Unofficial, but as I have just returned from fishing the Kharlovka (week 29), and we met the group from the Rynda at the pick-up back to Murmansk, I can speak with a little authority.
Week 28 @ Kharlovka returned 152 salmon & grilse (sizes unknown, but approx 40% were summer grilse).
Week 28 @ Rynda - unknown to me, & I didn't ask!
Week 29 @ Kharlovka - 1st half of week was very hot (between 28 and 31 C) & blazing sunshine, gradually falling water, and steady water temp. around 16 to 18 C. 2nd half of week we got an icy blast right off the Barent sea, wind, cloud and rain, with air temps falling to 10 or 11 C, and water temp down to 10 to 12 C. Despite the huge change, 151 salmon & grilse landed, largest 24 or 25lbs, (large numbers of fish coming to all flies & bombers, a lot of 'picky' pulls, and many fish lost before nets) - so a very active week. Probably about 35-40% grilse.
Week 29 @ Rynda (same weather system) - 199 salmon & grilse netted up to 23 or 24lbs. Unsure as to ratio salmon to grilse.
Weather had sort of stabilised by end of week, so it was looking very promising for week 30.
There is approx 50% chance your digital camera will not function after it is dipped in the river if you happen to lose your footing! Mine worked again after 4-5 hours of slow drying after immersion, but Bud's camera did not fare so well and didn't work again at all! Advice 1. slippery polished algae covered smooth round granite boulders are to be respected at all times 2. put the precious little device in a sealed plastic pouch in a high pocket when wading with it, or 3. leave the camera in your knapsack on the bank!
Some flies to take & use :- (in no particular order of preference)
Willie Gunn on small/med copper tubes (up to 1.5")
Black Bear Green Butt on #8/10 double
Yellow mini tubes - plastic or brass bottle
std orange Ally's Shrimp - #8/10 double
Green Highlander - #8/10 double
Black Francis shrimp on small/med copper tubes (up to 1.5")
weighted Stonefly Nymph #8 single hook in green or black
Large traditional single hook flies - 1/0 or 2/0
Sunray Shadow - always worth a pop
Bombers - green & brown bodied - great action!!
Skated or hitched tubes - Stoat's tail or black bodied/black hairwing tube
Some tips :-
Don't ignore the really fast water
Try the smallest of pockets of water for a few casts, don't pass by
Fish may take to smallest of 'picks' at the fly, but will often repeat to take properly
Often worth a change of fly over the same cast if a fish gives a small pick or pull at the fly, or when a fish shows to a bomber.
Beware of a pull 'on the dangle' at the end of the cast, and on just starting to retrieve for the next cast
I'm looking forward to returning in 4 weeks time to the Rynda.
Week 29 is clearly a different ball game than week 23. I caught a 27lb'er on a two inch brass tube fly, with another two inch brass tube above that and finished off with three large tungsten beads above that. All attached to a tungsten impregnated shooting head system.
Back from Iceland and heading out to Kharlovka again next week.
For Kharlovka and Eastern Litza I can report the following to date.
1073 Salmon & Grilse have been landed so far. This is an improvement of 26% over 2005 and an increase of 8.1% over the five year average. There has been an increase in the number of grilse to 29% of the total catch. The average weight of all salmon currently stands at 15.1 lbs. The best 55 with an average weight of approximately 30 lbs. The 5 largest salmon are recorded at 43, 39, 37, 37 & 36 lbs.
Rynda has fished very well with similar numbers but a smaller overall size as is the norm. We have good conditions for fishing and are hopeful of a potential record season.
If you are heading out you may find some helpful tactical info. on the following link
Thanks for the report Gordon. That Litza fish sounds just awesome - look forward to hearing more about that! What are the conditions like out there at the moment - any problems with heatwaves this year? Are there any particular killer tactics?!?
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