How would you describe what a perfect few fishing days should be like? Nice fishing conditions but challenging at times? The fishing not too easy and so all the more rewarding when success comes through putting in the effort and searching the water? The chance of not only a nice run of Grilse but some bigger fish too? Well East Ranga delivered all this in spades this year.
We started our first afternoon session with sunshine but calm conditions on two of the traditionally poorest beats, but still we managed 2 fish off beat 1 and 2 off 9 including a cracker for Eric W at 17lbs and 1 off beat 7.
The following morning dawned bright and sunny but with a fierce north westerly wind which made casting very hard work. Beat 9 gave up 1 more fish, beat 8 four more fish including a 12 pounder and beat 6, 5 fish.
The wind during the afternoon session was if anything even worse but still the odd fish was landed, 2 off beat 7, another big fish for Eric W at 16lbs of beat 8 and one fish off beat 5.
The following morning the wind was finally down to a mild breeze but the sun blazed from a cloudless sky which didn’t help much and only one fish (a 12lb) was landed from beat 4.
The afternoon started poorly with the sun spoiling things but as the evening came so did some fish. 5 from beat 5 and one from 6 and 3 belters from beat 3, 22lbs, 16lbs and 12lbs!
The next morning better conditions with some cloud cover and no wind, beat 4 was in great form with 8 fish which included one grilse and 7 more crackers in the teens, three of which John M landed in as many casts 10, 12 & 14lbs to add to the grilse he had earlier. On beat 5 Eric W landed 3 fish and Cecil D 1, and I didn’t get a report from John R’s rods that morning as they left for the early flight.
In the afternoon session Beat 3 (Ravens rock) produced 4, which was a little disappointing as I know it can do better, but beat 4 was still doing well with Cecil D getting into the hotspot and gunning out 5 whilst Eric W got just 1 from the other bank.
On our final morning the weather was still good and on beat 2 we watched a nice run of fish come through but only managed to hang onto I whilst on beat 3 they must have stopped because Cecil D again in the hotspot got 5 beleters in quick succession all in the teens whilst poor Eric watched on but finally got a couple to keep his end up!
57 Fish for 8 rods in 3/4 days fishing. Of the 46 that we weighed properly the total was 200Kgs exactly. That is an average weight of 4.35kilos or 9.56lbs. With a nice package of smoked salmon for each of us to bring home, it honestly doesn’t get any better.
That was the good part… On the accommodation and organisation front I have to say this year was very unusually and sadly, underwhelming. Changes to the transfers, the conversion of the lodge into a hotel and the loss of a lot of the usual staff has taken away much of the ambience in the East Ranga Lodge and the service and fare seemed to have suffered as a result. I have written to Roxtons who will take this up with Lax-a. It was nothing that cannot be fixed, but it was a downside to an otherwise great trip.