Back home from Ponoi

Home after a very interesting week. I think I heard about the Ponoi first time when guiding in the early eighties. A couple of my guests were among the first ones to fish with Garry Loomis on the big river. They came back with catches that sounded all wild to us. One rod catching 100+ salmon for a week sounded all crazy. With more than 60 000 fish running Ponoi is for sure one of the world’s great Atlantic salmon rivers. Since fishing in Russia started we have gotten used to the Osenka name. Fall run fish that spend the Winter to spawn the following fall. On the Russian rivers I have fished before there is a 5-10% Osenkas. On the Ponoi it’s quite the opposite. 80-90% of the fish are Osenkas, that’s why the fall fishing can be so prolific and also why the early spring fishing is bomb proof.

After only a week I have only had a glimpse of the big river, but there are for sure some parts that are absolutely fantastic. The Ryabaga camp, well it’s simple, it is and has been for long time one of the greatest fishing camps in the world. Together with Kautapen on the Rio Grande, Silver Hilton on the Babine and my “home” the Kharlovka camp they give their guests absolutely top service. The fishing on the Ponoi is very different from what I am used to. I would say that 90% is done from flat-bottomed aluminium boats. The guide will anchor up and then the two gusts fish one side each with fixed line length. The guide will let out more rope each cast and a drop with “full rope” can be up to 100m. It’s a very easy and effective way to cover a lot of water. Ryabaga on the Ponoi is an international camp with guides from different parts of the world. Great guys that very much added to my experience. I recognize them in myself and the bunch of fishing bums that I guided with back in the eighties. Knowledgeable and heart burning fly fishers that do all for their guests.

Thanks guys you’re all great! Hopefully I can come back to the river, there are still a lot to be seen and the Ponoi 20 lbs is still to be caught for me.