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All news for: Week 7

Enjoy hearing more about what has been happening at Ponoi

Time Flies…

Week 7 Report

This week Ryabaga Camp celebrated Week 7 of the Ponoi salmon season with a full house. Most of our guests this week guests were new to Ryabaga, and they hailed from all points of the globe: some came from Kuwait, some from Ireland, some from the USA, and some from the UK. One special guest, Xien X., ventured to Ryabaga in pursuit of her first Atlantic salmon, and managed to land a fine fish just minutes into her very first day on the water!

That first day was by no means an easy one, considering 55 km/hr. winds with gusts up to 70 km/hr.! Our anglers were undaunted, though, and they withstood the conditions to great effect. Perseverance rewarded our guests with a catch of 53% bright fish on the first day alone, proving once more that this year’s Summer Run continues to be a strong one. We also noticed that the big Osenkas remain very active, in large part due to the fact that the water temperature remained under 16ºc. It has certainly been a cooler summer than most.

On Day Two the wind was still with us, though it was not as strong as it had been on Day One. Since the wind was coming from the North, the temperature remained quite cool at around 6ºc for the entire day. Though the second day of fishing was a bit slower, the quality of the fish was exceptional: Brian H. landed an 18 lb. beauty and Hilal A. landed lovely fish that tipped the scales at 21 lb.! Once again, the Ponoi rewarded the efforts of anglers who maintained their optimism and enthusiasm through challenging conditions.

Tuesday was representative of a more “normal” July day, with temperatures reaching 14º and the winds much diminished. The fishing improved yet again. Bright fish still made for half of the total catch, and the big ones were willing to play. Joe H., who landed a 20 lb. beast on the first day, managed to get a 19 lb. salmon on Day Three.

Wednesday offered up early-season weather again due to a strong North wind and temperatures down to 7ºc. Although these low temperatures are unseasonable, they do seem to enhance the fishing, as the fish remain active in the cool water.

On Thursday the weather posed some challenges, with a strong North wind, heavy rains, and an ambient air temperature that stayed below 6ºc. The winds earlier in the week resulted in some off-color water, and both guides and anglers had a moment of uncertainty about the outcome of the day. Nonetheless, the Ponoi once again proved its mettle, and all boats returned having landed fish, 50% of which were bright salmon.

Friday came and we all felt that the week had gone too quickly. The weather was much improved, with seasonable temperatures and wind conditions. The number and quality of fish landed on this last day was a clear indicator of the improved conditions. Khalid A. landed the biggest fish of the day with a cracking 20 lb. fish out of Purnache beat. By the end of the day we realized that despite challenging weather, Ryabaga anglers managed an average of 20 fish for the week, 49% of which were bright. It is truly impressive to think that numbers such as these can be representative of a tough week.

Friday marked not only was the last day of Week 7, but also the end of our Spring/Summer season. As we approach the Summer Break, we consider a few of the challenges faced in this first half of the season in Ryabaga. The weather throughout the Spring and early Summer was unlike anything we have seen before, but for this first 7 weeks of the season Ryabaga anglers nonetheless boasted some wonderful numbers. Our Spring/Summer anglers caught 28 fish per week on average, with fish noticeably larger than average weight-wise for the time of year. The Summer Run presses on, bringing more healthy fish into the system, and positioning us for a fine start to the second half. We can look back and say that we had some fine fishing, in large part due to the expertise of the Ryabaga Guide Team and the perseverance of our anglers. Needless to say, we made the most of the first half, and remain quite proud of what we accomplished as we look forward to what the remainder of the season has in store.

As Ryabaga bids farewell to the Week 7 guests, the staff looks forward to the work of the next three weeks. We use the Summer Break to complete new projects around Camp, and to keep up with necessary maintenance. This break allows us to ensure that everything in Ryabaga looks and functions optimally for the second half of the season. These next three weeks will also allow us to look ahead, and to consider what the Fall Run might have in store. The Summer Run this year has been impressive, with some exceptional fish entering the system; if the Fall Run lines up similarly, it could prove to be a Fall to remember. As we rest, regroup, and dream of what’s to come in the season’s second half, we also wish to send you, our anglers, the very best. The 2019 Ryabaga salmon season has proven to be a great one so far, and we look forward to sharing the rest of it with incomparable elegance and style.


Agustin C. Lo Greco

Ryabaga Camp Manager

Ryabaga Continues to Deliver Despite the Odds

Week 7 Report

This past week officially capped the first half of the 2018 Ponoi salmon season. As we move into the Midsummer Break it is interesting to note that though conditions were challenging through the bitter end of the first half, our steadfast guests remained resolute in their desire to make the most of the experience, and never lost hope that Atlantic salmon could and would be caught on swung flies. Despite challenging conditions, our group of 19 guests this week managed to land an impressive number fish, all of this through weather that was representative of a proper “tundra summer”. Air temperatures reached the high twenties and water temps soared to the high teens, reaching twenty on the last day of fishing. These conditions, marked as they were by very sunny days, were pleasant for anglers but presented some of the most challenging circumstances under which one might try to catch a salmon.

Ryabaga Home Pool lived up to its reputation as the most productive salmon pool in the world, producing more than 35 salmon after being fished only lightly each day under high, bright skies. Regulars on Home Pool included a group from Spain. This crew was jokingly dubbed “The River Wolves” by their fellow anglers in light of their perseverance and success. Beyond Home Pool, the fishing rewarded the faithful, and the group of 19 anglers that joined us this week reported an average catch of 22 fish per rod.

As Ryabaga says farewell to the last angling group of the Spring/Summer season, all who took part are compelled to look back at seven weeks of incredible fishing. It was certainly not always easy fishing, but is was remarkable indeed, not only for size and quantity of the fish taken, but for the quality of fish as well. It is truly stunning to think that the Ponoi is able to provide with such consistency, enabling our guests the astounding average catch per rod per week of 35 fish for the first half. And with that number in recent memory, it is again time for Ryabaga Camp to take a short break. In the coming weeks we will rest and regroup, work through some improvement projects around camp and let the promise of fresh, fall-run Ponoi salmon enter both the river and our collective dreams. These dreams will no doubt be shared by those anglers who are, like us, waiting for the second half, and the chance to do battle on the incomparable Ponoi.

Tight Lines

Agustin C. Lo Greco

Ryabaga Camp Manager

A Strong First-Half Finish

Week 7 Report 

Here on Ponoi, the middle of July brings about our midsummer break, as we mark the end of the first half of the season’s fishing. The long­est winter in over a century made the beginning of the season quite challenging to say the least, and the ice pack for­ced us to cancel angling on our historic Week 1. Though we were able to open for guests on Week 2, we nonetheless struggled a bit with unseasonably cold water. Fortunately, from Week 2 on the fishing picked up considerably, and we ended the first half with very good numbers over the last 4 wee­ks. This past week was yet another example of gr­eat summer fishing on Ponoi. Fifteen anglers landed over 550 fish, averag­ing nearly 37 salmon per rod. To make things even better, with the entirety of the Summer Run now in the river, br­ight fish composed 34% of the total catc­h. Such a vigorous Summer Run leaves us with the highest hopes for the upco­ming fall.

This week, the water temperatu­re just kept on rising. The river en­ded up near 18°C, with exceptional clarity and a steadily dropping level. The Ryabaga guides opted for progressively smaller tu­bes in addition to the classic Ponoi Rubberlegs to tease out spooky fish. The rubberleg patterns have pro­ven to be invaluable at prod­ucing strikes in such low, clear, midsummer conditions. Home Pool once again fished wonderfully, producing catches during each evening and morn­ing session, resulting in a total of 62 salmon for the week.

It was a pleasure to welcome guests from Japan and the US this week, as well as a select group from France’s storied Grand Fario Club. For most of our guests, this was the fir­st trip to Ryabaga, but we are confident that a combination of excellent fishing, the typical premier service standard, canny guiding, and top-flight facilities ma­de this a memorable week for all in attendance. We look forward to having any and all back in Ryabaga soon.

As I write this report, several members of the Ryabaga Team are headed back to their homes for a visit, or taking some rest and relaxation on vacations of their own. Some will of course remain in camp during the break to keep working on a host of standard maintenance projects as well as camp upgrades. Notably, the team will be upgrading fuel capacity, improving camp roads, and refurbishing the staff banya.

Ryabaga will be working at full steam once again in early August when Erkki and 19 of his guests will join us once again. Though we always welcome this midsummer break, we nonetheless remain excited and incredibly optimistic about the magical fall season. Come August, it's all about the colors, the northern lights, and of course the spectacular Fall Run on the incomparable Ponoi.


Joaquin Arocena and the Ryabaga Team

Into Midsummer

Our 7th week just passed, and with it we marked the end of the first half of our 2016 Ryabaga salmon season. In retrospect, the season thus far has been productive despite its extremely early arrival. The premature onset of spring in the Kola allowed us to see the river in optimal condition for the arrival of our first guests. We saw record catches in the first week of the season, and welcomed a memorable “summer” run that arrived in the river earlier, and with greater strength, than ever before. Unfortunately, the accelerated pace of the season also meant that the weather and the fish condition advanced early, which proved detrimental to our fishing over the last couple weeks.

This week found us with a quieter than usual camp. About a third of our staff left on a cutting-edge exploratory trip to the most remote corner of Russia in search of Taimen and other native species, an adventure sponsored by PRC owner Ilya Sherbovich. Those remaining in Ryabaga gladly welcomed an international group of guests, representing the UK, US, France and Russia. Each evening was filled with rich, long conversation impelled by fine wines, cognacs and single malts. Also this week we were joined in camp by PRC President Steve Estela, his wife Pata, and their sons Santiago and Simon. This wonderful family dynamic contributed to the relaxed and familiar atmosphere in the Big Tent.

Rain was a steady presence this week, either during the fishing days or through the nights, and the river level rose steadily in response. With more rain expected next week, it seems that we have already passed through the hottest part of the year, and we certainly expect to see some fall-run fish when our next group of guests joins us in mid-August.

As usual, a part of the Ryabaga staff will stay in camp through the break. There is always so much to do at this point in the year, and several projects have been started already. Among other upgrades a new mooring deck will be installed, new bathrooms will be constructed in the Big Tent area, the firefighting system will be upgraded, additional storage will be built, the Guest House will be repainted, and the new Guest House banya will be completed.

We look forward to seeing these refinements come to life as we plan already for the start of the upcoming and near-fully booked second half of the season. We trust that the mighty Ponoi will be waiting for us with some bright autumn fish on the run. Until then, be safe, and dream of Ponoi silver.


Joaquin Arocena and the Ryabaga Team