Russia - Ponoi - Week 13 report

The Yin & Yang of Salmon Fishing

Frontiers' own, Leigh Buches, had the great opportunity to fish on the Ponoi River this week. Here is her take away from the week. 

"In the face of strong winds, storms, and tough conditions, the Ponoi still yields a worthy catch, along with lasting memories at Ryabaga Camp and an outstanding wilderness experience." - Leigh Buches

The following fishing report was created by Ryabaga Camp Manager, Agustin C. Lo Greco.

There are many ways to put it: “you can’t have one without the other” or “nature will always find a way to balance things out”. Regardless of your philosophy, one has to acknowledge the realities of a situation as they are presented. This past week was a fine example of how, in salmon fishing, there is always a Yin and a Yang: no matter how tough the conditions, a river such as ours will eventually show its best side.

The week started out with a river that was flowing at a markedly low level. The water continued to drop over the ensuing four days, but despite the drop we nonetheless started to see good numbers of fresh fish pushing up into the river. About then a storm front moved in, bringing with it an 18-inch rise in water level overnight. Though the rise was just what we had been hoping for, it also produced off-colored water, due in large part to the strong winds that had stirred up the headwater lakes that feed PRC waters. It seemed that Mother Nature was offering us both the good and the “not so good”, reminding all in camp that you can’t have one without the other. Luckily, the last day of fishing was to be the best of the week, and all were pleased to end their time in Ryabaga on a high note.

A group of 18 anglers joined us in camp this week. Of that number, some were new to Atlantic-salmon fishing, while some brought with them a wealth of angling experience. All set out from camp each day with high hopes, and despite the conditions, all returned each day with smiles. This past week a group of people from Denmark, the UK, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, the US, and Ireland came together to experience the uniqueness of Ponoi. It was the fishing, of course, that drew all to the far North, but it was the chess games, the poker games, and Friday’s party in the Big Tent that gave lasting substance to the memories of a week on Ponoi. Although the group experienced some of the most challenging conditions Ryabaga has ever seen, no one went home empty handed, and each guest was able to feel the strength and will of a respectable number of Ponoi salmon. Willy U., Kyle S., and Oxana D. each caught their first Atlantic salmon fishing with us this week, and each vowed that if they have another chance to make it to Ryabaga, there will be no second thoughts. I am quite sure that we will see these new friends again!

As we look forward to the advancing fall, we continue to celebrate, and anticipate, the memories that are made here on Ponoi. Even on the tough weeks, there is a certain magic that resides here, making the Ponoi River and Ryabaga Camp truly incomparable. We are excited to share that magic with you in the coming days and weeks, as the weather turns towards winter, and the Fall Run presses on.

Tight Lines,

Agustin C. Lo Greco

Ryabaga Camp Manager

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