Monday, November 30, 2009

Now it is winter in my home town

November in Khabarovsk is the first month of winter. Normally it is quite cold: about -20*C with wind. No flyfishing is possible. I like to tie flies and dream of warm summer, but I can not manage completely without fishing. So, when I can not flyfish I do icefishing. It goes for 5 months - only in April it will be possible to start to flyfish again - in the ice-holes on swift streams.
Amur whitefish is a predatory species. It is spending summers in cool tributaries of the Amur River, and migrates down into the main river in the late fall. This fish is among the species which are active unter the ice.
The freezing of the Amur River starts with moving slash-ice and fall ice-flood. After freezing the whole river is covered with ice-hummocks. In winter the wide and flat valley of the Amur River near Khabarovsk looks like desert. This desert is partly covered by ice, partly - by sand. This fish (Amur barbel or skin-carp) belongs to the Carp family (Cyprinidae). In Russian it is called "horse" due to the shape of its head. Skin-carp is among the species which are active under the ice. When it is really cold the best way to fish is to use a tent with fire-wood stove. This image shows winter fishing near Magadan at 60* North. In the Taui River we catch Arctic grayling and charr. In the first part of November near Khabarovsk there is normally no snow on the ground.
This time you could often see the fires - dry grass is burning.