Few years ago, my old friend and experienced angler, Giovanni, told me that he would love to fish here, on Kamchatka, on the surface of the water. He asked me to show him places where he could hunt for rainbow trout and char. I was not very surprised but still It was a little odd as most people would ask where to catch big salmon and many of them. I love surface fishing and Kamchatka was a perfect place for it, so I said to Giovanni, ‘Lets go!’
Practically, pacific salmon and even char (dolly warden) still prefer flies that are under the surface and close the bottom of the river. In contrast to the Atlantic salmon, local Kamchatka Coho salmon and Chum do not show a particular desire to rise to the surface and attack our flies. Therefore, I believed that the main objects for fishing poppers and mouse patterns would be rainbow trout, kundza and char. Lets talk this time about Rainbow trout.
Watching how your mouse move across the stream, giving it few little strips and suddenly Booom! Huge rainbow swallows mouse and aggressively run downstream giving few amazing jumps. Wow, your adrenaline is up and hands shaking. Sometimes they miss and attack few times in one go.
Young anglers, as always, are full of pessimism about the experience and opinions of their seniors ;). But over the years, they also understand that it’s not the number of fish or the weight, but how you fish and what you fish. And I was not surprised when Vasil Junior started talking about fishing on surface flies in Kamchatka. He spent another season on the Icha river in Kamchatka and was impressed how much emotions fishing for rainbow trout on the surface can get. Let me share his thoughts on the process while he was preparing for the next season.
The period of the greatest activity of rainbow trout in Kamchatka is July and first half of August. At this time, most rivers of Kamchatka are still not full of salmon (coho, chum, sockeye etc) and trout has space and actively feeding in the best spots. Rainbows stay in best places, which are easily determined with some experience. Any shelter can be already determined as a good spot for them. Stones, fallen trees, pockets of the main channel and inflows are all potential fishing grounds. Particularly interesting, islands and branches of the river with steep banks. Even in small branches, unexpectedly large fish can be found.
Somehow, in an area of 45km privately owned by Icha river lodges, small trouts are not caught. The average weight of rainbow trout here is 1.5 - 2 kg, a good trout has a weight of 2-2.5 kg, it is very pleasing to catch 3 kg fish and legends say some fish up to 3.5 - 4 kg were caught but very hard to find them.
When mass of salmon appears on the Icha river, rainbows pushed out from the most convenient places, still trying to stand under the cover of stones, deeper parts of the side streams, under the fallen trees. But to compete with countless herds of salmon is difficult and a lot of trout goes into smaller channels and branches of the river. Here, fishing for them becomes even more interesting and exciting.
As a fly, you can use almost anything that float. This can be a mouse or grasshopper imitation, a bomber or other floating patterns. Here you have the right to choose. The same applies to the presentation of the fly. Vasil Junior prefers natural presentation of the fly using a mouse pattern. He chooses a side pocket of the river with some stones or fallen tree where the flow slows down. After casting across the river, the water gradually picks the line and accelerates the mouse in a small bend. While moving, the fly (mouse) leaves a provocative disturbance on the surface of the water. Any surface fly would work in such a way, the bend of your line that makes your fly move across the stream disturbing and provoking fish is very important. You can also add some strips with flopping on the water and so on. There are so many ways to revitalize the work of the fly.
What I would pay attention to is the position of the angler in the water relative to the trout spot and the direction of casting, which determines the angle and speed of the fly. These details effect work of your fly and the probability of trout attack. Attacks are different. Sometimes you can see how they miss your fly and come back for it or maybe they just try to scary it and miss it intentionally. Often, rainbow trout vigorously swallow your fly and run downstream like a rocket. These are the most emotional moments of catching any fish here in Kamchatka.
This is an extremely fast-moving and jumpy fish. Whenever possible, it tries to escape, using the current or hide along the bank. In my opinion, the main problem with playing this fish is that soft gear designed for 2-3 kg fish are not sufficient enough to fight rainbow, especially on fast moving water. Often the bigger fish run down the river and get off the hook after a series of jumps.
And one more thing: if you fish for rainbows staying in the fast water, use a net to land fish. Without a net, you will have a hard time looking for a good spot to land and tail the fish. Many fishing rods were broken in attempts to land hard fighting rainbow to the bank.
We have several rods available for 2019 season. Give us a message!
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