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