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Posts Tagged ‘Sea trout’

Some more pics from the Rio Grande:

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Here’s some more photos from our week of sea trout fishing on the Rio Grande.

Mil gracias to our guides, Ale, Jorge & Lucas, to Sebas for the incredible food, and Valeria for her hospitality!

For more information on booking for 2011, drop us a line at Info@FarawayFlyFishing.com

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Fishing the Rio Grande in Tierra del Fuego is often an emotional rollercoaster – it can be exciting, frustrating, humbling, and immensely gratifying all at once.  Break off a big fish or have a couple days of poor fishing and one begins to feel despondent and full of self-doubt. Just when things are beginning to look futile, in a blink of an eye a 20 pound sea trout appears out of nowhere and takes your fly on its 500th cast. All of a sudden adrenaline is pulsing through your veins and your heart is beating at 500bpm. You’re simultaneously thrilled yet horrified at the thought of losing what you have worked so hard and traveled so long for. At these moments one ceases to think, and becomes an animal of pure emotion.  After several tense minutes, which seem like an eternity, the fish is finally in the net and ecstatic celebration, hugs and high-fives replace what just a few minutes ago was nothing but cold feet and the building mental toll of yet another fish-less cast. These are the impassioned moments that every fisherman seeks to experience at least once in their angling careers, and we go to great lengths to achieve it. Steelheaders, permit fisherman, or anyone who pursues difficult fish can relate well to this.

True to form, the Rio Grande provided these emotional angling moments in spades during my week-long stay at Villa Maria Lodge on the lower river. I was with a great group of guys – Calvin & Jim Fuller from Washington, Trent & Ken from Alaska, and Peter and John from the UK. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of chaps (to use Peter’s vocabulary).

Jim, a nuclear physicist and nuclear weapons security specialist, is also an avid fisherman and this was his first trip to Argentina. He probably had one of the most bittersweet weeks in Rio Grande history. Now, Jim is no slouch of a fisherman, and has more than his fair share of big fish under his belt. But everything is relative, and fishing for a week alongside his angling prodigy of a son, Calvin, makes even a seasoned veteran start to doubt himself. I have known and fished with Calvin since college, and he is definitely one of the best casters and fisherman I have had the privilege of knowing. Like the star of a sports team, he seems to make everyone around him fish better, and even the guides start to study what he’s doing to try to glean some sort of insight. He’s just a super fishy dude. Period.

But, if you have to fish with him for a week and everyday he’s hooking fish left and right, while you continually come up empty-handed using the exact same fly and line, it can become pretty frustrating. Such was the case with Jim. After nearly 6 days of fishing, he had lost several very large fish, landed only one decent one, and had a handful of smaller fish to hand. Several sessions were complete skunks. Calvin, meanwhile, was having very consistent action and already had a number big fish in the net. Granted, Jim was quite happy for his son’s success, but the week’s fishing was going to be a personal bust for him. He had entered the humbling and frustrating depths of the Rio Grande, and couldn’t get out.

Game 7, bottom of the 9th. Last day, last session. He needed to hit one out of the park in a big way, and we were all rooting for him.  3rd cast into the last pool of the evening, and BAM, his chartreuse leech gets slammed. It was obviously a nice fish, and Calvin, our guide Ale, and I, were all silently praying to the fish gods that it wouldn’t come unbuttoned.   Not a word was uttered. The silence and tension were palpable,  much like the crowd when a well-hit ball seems to hang in the air for an eternity before it finally and definitively sails over the fence. The fish was in the net! The crowd goes wild.  And, in a bittersweet end to a roller coaster week, it turned out to be the biggest fish of the week. 32 x 23, and 24-25 pounds on the scale. An absolute pig of a brown trout, and one of the fattest and healthiest fish any of us had ever seen.  One fish completely changed the entire trip, and made for an unforgettable week. This is the power of the Rio Grande, and why it continues to be one of the most coveted angling destinations in the world.

Ken, our comic relief from Alaska, had an almost identical experience, and also came through with a nice 21 pound chromer on the last day, which coincidentally was caught in the same pool where Jim got his several hours later. Talk about clutch players! Ken got his in the morning, however, so he didn’t have the same urgency as Jim and spent his last evening celebrating on the river by downing more than a few Quilmes. Here are a few pictures from the week:

We are already booking for 2011, so if you are thinking about possibly experiencing the Rio Grande rollercoaster for yourself, drop us a line at:

Info@FarawayFlyFishing.com

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After very high water that rendered the Rio Grande completely unfishable, the river has come back into shape beautifully and the fishing has been incredible. For the next week our so I’ll be plying it’s coveted waters at Villa Maria Lodge after a two year hiatus, and it looks like my timing couldn’t have been better! Even having guided on the river before, I still find myself getting pre-fishing trip jitters – fitful nights constantly preoccupied in anticipation of that narcotic feeling when your line suddenly comes tight to a 20+ pound brown after a perfect spey cast. As metalheads like to say, “the tug is the drug”, and i’m starting to get flashbacks. The Rio Grande truly is an unequaled place anywhere in the world. Stay tuned for what could be the most explosive fishing of the season!

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As a fishing guide in southern Patagonia, guiding and fishing for sea-trout has become something really interesting and necessary for me, this is an extremely difficult fish to catch, most of the good fishing is in low light conditions and you  never know when  this moody fish is going to take your fly, but when they do! hold on from your rod cause their takes are what  I call AGRESSIVE!

Take a look of the different colors and shapes that they can get depending on the ambient where they come from. Here i picked some pictures of our recent sea-trout caught in several countries in the world.

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Once again the exploration group was becoming restless. After listening  to Alex and Luca’s overland adventure to the remote rivers of southern Tierra del Fuego , we decided that it wasn’t sufficient and we wanted to know ALL about the rivers till the end of the island. For all intents and purposes,  that probably meant that we were going to be the first ones to catch Sea Trout in the southernmost sea trout river ever fished. We knew that it wasn’t an easy proposition, and the main obstacle was going to be the logistics to get to the Policarpo river. Camping there for several days wouldn’t be easy either. The only way to get there was by helicopter, otherwise it would take two grueling days each way on ATVs over peat bogs, cliffs, rocks and ravines.

Tom, a guest at Far End Rivers Lodge and an adventurous fisherman obsessed with sea trout fishing, was the main one interested on this exploration.  Ever since his trip to the Irigoyen last year, he had been scheming and planning this exploration and things were finally coming together. After the logistic issues were solved we set up a date for the trip, and decided to depart from Ushuaia on march 23 rd.

The day finally arrived and after some hours of bad weather we could finally depart. The flight  didn’t take long, it was around an hour and a half.

The scenery was simply amazing,  something we’d never seen before. Dark green high grass covering most of the ground and sinuous rivers running through it. There are hills covered with trees surrounding the area. The “Lenga” tree grows differently here than in most of the places that I’ve seen them – they grow in forms of shields covering the ground and themselves  from the wind. There aren’t any sign of the humans,  just us and the nature.

The weather was pretty nice and helped us to set up the camp with no rush. We couldn’t wait to start fishing.

The walking is really rough in this wetland. Lot of water, mud holes, wild cattle ( including huge feral bulls ) and very long distances to cover (around 60 miles) .

The first day we concentrated in one of the main tributaries of the Policarpo river. Most of the river had good running water and some holding pools. The water had a good temperature, around 9 C but the main characteristic of these rivers is the dark tea color water,  sometimes almost black.  Reading the water is a big problem not only for fishing also the wading can be tricky. After the first hour of fishing we realized that It was going to take some time to find the Sea trouts that we were looking for.

Eight weight rod, sinking line and a bulky fly was the set up for that evening. It was one of  the first times for us fishing SEA TROUT in such a dark colored water.

After a while fishing I got to a nice and pretty deep run with some structure underwater, made one cast behind a fallen grass bank and that was It! I had a fish at the end of my line! That was the first SEA TROUT ever recorded from these waters. It wasn’t a big fish but enough to be done for the whole trip. Of course the fishing continued for the rest of the evening and we did catch more fish further downstream. The day ended and “the tired anglers” were finished as well.

The following five days we walked and explored different part of the tributaries and also the main river (Policarpo), covering almost 60 miles of water. Unfortunately we didn’t have much luck in the main river, most of  the fish caught were in two small  tributaries. The main characteristics of these two small rivers was the fine gravel bottom and both of them had a good water flow.

We definitely were hoping to catch some HUGE SEA TROUT but didn’t happened, the biggest fish weighted approximately ten pounds.  No proper spawning ground, water depth or even the water color could be some reasons why we didn’t find bigger fish.

Our way back in the helicopter wasn’t  easy. Wind, snow and rain didn’t allowed us to leave the camp on the scheduled day. The weather gave us a brake the next morning allowing the helicopter to land and pick us up.

It was really exciting to explore a river never fished before and of course It is even better to catch fish! We will do further trips to this river system and we will keep you posted!

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F I S H I N G     R E P O R T

W E E K 9 – Feb 28st – March 6th

W E A T H E R  C O N D I T I O N S : Good weather and sunny conditions most of the week. We had temperatures between 5º C – 16º C. No wind.

R I V E R  C O N D I T I O N S: Water level was very stable and normal, we didn`t have any big changes during the week. The river was super clear. The water temperature was good, between 8º C to 13º C.

F I S H I N G: The fishing was good, we caught the same quantity that we lost!
The best time was at dusk with mid sized – large streamers. We also caught some very big fish during daylight in random hours with very small nymphs.
The quantities were higher but still could have been better regarding the big amount of fish that we lost.
Floating lines and slow sinking tips were used. Tippets from 15 to 25 pound test !!
Ones again  I am impressed with the power of these fish.
Fish from 6 to 21 pounds were landed.

T O T A L  C A T C H E S : Five rods, fishing 6 days, caught 34 sea trout averaging almost eleven pounds and one of them over 20 pounds. The biggest of the week was a 21 pound hen fish.

Far End Rivers Guides

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