This past week Ryabaga welcomed the second group of Finnish anglers led by Erkki M. Fortunately for all in camp, the week’s weather and water conditions were stable and more in accordance with what we expect at this point in the season, at least compared to recent weeks. Anglers saw warmer temps and moderate winds, and these conditions certainly helped to drive more fresh fish into Ryabaga waters.
Nearly 35% of all the fish hooked this past week were fresh, fall-run salmon. Though bright fish were in steady supply, getting them to the net is never by any means easy! A fresh Ponoi salmon always presents a huge challenge, even to the seasoned fly angler. Landing one of our fresh fall-runners was therefore no small feat for those anglers who found themselves holding a fly rod for the first time this week, attempting to catch their first ever Atlantic salmon. We can gladly report that Jukka M., Juha K., Pekka V., Eero N. & Jukka S. succeeded in their quest for a first salmon, and then took the journey a step further by catching a few more salmon each.
Though the Fall Run continued with strength, our over-wintered fish remained very active and willing to take the fly. Anglers had numerous chances throughout our waters, but the most productive beats were the lower ones, closest to the salt. Thanks to our new Hovercraft we were able to transport 4 pairs of anglers with their guides and daily provisions to the lowest stretches with speed and comfort. With this new means of conveyance, every angler in Ryabaga was afforded the best opportunity to catch fish.
Under the guidance of Ryabaga Head Guide Max Mamaev the beats were, as usual, rotated through the fishing week, allowing all anglers equal time to explore. Beat rotations allow anglers access to all of Ryabaga’s water in one week’s fishing, and if most fish are concentrated in the lower beats, as was the case this past week, we make use of every resource in camp to provide anglers equitable access to those fish.
There was a great deal of excitement in camp this week due to the steady arrival of fresh fish, and the increased incidence of fall-runners being seen, hooked, and caught. It was also a great week of guitar playing and song thanks to Juho K., Yrjö O. & Heiki H. This past week was marked by unique angling opportunities that can so rarely be experienced: to see all three runs of Ponoi salmon represented (over-wintered, Summer Run, and Fall Run), and to see those fish as healthy and strong as ever is a gift that should be appreciated and protected. Salmon rivers around the globe are under huge pressure, and the majority of rivers are seeing their runs decline steadily, so the Ryabaga experience becomes more and more unique. As Ponoi anglers, we remain a part of the ultimate mission to preserve Atlantic salmon for future generations anglers.
Let’s never lose sight of this opportunity.
Agustin C. Lo Greco
Ryabaga Camp Manager