It’s nice when you rummage through the drawers of your bureau and find something interesting. There among the old memorandi of sale from the time Chloe and I were house hunting, bank statements from a time I seemed to be much richer than I am now and so on, was a real gem.
It was the autumn/winter 2002 issue of Farlows Magazine and in it was a great little piece on the Kola rivers Kharlovka and Litza by Per Stadigh. It gave the results of radio telemetry research carried out on the Kharlovka that year. Studying the movement of fish upstream of the Kharlovka Falls, NASF-sponsored scientists found that of 30 radio-tagged June fish, 15 took the Falls in early July then swam up to 30 miles upriver. It’s another endorsement of catch-and-release to see that of the 30 fly-caught then tagged salmon, every one survived and some were re-caught.
Okay this wasn’t exactly news to me – I remembered the research at the time and Peter Power, the enigmatic former owner of the Atlantic Salmon Reserve referred to to the study in his 2010 film, Home For Salmon. But once again it makes a strong case for C+R, especially since a well-returned fish (played fast and hard, not lifted from the water – well just enough for a quick photo – and never, ever picked up by the tail unsupported) that has not also been harpooned by a tag is in an even less stressed state and likely to survive to spawning.
Per talks about a fly called the Animal Garden which he fished out there as a big gaudy tube. Does anyone know that one? Or Per even, if you got my message on FB? Please comment, I’d like to tie a couple..
Per also cranks up the prose to describe those Kharlovka big guns (now where have I seen that before?!): “The fish are big, aggressive and sea-liced. The sensational feeling of hooking into a rock-hard 25lb plus salmon on a short line, seconds before he explodes out into the powerful flow to disappear in a 100-yard screaming run is unsurpassed.”
Let’s have that again: “hooking into a rock-hard 25lb plus salmon on a short line”. That’s nice and now my finger is itching!
Finally, here’s an email I’ve just received from Ken (Reid) Fisheries Development Officer of DDSFB and the River Dee Trust. If this is the year you aim to splash out on superlative sport (or 2013 for Roxtons’ TDF lot), then you may as well do it in style and contribute to a really good cause too (the Aberdeenshire Dee):