Sunday, July 31
Today 0 km, Total 3697 km
The morning was a little overcast but with good visibility, we had breakfast and packed our things in anticipation of the transfer to the wilderness float, I was excited at the prospect of an extra day on the float trip. The Guides phoned in and informed us that the cloud base was too low in Esso and we would find out more in an hour or so. They said that it would be a good opportunity to fish the river near to camp, They would fire the gun when the helicopter was on the way and we were to return immediately when we heard a gunshot.
So it was back to the cabin for a partial unpack, reset-up the rods…… I chose to go upstream and work a couple of the little side channels. I was fishing with the steamer setup as every day there were more salmon in the river.
The Side streams were moderately productive, I picked up some nice Rainbows, a couple of Kundzha and landed a chum salmon od about 22 inches. I continued to fish, still no gunshot, just prior to lunch I caught my first resident arctic char, these fish would become Dolly Vanden if they made their way to the ocean, they were about 10 to 12 inches long and had lovely colouring.
By lunch it was sunny and warm, I returned to camp to find out what was going on, still no news, they were still hopeful that they would fly that day, however on the other side of the peninsular the cloud base was still too low for the choppers to fly.
While we were waiting to see what would happen in the afternoon, the guides shared some small salted and dried fish, they would be best described as fish jerky, I must say that I prefer beef jerky, but it was still quite edible.
While I was sitting down having a cup of coffee in the shelter outside the cook house I was looking at rips in the roofing felt from a new angle, it became very clear what caused them. A bear had been visiting!! This only acted to reinforce the feeling of wilderness and how close we were to nature. Discussing this with the guides they said that they have a never-ending stream of bead damage that they have to fix every year.
The afternoon was a repeat of the morning, fish close to the camp and come back when there is a gunshot. This time I fished the far bank of the main channel landing several Rainbow trout and Dolley Vardon. The standout thing that happened during the afternoon was that I managed to get my streamer in one of the over hanging trees, this in its self is not unusual but I managed to go for a swim retrieving it. The water was very, very cold and flowing quite fast, however there was little danger the bottom is gravely and it is only rarely deeper than chest depth. It was just embarrassing and chilly. The day was still warm so I made my way back to camp, got myself dry, warm and a travel update. The news was not good, the helicopters would not fly that day, so it was unpack, grab a beer and settle in for the evening and see what the next day would bring.