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Back home from Ponoi
2018-10-12  10:51

Home after a very interesting week. I think I heard about the Ponoi first time when guiding in the early eighties. A couple of my guests were among the first ones to fish with Garry Loomis on the big river. They came back with catches that sounded all wild to us. One rod catching 100+ salmon for a week sounded all crazy. With more than 60 000 fish running Ponoi is for sure one of the world’s great Atlantic salmon rivers. Since fishing in Russia started we have gotten used to the Osenka name. Fall run fish that spend the Winter to spawn the following fall. On the Russian rivers I have fished before there is a 5-10% Osenkas. On the Ponoi it’s quite the opposite. 80-90% of the fish are Osenkas, that’s why the fall fishing can be so prolific and also why the early spring fishing is bomb proof.

After only a week I have only had a glimpse of the big river, but there are for sure some parts that are absolutely fantastic. The Ryabaga camp, well it’s simple, it is and has been for long time one of the greatest fishing camps in the world. Together with Kautapen on the Rio Grande, Silver Hilton on the Babine and my “home” the Kharlovka camp they give their guests absolutely top service. The fishing on the Ponoi is very different from what I am used to. I would say that 90% is done from flat-bottomed aluminium boats. The guide will anchor up and then the two gusts fish one side each with fixed line length. The guide will let out more rope each cast and a drop with “full rope” can be up to 100m. It’s a very easy and effective way to cover a lot of water. Ryabaga on the Ponoi is an international camp with guides from different parts of the world. Great guys that very much added to my experience. I recognize them in myself and the bunch of fishing bums that I guided with back in the eighties. Knowledgeable and heart burning fly fishers that do all for their guests.

Thanks guys you’re all great! Hopefully I can come back to the river, there are still a lot to be seen and the Ponoi 20 lbs is still to be caught for me.

Friday - last day!
2018-10-09  19:38

Again we went with Benjamin, Ben a nice young rookie guide from the UK. He will hate me know calling him a rookie since he’s been fishing the fly almost since he could walk, but it was his first year on the river. We fished a few nice spots, waded a bit and in “Cuban night club” I got a really hard take. Osenkas are among the most beautiful fish you get. They are built to spend a whole year before spawning so they need to be super fat. This little silvery football gave me a really nice fight and weighted only 13 lbs, but was my most beautiful fish of the week. A couple of smaller fish in the afternoon and the week was over. In total fewer fish than normal maybe but it’s remarkable to fish sea liced fish this late in the season. To sum it all up I caught 20+ fish with 4 fresh over 10 lbs and a 17 lbs biggest. Now we are packing up to go back with the helicopter tomorrow. Ryabaga is a classy camp and a fantastic experience. Back with some thoughts about this great operation tomorrow!

Fourth and fifth day
2018-10-08  13:41

Our rotation was every second day up and down. Since the river and the stretch fished by Ryabaga is so big there are plenty of water and however you try you can’t fish it all. We started up to the upstream border, to Kolmack. Here one of the biggest tributaries come in. A great place with excellent bank fishing. Even the Ponoi way is to fish it from the boat dropping down on a rope I just feel I get more control of what I do when wading it from the bank. The boat set up is super easy and super effective but to wade is what I am used to. We caught a few good fish and finishing down on a In Flames on a TTT I hooked a great fish that took me well into my backing. Maybe with a week in the river it pulled the scale to 17 lbs, a truly nice Osenka.

The day after we went down-stream. A did quite a few good wades. Caught a few from the boat. The river is quite low and the cold weather makes it colder and colder. After yesterday’s heavy snow fall I hear that it is now down below 2,5 degrees. This day was pretty slow. My best fish was a dark old 15 lbs that probably been in for a couple of months. We went to the lower part of the river. Very nice area with lots of possibilities. After lunch Martin Vainer who’s brother Richard I’ve fished with before, caught a nice little two sea winter fish right in front of the camera – well done!

Down stream again!
2018-10-07  17:34

On the Ponoi you fish on a schedule and you change guide every day. There are good and bad things bout it. For me being a rookie here it’s good. I learn to know all the guides and what they are good at. Today I fished with American Alex. Young and hungry he’s a good guy, but when he started telling me how to play my fish I couldn’t help smiling a bit. But when all the heart from the guide is in wanting you to get that fish its truly good in all ways.

This day I started catching one from the boat and then waded mostly all day. We saw some great fish but managed only to land smaller fish. Clean and sea liced they are truly a miracle this time of the year. I fished my medium TTT "Flomflugan" and they really seemed to like it. I landed four nice fish and lost a few. Ponoi is not the big fish river, but this year there seems to be fewer fish over 15 lbs runing than normal. The run of this river is fantastically 60 000 fish and of them about 80 % come in the fall as Osenkas to spawn the following fall. This night was extremely cold, I guess that when I reeled in the temperature was approx. 10 C below zero… and they say colder weather is coming!?

Day 2 Ponoi, up river!
2018-10-04  17:53

Up river today. Ponoi is big, most places 200-300 m wide with medium flow. When you think you need to fish deep we don’t talk heavy sinking lines. The river is simply not deep enough for that. I must say that one thing that is super is guides and staff. An international mix of fishing bums together with the Russians make things very comfortable. The guides are pros and do a great job. Food excellent and the cabins cosy. Great when weather is cold. Forecast say that we are looking at 15 C below… Today’s fishing was a bit tricky. We started with two sea liced beauties to the boat, but after they just pulled and turned away. Back at home pool I walked up to Ryabaga and fished the little stream. Landed one old fish and two sea liced beauties. Fantastic hour, they took the orange fly on the TTT with an old Salar gold double. Cool kit actually. The life on the tundra is though now in October when winter is rapidly closing in. Today Martin had a great sea liced 19 lbs – I want one like that too…

First full day’s fishing
2018-10-02  19:46

Ponoi is a big river big but shallow and quite slow. I must say that I find it a bit hard to read the river and sometimes it feels like I just don’t know what I’m doing… But also Ponoi has one of the biggest runs of Atlantic salmon in the world. Thousands and thousands of fish entering the system and the majority of the stock is Osenkas, fish that come late in the fall to spawn the following year. The fall run starts in September and goes on in to the winter under the ice.

Today we took the boats and went down-stream. The system is to anchor the boat and to fish down one each side. The guide then lets out 1 m rope each cast. A very effective way of fishing! Today I caught a few fish. Most of them I hooked wading down the banks. It just suits me better. I fished a Nextcast line today, boy it fishes nicely. The best flies so far have been a Flomflugan variation a on a TTT. But of course, Pahtakorva has given some great fish too. It’s nice to catch sea liced fresh super fat Atlantics this time of the year. Still no big fish but, we just started!

Stay tuned more reports from Europe’s biggest wilderness coming up soon!

Ponoi, Russia - arriving at the camp!
2018-10-01  20:52

A two hour fantastic flight over the almost endless wilderness of the Kola Peninsula took us to camp. Ryabaga, one of the most classic of all the fishing camps in the world.

First night gave me two hours in home pool. I fished a 13 footer, a floating belly with a tip. A Pahtakorva gave me my first two Ponoi salmon, both been here a while and was not as fresh as I was hoping for. 6 and 12 lbs was an ok start. The camp is classy with cabins and tents, great food and positive staff from all over the world. We are a good group of fishermen from at least half a dozen countries, some experienced and some rookies. It looks to be a tricky week. Runs are down and conditions tough, but I’m going to give it my best!

I will try to blog daily so just follow and you will see…

Back on Kungsådran - 3 sea trout over 80 cm!
2018-09-22  18:05

A little colder in the water made the fish even easier to trigger. Still speed was the key and of course the Pahtakorva TTT. It’s remarkable how many fish this little part of the river holds. Both big salmon and sea trout. Most of the salmon is quite dark now but also one or two really nice with a silver greyish finish shows up. There are sea trout of all sizes, I saw a black old male weighing probably 10-12 kilo or more. He was in a tricky place, so I couldn’t really fish for him.

A record day for me
The day was great, early morning up a bit after 04.00 for an hour’s drive from home. The lottery with the other 3 guys gave me pool 1 to start and 2 before lunch. Pool 1 is probably the one with most fish but also the less technical to fish or maybe most depending on how you look at it. I got a few with a very nice male 80 cm sea trout to be best fish. I know one really good lie and fished over with no result. A faster fly and bang he took it. Normally salmon are trickier to a slow fly I think. Pool 2 is probably my favorite, not too deep and with lots of holding places above the very fast almost waterfall rapid below. I cracked the code and had marvelous fishing. Best fish again a sea trout this time an 83 cm gorgeous female. I would think just below 7 kilos. In total my morning gave me 11 landed fish and a few lost, actually I didn’t lose that many. Perhaps the fast fly gave better takes. I took a good nap after lunch missing out a couple of hours fishing.

Jakob showed up and we shoot a couple of small product films. I even think he got a take or two so hopefully we have some nice stuff to show you shortly. Pool 3 and also 4 is full of fish. In the tail of 4 I saw the biggest fish so far this year. Well over 20 kilos and good knows maybe closer to 30! I landed a few smaller fish and ended the day with the biggest sea trout of the day. It took a Pahta TTT far down in the tail and with a bit of “luck” I managed to get it up in the pool and land and release it. All in all, a fabulous fishing day, a total of 17 fish to me and for the 4 of us I think we landed around 30 fish. The other guys got a couple of salmon 90 cm + my biggest salmon this day was a couple 10-12 lbs. But the golden fall sea trout where magic!

Tricks & flies
I know they love that TTT Pahtakorva, the smaller almost the better it is. This day with a raising water temp to around 15 C. I think the key again was the combo small fly and fast speed. I actually got 4-5 fish after I fished fast with a downstream belly and added long pretty fast strips. The fast fly gives really hard takes, we all do love those don’t we. When the dark came I didn’t go over to the black night flies. Actually, I have had very few in Kungsådran on those but better result keeping the brown Pahta. I had 3 fish in the dusk all on a one size bigger Pahta, same concept with smallest TTT and a loose hook, but maybe 4 cm in size. This year Pahtakorva again will be the fly that’s given me most fish. If not the Ponoi trip next week will give the Samurais more than their normal share.

A fantastic day’s fishing!
2018-09-15  18:02

Dalälven used to be one of the greatest wild salmon rivers in Scandinavia. Once it produced hundreds of thousands of great wild fish. Big dams blocked, and the river have now for more than hundred years been depended on hatcheries – that’s a shame!

The small little stream leading on the side of the power station carry’s 12 m2 of water, the whole river normally between 2-500. The little river is divided in 4 pools fished by 4 people. Thousands of fish enter, some over 50 and even 60 lbs. Of course, it’s not natural and just not as good as a wild river would be, but it’s very popular.

Our Day
We won the highest bid and got the chance to fish. It was me Peter, Adam and with photographer Johan shooting for the new book project. The forth guy Henrik was a new great acquaintance. I started on beat 3 and with my small Pahtakorva TTT I landed one great 4 kilo sea trout and lost a few, beat 4 also gave some nice fish, broke a leader on one, and with an extremely strong 5 kilo male salmon giving most fun. A good lunch and a 1,5-hour sleep in the car and then it was time for beat 1. The rain started pouring down and the fish moved around. If I say I saw 200 fish or so it’s probably too modest – there were fish all over the place! Most fun this fantastic day was the last hours on beat 2. This tail is a bit tricky with lots of big rocks and heavy rapids below. I landed three good sized salmon 12 kilo, and two around 10. Strong crazy fighting fish. I was lucky to get one of them, checking the leader afterword’s it was all ripped to pieces. Wet with a smile on my face I started the drive back with 14 great fish to the book.

Tricks & Flies
I think most important this day was the small fly and lots of speed. After half day Peter asked my what he could improve, and I said speed – he speeded up his fly to and landed 5 fish in an hour - an amazing change. If the fish are there it’s so obvious when you do things right or wrong! I must also comment on the small Nobody TTT the way it fishes is just amazing. I can’t think of anything more effective! The Pahtakorva colours blend with the water colour and the combination is just amazing.

Day 2, the lower river!
2018-08-07  18:03

The lower part of Stora Laxa is normally more productive, especially later in the season when daily catches of dozens of salmon is quite common. The upper river is the fairy tale river and the lower a bit more normal. We fished a few of the pools spending some time to take photos for the big book project. Johan Annerfelt is a superstar, some of the shoots he’s taken is probably some of the best I have ever seen, just amazing. We fished most of the beat’s nice pools and I lost a few that took careful but also got three nice fish with a female of 82 cm to be biggest. I fished my floater and also tried a little tip. As usual Dee Sheep variations worked well but also a slim Green Simple Fly tied on the new pearl tubing – actually a great looking fly. I truly like Stora Laxa it’s one of those rivers that will haunt you in your winter dreams. The fast hitch over the slick surface, the hard takes and the gin clear water. Looking into hours spent we did really well and more important we did get the footage we needed. Now we are heading north! Follow and you will see some other famous Icelandic rivers!

Äldre poster
October 2018 (7)
  »Back home from Ponoi
  »Friday - last day!
  »Fourth and fifth day
  »Down stream again!
  »Day 2 Ponoi, up river!
  »First full day’s fishing
  »Ponoi, Russia - arriving at the camp!
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