The ideal situation for the beginning of the season is fishing active fish in the winter holding pools. On some rivers of the Kola Peninsula this is a common practice. In the middle or upper parts of the rivers, large number of salmons gather in such pools to stay during the winter. Some camps are located near those places. The first weeks of the salmon fishing season, most fish are caught in those holding pools, often called as as aquarium, later the fish is spreading along the river bed, the camps are closing.
We dont have so many of those pool here on Chavanga river, therefore, we must carefully monitor the movement of salmon along the entire length of the river, from the estuary and to the upper waterfall.
Our tactic is: in the first days of the season, we divide the fishermen into pairs and visit the most promising places. During 2-3 days we can already make a plan for the most productive pools and get information about the salmon's location and its activity.
Why do we have to start the season with such scouting every time? Because every new season the situation on the river develops differently. The set of factors that we usually take into account when discussing the situation on the river differ. When planning fishing methods, picking tackles and flies, we often use the experience of last season.
But the dynamics of changes in water level, transparency, temperature, quantity and quality of fish are always different from last year's state. Therefore, we have to adapt to the real conditions of fishing.
At the beginning of the season in the period of high and cold water we usually follow this:
• We take into account the water level and determine the list of pools available for fishing in the upcoming days
• Determine the presence of salmon in them and its distribution over in the pool
• Determine the amount of fish in the pools, the quality of the salmon and its activity
• We draw up an approximate plan for fishing in these pools
• We pick the most suitable gear and methods for correct presentation of the fly
• We observe changes in the state of the river and the movement of salmon, changes in the composition of salmon herd, its activity
• We plan for the upcoming days, taking into account appearance of the new available pools
• If necessary, adjust the set of gear and flies
Season 2018 in early June, we did not have to work hard. The river was changing very slowly, during two weeks a moderately high water level and comfortable water temperature within the range of 9-10-12 degrees remained. Autumn fish remained active, gradually the weight of the fish increased, the physical condition of the fish improved. Perhaps they were salmon, which entered the river in late autumn and kept its good conditions during the winter.
The situation with fishing spring fresh fish in the beginning of June looks almost the opposite. Every day the number of fresh fish caught increased. Here it was possible to identify salmon that entered the river straight after the ice was gone and completely fresh run salmon with sea lices on their backs. The amount of fresh spring fish in the river is very difficult to determine. Unlike autumn salmon, fresh fish are distributed evenly over the river, without accumulation on winter holding pools. Roughly, we can say that fresh fish prefers to stand in the head of the pool at the beginning of the season and often comes very close to the main stream, if, of course, the water level allows us to fish it comfortably here. Therefore, the take of fresh salmon is less predictable, it is necessary to change the places of fishing more often and try different horizons of fly presentation.
The number of autumn and spring fresh fish in our catches during the 2 first weeks of June was approximately as follows: 80% of autumn fish and 20% of fresh salmon. Average size of the spring fish was higher, fish exceeding 70 cm in length prevailed, salmon of 72-73 cm became common in the catches during the second week of June.
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