Thursday, October 27, 2011
Bystraya R., Kamchatka, September 2011
There are many rivers named Bystraya (swift) in Kamchatka. This particular Bystraya River is 275 km long. It is the main source of the Bolshaya River, flowing into the Sea of Okhotsk.
The river is easily reached by car and is popular among the fishermen of the peninsula. I was fishing the river with my friends, all flyfishermen. We were lucky with the water level and transparency.
The first fish was a spent female of Dolly Varden charr in full spawning colors. We were surprised that some charrs were already spawning - normally the species is reproducing in much colder water, in the end of September.
The next bite was from something bigger. Slow current in the pool made it possible to land this silver coho female with no difficulty.
I was fishing with a tiny (3 cm long with a tail) silver-and-purple wobbler fly, 3x tippet, and 5 wt 2-handed rod.
The fish was not tired and went home with ease.
We had moved to a different place and found some surface activity near the steep bank of a pool. My first fish was nice size grayling.
There was no room for backcasting, so we had to remember how to speycast
About noon the surface activity had disappeared, and we had started to fish with nymphs. My friend Arkady had hooked another Dolly Varden charr. It is interesting: in this new place most of the charrs were silver, fresh from the sea, and in the former one we were catching mostly dark and skinny, spent fish.
Arkady with a charr