June fishing in Umba – Read this fantastic and very amusing report from Umba veteran Bernard Lunel

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Umba I well known as one of the finest salmon river in the world. Especially the autumn fishing has always fascinated thousands of hard core salmon anglers from all over the world. This is the time and call for fulfilling one of the dedicated salmon anglers’ wildest dreams – big, ocean fresh autumn fish! Do not be surprised if you catch sea-liced fish right into October and later – these are the mythical Osenka salmon.
However – our June fishing can be as hysterical as the fall weeks, where you will have good chances for numbers in double figures and with some bright, sparkling fresh run salmon from 15 to 30 lbs. –  really “Umba whoppers”.

Umba week 26

The first and second day produced 26 fantastic salmon between 8 and 17 pounds – all caught on Billy Butt and Green Highlander.
The third day I was fishing the Krivetz. We took position with Big Nick in the Office pool. By the third cast a fish came up to the surface to have a look to my fly as to say “hello… here I am…”A new cast and this time, the fish took the fly: Then the rodeo started …one, two, three jumps, and like a rocket heading for the rapids below Office pool. My old and trusted Hardy Perfect was screaming, when I simultaneously and desperately tried to control the fish, because if he managed to reach the strong rapids, I would have to say goodbye to the salmon..line ..and backing…for sure a really bad situation. Suddenly the fish stopped and luckily he decided to turn left, about 40 meters from me at the back of the pool. He stayed put for a little while before starting off again like a furious rocket… He was everywhere..and ..nowhere. I played the fish for no less than 50 minutes before we landed this “magnifique”27 pounder.

Exhausted but happy…very happy to become a 20×20 member in less than three days. I continued fishing the next pool just upstream Office pool: Island pool and I caught two more fish;11 and 17 pounds. Holy smoke what a day.

The fourth day I caught 7 Salmon ending on a total of 36 fish. I started to dream about becoming the first double member in the famous Twenty-Twenty Club!
Why not? As my old friend and fishing guide Big Nick said… On the fifth day, the morning was spent in Doctor’s Pool, and five fish between 14 and 18 pounds were caught, and another 3 were lost close to the net. Fantastic Umba! I never saw so many fish in a pool in my life. They were fish jumping and jumping everywhere. It was a Salmon festival.
The afternoon was strangely quiet:”only” 2 fish were caught, but all is relative, because in others circumstances, in Scotland for example, the same result in a half day would be a dream…But anyway, now the total was 43 salmon.
Coming back to the lodge, I asked Big Nick to fish during the evening until midnight, and we decided to fish Doctor’s Pool. We started at 9 pm, and after more than 15 different flies and by 11 pm; no fish…0 salmon. The pool looked empty…unbelievable !! I was more than disappointed, and I asked Big Nick for a small rest, taking the opportunity to smoke a Havana cigar. After a little while I saw my friend  Olof, from Sweden, taking position at the head of the pool, far behind me, and after no less than 3 casts a salmon took his fly. A big one jumping many times before it was in the net…hmmm…well done Mister Olof. I was happy on his behalf, but to be true, I was also a little upset  about the situation. What was happening? Was my luck gone ?? Chewing on my Havana I
decided to try again, changing my fly for another one: the biggest I could find in my fly box; an enormous General Practitioner. Before I started my cast, I noticed a horrified and disapproving look from Big Nick. After many cast without a touch, I started to think…I was casting in a swimming pool! “Yes you know Bernard”, said Big Nick, “it’s a very good fly when the water is cold
with a high level, but in the present circumstances…  I don’t know…” No answer from my part! I was furious…Casting and casting again with the same result….nothing.
At 11h35 pm I decided to move, telling Big Nick to try Home Pool. If someone was already fishing there, we would go to the Bar Pool.
Home pool was not free, so we took up a position in the Bar Pool. Before casting Big Nick asked me if I wanted to change my fly? No I answered, we have not enough time..we are just a few minutes away from midnight. After the second cast, my reel started to sing…very timidly at the beginning, but after a while, may be 10 seconds my Perfect reel was screaming its wonderful tune…Looking at Big Nick I told him; “the water must be very cold in this part”…with a king size smile! He was laughing. After 30 minutes and a lot of pure adrenaline we landed a “superbe” silver salmon with sea lice straight from the White Sea. Big Nick weighed the fish—a little over 20 pounds. I was so happy and we were singing the double Twenty-Twenty member song for the first time on the Umba…

The last day on the Krivetz  I just caught one very fresh 15 pounder making the total 45 salmon.
Thank you UMBA and many thanks to Big Nick. It was a fantastic and memorable week. Congratulations and sincere thanks to Steffen. He is a perfect camp manager, and
after 8 Umba season I can say: he is also a nice friend who knows how to create a cordial atmosphere in this superb lodge.

Back in France I read the report on this fantastic week on my computer. Steffen wrote that I was dancing with salmon…Yes ,but it was more Rock’n
Roll with the Umba Salmon.
Rock’n Roll ..Yeah!!!

By Bernard Lunel

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