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).
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.