By the middle of September, the long-awaited rains had passed on the Kola Peninsula, the water level in the river rose in the rivers and the temperature began to drop. Daily measurements showed that the water cooled to 11-12 degrees.
We assessed the condition of the river as optimal and expected much improvements in fishing for silver Atlantic salmon. Indeed, we noted the intensification of the movement of fresh fish throughout the river. Not far from the estuary and also in the top parts of the river, sea fish began to appear on the surface on the water more often than a week earlier. But what surprised us was the response of the salmon to the flies, it remained slow. Most of the fresh salmon were caught in the mainstream of the river, in a fairly fast current among rocks and other shelters. Common pools in the lowest part of the river, where fresh fish usually take places, did not work. Perhaps the reason was that after the last rains the water was still not cold enough, and its transparency dropped noticeably. Therefore, fresh fish did react slow to the fly and made up about 25% of our catch, in which resident Atlantic salmon still dominated. The gradual, constant decrease in water temperature led to a noticeable activation of large resident fish. Some males caught exceeded 90 cm in length, and catching 84-85 cm fish was common.
In general, it was not easy for us to judge the intensity of Atlantic salmon run from the sea. There were fish with sea lices on the body, but we did not manage to find a way of effectively catching enough to draw any conclusions.
As an exception, I want to tell you about a new way for us, which turned out to be the most effective for catching silver fish in this period. The method was really effective, it allowed to quickly process a large area and hook all more or less active fresh salmon. The method is very simple - we cast weighted pink fly and work most of the pools that interests us with quick strips. Salmon rose to the fly from the depths, attacked fly in the current among the rocks, and so on. The effectiveness of this method was 3-4 times higher than the usual wet fly. The fly had a metal cone un front and an elementary wing of a bunch of pink fur.
Immediately I want to note that the active presentation is well provoking also for resident fish. Therefore, activating your fly in the water ad constant strips gave us a good result, especially in the period before the water level rose.
However, with a further drop in water temperature to 8–9 degrees and an increase in its level, the effectiveness of these methods came to almost none, and we had to return to the traditional proven presentation methods that we use on Kola Peninsula, Russia.