Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Manoma River, Amur River drainage. Part 1 - upper reaches of the river

Manoma River is tributary to the mighty Anyui R., which joins Amur River 200 km below Khabarovsk. Upper reaches of the Manoma are mountainous. This part of the stream is populated by selection of fish species which are typical for the "trout region" of the Far East: bluntnose lenok, sharpnose lenok, grayling, and Chekanovski's minnow.
In hot weahter of mid July it is a good idea to fish till the dark hours. In twilight you could expect bites from the most careful, older fish. Tributaries and side-channels of the Manoma River are small; here we catch mostly grayling
Creek fishing is rather hard and requires lots of hiking and climbing. The casting is difficult - in many areas there is no room for backcast. The best tackle in this situation will be 7' or 8', 3 or 4 weight rod. Here I am using only furled leaders: common tapered ones does not allow to present the fly properly. Chekanovski's minnow is biting small flies, if you present them in bays and sloughs of a creek Lower-Amur grayling is easy to distinguish from other grayling species by its rounded dorsal fin with two red strips along the upper edge. This is very bright fish, which do not grow big - unlike the Arctic grayling. Cherry salmon in the Manoma River is rare fish - Manoma and Anyui are the uppermost spawning area of this salmon in the Amur drainage. This large smolt is, probably, a dwarf male which has "decided" to go out into the salt water after one or several spawnings with anadromous females. Typical cherry salmon smolts are much smaller. Lenok is sitting mostly near the bottom; it is not possible to catch this "Siberian trout" with dry flies every day. By the subterminal mouth one can see that this is the sharpnose species of the Brachymystax genus. This fish bit a heavy nymph, imitation "something edible" - probably, scud.
This is the flybox of one of my friends. This fisherman can tie excellent superrealistic flies. Such fly models very popular in many regions of Siberia. The fish simply can not resist.

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