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KHARLOVKA, LITZA, RYNDA, RUSSIA, JUNE 2014

Last year my stay at the Rynda was enjoyable because of the weather. Almost always, the sun was shining, the temperature rose to 30 degrees. I fished only wearing a T-Shirt and enjoyed it, with floating line on the surface or fishing close to it.

We were told at that time that was unusual weather at Kola. For salmon fishing are really bad conditions: the salmon like no sun and certainly not warm water. So I had some of my success last year after dinner, after the sun had shortly disappeared behind the hill.

I think back of the weather – I wish to have it again – when I am travelling in June 2014 for a week at the Kharlovka and Eastern Litza and for a second week to the Rynda River.

At home before I leave I look at the weather report: totally different conditions! The weeks of the spring's first catch reports show that 2014 it is different. There is changeable weather: A day of sun and warm and the next day snowfall and freezing cold. . The water temperature goes from ice cold to max 10 degrees; Rynda and Kharlovka have so much water and still rising.

I fly again over Helsinki with an overnight stay at the Hilton then continue to Murmansk. From there we continue to the Kharlovka with a large ex-military helicopter.

We land first at the Rynda. I am terrified when I see the water level on the home pool. The river is really high! The water is transparent and super fishable, but the river has real speed.

Kharlovka and Eastern Litza are salmon rivers in prime time for the best Atlantic, they may even be number 1 worldwide.

The lodge is first class. Everyone has their own log cabin with bathroom, service and food are very good.

Upon arrival, we are then briefed: weather and especially water level make for difficult conditions. Many pools are not fishable; swapping with the boat to the other side of the river is too dangerous; the water is cold, surface biting activity most unlikely. So we all fish with sinking lines and big flies.

Calendar Week 25 Kharlovka

Helicopter. I fish with Johannes, a Berliner artist, and with guide Sasha. The lot had decided: we should get going after the briefing. We get dressed and start around 18:00 flying out to the Litza tent camp and stay overnight there. Johannes fishes well and was already three times at Kharlovka and Litza.

On the arrival at the Litza tent camp, we go a few hundred metres upstream and begin at the Spawning pool.

I have a super start and after the fifth cast I hook a salmon with 17 pound, which I also land. It cannot start better!

Litza and Kharlovka are a dream for every salmon fisherman. – A natural jewel in the middle of no man's land, clean and natural, a pristine tundra landscape.

Week 25 was extremely challenging because of the weather. The temperature is constantly changing, often it is freezing cold. There is ice rain and is generally mostly wet. But the water level goes constantly down, the possibilities of catching good fish increases. In this week 14 rods catch 96 salmon despite bad weather and water level conditions. I have 10 salmon, Johannes 7. We're both sometimes catch daily prize kelts.

Johannes, my partner, however had literally leased the luck and is catching almost only thick pieces: at the Military a 36 pounder (Osenka) and even a 30-pounder at the Snowbank. The 36-pounder Osenka was especially a super fish. Nice that I did live to see it!

Almost all the salmon are silver coloured and full of sea lice, so totally fresh in the river. The drills are sometimes extreme, because of the high water level the fish are hard to hold, if they go in the current.

I should have spent week 26 at the Rynda. I experienced however that the conditions at the Rynda are bad. Because of the still high water levels the salmon are not able to pass the home pool waterfall and cannot move upwards. So only the lower section of the River can be fished in rotation with the rods. In the current week, 30 salmon were caught at the Rynda.

When there is a late cancellation in the Kharlovka, I take the opportunity to stay there the second week. I meet with John, an American, and we both had a great week.

Calendar Week 26 Kharlovka

The first two days it becomes slightly warmer; the water temperature rises to 11 degrees, the water level drops back considerably. We can now wade into many places in the river, and new cast angles and other possibilities open up.

Towards the end of the week, then strong wind comes up, and it gets cold again. Nevertheless we notice that we catch more and more fish and hardly any kelts as in the first week.

This week, I have a great day result with seven caught salmon at Litza and a super day at the Golden pool on the Kharlovka with eight hooked fish and five landed in just an afternoon. My Guide Dima, who together with me waded chest deep into the middle of the river at Cross Pool, helped me to my new personal best 25 pound salmon. He told me the exact location. After an extremely demanding and long drill we then landed the super fish!

My best fly this year – a Templedog of slim binded stainless steel tube – called Dima slim Beaty bitch. She’s catching really well, I hardly change.

I'm going fishing next year again at the Kharlovka – that is clear for me now!

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