We listened as the sound of the helicopter disappeared in the distance. After a long journey we had finally arrived at the river of our dreams. The time was about 8 in the evening and soon we would be walking along the riverbank searching for rising trout and catch them on dry flies. But first we all grabbed a beer and strolled down to the river. The Litza river system is vast and stretches far into the Kola peninsula linked by many big lakes. Litza together with the Kharlovka river are considered to be some of the top atlantic salmon rivers in the world. Some people pay up to 20.000 dollars for one week of fishing in the lower parts of these rivers. Pool Mystic that we just arrived at was a small section of river connecting two lakes. It had many nice pools and plenty of trout in it. Lars had promised us that we would see rising fish within 30 seconds of observing the river. It did not take long before we spotted the first rising fish. Lars looked a bit relived as his promise was delivered upon by the trout. Soon we saw many rising fish in many different places. Something was definitively on! We headed back to the campsite, put up our tents and got into our fly fishing gear.
Me and Monrad would fish the lower parts of Mystic, while the Swedes would head upstream towards the outlet of a big lake. After a final pep talk and some Famous Grouse whisky we split up and headed towards the river. Fish were rising all over the place, but the top pool seemed to have the most action. We found what looked to be a very nice fish rising and Monrad told me I could do some flyslinging at it while he filmed. What a nice guy! I moved into position down by the river and tried to get a look at what the fish were eating. I could see both mayflies and caddis on the water and the fish seemed to fancy both. I put on a small comparadun #16 and made some casts with the backcast in between some trees behind me. The fish was rising only 3 meters away from me so I did not have to cast very far. On the 3rd cast a fish came up and swallowed my fly. And it seemed to be a very nice fish indeed! I fought him quite hard with the aim of releasing him as soon as possible. After 5 minutes of tough fighting it seemed to be getting more agreeable and came in closer to where I was standing. It was definitavly over 2 kilo. Maybe over 3 kilo and a new personal best! And that only after fishing for 5 minutes. What a river! Then the unthinkable happened. The spool of my reel suddenly came of. WTF!?! Total chaos ensued. I was fighting a very big trout without a reel and it did not go very well. Then the next disaster happened. The rod broke. And then I lost the fish. The 0,22mm tippet had teared of in the middle. I almost cried. But if this happened within 5 minutes I would sure get another chance?
We fished our way downstream and caught many nice trout between 1-1,5 kilo. On our way back upstream some hours later I spotted a nice fish rising in the outlet of the pool right next to our campsite. The fish ate caddis streaking along the surface. I put on an Elk Hair Caddis size #14 and made my cast. Again on my 3rd cast the fish came up and took my fly. It was hard to judge the size of the fish but it seemed to be quite decent. Maybe over 2 kilos? The fish fought well but soon got ready for the net. As it came closer we saw how big it actually was. It was definitively over 3 kilo! After landing it I noticed that it had a fly hooked in its mouth. It was a Comparadun size #16 with some tippet material attached to it. 2 hours earlier this fish broke my rod and escaped. This time I did not screw up. The fish weighed in at 3,6 kilo and that was my new personal best!