On Friday night, a full complement of diners sat in the Big Tent listening to Turo and Sylvian, who were representing the Finnish and French groups respectively. Turo and Sylvian regaled the assembled guests with their impressions of the week and of the greater Ryabaga experience, attempting to put into words what a week on the world’s finest Atlantic-salmon river feels like. Wonderfully, a theme of quality shone through in their reflections, and not just the quality of the angling resource; both men described the quality of accommodations, quality of gastronomy, and quality of hospitality. Most noteworthy, however, was Sylvian’s recognition of the fundamental quality of the personal experience cultivated by the Ryabaga staff. It is this warm, personal touch that allows guests to feel that there is a second home for them on the remote tundra.
This past week was filled with epic stories of great catches and of course some tales of the ones that got away. Wonderfully, we all also enjoyed some lovely after-dinner “a cappella” singing by Janne. The fishing itself was nothing to sneeze at either, though the weather was not ideal. This past week our group of 19 guests landed 504 fish of which 34 were fresh, summer-run fish. 28 fish of our total catch for the week were landed by Sylvian, whose success was all the more impressive considering that he’d come to Ryabaga to catch his very first Atlantic salmon.
Ryabaga Camp and the Ponoi River once again displayed a remarkable versatility, allowing guests the range of experiences that makes a week chasing salmon with us so unforgettable. Some guests chose to fish from the boat throughout their entire stay, while others preferred to wade; some guests this week fished skated dry flies while some opted for heavy sink-tips; some guests chose eggs Benedict with coffee for breakfast while others enjoyed waffles with tea; many took advantage of countless pre-breakfast and after-dinner Home Pool sessions. The beauty of the Ponoi and of Ryabaga Camp is that both can be what you want them to be, and the quality of the experience will invariably exceed expectations. Whatever guests choose to do while visiting Ryabaga, they will benefit from what many anglers regard as the best guide team in the world, and a camp staff that is without peer among the great angling destinations of the world. In Ryabaga, we are fortunate to see our operation as a sum of remarkable parts, each of which serves to surprise and delight guests throughout the summer salmon season. With that as our standard we step into midsummer, eager to see what else the mighty Ponoi holds in store.
Agustin C. Lo Greco
Ryabaga Camp Manager