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All news for: Week 16

Enjoy hearing more about what has been happening at Ponoi

Fall Has Arrived and So Have the Fish

Weekly Report: September 13 - 19 2021

With our Fall Run in full swing, it was a pleasure to welcome a group of guests from the UK and Russia. Ryabaga has been experiencing true fall conditions for a while now, with cold temperatures hovering around 6 degrees C and a vibrant orange and yellow taking over the landscape across the river. Cold nights have dropped the river down to about 5 or 6 degrees C, but the salmon keep entering our waters.

This week Ryabaga anglers pursued a fish in the river's shallow, fast stretches, the deeper holding water, and everything in between. Anglers fished both above and below Camp, though the best action seemed to be concentrated in the Purnache, Gold Beach, and Clough Creek beats. That said, this is Atlantic salmon fishing: a specific beat may produce well on a given day, but here on Ponoi we are confident that a monster bright fish might appear anywhere in our water at this time of year.

Ryabaga veteran Jane S. wasted no time in getting down to business, and she brought 11 salmon to hand on her first day. This certainly made for a warm welcome back to the Ponoi! Other guests followed suit, and some sizeable bright fish followed in the fishing days to come. With an average of 27 fish per rod there was constant action all around and a good number of the catch this week were fresh, fall-run salmon over the 10 lb. mark.

On day 2 our friend Paul D caught several fish with guide Alexey, and a few trophies among them. He landed a 20.5 lb. fin perfect fall-run and then followed it up with one around 17 lbs.

On day 3 each boat came in with a bright fish over the 10 lb. mark, but Malcolm's 18 lb. fresh fish in Clough Creek turned a few heads in the big tent later that night.

On Day 4, Jane S. landed a magnificent 20 lb. bright fish with guide Cullan in Clough Creek. Len S. went on a big fish streak the last few days, landing a 15, 14, and 12 lb. fish on days 4 and 5.

On the last day he found the fish of the week, a sea-liced 22 lb. beauty in the Hourglass Beat that was landed after a great battle. In addition to the great fishing on the river, Sam C. enjoyed some fantastic action in Home Pool and came in to breakfast every morning with a photo of a bright fish taken around sunrise. Some of these were large, multi-sea winter salmon pushing 13-14 lbs.

Only on Ponoi can you catch a perfect fresh salmon before the morning's coffee. It's truly an amazing start to the day! It has been a pleasure to open Ryabaga to guests from around the world once again, and to welcome back old friends who've fished the river for years along with some new but now proven salmon anglers. As the fall continues, we can't wait to see how the run develops. For current updates and photos from the river be sure to check out our social media accounts (@ponoiriverco). Until next time, tight lines and thanks for sharing this special place with us. All the Best, Max Kantor Ryabaga Camp Manager

PRC Fishing Report - September 19-26, 2020

PRC Fishing Report

September 19-26, 2020

It is my pleasure to announce that we were excited to officially open Ryabaga to a small group of Russian guests this week. This group was comprised of both new and old friends, and all were eager to experience the Fall Run, particularly considering that the river has not seen a rod over the last few months.

 

This summer has been unique on many levels, and in the absence of anglers Ryabaga has been quieter than we’d like. The staff on-site has been hard at work, however, and we are pleased with several improvements, among them new lunch tents at Clough Creek and Kolovai.

This past week’s fishing was a treat. We anticipated that a good mix of over-wintered fish that had not yet seen a fly would be caught in addition to a smattering of newly arrived fall-run salmon. This proved to be the case, and we are thrilled to report great numbers of fish landed for the group of eight in camp. An average catch per rod of almost 22 fish for the week indicates great promise for the health of the river. Guides fished from Alex to Hard Curve, and bright fish showed up in each beat, including a significant number right above camp in the Purnache beat. The conditions were consistent with what we expect from Ponoi in mid-September: we saw an average water temperature of just under 7 degrees and an air temperature of about 11 degrees. These fall days are nothing short of magical, as the landscape quickly transitions to vibrant colors in both the trees and the sky.

Some very fine fish were landed over the course of the week, as each day multiple salmon broke the 10 lb. mark and a few trophy bright fish over 15 lbs. made for happy anglers. On Tuesday, Dmitriy landed a brilliant, fin-perfect fall runner of 15 lbs., and two days later Alexander landed the fish of the week at 16 lbs. We look forward to watching such fish fill the river as the season progresses, and we anticipate a strong and well-rested fishery for the spring of 2021.

2020 has certainly not presented us a Ponoi salmon season that is anything close conventional. That said, we know that everyone, including all the international staff, is itching to return and chase salmon at Ryabaga once again. We hope everyone is safe and healthy, and that we can soon return to camp. When we do, we will all certainly have a renewed appreciation for this special place.

All the Best,

Max Kantor, Ryabaga Camp Manager

 

 

And They Just Keep Coming…

Week 16 Report

As Week 16 comes to an end we all pause to celebrate the season. As Head Guide Max Mamaev said this week: “Welcome to Ponoi, one of the best salmon rivers in the world…”. This past week was a fine example of that maxim (or Maxism, as the case may be!!).

Ryabaga welcomed a group of seasoned salmon anglers this week, several of whom were in camp for the very first time. The conditions seemed to indicate that summer refuses to leave the Kola Peninsula, with temperatures more representative of early August than to mid-September. The water remained around 14ºc and this kept the salmon on the move. Most days, anglers and guides reported countless fish jumping as they moved upstream. Though these reports bode very well for the future productivity of Ponoi salmon, it can be quite challenging for anglers to get fast-moving fish to take a fly. On one particular day this week I counted 72 bright fish in Home Pool alone in 1.5 hrs. Though two experienced anglers covered the water from top to bottom, and though fish routinely jumped over their lines, neither angler was able to elicit a take.

Sunny, warm weather was somewhat intermittent this week, and it was particularly noticeable how the spells of cold and overcast weather had a clear positive effect on the catch rate. As they say, “a nice day for the anglers is no good for the fishing”. Though there were easy days and tough days this week, the fall-run fishing in Ryabaga remained incomparable. Bright, broad-shouldered Osenkas between 6 and 20 lb. did battle in a most spectacular manner, forcing anglers to give chase. By week’s end, anglers had landed an average of 14 fish, the vast majority of which were bright. Nearly twice as many fish were hooked as were landed, showcasing the incredible number of fish that are running up the Ponoi this Autumn. This incredibly strong Fall Run combined with active fish of superb quality, we look forward to good times in the weeks ahead. With rain in the forecast and lower temperatures on the way, the best is yet to come.

Let’s not forget that the Ryabaga experience is not entirely about the fishing. Ryabaga is beloved for all that happens around the edges of the days on the water. This week several “jam sessions” that featured the guitar of Leif S., guide Andrey Federov and Agustin Lo Greco made the experience even more special, as did the backgammon and card games played by guests and staff around the bar. And we must mention the laughter that filled the Big Tent throughout the week in response to the stories shared by our Irish friends. We thank our guests for the laughter and the goodwill, and for making the Ryabaga experience possible. We also thank all of you for playing a critical role in our battle to protect wild Atlantic salmon.

Tight Lines,

Agustin C. Lo Greco

Ryabaga Camp Manager

Autumn Presses On

Week 16 Report

As Autumn presses on the tundra covers itself with a blanket of gold, and the night skies astonish us with dancing greens and purples. It was among these spectacles that we welcomed a new group of guests to Ryabaga last week, all of whom were eager to experience the thrill of Ponoi’s fall-run salmon. Some of these anglers were new to our special river, while others have experienced the wonder of Ryabaga several times before. We were overjoyed to welcome all!

Nobody knows for sure what drives these fish up the river at this time of the year, as they will not actually spawn for another year or so. Similarly, we don’t know for certain why in some years the bulk of this run arrives quite early (i.e. in the first week of August), while in other years these fall-runners decide to delay their journey, arriving suddenly with overwhelming numbers in the latter weeks of August. Though the peak of the run can be hard to pinpoint, we are always pleased to remember that there are typically fresh fish entering the system beginning the first week of August, just as there will continue to be fresh fish running under the ice, long after the Ryabaga season has ended.

This past week proved that 2018 will be one of those years wherein the Ponoi salmon have clearly begun their upstream journey somewhat later than usual. The numbers this week were below what one would expect based on average catch rates for historic Week 16’s, but Atlantic salmon are nothing if not mercurial. There’s a multiplicity of factors that impact the behavior of these fish, and despite years of experience and study, we know very little about how the migration and spawning cycle actually works.

Despite the unknowns, we can say with conviction that all people in camp, guests and staff alike, had a fantastic week. Paul D.’s guitar and Irish limericks made each evening a memorable one. Some guests took the fact that there seemed to be fewer fish than normal in the river as a rare opportunity to employ some unconventional tactics. Jon S. led that charge by fishing his beloved “White Muddler” almost exclusively throughout the week. After 28 years coming to Ryabaga, Jon’s conviction carries some weight, and it proved out in several lovely fish.

Though salmon were not landed in the numbers we expected, the quality and size of fish taken were exceptional, proving the point that even on a tough week, Ponoi is miles ahead of any salmon river in the world. Case in point, Paul D. took a 21 lb., an 18 lb., and a 17 lb. fish. Wolfgang N. likewise took an 18 lb. brawler, while Francis D. took two of that size. Michael R., on his first foray for Atlantic salmon, took a whopping 21 lb. fish!! The quality of fish in excess of 10 lbs. was extraordinary and showcased the potential of the Ponoi Fall Run.

It was a pleasure to have old friends such as Jane S., Hubert P., and John S. in camp, alongside new friends such as Sophie C. who took her first Atlantic salmon. It is always something to see when such mainstays of our angling community are joined by new guests, as longstanding memories and traditions are joined by new ones. Though it was not an easy week, the fact remains that a “tough week” in Ryabaga produces more opportunity than most rivers do at their best. That being said, the memories forged this week will last a long time, as they have less to do with the catching than they do with the greater experience created on our remote sliver of the Kola Peninsula.

Tight Lines,

Agustin C. Lo Greco

Ryabaga Camp Manager