Day 5, Sedanka Upper Camp, First Fish

Wednesday July 17

Today 0 km (walking doesn’t count), Total 3689 km

Species of fish Caught 2 (Rainbow Trout, Longest 26 inch, Kundzha, Longest 24 inch)

After a hearty breakfast we split into out fishing groups with our guides, for this day our group consisted of Oystein, Alex and our Guide was Slava. We walked an hour to one of the upper tributaries of the Sedanka, when we arrived at the point that we wer going to start fishing I looked across the river and saw a bear!! it was only about 60m away, I was instantly torn, I knew that it was dangerous and we should make noise, be big and scare it away however I wanted to observe and photograph a bear as I had never seen one in the wild. I alerted the others, but by the time I had my camera out it had seen us and was heading upstream and away from us. The bear incident was over sadly I have no photos and that was the last bear I actually saw on the trip.

So down to what we came here for FISHING, I started with a black and white streamer  called a Dali Lama, which is more like a fluffy brick than a traditional fly, it is 6cm long and weights about 2 oz,

Dali Lama
Two Dali Lama’s

Within 10 min I had hooked and lost a large fish and my Dali Lama, I had been broken on a 1X (12lb) tapered leader! I replaced the Dali Lama with a Sculpzilla and was soon into the fish again.

Sculpzilla

Soon I had landed my first fish, a large Kundzha, (Salvelinus Leucomaenis Arcticus which is also known as White Spotted Char or Eastern Siberian Char). These char resident to the waters (unlike the SuperKundzha which is sea run)  are aggressive fish who compete with the Rainbow Trout for food, they will take any fly that a rainbow would.

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A nice Kundzha
This was shortly followed by my first Rainbow, a 24 inch specimen, the largest one I have ever caught, this record had been equaled and broken 4 times before the end of the day.
Lunch consisted of a hearty sandwich with bread, fresher but not too dissimilar from the stuff on Aurora Airlines. Not unexpectedly this freshness did not last.
It was not long after lunch that I hit a purple patch landing amongst others a 25 and a 26 inch Rainbow and a 24 inch Kundzha. I can’t describe what fun it was and how ferocious the fish are, you have to be careful of your knuckles, one moment you are stripping line and the next the real is singing and you are wondering if you have sufficient backing.
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A very fat 26 inch Rainbow

 

 

We got back to camp by mid afternoon and I had landed 14 fish over 20 inches, wow.

During the day I had been struggling to cast the mouse so in the early evening I went fishing below the camp with Bob and Sasha as a guide. The mice are huge and have a large amount of wind resistance and a different action to normal flies and the large streamers. With practice my casting improved but as the evening progressed the wind got up and I struggle to get the mouse up wind and under the bank. Getting the mouse under the overhang on the grass and bushes beside the river dramatically increases the number of takes that you get. I believe that this is because the big fish live under the bank and when a mouse drops into the river it follows them out and eats them.


When I returned to camp the rest of the guides were preparing for the float trip to the middle camp. The rafts had to be inflated, the frames assembled and lashed to the rafts.

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The camp consisted of 3 cabins that comfortably slept 2 people, each of the cabins had a shower and toilet, the showers were only warm when the fire for the hot water had been lit. There was a kitchen and dining room in one building, and a shower block / drying room in another, this was complemented by a couple of outhouses and permanent tents for the guides, cook and camp hand.

Each of the three Camps on the Sedanka were similar, all had a resident camp hand and dog. The camp hand and dog lived in the camp all season, the dogs are of the Laika breed and are specifically bread to protect the camps from bears, more on that in coming days.

I was very glad for a hot shower and dinner. The food is best described as solid and rustic, dinner consisted of stew, mashed spud and salad.  All was simple and tasty and most importantly yummy.

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