Springer on Tour - Ponoi 2010

Springer

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Part 4.

I found the fishing at Ryabaga interesting and varied. It is a big river just like Yokanga, in places 200yds wide! This may sound daunting but once you look at it as a series of rivers running side by side it makes getting you head around its sheer size quite easy. In places it narrows but is seldom less than 80yds wide which really does make it a big river.

One of the advantages of the sheer size of the river is how much room the fish have to run. I saw fish take 150yds of line in one strong run in a good current, I have seldom seen this in the UK. Having a fish holding fast in a good flow this far away certainly makes you think very closely about how you play them.

This 15lber took me 150yds the first run then when I got it back to within 30yds of me it took another 100yds. Landing it after such a tussle in front of the guide with my fishing partner filming it was a real buzz, it was covered in long tailed lice.





On his way back, safe journey


I mentioned earlier just how aggressive I found these fish to be, sadly this accounted for far more bleeders than I have ever experienced before. I would expect in the UK to have to kill around 1 in 10 salmon because they are deeply hooked and bleeding heavily from the gills. Im my week I had to kill at least a dozen fish out of the 43 I landed which would not have survived had they been given a chance, my boat partner didnt have quite so many but still far more than our UK average. None of these salmon were wasted though, all went back to the kitchen and were used to feed the 70 or so people in the camp. Somedays we enjoyed a bit for lunch which was a real treat, fresher salmon you will never get.








A few pictures of the things I saw each day.












Home Pool


I was often very lucky to have a very talented photographer in the vicinity when I hooked a fish, I will be framing these next few pictures in a series and the epitomise my memories of Ponoi. Many thanks Tarquin :cool:











How cool are they? :)

More to follow...
 

DEEROD

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Excellent Stuff Alan

The Ponoi is very very like the Yokanga in some of those photos .

It does seem a little mad the strengh of the fish for all the size of them , will def give them a go sometime :)
 

Brian Whitelaw

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Alan....i might get banned from the Forum for even suggesting this....:eek:....i realise that the fish you were catching is a different 'species' to our salmon....but to my very 'amateur' eye they look shorter, deeper bodied....and i have no reason to disbelieve thier 'fighting prowess'........but i would personally put none of them in the same class 'look's wise' and certainly not as pretty as our own home bred salmon.........i will pick up my coat on the way out.....:eek::eek::eek:
 

Springer

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Alan....i might get banned from the Forum for even suggesting this....:eek:....i realise that the fish you were catching is a different 'species' to our salmon....but to my very 'amateur' eye they look shorter, deeper bodied....and i have no reason to disbelieve thier 'fighting prowess'........but i would personally put none of them in the same class 'look's wise' and certainly not as pretty as our own home bred salmon.........i will pick up my coat on the way out.....:eek::eek::eek:

Hi Brian,

They are Atlantic salmon and indeed the very same species as the ones we catch in Scotland. Of course certain rivers have sometimes a quite distinctive shape/style of fish, I found Ponoi to be as varied and any other river I have fished. I have caught fish in England and Scotland every bit as pretty but none which fight quite the same pound for pound. I know others on the forum who from experience have experienced the same.

As for looks I think these examples are as good as any Ive seen anywhere.









Dee,

The power to weight ratio of these Osenka's is specifically because they have an even harder task to reach spawning than even our January springers. These silver Osenka's will not spawn until November 2011 and will live under the ice which arrives this November until it breaks in May. They will have gone without any food for around 14 months so they are natures finest, packed with muscle and high reserves of body fat. Thats what gives them the legendary fighting power.

I have now caught then on two different Russian rivers and have found their fighting spirit to be the same. I cant imagine hooking into a 30lb specimen :eek:
 

inland

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Springer,

Single hooks will all but solve the bleeders. But there goes the landing rate....

Thank you for the excellent report.

One of these years...

William
 

Beel

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Springer,

What a fantastic experience, I'll need to put a few more pennies in the piggy bank every week now!! (And work on a weeks pass!)

One thing that is puzzling me is the tape on the fingers of your left hand that is visible in a few photo's - what is the reason for this?

Thanks

Beel
 

spruce

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stripping guards to protect the finger from the thin running line when using shooting heads, I should imagine.
 

Springer

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stripping guards to protect the finger from the thin running line when using shooting heads, I should imagine.


Yes that's right.

The fish seemed to like the fly fished fast so after a whole day stripping running line it pays to protect your fingers.
 

Springer

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During the week at Ryabaga there was a great camaraderie amongst the rods, the guides and the entire camp staff. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff and it was great to chill out with a beer during the evenings with the guides and fellow rods. The talk was always about which beat had fished well that day and what tactics, flies etc had done the business.

Every evening at dinner we were given a very accurate account of the days fishing and we could look over that days catch return. Every day some rods would have had an 18lb'er or so amongst their catch, sadly for me 15lb was my biggest for the week but there was a good number of fresh 12lb+ fish caught each day.

Dinner, usually five courses of excellent food.


Evening entertainment was improvised skittles, sometime going on until 2am!


Heaven by lamplight


Back on the river the fish just kept coming.

Sometimes a kipper


Sometimes a bar of silver


And sometimes both at the same time!




Everyone who got up early to fish Home Pool was rewarded at one time or another with a real pristine fish, here was Kevin's






More to follow...
 

Springer

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To be honest Dee I cant remember, so many fish!

I would have said the angle was a bit deceiving and the fish was 14-16lb.
 

Springer

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A few more pictures.

Who ate all the pies? Plump to say the least.


I hooked this fish in a pocket of water around 20'x20' right in the middle of a series of strong rapids. I was probably more pleased about landing this fish than any other because when I hooked it both the guide and my fishing buddy said "you'll do well to hand on to this guy". Trying to tire a good strong fish without letting it run was a challenge but one I was up for. 10 minutes of constantly knocking it off balance while keeping it on a tight line did the trick ;)


A couple of casting shots.






Early mornings were often a bit chilly but well worth getting up for.


Here's my Michelin Man impression :eek:


This one's not for migraine sufferers


As fresh as they come.


 

K-Spey

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Hi Springer,

Just wondering which of the century models did you find yourself using during your stay on the ponoi, Was it all shooting head work ?

Looks like an awesome trip:D

Tks, K.
 
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Springer

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Hi Springer,

Just wondering which of the century models did you find yourself using during your stay on the ponoi, Was it all shooting head work ?

Looks like an awesome trip:D

Tks, K.

Almost all of my salmon fishing these days is shooting head work of one kind or another, especially if I dont know what I might encounter conditions wise. I had a 12'9 set up with a 42g head and a 13' with a 650 skagit. My fishing partner had 2 x 16' rods and landing fish in the boat was a real chore for him.

My short rods killed the fish far quicker and were much less strain over a week. A 14' rod is a long one for me these days.
 

crispin

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Great set of pics Alan!

Did you feel that the bright sun and blue sky was really working against you or did it not seem to slow down the sport?
 

Springer

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Great set of pics Alan!

Did you feel that the bright sun and blue sky was really working against you or did it not seem to slow down the sport?

It was rare for long periods of bright sunshine but most of the time it was shining upstream so had little effect. On Yokanga in July there was a distinct downturn in action during long bright afternoons when the sun was shining downstream.
 

wilbert

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Alan I really like the B&W pic even if it does make your head spin, reminds me of navigating for my mate on night rallys, map, road, map, head spin ,feel sick ,deep breaths, never puked but been close!

What have you done to get the "rush effect" as it reallt draws your eye to the main object which is the spanking fresh fish.
 

Springer

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What have you done to get the "rush effect" as it really draws your eye to the main object which is the spanking fresh fish.

Sorry Dave Ive just seen this.

Of course I didnt take the picture as its me in it. I have spoken with Tarquin Millington-Drake who actually took the picture. He tells me that the shot is taken while zooming out from the focused subject which was the fish.

Tarquin took a number of pictures of me fishing/playing fish/casting over the week. I was gobsmaked to find a parcel containing a 3'x1' canvass print of this beauty arrive with the posty. Its not often Im lost for words but this was one of them.



This will take pride of place in my study, cheers Buddy :cool:
 

Grilse Boy

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awesome

The scenery and the fishing look simply awesome can you not get a forum deal:D;);) Alan, fill a plane and book a beat for 50 forum members at £500 a pop and make some happy members :D:D:D:D:confused:;):D:D
 

Springer

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After a couple of weeks back at home I have now been able to reflect on this trip in a more even way. When you return fresh from a trip like this you are buzzing, you remember the good, all of the fish and none of the bad or not so good bits.

Over the last couple of weeks I have spoken to some of the rods I went out with about the whole experience. Ive looked back over my video's and pictures and allowed myself to escape from some of life's boring and mundane tasks by letting my mind wander back to Ryabaga.

I couldnt find any bad, simply because there wasnt any. Everything about this trip was perfect. The camp with its magical charm, the staff who tried so hard to make you feel comfortable and take care of all your needs. The guides who did everything to put me onto fish which they most certainly achieved. Last but by no means least my boat partner and fishing buddy Martin Vainer. We couldnt possibly have came from more different backgrounds yet a simple common passion and a good sense of humour saw us having a scream day after day, Ryabaga wouldnt have been the same without him. :cool:

For me there is more to salmon fishing than just catching fish. The places we visit, the things we see and the people we meet all go into making a good trip. However with the consistency of catches that Ryabaga offers throughout the season you will be sure to get the icing on the cake too.

I thought this pic was a good one to finish with. :)



For anyone who is interested I will be going out again in 2011, I have places available and would be delighted to have you join me. Expressions of interest to alanmaughan05@aol.com or by PM here.
 

phatagrova

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Springer sounds a great experience , and a few nice photos of the Century rods, what would of been the main fly lines you used on the trip
 

Springer

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Springer sounds a great experience , and a few nice photos of the Century rods, what would of been the main fly lines you used on the trip

Floating lines with various poly leaders were the norm. I did also use a skagit a few times just to get a bit deeper in some of the faster water. In July/Aug it is often full floaters and surface flies.
 
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