Lybalakh Lake, Siberia, Giant Arctic Char 2017
A trip to the remote mountains of Siberia in the Yakutia region of Russia in search of giant arctic char. I try to tell the story of how Ilya Shebovich, my good friend and Russian fly fishing explorer, managed to research photos and intel from the nomadic reindeer herders to lead us on another amazing adventure into one of the wildest frontiers of northern Siberia. We as anglers get challenged by extreme weather fluctuations, mosquitos, a lake that is more than 160 meters deep and a fish species that don’t give themselves up easily. It's a story of flying to various lakes, making hundreds of thousands of casts, when finally the team turn to the insights from the local reindeer herder to try and fit the pieces of the puzzle together. This confuses the matter further rather than adding clarity and it takes fourteen days of casting flies into the deep, shallows and surface of the crystal clear Siberian lakes before things finally start to pay off. We catch a few good fish along the way but it was never easy. My biggest being 17lbs on one of the coldest fishing days I have ever experienced. The mission of catching a really big arctic char leads on through night and day when finally at 3am in the dying stages of the trip Matt Solomon manages to entice and land a 20lbs plus monster.