Saturday, August 6, 2011
Ussuri River, first day of August 2011
Ussuri is a big right tributary of the Amur River; it is 897 km long. Along its middle & lower part Ussiri delimits Russia (right bank) and China. Two rivers meet in downtown Khabarovsk. Ussuri water is normally more clear than in the Amur.
About 5 in the morning I was at the Ussuri R in the southern part of Khabarovsk. The city downtown is 5 km downstream from me. It was still completely dark. Some fish were chasing fingerlings & splashing near the very bank. I had started to fish with a pearl Antiwobbler (see )with no foam and caught some small size skygazers (Erythroculter erythropterus). On a floating line this fly becomes a skater, and below the surface on retrieve it has a wobbling action and comes to the surface (http://flyfishingrussia.blogspot.com/2010/12/new-fly-anti-wobbler.html). Silver-and-pearl Antiwobblers is one of the best "flies" for the pelagic Amur River predators. Due to its active vibrations the fish can "feel" them even in murky water or in darkness.
The area where I was fishing is a gravel spit between a riffle and a bay with a back-current. The eddy forms a hole on the distance of 20-40 meters from me.
With the daylight the fish start feeding farther from the bank. I had shifted from a 9' rod to a double-handed one, with a floating head &15' sink tip. The fly was the same. The first bites were from Mongolian redfin. It is a beauty! The scientific name of the redfin is Erythroculter mongolicus.
Mongolian redfin (below) looks similar to the flathead asp (Pseudaspius leptocephalus) which dwells in the same river. The easiest way to distinguish the species is a long sharp spine in the dorsal fin of the redfin: asp has no such spine.
Amur three-lip (Opsariichthys uncirostris amurensis) is a small, avaricious predator. It is often biting flies & lures prepared for much bigger fish species.
About 8 AM I see mighty splashes - these should be the yellowcheek (Elopichthys bambusa). I am changing the sink tip to the clear, intermediate one. The fly is still the same.
This is a little yellowcheek - the biggest ones can reach 2 meters long! The fish is very strong; its bite feels like powerful pull, and the first run of even a small fish is dangerous for the tackle.
Powerful jaws of yellowcheek have no teeth - it is one of the Carps. To kill its prey the jaws have cutting edges and a know at the lower jaw - similar to European asp.
Powerful forked tail is much wider than the fish body.
This is the Antiwobbler which was working the best on that day