All news for: Week 17

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The Ponoi River Club

Week 17 Report

The resounding motto for Week 17 was “Another Great Week on the Ponoi!” The Ponoi River Club once again convened last week in Ryabaga, and each night Jeremy B. shared a few words about that day’s fishing, recounting the adventures and misadventures of the day and noting the catch count and exceptional fish. At the end of Jeremy’s report, all in attendance raised a glass with the words “it was a great day on the Ponoi”.

In retrospect, the sheer catch numbers do not adequately represent what a great week it was in total. The Ponoi River Club Week always takes into account the entire experience that is Ryabaga, proving the idiom that “there’s a lot more to salmon fishing in Ryabaga than just catching salmon”. This week that greater experience included Hacker C.’s storytelling, the smell of Partagas cigars, the long lunches, Nick G. and George F.’s style of fishing to the rhythms of a very eclectic playlist, Patrick Q.’s unique (and very effective) casting style, and Paul Q.’s contagious energy. There was of course the noteworthy adventure of Mike H. and Nick H., who on their first day out decided to target sea-trout by fishing single-hand rods and skated mouse patterns. There was the annual costume gala on Thursday night, Deke W.’s 25 lb. brute, and so many other shining moments that made this week unique and special.

The fishing this week was not particularly easy; fish were moving upstream extremely quickly, only allowing a tiny window of opportunity for Ryabaga anglers to target them. Though fish were not arriving in the significant numbers that we have seen in this week historically, the scarcity did nothing to curb the enthusiasm and the enjoyment of the group. Everyone, guests and staff alike, said definitively at week’s end that “it was another great week on the Ponoi”.

We had an average catch per rod for the week of 12 salmon, with several fish in the high teens. Patrick Q. and Jack M. both had an 18 lb., George F. had a 17 lb., Deke W. had a 17 lb. and a glorious 25 lb., Nicholas H. landed a 19 lb. brute, Jeremy B., Hacker C., & Charlie M. each managed a 15 lb. Stephen M., who was fishing for salmon for the first time, caught his first salmon on the first day out, and went on to be the top rod on the last day! Needless to say, but I’ll say once again, “IT WAS ANOTHER GREAT WEEK ON THE PONOI!”

Farewell to our friends of the Ponoi River Club,

Agustin C. Lo Greco

Ryabaga Camp Manager


The Ponoi River Club Week: Never Better!

Week 17 Report

Situated in the heart of autumn’s prime time, this week’s fishing is typically nothing short of amazing, and the 2017 Ponoi River Club Week was no exception. Despite a high river and some challenging angling conditions, the water remained quite clear, and the salmon, especially the bright ones, were keen to pursue flies. As a result, the 14 rods in camp landed almost 400 fish this week, with nearly 75% of those fish being bright fall-runners. Fish were present in number throughout PRC waters, much to the delight of anglers and guides.

The water temperature hovered between 6 and 8˚C throughout the week, making the slower current sections the most productive. With the fish committing readily to bright flies from all depths, there was no need to employ heavy sinking lines, and floating heads with sink tips were used with great success. As the fishing was concentrated in slower water, stripping the line was mandatory, not only to make the big, bright tubes more enticing to the salmon, but also to ensure that the maximum volume of water was covered with efficiency. Though the number of fish in itself this week was remarkable, and within that number some salmon of noteworthy size were taken, what anglers will likely remember most of the 2017 Ponoi River Club Week is the outstanding time had by all… and the folks in Ryabaga this week really know how to have a good time!

From the leisurely and amusing river lunches at the hilarious evenings in the Big Tent, every moment on and off the river was full of laughter, camaraderie, and unforgettable memories. Every evening, Jeremy (the Ponoi River Club Week chairman) would announce the day’s results in a performance worthy of a stand-up comedian, and he would deliver prizes to the winners (and losers) of the day. These announcements were followed by a flurry of irreverent jokes from Hacker that would generally bring tears of laughter. On a few of the evenings we enjoyed Randolf’s songs and recitations, paired with his dry humor and witticisms. All of this revelry was of course followed by long nights at the bar or beside the fire, and several magnificent displays of Aurora Borealis, which always lends a magical touch to the season.

Thursday night of the Ponoi River Club Week is THE big event of the season. On that night, the roughly 40 staff members in camp and all guests celebrate what is arguably the most remote costume party on earth. The evening begins with a big buffet dinner, and the staff members and guests all mingle among the tables to enjoy the meal. Right after dinner, all represented nationalities regale the crowd with their nation’s anthem, employing full-voice and objectionable intonation, much to the delight of all. This festivity is capped with some serious dancing until well past midnight. It is these joyful days, right in the heart of the season’s best fishing, that make the Ponoi River Club Week among the most anticipated events of the Ryabaga season.

Looking ahead, prospects are quite promising for the incoming group. More fresh fish are still running up from the sea, and the run is appearing to have some serious strength this year. The river has been dropping continuously, allowing more features to show, and the weather seems to have settled down at last. Though there will likely be some typical cold nights and mornings, there are no big rains or heavy winds forecasted, so those guests arriving in Ryabaga next week should assume that the planets are aligning for a fantastic week of fishing.

Until Then,

Joaquin Arocena and the Ryabaga Team

Freezing Nights


With the passing of Week 17, the end of the 2016 Ponoi salmon season draws increasingly near. Though conditions were far from ideal through much of this past week, some fine fishing was accomplished by guests and guides alike; the week was, on the whole, quite productive. Rains early in the week were not terribly excessive, but proved far from favorable for a river that was just returning to nice shape after some earlier high water.

On Monday evening, we had our first proper freezing night of the season. It is quite remarkable that this temperature drop occurred so far into the fall, as we have often seen much cooler nights as October draws near. In previous years, fishing and operating at this point in the season was quite difficult, and maintaining an operational camp more than a week into October was unheard of. Apparently, the global weather changes are strongly evident in these northern latitudes.

By mid-week, with the vast majority of the dark fish in the river having already spawned, guests were catching primarily bright, fall-run fish. Fresh salmon comprised over 90% of the 330 fish landed for the week, much to the delight of our anglers.

Following last week’s trend, full-sinking lines were the preferred option for guides, proving more effective even than the fast sink-tips. Max tubes remained the patterns of choice, though some German Snaelda patterns as well as some other heavy, bright flies worked with equally positive results.

As for camp life, the Big Tent was as international as ever, as we had representatives from Ireland, UK, Sweden, Portugal, US, Russia, Germany, Japan and even Latvia. As usual, a good number of regular anglers visited this week. Guests such as Len, John M., Wolfgang, and Jane (who stayed in camp for her usual 3 weeks) are such longstanding Ryabaga guests that they feel much more like family.

Three of our guests, namely Dima, Edwin and Ian, landed fish over the 20 lb. mark this week. Osamu from Japan landed the very first Atlantic salmon of an extensive angling career, much to his delight. This week we also had the privilege to welcome Ian Gordon to Ryabaga. Ian, a former spey-casting world champion and part of the design team from House of Hardy, proved not only an outstanding angler but also a pleasure to have as a guest.

The northern lights finally reappeared after several weeks of covered skies, and they provided some of the most spectacular shows on record. Those who managed the necessary patience and withstood the cold will certainly treasure some unforgettable memories of the late September nights in evidence this week.

As the final days of the 2016 Ryabaga salmon season arrive, we in camp always experience an extra shot of energy. At this time of the season, though some of the team begins looking forward to return trips home and a well-deserved rest, it nonetheless always remains clear to us how much we will miss our river home. For that reason we are all gearing up for a great final week, and some fine fishing to be done before winter arrives for good.

Until Then,

Joaquin Arocena and the Ryabaga Team



Ponoi River Club week ay Ryabaga

Week 17 Report

On this week each year we welcome back the Ponoi River Club, and we celebrate the traditions, the camaraderie, and the wonderful fall fishing that we’ve come to expect.

 This week, Fall-run fish continued to move through Ryabaga waters. Due to the steady pulse of fresh salmon moving upstream, angling was not concentrated in any particular beat. To the contrary, guides moved anglers throughout Ryabaga waters to intercept fish on the move, making for many memorable sessions. Among the most noteworthy of these was Bob’s first day on Ponoi, during which he caught his first seven Atlantic salmon, all of them bright. The total catch for the week numbered 352 fish of which more than 80% were bright. We averaged 24 bright fish landed per rod, and these were caught almost exclusively on big, bright tubes and intermediate tips. Mild, low-wind conditions played a big role in making this week even more enjoyable. 

 Dinners were a delight, and each Big Tent session was full of joy and laughter. The songs from Randolph, the jokes from Hacker (irreverent as always), and of course Jeremy’s daily reports all made for a jovial feeling in Camp. Prizes were, in keeping with tradition, awarded to the winners (and losers) for the day. These prizes consisted of an astonishing array of masks, wigs, and other novel accessories. Award ceremonies, and the modeling of the prizes themselves, made for plenty of laughter after dinner each evening.

 The traditional raucous Thursday party was the highlight of the week. Anthems representing each of the nationalities present in Camp were sung with pride. The girls as usual showed great ingenuity in using limited resources to make some wonderful costumes. We were pleased to welcome PRC Owner Ilya Sherbovich and a few of his guests at the festivities, and a wonderful time was had by all!

 It was a pleasure and an honor for all of us in Ryabaga to be part of such a memorable week, and it goes without saying that we can’t wait to revisit the Syndicate week in 2016. As the season draws closer to a close, the fishing just keeps on improving. What’s more, just as the river started to look slightly low we had a full day of rain to give us some oxygen and to guarantee the on-going flow of fresh fish into the system. Needless to say, the Fall run just keeps coming. All of this bodes well for the final days of the season.

 Until Next Week,

Joaquin Arocena and the Ryabaga Team