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. 

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