On Friday night the entire kitchen staff made a grand entrance into the Big Tent and presented a beautiful birthday cake to guest Rok L., who is arguably the best working guide on Slovenian waters. All present were eager to join in the songs and toasts, and every guest was pleased to be a part of making Ryabaga Camp the most celebratory and welcoming place on the tundra. Guest Nick B. stood to present PRC with a magnificent piece of artwork signed by each of the guests in camp this past week. The piece was a beautiful painting of a Salmo salar done by Brenton S., a noted guide and artist from Dubai. Nick also shared a few words of gratitude and reflection, encompassing the magical experience that is a week’s fishing in Ryabaga. His sentiments of appreciation for all of the folks who work to create “The Ryabaga Experience” were supported by each and every guest, all of whom raised their glasses, joining Nick in acknowledgment.
The fishing was not easy this week, as the water was once again quite low to start, and the fish seemed particularly moody. Nevertheless, by Monday the six anglers who had come to Ponoi in the hopes of catching their first Atlantic salmon had met their goal and then some, much to everyone’s delight. Ryabaga was host to a group of anglers who hailed from all corners of the world: the UK, USA, New Caledonia, Germany, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, Slovenia, Russia and even Bhutan. It seems that the Syren’s song of fresh autumn-run Ponoi salmon resonates among angling communities worldwide, and it proves a call that is hard to ignore.
Although the fishing was challenging, every angler had the chance to experience why the Ponoi Fall Run is so special. Wade S. was with us to catch his first Atlantic salmon, and he did so with a fresh, 19 lb. chromer. Kencho T. & Uguen R. also caught their first salmon, and each was a fresh fall-run fish. Mohammad A., Rok L., and David M. caught their first-ever Atlantics, and each was thrilled to feel the raw power of a Ponoi fall-runner. Despite challenging conditions, days spent on our magnificent river made for an unforgettable experience for our guests, and one that was full of ‘firsts’. Even a seasoned salmon angler like Genady Z. cemented a memorable moment when he caught the biggest salmon of his life, a 20 lb. chromer.
There were several other noteworthy fish caught this week, like Toby B.’s 18 lb. beauty, and the pair of 17 lb. slabs taken by Harry T. and Mohammad A. Kostya S. was not to be outdone, and he posted a 16 lb. brawler, joining the anglers who recorded numerous other fish in the teens caught this week. It was encouraging too to see the pods of fresh fish jumping throughout our waters, ensuring that the Fall Run continues, and the fishing can only remain strong. With that we finish one more week in Ryabaga, sharing the notion that what happened this past Week 14 was nothing short of great.
Farewell to all our friends,
Agustin C. Lo Greco
Ryabaga Camp Manager