Ready, steady . . gone!

I have been playing around with this date of June 1.

Obviously I have to post on ‘the Adventure’ on this day. Not only do the meteorologists flag it as the start of summer, but it is also the start of the Norwegian salmon fishing season. If that is not enough, it now emerges from the Varzuga blog out on the (currently) frozen wastes of the Kola peninsula of Russia, that it is the day the salmon of the White Sea decided to turn up, at least in the lower camp. Hurrah!

But first Norway: courtesy of Jouni Rauha and Facebook, comes news of fish for the Gaula Flyfishing lodge rods including a fine salmon of 94cm caught and released by Jouni himself at Evjen pool. A rod rejoicing in the name of Teemu caught “a massive salmon of 117cm at Röskaft pool and Ville caught and released a 97 cm salmon at Evjen pool.”

The Teemu leviathan is pictured here. A big male, so cool to see fish like this fresh and that is what spring fishing on the Gaula is all about.

Back to Russia and 112 fish came to the 12 rods at Middle Varzuga one day this week, while Charlie White wrote on the blog today they had 90 odd fish yesterday (including the typical Varzuga seven-pounder pictured, top, here, by David C). The interesting Continue reading

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El verano pasado (Last summer)

Is it not wonderful that a phrase, even a phrase in Spanish (Pippa, 10, and I are currently learning that language via the entertaining Duolingo app) or perhaps especially a phrase in a parallel but related sphere, can jolt you into another dimension?

Perhaps it is not that surprising because it speaks about the way the human brain works. Brain cells, connected by electric impulses of thoughts, lead via impossibly wonderful (yes) connections into the subconscious mind. Memory, emotional understanding (I know, reference ‘current buzz’ emotional intelligence: checked) and meaning (and power) coalesce and form and reform in an infinitely precious stream of id, ego and superego.

Where does that leave you in fishing terms – dreaming of last summer?

To some extent, yes. Yes it does, but increasingly now looking forward to this one, especially if we can get a bit of rainfall.

Stop press: The very much needed rain last week brought some action on the Tweed with 45 salmon caught on the beats below Kelso (don’t know if that includes Junction) and over a hundred though the whole system. The catch being, as you’d expect, river fish but also some sea-liced ones. And it moved fish up the river a bit and through Boleside, where they caught five salmon. Some nice sea-trout about too, posted (Martin at) Tay Salmon Fly on Facebook.


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It was a big thrill to see my article on Max von dem Borne published in the spring issue of Medlar Press’s Waterlog magazine today. Von dem Borne was the 19th century Prussian chamberlain who founded fish farming on his 240-acre Continue reading

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It’s hard being frozen

Upstream+to+the+village+8+May.jpgSo it’s open. Varzuga river on Russia’s Kola. Except it’s not, it’s frozen. For frustrated Roxtons early rods this isn’t a Disney princess story. This is a delay to their Russian salmon season opener that will set them back 51 weeks.

Charlie White and his Roxtons team have without hesitation transferred rods to the 2018 slot, or offered a refund. But to Bill Drury and the team out there in the Murmansk hinterland it’s ice, snowmobiles and night time temperatures of minus 6. But daytime ‘highs’ of seven degrees so with luck the river will break open soon.

And while team Bill can avail themselves of first-class log cabin facilities, we all wait for the fireworks to begin.

Stop press: reading the blog again today (Sat 13th) I see Bill hasn’t been up this week, he arrives shortly. It’s been the energetic Jack Selby blogging. (Nice job Jack.) I do like the igloo they’ve built at Sabacchi camp to welcome Bill. It’s just so Roxtons/Varzuga. .


When it warms up. Middle Varzuga in June 2014, on a hectic final afternoon’s sport when four salmon, within 90 minutes, took a liking to a big Phatakorva tube-fly fished off an intermediate shooting-head. This, I believe, is the rock at Clarke’s. I think that’s right, Brian Fratel told me when I showed him the photo once.

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Some nice Spey fish last week

As I am hooked up to the Spey Fishery Board’s newsletter I look forward every week or so to a ton of photographs of good-looking salmon and sea-trout caught on that lovely river. Apparently the week commencing 24th April, i.e. last week, was one to sort the men and women out from the boys and girls with northerly winds and snow, or as the SFB put it: “Fishing in driving snow in a strong northerly wind is not for everyone!”

Rob Morrison Aberlour Angling Clubx542pg

Rob Morrison with a Spey sea-trout caught w/c 24 April 2017 from Aberlour Angling Club waters.

They went on to say: “Gordon Castle finished with around a dozen. Alex Robertson had the best with a fish estimated at 23lb on Saturday from Beat 4.”


Ronald Sutherland, whose flies I’ve been lucky enough to fish at various times, caught this beauty, one of at least three from Wester Elchies.

Laggan – where I caught my first Spey springer in 2013 – finished with five; Charlie Herd said “the ladies were top landing four of the five”.

Also on their newsletter, Sally Gross writes: The Spey Fishery Board will be holding a Meeting on Friday 19th May at 10:00 AM  at the Craigellachie Hotel, Victoria Street, Craigellachie AB38 9SR. Members of the public are invited to attend as observers. For further information, please contact the Board’s Administrator, Sally Gross on 01340 810841 or by email at

Sadly I am not fishing the Spey this year but my fishing friend Christopher is going up 3 times so I’m sure we’ll get some more Moray ‘fush’ up on here.

Elsewhere low water has hampered fishing effort but tight lines with your fishing.

Photography: c/o Ian Tennant / Spey Fishery Board

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‘If you don’t like the weather, wait for 10 minutes’

It’s a Faroese saying, I’ve always liked it. It is profound actually.


This too shall pass…
Excuse the ramblings…

Any HSA followers or readers been fishing yet? I know my pal Paul Rouse has been wrestling with River Usk salmon via his iPhone video. He sent me a link yesterday where I could see a brace of fish flashing at the camera under water. Good to see.

Elsewhere I have noticed some very nice fish being caught on the Spey. On the Nith an 8lb springer was caught yesterday at Dumfries Burgh and they will have to delay the start of fishing on the Miramichi owing to an iced up river according to my sources over the Atlantic. Tight lines all.

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Not long now . .



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