The River is Shaping Up Beatifully
Week 4 Report
Though water levels remained somewhat high to start, the Ponoi witnessed a steady drop over the course of this past week, and in turn the river was able to showcase a more typical view of itself. High water forced the guide team to remain nimble, but guests were nonetheless able to access many of the traditionally favored spots, and great fishing was found throughout the 40 km of river we fished this week. Despite a powerful and cold north wind during the last two fishing days, the catch remained consistent and well above the 100 salmon/day rate, affording a total of 764 fish for the week.
The river looked and fished more like it has during past Week 1’s, with silvering kelts still in the system and, as of last week, a majority of fish taken very close to the banks. Anglers and guides walked the boats downstream and/or waded to access these close-lying fish, especially on the lower beats where the river speeds up, and there are few places to execute the typical drops that allow both rods to fish in tandem. These conditions once again offered a significant advantage to those anglers willing to both fish from the boat as well as wade. Ross Spence, who was our top rod for the week with an outstanding catch of 72 fish, only fished from the boat on select occasions, and spent much of the week fishing hard while wading and walking the banks. Though wade fishing Ponoi can be physically demanding, there is some great sport to be had for the adventurous anglers who are willing to give it a go.
Home Pool remained unfishable for the first few days of the week, with just a small section of water slow enough to hold fish. On Wednesday, Bruce landed the first salmon of the season from Home Pool, much to everyone’s delight. We are confident that as soon as the water drops another couple feet, Home Pool will again start producing catches in line with its reputation.
Full-sinking lines were used quite extensively this week with good success, though we are seeing lighter tackle in use each day. With good water visibility and water temperatures around 9˚C, the salmon are starting to travel the extra meter up through the water column to take a big and shiny tube. We assume that for next week, sinking tips on floating lines will prove the kit of choice, and heavy lines will be reserved for especially deep runs.
A very cheerful group of regulars joined us in Ryabaga this week: the Spences, the Siewrights, P. Davidson as well as J. Mcmillan, and H. Balls remain among our most loyal guests, and its always nice to see them return.
PRC owner Ilya Sherbovich and his son Kostya joined us on several evenings in the Big Tent, and they fished the Ponoi every second day, taking the rest of the week to target trophy brown trout on surrounding waters with excellent results. Kostya managed the biggest trout of the week, which tipped the scales at around 12 pounds!
Weather for the coming week looks favorable. There are great numbers of salmon already in evidence within Ryabaga waters, and a dropping river will soon start to show its features in typical fashion, allowing guides and anglers to target the most productive sections. In the coming days we fully expect the mighty Ponoi to show its historic bounty.
Joaquin Arocena and the Ryabaga Team