RUSSIA - THE PONOI RIVER - RYABAGA CAMP - WEEK 15 REPORT - ANOTHER RECORD WEEK AT 932 FISH - YES THIS THE AUTUMN RUN!!
Added: Mon 10th Sep 12
September 10, 2012
An(other) Autumn to Remember…
This autumn of 2012 is turning out to be nothing short of spectacular. As the Ponoi actually is incomparable, it may be worthwhile to take a moment to compare today’s river to the Ponoi of yesteryear. Looking back over the years in review of other Week 15’s, we have to rewind to 2002 to see a Week 15 catch of such magnitude. To put this fact in sharper perspective, the 21-year average Week 15 catch per rod is 25. The average catch per rod this past week tipped out at 45, totaling 932 salmon for 21 rods. In fact, we have just experienced two of the best Autumn weeks in the history of Ponoi in succession! Looking forward, this bodes very well for the Spring of 2013… make note that this fall run foretells record-breaking catches in the coming June.
Some notable stats pertaining to the angling of last week:
-Peter joined us for his second autumn week, and his fourth overall this 2012 season. His personal catch totaled 203 salmon to round out his season on Ponoi. What could be finer than catching so many salmon? Perhaps a beautiful lunch date with fishing partner, Paul… the duo sipped oakey Chardonnay overlooking the river, and savored the delicacy of a perfectly grilled piece of salmon.
-Martin landed a 20 lb fresh salmon in Lower Tomba with Graham and Guide Sergei Bistrov. Graham landed three 10 pound ‘clean’ fish off of “pink point,” when the trio decided to break for lunch. Having spotted a fish boil above the point, Martin abandoned his lunch, grabbed his modest 16-footer and decided to cover the spot once again. First swing through, wump-bump… second cast a solid take. Some ten minutes later and five attempts to bring the beast to net, a beautiful specimen of a clean cock fish was photographed and released. In total, Martin landed 63 salmon for the week, second highest score for the week.
-Robert and Giles of England arrived keenly primed for their fifth week on Ponoi. The father-son duo are a pleasure for me to guide each season, as we hem and haw over politics, sporting of various persuasions, and, with the addition of my new pup, dog rearing and training. Their week’s successes were acutely obvious as Robert took the floor out from under me to sing praises of the guides with whom they fished through the week.
-Michael and Dominic did battle alongside each other as they enticed salmon upon salmon the entire week through. Only on one fateful day did Michael really hand it to Dom, as Dom only took four salmon to Michael’s 16! Together the pair landed over 100 salmon!
-Longtime Ponoi guest Jon S. fished with great skill all week. At 78 years of age, he looks decades younger. Jon fishes a single-handed rod with the distance and accuracy of a double-hander. He fished a white Muddler spun on an upturned eye Mustad 80525 salmon hook, and in this manner took salmon after salmon, much to the dismay of guide Barrett Mattison.
-Top Rod for the week was Henri of France, with 66 salmon landed. Oddly coincidental is the fact that Henri enjoys solitude, and the 100% attention of his guide. For this reason Henri opts for the single-guide, single-boat option. Is this the reason for his uncanny success? Does he fish both sides of the boat of each drop?
-Alan Maughan and Tarquin Millington-Drake captured the final takes of their video production for the 2012 season. So efficient were their efforts and planning that Tarquin shot 20 seconds of Michael’s final fish of the week, yet another clean 20 lb salmon, taken under the artful guidance of Anatoly Vaulin. “Tolik” worked his magic throughout Gold Beach this week, finishing the week off on Friday with 24 salmon. Well done all! Also note that while fishing for the camera, TMD caught 49 fish from the bank or wading fishing mostly from lunchtime onwards proving that the need for boats on the Ponoi is a complete myth.
Also noteworthy are the great efforts being made by the PRC Management team to guard the Ponoi from our upper territory border at Kolmac to the treasured estuary at the mouth of the river.
As I write this account of our week 15 fishing, here on a quiet Sunday afternoon in camp, I am brought out of my reporting trance by a guide pounding down the office door. Once he finally turns the knob to gain access, I see that it is none other than Danilla Podolsky. He traipses across the office floor with sand caked boots and a broken 15-footer in his hands. It seems that one of the 26 fish he and his anglers landed today took a last minute run straight under the boat, crumpling the Z-Axis rod… For the story next week, please stay tuned. With this I am convinced of the continuation of this momentum that is the Ponoi Autumn Run.
All the best to you and to the salmon!
Matt Breuer and the PRC Team
There will be days when the fishing is better than one's most optimistic forecast, others when it is far worse. Either is a gain over just staying home. ~Roderick Haig-Brown, Fisherman's Spring, 1951