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Three day float trip in the Limay - Part I

This was my first time fishing in the mid-section of Limay River, we had already been in the upper course where we had a difficult but great experience overall. So this time we chose to fish in the middle course since Gustavo, our associate partner, had suggested it. He proposed that we do three days floating the river and stay in a campsite for two nights.

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That’s why we checked out of Spring Creek Lodge at about 7.30 in the morning and drove all the way the road that connects Bariloche and Neuquén towards a town called Piedra del Aguila. When we reached Piedra del Aguila, we kept going for 13 miles north and turned right in direction to the river that was at about 10 miles driving through the desert. 

 

Once there, we had to pay a small fee to the guide and we started our journey in the boat, the 6 of us divided into three different boats and carried everything to the campsite. We had spectacular, sunny and overall beautiful days. Danny, our guide, was very helpful since he’s a fantastic angler, so we were excited that he joined us; we got to learn so much from him! Actually, Danny was born in the USA but once he came down to Argentina, he never left because he fell in love with our country.

 

Then, we had the pleasure that Ruben Gutierrez, alias Guti, was our guide there too. We hadn’t met him before, but we were happy to have him as well because we found out that he’s a very good-hearted person and always eager to fish! I remember when I first met him, I was a bit down in the dumps because I wasn’t getting any bites and then he said: ’we’re definitely getting fish in this river, I’m going to change your mind about it’. And he really did! He put so much effort into the fishing and we had a blast! What an amazing friend we made, we called him ’Bear Hug’ because every time he says ’hello’ it comes with a big hug! 

 

Our third guide was called Guillermo Palacios - we kept calling him ’William Palace’ having a laugh because that’s the literal translation of his name; so fancy! He’s a really tall guide in his 50’s and he knows the river rod to rod. He knows every turn of the river by heart and exactly where’s the best spot to fish. We were delighted to make yet another great friend on our journey! 

 

The first fishing day, Juan and I joined forces with Guillermo; Mark and Pat went on with Ruben and then Mitch and David went with Danny. The fishing was good for everyone, except for our boat! But there’s a reason for that. I was fishing by myself, Juan was taking a lot of pictures and I took the chance to work on my streamers. Limay is a huge river, as wide as three roads put together; and sometimes even wider - as wide as three freeways. It has three channels: The main one that everyone calls ’Limay Medio’, then, you have ’Neuquen channel’ and the ’Rio Negro Channel’ and they all connect here and there so you get different options to fish!

 

The key is when you choose to use streamers you are trying to get big brown trouts of 4 to 10 pounds that stay in the bottom of the river waiting for a nice fly. There’s a different way of fishing those trouts - this is what David and Mitch chose - that’s using dry flies and tying a nymph to it with 3 to 4 leaders on the nymph. That way, you get a dry fly that’s big enough to use as a fly and as a buoy floating.

 

Juan and I gave a go to the dry flies method after trying the streamers - we changed about 7 or 8 streamers before we decided to give up on those! So this time, it was Juan’s turn to give it a try. Actually, he doesn’t have that much experience fishing, but he got a great cast really fast; I was impressed by how fast he learned everything. Although he probably has to work a bit when it’s windy. But when we had good weather, he was able to put his dry fly wherever he wanted, like in the banks or in the willows, so he got a trout soon enough! Then, he got a couple more bites but he couldn’t hook them. Finally, he got a beautiful 19-inches trout, needless to say, we were having a fantastic time!

 

 

But you know what? I bet you’ll be even more surprised about what happened on day two!

 

 

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Pablo Aguilo

 

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