Monday, June 28, 2010

Good size Siberian taimen with a fly, Tugur River, Russian Far East

In June 2010 I was lucky to participate in a float-trip in the Tugur River, which flows into the Sea of Okhotsk north from the Amur River.  Tugur is, I think, the best taimen river of the world.  Recently some fish over 40 kg were landed here.  The weather was rainy, and the water rather high and murky.

Regardless to non-favorable water conditions, I have landed a good size taimen: 137 cm (57") with 68 cm (27") girth.  Calculated weight - about 27 kg (60 pounds).  Tackle - 15' 10 weight rod, 15' sink tip, 0.42 mm tippet, 15 cm long "articulated" streamer.   

This is the fly

Sorry, no more details for now, I am going to Kamchatka!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Chile Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, Rio Moneta & Rio Chico

Rio Moneta & Rio Chico are crossing the non-paved Ruta Y79 of the Tierra del Fuego, Chile.  These are average size creeks which flow through tree-less pampa into the Atlantic. 

Rio Moneta is the source of the Rio Menendes, a tributary to the lower reaches of famous Rio Grande.  In the lower of Rio Menendes in Argentina it is posible to catch trophy sea-run trout.  In the Rio  Moneta in March we were able to catch only resident trout.  The fishing is easy; it could be done in snickers instead of waders. 

Brown trout was biting different streamers.  Presentation could be simple - cast into the riffle, let the fly be taken by the current into the head of the pool, and then start to strip. 

 Mounted gaucho herder and sheep are moving like an army 

Rio Chico near the road Y79 is bigger than Rio Moneta, but the both streams look very similar.  It is flowing into the Atlantic to the south from San Sebastian (Argentina).   This river is one of the many "Rios Chicos" of Patagonia.  During our trip we had visited 3 streams bearing the same name. 

 One of the trouts from Rio Chico

Armadillo is quite common in TdF pampa. 
This animal is running around looking for food, and looks like a toy with a motor. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sukpai River near Khabarovsk (Russian Far East) - June 6 - 10, 2010

Sukpai River is 150 km long; it is clear & swift mountainous stream, tributary to Khor River.  Khor joins Ussuri River, which is delimiting China and Russia and flowing into the Amur River near Khabarovsk.   We were floating the lower 100 km of Sukpai; the trip was 4 days long. 

At the starting point: 3 fishermen from Khabarovsk, 2 rubber boats and inflatable kayak.  

Tough job - selecting a proper fly out of thousands...

In the river we catch mostly Amur grayling and lenok(2 species).   This time grayling was not biting on the surface, and we were aiming at lenok.  Most of the fishing was done on the move - we were casting big weighted flies close to river banks.
Andrey has hooked something.  Big fish is necessary to bring to the bank for landing.

This was good size sharp-nose lenok, ...

... which was caught with a heavy "String Sculpin".  This fly is very efficient on our rivers.   

 I have tried a black Wooly Bugger from a moving kayak and caught some smaller lenok and a good grayling.  All fish were biting close to the shallow banks, where they were waiting for some food.   

Salmonfly (Pteronarcys) in Sukpai can be over 6 cm long.  Local fish love these huge stoneflies, which can be found in the stream around the year.  Lots of local flies are imitations of these insects.  The wingless nymphs crawl on the bank and then hatch.  Probably, the fish were waiting for these larvae on their way to the dry land.   

WE have decided to keep one lenok for food.  Its stomach content was a stonefly larva and a sculpin.  Now I can select good imitations of these animals!

 Sharp-nose lenok has bitten a big sculpin imitation.   

Siberian taimen is getting rare in Sukpai due to excessive fishing.   I had managed to land one small fish.  We release all taimen we catch. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Chile, Tierra del Fuego, middle part of Rio Grande - part 2

Along the river there are only a few trees, sowe were able to drive with our rods ready for action. 

Guanacos are very common, and they are not afraid of people.  Stefan during his sleep was almost stepped on by a careless animal. 

Sea-trout is strong fish; for landing it you spend at least a minute per pound.  Most of the holding areas were hard to cover with single-handed rods, especially in strong wind.  I was using 15' 2-handed rod.   

This fish weights about 3 kg; it could be a good trophy for Northern Europe; in Rio Grande this is an average catch.  Sea-run trout are biting mostly rather small flies.  Rubber-leg nymphs are among the best patterns. 

The flies selection for fishing Rio Grande could be limited to small wet flies and nymphs on #12-8 hooks.  In low water conditions the sea-run trout is biting mostly little flies.  Bigger flies (Wooly Buggers, String Leeches, Intruders) are used in periods with high water, and in limited light conditions.  They are also catching the majority of resident trout.   

This 70 cm silver fish was caught with a #10 Red Tag. 

Puff-balls near the river

In summer and fall the ibis is quite common in the open pampa

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Chile, Tierra del Fuego, middle part of Rio Grande

Famous Rio Grande begins in the western (Chilean) part of the Tierra del Fuego, crosses the island and flows into Atlantic Ocean.  On this shot Rio Blanco flows left to right and joins Rio Grande near a big beaver hut. 

Below the junction with Rio Blanco the Rio Grande becomes rather big; it is difficult to wade across it even in low water.

 The river meanders in wide open valley with only a few beech trees.  There are no willows in the floodplain. 

Flat terrases of the river allow driving with a 4WD truck. 

In the private stretches of the river there are not many fishermen. 

We were fihshing the Chilean part of Rio Grande - from the bridge at the Ruta 85 downstream to the border with Argentina.  The most numerous fish was resident brown trout.  The stream offers excellent trout fishing, but we were aimed at trophy sea-run trout.  This means, a bite of even good size resident trout was considereda nuisance...

Both resident and sea-run trout were biting black or other dark wet flies.  Most of resident fish were caught with big flies on #6-4 hooks.