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Umba right now

July 28th, 2015 - steffen

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Have just received a bunch of photos from Umba manager Igor Kryzhopolskiy showing Umba river around the lodge in perfect conditions – Wonderful to know as we have our Eight week big fall program coming up within a couple of weeks. The weather forecast promise cold and wet weather the rest of the season so we have all the ingredients for a great fall season at wonderful Umba.


Switch rods

July 28th, 2015 - steffen

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There’s been a lot of talk in the past couple of years about switch rods – lightweight double-handed rods in the 11 1/2 to 12 foot range that are designed for both two-handed and overhead casting. To be honest, the switch rod thing seemed in the beginning to be a little gimmicky, but today it has become a awesome and very serious weapon in most Spey Warriors arsenal

  • Switch rods are really fun. Most switch rods live in the 4- to 7-weight world, and small rods mean little physical effort. Add lightweight to a multitude of different Spey-oriented and overhead casts, and you get lots of variety and lots of fun – Here is some of the reasons
  • Switch rods are effective for more than swinging. The classic sunken swung fly presentation works great with a switch rod. Switch rods are great tools for fishing Dry flies and hitch patterns on floating lines. The extra length of a switch rod means incredible line control, whether slowing down a swing, steering that flesh fly into and out of a snag, or skittering that hopper all over the surface of the bucket.
  • You can fish small water with switch rods. You already know that we think spey casting is fun, but full-on spey outfits, even in light weights, are just too long for small rivers, side channels and small tributaries
  • Switch rods will make you a better spey caster, because you can do it more. Great, you fish a spey rod for a week in June on Grand Varzuga and then for a week in September on the Umba. What about the rest of the year? If you live near decent-sized trout water, you can fish a switch rod for a lot of the year. Making those spey casts year-round will make you a lot better at it.
  • Switch rods will make you a better spey caster, because these little rods are unforgiving. There’s no two ways about this one – it’s a lot easier to spey cast a 14 foot for a 9 weight than it is to cast an 11 foot for a 6 weight. You don’t want to learn spey casting on a switch rod. So why is this a good thing? Mistakes can be overcome with those big, long traditional spey rods. If you’re fishing a lightweight switch rod and you pull your anchor, or leave too much line on the water, or try to over-power a cast, or commit any one of a number of other spey casting sins, the cast just won’t work. Yes, it’s hard at first, but fishing light, short switch rods will definitely make you a better spey caster, because you pay for your mistakes.

Spey rods

July 23rd, 2015 - steffen

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Salmon Junkies like fishing with spey rods. We’re not shy about the fact that we think two-handed casting is one of the coolest things around.

Here’s why.

It’s easier to cover the water with a spey rod. If you need to cast more than 20 feet to get your fly to the fish, you can do it with a spey rod, with less effort than with a single-handed rod.

Spey rods give better line control. Mending with a 13′ rod allows you to move more line than mending with a single handled rod.

Spey casting is easier on your body – especially your shoulders. You can keep your arms close to your body and still get the line out with a spey rod.

If you’re like us and have made one too many double-hauls with 12 weight, your body will thank you for giving the two-hander a try.

During those occasional stretches where you’re not catching fish, the casting itself is fun. Much like making a great golf swing, hitting a cast right with a spey rod is fun, in and of itself.

All the gear is really fidgety and Spey fishing tackle and techniques are changing constantly, and it’s interesting to keep up with the cutting edge.

Sometimes you really do need to cast long. There are times when an 80′ cast just won’t reach where the fish are holding, and when you need to throw it far, the spey rod is your friend.

It’s not just for Salmon. Spey rods were made for swinging flies, so…any time you need to swing, you should think about a two-hander.

You don’t need to make a backcast. Many rivers is lined with bushes, and it’s hard to make a backcast when you’ve got bushes behind you.


Quality Fishing in spite of high water and unusual very cold and rainy June weather

July 17th, 2015 - steffen

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There are never two salmon seasons alike. There is actually not two weeks or two days of a season, which is the same. It is part of the charm and a substantial part of the challenge of Salmon fishing. When we in the long winter evenings dream us back to those golden moments from the past season, we hope to repeat next season again. That happens rarely, but in return we get a wealth of new and educational experiences.

At River Umba on the Kola Peninsula we usual get a lot of sunny days in June, but this summer the weather behaved more like it was late fall with strong winds and a lot of rain. The water level was the whole month is much higher than I have experienced in many years – Actually we have not see that much water since year 2000. I have a feeling that has been the case for most of the Kola river this Summer. The run of salmon was in spite of the hard conditions quite stable, with fresh Salmon went up in the river every day. However because of the high water the fish passed very quickly through the famous holding pools in the lower part of the river and “disappeared” into a swelling Krivetz river where any decent fishing was impossible because of high water

Already the first week showed Danish Peter Lottrup that Umba’s potential is huge. Peter landed 16 great salmon up to 15 lbs despite the difficult conditions and only bad luck prevented the skilled fisherman to land a genuine 20 lbs salmon in Brad’s Pool because his line got snaked in an old drowned piece of log on the bottom. Throughout June the water level went up and down like a yoyo, the water remained generally on a unusual high level during the entire month. Most of our guests, average a salmon each day, and we have to keep in mind that there are not many places in the world where you can get that under such tough conditions. In addition, the fish was on average larger and stronger than normal – almost as a hot Steelhead. Often they went far into the backing line before they came under control! – The Three largest fish were both 19 lbs, but as mentioned earlier, far bigger fish was lost after epic battles.

Peter Kremsner and his friend Johannes Krill who have fished Umba many times before managed in spite of tough weather conditions to land 18 salmon between them. Biggest salmon was a nice 19lb Umba whopper for Peter Kremsner.

Conclusion: The quality in the fishing was high. All our guests expressed great joy and satisfaction with the stay and wanted to return to “Umbalivable” Umba already next spring. Interesting to see how Umba will treat us when we return back middle of August in order to begin the famous Umba Autumn season. I don’t think we will have low water like the two previous seasons – More Umba news to come very soon.

Report from Orla Bertram Nielsen

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Postcards from Grand Varzuga

July 10th, 2015 - steffen

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