Challenging week, the fishing stays strong.
Week 2 Report
After a record 1st week with over 1200 fish landed, our expectations for the second week of the 2016 season were appropriately high. The flows remained in good condition, and with a full camp of 21 rods, all were poised for yet another memorable event.
Mother Nature, however, had a slightly different plan for us. Weather conditions changed dramatically last weekend when strong north winds made matters challenging for both anglers and guides. As with all the main rivers of the Kola, the Ponoi is a shallow, lake-fed water body that responds negatively to 2 or 3 days of very hard winds. The resulting agitation of sediment can impact water clarity for a couple of days, much as it did through the middle of this past week.
Water color was not too bad on the first fishing day when we landed 134 fish. From Monday on, however, things were more difficult, and it was only by Thursday afternoon that we were able to see a considerable improvement in water conditions. By last Friday we were nearly back to normal, and on that day 131 fish were landed. On the whole nearly 700 fish were taken this week, with numerous salmon pushing past the 15 lb. mark.
We were grateful through the week for the steady performance of Home Pool which, with the influx of clear water from the Purnache and Ryabaga tribs, fished as well as we’ve come to expect. Anglers who frequented Home Pool managed more than 40 fish on this amazing stretch of water. On Tuesday, Yury D. waded the Purnache trib to great effect with Head Guide Max Mamaev. The Purnache is low enough to wade across it in different spots, and though the wading was at times challenging the reward was obvious with several fish landed, including two in the 10-15 lbs range.
Off-color water conditions demand bigger heavier and brighter flies, and this week we also saw some success with extra-fast sink tips. Our guides targeted shallower runs, and guests who attempted to do some wading performed reasonably well from the bank.
We enjoyed the return of several regulars this week: the Twigger’s group of six enjoyed their usual long, post-dinner conversations in the Big Tent. It was again very nice to welcome back Jon and Hubert who between them have managed a remarkable 58 trips to Ryabaga Camp. It was also a pleasure to welcome other guests who have not visited Ponoi in a few years; watching them enjoy the benefits of the new cabins was a pleasure. John M. was one of these returning guests and also our top rod of the week with 60 fish landed including a 21 pounder.
Another regular, Sugai from Japan, allowed us to finish the week on a high note by catching the biggest fish of the season so far. The beast was a 25 pounder netted by our big fish specialist Sergei Bistrov in a deep channel of the Hourglass Beat. Needless to say both guide and angler were pleased with the result of their work. Not to be outdone was young Kostya Sherbovich, son of PRC owner Ilya Sherbovich, who at 10 yrs. old managed a 19 lb. brawler on Thursday. Kostya followed up this catch with a 19 fish day on Friday alongside the beloved guide 'Uncle Nick' Sigov. It seems that Ponoi is kind to its children!
Weather conditions appear more normal for the upcoming third week of the season. Barring the challenges of nature, fish size and number look wonderful for the rest of 2016, and we are looking forward for some more Ponoi bounty in the coming days.
Until Next Time,
Joaquin Arocena and the Ponoi Team