Canoe group 2, week 27, Pina River.
31. aug 2009
Paddlers. Trond, Glenn, Tom, Tommy, Øyvind, Kjell and Pål.
Camp 1 was about 18km by helicopter from the fork between Pina and Litza, just where Pina enters a long lake. The first 2 days we fished the river upstream. Tom and Tommy even walked all the 10 km up to the next lake, a long hard walk that paid off as Tommy caught a 2.7 beautiful trout there. We saw a few rising fish on this part of the river, and most of the fish we caught were caught on dry flies. The weather was cold and very windy.
The 3rd day was calm when we moved to Camp 2 (only 5 km paddling), to the middle of the lake where a little rivers enters the lake from the east. This is a fantastic campsite with a great beach. There was fresh bear tracks in the sand. We had warm weather with 13 degrees in the water, and time for swimming. No insects were hatching in the small river, but a few fish were caught on Streaking Caddis and Streamers.
The next day we headed for what we had planned to be Camp 3 (about 10 km paddling), a part of Pina also fished by the groups camping at the Dream Pool Litza. The day started nice with no wind and we needed mosquito repellent. The wind picked up little by little, and while separated on a small lake , when the wind suddenly started howling, and we got large waves on the lake and the paddling was very difficult and the conditions a bit dangerous. When everyone was safe across we had to stop for the night as paddling was impossible. Luckily this was by a very nice short stretch of the river, and even in the howling wind several very nice fish were caught.
The next day we were in doubt about canoeing, and if it even would be possible to paddle into the head wind. We ended up trying, and for 3 km on one lake the canoes were towed wading in the lake. We finally made camp on what was planned as Camp 3, a beautiful campsite at a very nice part of Pina. The last 3 days were very cold with hail, fog, rain and snow. From time to time we saw a few mayflies and a few rises from fish, and we knew that a major hatch was just around the corner. 3 hours before the helicopter arrived, with Glenn the only one still fishing, the mayflies started hatching and the fish started rising. At a pool that for two days had been bombarded with Wooly Buggers without success, 3 fish started rising and all 3 were caught by Glenn before it was time to pack down the rod and go home. If we had just one more day!
Everyone agreed that this river had to be paddled again when insects are hatching.