Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sakhalin Island, Evai R. & Chaivo Bay, Part 1

I had started to float the Evai River below the bridge - near the road from Nogliki to Okha. In its lower reaches the stream is deep & slow, it is meandering through the dark spruce forest. The fish population consists of salmon, sea-run taimen, charrs & Pacific redfin. In July the stream was almost enpty - all species of local fish are anadromous, and in summer they feed in the salt water.
Near Chaivo Bay there is no forest along the river, which is dividing into several channels

Chaivo Bay is shallow; in low tide it is less than 1 meter in many places, and in some areas there is no water at all. In the background of the image you could see marine sand-spit; behind it is Sea of Okhotsk. Along the coast of north-eastern Sakhalin in July marine water was cold - about 5*C. I have started to fish on high tide from the anchored kayak; the depth was 120-150 cm. My main quarry should be bottom-dwellers, so I was fishing with full-sinking line and pink wooly bugger. During retrieve the fly was crawling right on the bottom. The first fish was marine sculpin. Starry flounder is very numerous in the Chaivo Bay. In Russia this fish always lays with its left side on the bottom; both eyes are at the right, dark side of fish. Both sides of starry flounder are covered by spiny, round bone plates. In the hands it feels like sandpaper. Comparatively to its size it is a strong fish.

To be continued...

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