The latter part of July and early August kept going in the same pattern with fresh runs of fish pushing up the river each day. A majority of the fish landed was still fresh and silver colored. These fresh sea-run Arctic char are all hard fighters and will give anglers a real run for their money. Show up with a worn tippet or a flawed knot and they will expose you. Towards mid August we could see a decrease in the number of fresh chromers being landed and a huge increase of picture perfect brightly red and orange colored fish. Fresh chromers were still coming up however and most pools throughout the river were now getting seriously stacked. The average amount of fish landed per angler usually varies quite a lot during the weeks depending on how hard each angler fish, whether one tries to target larger trophy fish rather than focusing on landing many, whether one prefers to catch fish only using surface flies, how good one covers water, and so on. Also, visiting a place like Kangia valley is so much more than just catching fish and many guests enjoy taking time to relax along the river, watching wildlife while taking in the scenery. Since fishing is so consistent here it is easy to allow yourself to relax and take in the serenity of the place without worrying about wasting precious fishing time.
Overall we had an amazing adventure! It was probably the most extreme fishing location that I have ever visited. Three plane journeys and two boat trips just to get to the lodge! OK – one of the boat trips was only a few hundred metres in a leaky small rib but it still counts, especially at 1.00am in the dark! Then we still had the stairs of death to scale before arriving at the lodge itself and enjoying a cold beer!
The lodge was fine – basic but quite OK with a hot shower and comfy beds. The food was great considering the location and the facilities for cooking. The new chef did a brilliant job with local meats and fish.
The fishing itself on the Kangia river was great fun once we had yomped across the mountain for an hour each day to reach the higher water. It was certainly a good way to wake up in the morning. The river was low and most of the fish were concentrated higher up. Generally, fishing was better in the morning as on several days the river became milky in the afternoon due to snowmelt which put the fish off taking a fly. Most of us enjoyed trying different fishing techniques including large surface lures (the rowboat – John’s favourite!), subsurface lures and small hitched flies. We caught a lot of fish – 10+ on days where we really put in the effort. The BBQ’d Char by the side of the river one day was a real highlight.
Karl was a great host! Three of us went sea fishing with him and his son one day and caught loads of Cod and some very ugly Wolf fish! We nearly landed a huge Halibut but it shed the hook at the end of a long battle. There were so many fish – we even caught Cod on the fly!
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