Saturday, May 16, 2009

Yudoma River

Yudoma is a big river – it is 820 km long. Yudoma is the biggest tributary of the Maya River, which flows into Aldan. Aldan belongs to the Lena R. drainege. The name "Yudoma"comes from the word “edoma” which means “steep bank with deposits of ancient ice”. Exactly in the layers of this type of soils the frozen carcasses of wooly mammoth and other extinct animals were found.
Middle reaches of the yudoma River
Yudoma is very diverse: it has complicated falls (rated at least III), short canyon stretches, areas with “braids”, long deep pools with sandy bottom and slow current. The most interesting stretch of the river is 150 km from the Yudoma Gates (small spectacular canyon) to the Dikiy (Wild) Falls. The only way to get to the river is helicopter charter from Okhotsk. The upper part of the drainage is not populated. Here there are only some native Even reindeer herders. The river valley has about 5000 lakes.
Unloaded helicopter comes up, and the group is left on the gravel bar on small pile of gear
"The Gates" - the most spectacular part of the river "Braided" area with numerous channels "Wild Falls"
Fishermen go through the "Wild Falls"
The river has typical fish fauna of mountainous Siberian streams: taimen, sharp-nose lenok, Arctic grayling, whitefish, and burbot. Numerous lakes of the wide valley of the Yudoma host Northern pike, yellow perch, and roach. The fish density in the main river channel in summer is rather low - most of Salmonids spend warm part of the year in tributaries.

This little taimen was landed with "Articulated Streamer" Sharp-nose lenok from the Telgi River, tributary to Yudoma

Northern pike is numerous in slow backwaters, and can be caught in the main stream as well
Trophy yellow perch was found only on some lakes

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tunguska River float-trip & fishing - May 2009 (Amur River drainage)

Kur River is 434 km long. After junction with Urmi River it forms 90 km long Tunguska River which joins Amur River at its left bank, opposite from the city of Khabarovsk. On May 8-10, 2009 I have made 3-day float-trip on the Tunguska River. I was using inflatable kayak "Timan" made by "Drakar", Lithuania.
The Tunguska River is big & slow, has no riffles, and sandy bottom.
The morning was cold, and there was fog on the sunrise
The most numerous fish in catches was sawbelly, surface-feeding small Cyprinid fish. It is common prey of most of the Amur predators.
This is three-lip, a small strange looking predatory fish from the Amur.
Catfish were feeding on shallow sandbars. I was catching them with dark or red streamers, presented close to the bottom. This fish can feed any time - day or night.
Catfish is very strong fish - even stronger than some Salmonids...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tugur River - home of Siberian taimen

Siberian taimen in the Tugur River can be rather big. This healthy-looking fish was landed in September 2008.
The Tugur River basin is practically unpopulated (there is one small village near the river mouth), there are no roads (except winter roads). There is no mining and tree-cutting here too. There are 23 species of freshwater fishes in the river, including such numerous populations like chum, pink salmon, lenok and Siberian taimen.
Tugur River is flowing into the western part of the Sea of Okhotsk; its mouth is situated near the Shantar archipelago. The main source of the river is called Konin; it is rather slow forest-type stream with colored water & only few side-channels. Its main tributary, Munikan, is swift and has many log-jams. Below the confluence with the Assyni River the Konin River turns almost 180°. It’s direction is sharply changing from the southern to the north-eastern. Slow-flowing Konin becomes swift stream with numerous channels & log-jams. Only from this point the river has the "official" name Tugur.
Tugur below the confluence of the Konin R. with the Assyni R.
Upstream view to the confluence of the Konin R. (middle) & the Assyni R. (on the left).
The same confluence in big flood. Assyni R. is murky, and the dark water of the Konin R. is almost clear.
Huge unpassable log-jam at the Konin R. requires long portage through the dense forest...
129 cm taimen landed with a streamer in the evening (Konin R.)
My longest fish landed in the Tugur River (133 cm)
Oleg Abramov (oufitting firm "Krechet" from Khabarovsk) is happy - it was hard to land this 135 cm fish!