Thursday, January 28, 2010

Trip to the Yudoma & Urak Rivers near Okhotsk (Lena R. drainage) - Part 1

Yudoma River is situated in the north of the Khabarovsk region, at the border with Sakha-Yakutia Republik.  The stream is over 800 km long; it begins from the glaciers of the highest area of the Suntar Khayata mountain ridge.  We had come to Okhotsk by 3.5 hour domestic flight (AN-24 plane) from Khabarovsk.  The idea was to float & fish the rivers of both the north & south slopes of the Arctic-Pacific divide.  The first leg of the route was 1.5 hour MI-8 helicopter fligh from Okhotsk.

Out of the chopper you see mostly mountains.  This territory is almost uninhabited by humans.  The highest point of the Suntar-Khayata Ridge is Mus-Khaya mtn (2995 m).  This is one of glaciated areas of the Russian Far East.  Image - Arka River, trobutary to the Okhota R. 

Helicopter is leaving, and the group stays with a pile of equipment at vast gravel bar of the Yudona River.

The broad valley of the Yudoma River has numerous lakes - they number 5,000! 
Most of them were never fished. 

Far from the river the larch forest looks "oppressed" due to the wet soil, permafrost, and harsh climate.

The water of the Yudoma was a little milky because of the runoff from the glaciers.

"The Yudoma Gates" is the most spectacular area of the whole river

We were moving downstream with 2 rubber rafts. 
In most places the river is not complicated and could be rated 2. 
There is only one area with serious falls (see Part 2).

On the second morning I had managed to land a little Siberian taimen. 
The fish had bitted a large "articulated" streamer. 

To be continued...

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