Nick says:

    Lovely fish, no wonder you look pleased-congratulations! Bit worried, though, about your “trusty 15ft Orvis Shooting Star” that seems to be drifting off behind you on the current… Nick

  2. henrygiles says:

    Nick, Thanks. Yes, so trusty I treat it like one of the family. Is that profound? Cheers

  3. ITG says:

    Snow seems to have gone but really nice looking Spring weather. I am sure it is nice to fish pre mosquito etc on Kola which of course is the blight to late June and July fishing. Nice looking fish – I am sure you had a great time!


    • henrygiles says:

      Thanks, Illtyd. Well it’s all I know (first week of the season, Kola). When Brian Fratel first told me we were going in mid-May last year, I thought he was pulling my leg, it sounded so early for the arctic circle zone. But altho less greenery coming thro (last year was an exceptionally warm/early spring) it was lovely spring weather, yes, with birdsong increasing by the day. And no biting flies, just a huge hatch of alder/sedge/grannom even (?). Look forward to hearing about your exploits later in the year on Umba, Illtyd, but we’ll speak before I’m sure – Henry

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