Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Yama River, Sea of Okhotsk

 The river is about 300 km long.
 The river flows through the wide valley, filled with pebbles, and forms numerous channels and islands.
 The valley is grown with sparse larch forest, has many marshy areas 
 The best fishing in the Yama River is done by floating the river by inflatable rafts. 
 Tent camp of a group of fishermen at the gravel island
 Brown bears are plentiful at the Yama banks during the salmon run
 Yama River hosts 3 (!) different species of anadromous charrs:  Dolly Varden (top), white-spotted charr (bottom), and endemic yellow-mouth charr (Levanidov's charr) - Salvelinus levanidovi.    
 Chum is the most numerous salmon of the river; the spawners number hundreds of thousands.  Most of chum are spawning 30-150 km from the sea both in the main river and in its tributaries.   
Arctic grayling in the Yama River can be huge: this 53 cm female had weight 1800 grams. 

To be continued...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

New "fly" - Anti-wobbler

When working with wobbler flies (see the post dated January 12, 2010), I had made several ones with a blade put “wrong way” - it was directed to the water surface.  Here you can see "normal" wobbler-fly (bottom) and Anti-wobbler (top).
What did I want to get?  Just a new type of a surface skater.  When I was testing them in the water,  some of the flies with an upright blade were showing much more complicated behavior than just coming to the surface and skating.  Some of the sinking varieties during retrieve had characteristic “hunting” movements – wide sweeping action.   These were the flies of completely new type. 
The base of Anti-wobbler consists  of a hook and plastic blade; attached with 0,1 mm mono line & clear glue. The best blades are concave ones; I make them out of disposable syringes.    When the glue will be dry, you could built on this hook with a blade any fly: streamer, imitation of squid, prawn, leech, or insect larva. 

 On this simple base you could tie Anti-wobblers of 3 main types: 1- with a foam back, 2 - Matukka style with a back out of a feather,  and 3 - the simplest fly  which has only hook, blade, body & tail.   All 3 flies below imitate little Cyprinid fish; I use them for catching pelagic predators in the Amur River.    

Anti-wobbler is excellent choice for catching pink salmon in the Sea of Okhotsk, far from fresh water.

This fly was most effective on that day - yellow skinny Anti-wobbler.  

Anti-wobblers were catching pink salmon in the river as well.

 Fresh silver pink salmon often jumps when feeling a hook. 

School of salmon running up Ola River near Magadan

Sunset at the Amur River.  Anti-wobbler could be presented near the bottom, in the middle layers of water, under the surface, and on the surface as a skating fly.   

On the base of Anti-Wobbler (blade & hook) you can tie any streamer, fantasy fly, leech, or nymph. The tail is usually made out of marabou or soft synthetics, sometimes with some flashy fibers.  Comparing with normal wobbler flies, anti-wobblers do not need the buoyant foam back; many of them I make with no foam at all.  

Anti-wobbler is one of the best flies for skygazer from the Amur River.

On some days this strange fly works much better than any spinning lures.   
Fine-tuning of the Wobbler flies and Anti-wobblers is done same way: by cutting the blade.  It is necessary to get flies with a stable wiggling action on retrieve.  A good fly is not falling on one of the sides, and is not rotating even on strong current. 
There is one more option – using a floating Anti-wobbler with foam back with sinking line in shallow areas.  The line goes on the bottom, and the fly is moving above it.  This is one of the best approaches to predators of big rivers.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lago Fagnano, Tierra del Fuego, Chile

 We are heading to the south of the Tierra del Fuego Island.  The road is literally cut in the rocks. 
Finally the long-awaited Lago Fagnano is visible from a mountain pass.  At the pass we see the first snow.  

This huge lake is 100 km long and up to 500 m deep.  In the first evening we were able to fish the lake - the wind was very mild.  I was lucky to land a very unusually looking rainbow trout. 
 The fish was very strong, rather skinny and bright silver - with no pink strips on its sides.
 About 9/10 of the Fagnano Lake belongs to Argentina; we have visited the western, Chilean part.  Here there is the lake outlet - short Rio Azopardo. 
Rio Azopardo is swift and powerful; its water is very clear.  There are rumors on huge sea-run brown trout which are caught in this stream.   The wading was tough - in most areas the stream was way too deep. 
I was able to catch a fat brook trout.  This fish is probably coming into the river out of the lake for feeding or spawning. 
 Good size rainbow trout was caught far from the bank with a nymph on a floating line

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

TdF: King Penguins at the Magellan Strait

 We were driving along the treeless north-western coast of the Tierra del Fuego. 
Near the road there was a nicely carved wooden sculpture of the Indians in a canoe.

We stopped at the bridge to fish the lower part of a small creek near its mouth.  For over a kilometer the stream was flowing along the sea.   

Small trout caught in the stream had silvery tint on the sides.  
Probably it was going out into the salt water for feeding.

From a distance I see my friends speaking with some other fishermen

These were king penguins

Two groups of these amazing birds were resting at the shore

My friend Arthur had decided to make some casts.  
The penguins did not want to watch these awkward attempts to catch something...