As always I find great pleasure in the drive down to my paradise on the south side of the Kola Peninsula. This year the thrill was even bigger as the St. Petersburg road from Murmansk and down to Kandalaksha has been paved and improved enormously. For the first time we could do the first part of the drive just under three hours – of course with the traditional pit stop in Kandalaskha for a good Danish hot dog – before the last one hour drive to Umba and the lodge. I know that for many Umba lovers, the drive down to Umba, has been the most challenging part of the travel. But trust me when I say, that today the drive is easy and not too bumpy. Beside please keep in mind that without the chopper you have far more travelling alternatives than the regular Helsinki flight. And finally we/you save a lot of money not having to include a “big bird” in the final calculation.
Our two September weeks in Umba 2009 gave us all what Umba is about; breathtaking scenery, perfect water condition, and the best fishing Umba has to offer. Our first week was especially unforgettable; the first five days we literally only caught 10 – 22 lbs fresh and sea-liced fish. Second week continued on the same track, but with slightly more fish caught in the lower section near the Lodge.
Highlights of the weeks:
Umba veteran Illtyd Griffith was stripped in Island Pool by a huge Salmon who took more than 250 meters of backing in its first run – after some pulling around, the fly unfortunately came out – Totally Illtyd caught 15 salmon during his stay – Illtyd’s biggest salmon were 10 lbs – 11 lbs – 11 lbs – 13 lbs – 13 lbs – 15 lbs – 15 lbs – 17 lbs – 18 lbs
First timer in Umba, Alan Maughan, had to experience the same as Illtyd, as he was stripped by a fast running whopper in Nick’s pool – Alan caught also 15 salmon – Biggest 10 lbs – 10 lbs – 10 lbs – 11 lbs – 12 lbs – 14 lbs – 14 lbs – 16 lbs – 18 lbs – 22 lbs, all fresh
Jesper Sloth nailed 12 Salmon – His biggest fresh fish were 12 lbs – 13lbs – 13 lbs – 16 lbs – 18 lbs – and bigger were lost (of course)…
Another Umba novice was Ole Thomsen, who managed to get fish of10 lbs – 11 lbs – 16 lbs – 18 lbs – 19 lbs as the biggest.
Fishing journalist and first timer in Umba, Jan Delaporte, landed 16 salmon, nearly all fresh. He also managed to have a Umba “bulldog” break his rod, a testimony to the strength of this autumn fish (and lousy rod manufacturing). The biggest fish the second week were two fantastic plus twenty pounders caught by Jan Delaporte and Kåre Lundquist.
To the guys who took part in these two weeks I just want to say thanks for these great weeks in Umba – Two weeks that gave all of us the best Umba has to offer, and of course – as so many times before – a strong desire to return to Umba!
Our two weeks in Umba produced 106 salmon to 10 rods.
Salmon between 10 Lbs – 14 Lbs = 33 Salmon
Salmon between 16 Lbs – 19 Lbs = 12 Salmon
Salmon between 20 Lbs – 24 Lbs = 3 Salmon
Good Umba news – A serious conservation plan, which was implemented in 2008 has already showed good and promising results, and that is why Salmon Junkies have signed a long termed contract on Umba – A contract that includes the following steps:
- A strong private control in the Lower section of Umba, including 24 hours monitoring of the mouth area with a permanent, fast jet boat.
- A far stronger control of the White Sea close to Umba in the summer and autumn period.
- A new structure within the local fishing inspection group (under control from Kandalaksha main fishing Insp. office).
- A new Lodge in the mouth of Umba for Russian anglers and tourists.
- “Cornering of the market” – A local shop in the village will be open, where Norwegian farmed salmon will be sold below the market price, thus dumping the market for poached, wild Umba salmon.