The Varzuga, Kola and Kitza ... Russia May/June 2011 - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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The Varzuga, Kola and Kitza ... Russia May/June 2011

some pics from Bob Meiser--narrative is his.
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The Varzuga, Kola and Kitza ... Russia May/June 2011
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This is the tailout at the far bank of Junction Pool ... Confluence of the Kola and the Kitza <> A classic tailout and very fishy !!!


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The rivers were running hard when we first arrived, but settled in nicely as the days went on.

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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We stayed with a family in the fishing village of Varzuga the first days of our adventure ... A beautiful and friendly place with a restored Russian Orthodox church that dated back to the 1600s.

This was probably taken at around 3:00 AM ... No sunset this time of year 150 +- miles north of the Arctic Circle.

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The fish in the Varzuga were smallish <> 5 to 9 ponds or so but quite plentiful <> Our transportation to the “Island”.

6’ high ice chucks were still plentiful on the banks of the Varzuga as she had only opened up a few weeks previous.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Jaap Kalkman with a fine 20 pounder ... Jaap’s first for the trip. This fish taken at Junction Pool at the Kola / Kitza confluence
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Lon Volberding with a heavy shouldered 30 lb + chromer from the Kola, his personal best.

We were only a few clicks from the ocean here so the fish were sea lice bright and real arsh kickers ... !!!

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Our friend and fearless leader Jeroen Whoe with his personal best also taken at the Junction Pool ... Jeroen swam a bit for this fat and spanky fish !!!

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... And Dave Wilder with the first larger fish taken on this adventure. This buck beached at Monica Pool on the Kola.

Dave always seems to be the ice breaker on our fishing trips <> Good on ya my friend ... };^) ... !!!




I cannot begin to explain what a great adventure this trip was.

It was great to meet and fish again with old Russian friends <> And beautiful new brides ... You did very well Evegeny ... };^) ... !!!

... And also to meet new friends as well <> Victor, Eger and Vladimar <> Thanks so much for the right flies.

The baked Salmon and generous rounds of hot tea, honey and Vodka was the ticket for a cold rainy day on the Varzuga !!!

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 05:41 PM
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Those are some good looking fish. You gotta love the still light at 3:00 AM thing we have going on right now, it makes getting up and heading out at 2 - 4 AM easy.

Ard

Kill the hens you kill the river.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 08:40 PM
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And now the rest of the story.

"Bob Meiser lost the biggest fish of the trip! It was a 40 pound Atlantic salmon that he lost by the beach! It was played out after 25 minutes and ready to be netted when the single hooked popped out! So Bob will be back next year to take revenge! Now it is personal! "

Quote from Jeroen Wohe


Pete
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 10:38 PM
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Revenge? Revenge for a great gift!!!? I would be saying a thankful prayer for having one like that in close so I could place its image in my brain to enjoy for the rest of my life! Who cares about "landing it"..."hero photo"...yada,yada...Overrated!!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2011, 10:57 PM
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It's All In The Wording;

Beau makes a good point regarding the choice of words. I can speak as a man who has had 'a lot' of big salmon escape when I thought it was all over except the smiling and things have a way of working themselves out.

Kill the hens you kill the river.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 04:52 AM
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I recognise some of those Kola/Kitza pools

& the stamp of fish is something to behold, especially in these first few days & weeks of the Russian season.

I can relate to losing a couple of large ones there too, of the same order of magnitude - indeed I had 2 'escape' of that approx size in just one week, both due to leader failure after abrasion, one almost at the net, and the other after trying to pull my arms off in the powerful flows!

Well done, & I can certainly understand the famous words of a Californian governors words - "I'll be back"!!!!

Mike

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles (spey rods). Doug Larson

Take only photographs, retain only memories, leave only a good impression of yourself, perhaps just footprints.

Your lines, your rivers, your way!
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2011, 10:31 AM
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Hey Robert,

Thanks for posting these pics

I know Pete meant well in his quote, as he fishes with Jeroen, so knows, understands and appreciates his heart felt humor and contagious energy.

Jeroen has spent over 10 seasons Salmon fishing the public waters on the Kola.

He knows who to connect with to minimize hassles, where to be, and when to be there to target the largest and brightest Salmon available ... And was willing to share that knowledge with a few lucky guys like myself.

I feel very fortunate to have been invited along.

Jeroen's on-going comment was "I cannot wait to see the look on your faces when you hook into a bright 30 pound Atlantic", and I know that one of the primary motivations for him was to give us the opportunity to share that very experience ... Because that's the way he is.

The waters we fished were not private camps <> They are public waters open to all as we have here on the Clearwater, the Umpqua, or the Manistee and you share bank space with anglers that gear fish as well as fly fish.

We did not stay in fancy digs.

We stayed with Russian families and local hotels. We all drank a lot, laughed a lot, ate well ... And although certainly the purpose for this adventure was to have the opportunity to catch large Atlantic's (And believe me, we fished our freaking brains out till our bones ached as we didn't come all that way just to sit on our arsh's !!!) ...

... But it also turned out to be an opportunity to share and experience just a small slice of life today with other Russian fly fisherman <> A life that has changed so dramatically from the Soviet/U.S. memories from both of our youths ... And I had only the most friendly of experiences with the Russian anglers that I met.

I don't know ... Call me sappy, but I thought that aspect of the trip alone was worth going back for to do again.

So I think Jeroen is right: It is personnel, and I will go back again with a bit of revenge in mind (hey I am a fisherman right ?!) ... But I know that I will primarily return for the whole of the experience itself.

... And maybe just maybe the Spey gods will give me the opportunity to actually kiss a 40 pound sea lice bright Atlantic at Junction Pool or Monica just one more time ... };^) ... !!!

P.S. Mike

I missed your flies I think by only a day or so ... But trust me <> They will go with me next Spring !!!

Meiz

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 03:05 PM
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here's to knowing the people behind the words

I recognize these pics from the Skeen River Lodge blog spot. I've also fished with Jeroen and getting people into big fish is his passion. I knew there had to be more to this story than simply large fish! Bob, thank you so much for filling it out for us. Call me sappy too.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeySpaz View Post
Attachment 17526
Jaap Kalkman with a fine 20 pounder ... Jaap’s first for the trip. This fish taken at Junction Pool at the Kola / Kitza confluence
Attachment 17527
Lon Volberding with a heavy shouldered 30 lb + chromer from the Kola, his personal best.

We were only a few clicks from the ocean here so the fish were sea lice bright and real arsh kickers ... !!!
Jaap Jeroen and rest of rods left not too much in river but we did our best
in tropical heat up to 28stC in first week and cold 4-7stC in second








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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laskier View Post
"Bob Meiser lost the biggest fish of the trip! It was a 40 pound Atlantic salmon that he lost by the beach! It was played out after 25 minutes and ready to be netted when the single hooked popped out! So Bob will be back next year to take revenge! Now it is personal! "

Quote from Jeroen Wohe


Pete
if 40pounder was ready to netted after 25min something was very wrong with this fish
normally you need at list this time for 20pounder if you lucky enought to landed such a fish
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 06:10 PM
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Klops ...

... Hey come on <> You know they'er all 40 pounders when they don't quite make it to the beach ... };^) ... !!!

Good to meet you guys.

Meiz

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-21-2011, 03:07 AM
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I know . it is also why I thinking in kilograms but tell about salmons always in pounds.
It sound much better . I also like C & R because such a fish still grooving .
But the best is to have good guide/ gillie who estimate weigh of fish.
It is why sometime is possible that 90cm fish has 25lb.

Any way this fish are extremely strong. Hard to believe but I had on Ura small fish 6-7lb on which I really
need to use a lot of attention to landed.

Yes it was nice to meet. Next year the same time the same place, I hope.
Also I have personal business to few submarines stolen my flies .
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