NEWS & REPORTS
Patagonia Is Always A Good Idea - Part I
We arrived to Junin de Los Andes with Juan and met a great group of friends, Mark, David, Pat and Mitch.They were waiting for us at the lodge since they had arrived a day earlier than us. They had been doing some sightseeing in Buenos Aires, organized by Cici from our travel and Leisure department.
At the lodge they had already been warming up at Malleo River. We had a great dinner and a great welcome from our friends from Andes Drifters. The dinner featured delicious Argentine steak, cooked to perfection and a wine tasting experience organized by Gustavo. We tried wine from different areas of Argentina, such as Neuquen, Mendoza and Salta. It was pretty amazing to find out the differences between the wines and the areas. We were all happy with this experience. After that, time to have a good rest to start the next day the first full day of fishing.
On day one we fished in two different groups. Four of us fished Alumine River, in two boats. In one, it was Juan and I, in the other Mark and Pat. ….The other group went with Pepe, the guide, to do some sight fishing in lake Tromen. It was such an amazing day, it couldn’t have been more beautiful. It started with a little frost early morning, pretty unusual at this time of the year. It was difficult to wake up that morning, honestly. Juan helped me switching on the lights and telling me it was time to make it! He was definitely anxious for some fish, he did really good. First he took photos and got some really good footage for his videos, and then he fished. The sunny day helped, the lack of wind helped. We were able to cast were we wanted. The highlight of the day was that we got Dan as our guide for the day. It’s always nice to see good people again, and even better when you share the same passion. The first place we fished was nervous waters we tried with a couple of different nymphs, and the one which worked was the phaisan tail. We used dry flies, poppers, and we tried different angles, different ponds. When we were kind of surrendering, Daniel said, let’s do two casts more and if nothing happens we go. And in the last shot, we got beautiful fish! (At this point, you should go and read my reflection about luck when fishing, I wrote that one after a full day of empty hands in the Bolivian Jungle).
The water was posing a lot of resistant and it made look the fish as if it was really big. When we finally got it, we saw it was an 18 fish, which was definitely not a disappointment, it was a rainbow trout, the first one of the day, and that happened after 40 minutes of being in the water so, it couldn’t be better. You looked around and you saw a beautiful area and you got a fish in 40 minutes with people you enjoy having fun at the river, so the day was off to a good start, a really good start. With the passing of the hours the wind picked up a little bit but it wasnt that strong. You could feel it in some areas of the river, depending where the turns were coming but it really didn’t affect the fishing. Both of the boats were having fish, Mark and Pat during the day got like 15 fush total in between both of them, and we got an average of 10, 12 fish. I mean Juan and I, I fished like up to 4pm while Juan was taking photos and then he joined me in the fishing. The memories are not about how many fish you get but about how you get the fish. One fish was very amazing. We were in an area with strong water and currents and Dani said, ok guys, let it go, let ig drift, and when it gets to the end strip it, and I was thirsty so I left the line in the water and started drinking some water, I took some water from the cooler and let the line work on its own with the current and I was drinking the water while Juan was trying to get some fish with his two hands, and I got a fish on my line!!! Just with one hand on the rod and on the other one a glass of water. The first time this has happened! I know it wont happen again but we got a nice fish! Then we got a couple of fish but we were not able to hook them, the fish attacked the fly as soon as it fell into the water and the line was not that tight so in a moment, it was not easy to hook them...But we could get as many fish as we wanted!
At midday, after getting some fish, we were with Dan and our good friend Guti, a nickname he got from his last name Gutierrez. He’s got all sorts of names, he’s also called “Tiny” because he is huge! He prepared lunch for us, nice salads, meatpies, flan for desert. Lunch was pretty amazing. When you’re in the water, you love a nice lunch. The unexpected thing was that Ruben came up to us and said Guys, you don’t even think that we’re going to go fishing now, we’ll take a nap! Of course we didn’t say no! We loved the idea! We took a 45 minute nap, and that changed our day. It was nice, under the tree, all of us lying there, just relaxing, taking some time for ourselves. The day started getting hotter, so we got some sunscreen again, SPF 50 , we also used a buff to protect our necks, good glasses, which helps a lot when fishing in the water. We were all wearing new Pointer Fly Fishing caps specially designed for the occasion. It was good to see them after designing them and to see us all wearing them. The gloves helped a lot, they are not completely necessary but they are a good addition. I used my waders, we used Simms waders and boots. And Juan and Daniel considered that the water was not that cold so they got fast dry pants, North Face or Patagonia quick dry pants. Nice shoes are also important, Dani was wearing some Simms shoes, not boots but shoes which looked prety comfortable. Probably, that’s a good addition to your fishing bag for days like today when you don’t really need waders, and also neoprene socks, and or comfortable shoes designed for fly fishing. We were using like three different nymphs, the Cooper John, Prince and Phaisan Tail, and dry flies, PMX, Willi’s Ant, Purple Haze and Chubby Chernobyl. Rods we were using, Sage and Temple Fork, very nice quality equipment, all floating lines, Rio lines were very good, and the leaders and the Nymphs we were using were the 4X, 3X specially on the bigger flies. The afternoon started very good, with a lot of action, but then at around 5.30 the fishing slowed down a lot . That’s fishing like, it has its ups and downs.
This is a true story I just remembered. When I got into my waders, and this is not nice at all, I forgot completely about my shoes. I don’t know, maybe I was excited to get into the water or maybe I just assumed the guide would see them and pick them up… So when we got to the second camp I asked our guide if he had my shoes and he was like, errr, I don’t have them...He was joking, he had picked them up, he had them but he told me he didn’t. He was like, I don’t have them but I have some sandals from my wife here in the pick up truck, you can borrow them. I said, well, no problem, I prefer to wear the sandals rather than waking bare foot. LOL, hahah Rodo, the guide had them but now I need some revenge. I need to take something from him and hide it. Maybe the keys to the pick up truck?
The nice thing about fishing in this area is that the wildlife is very nice too. We saw a couple of red stags, mostly females, we didn’t see any bucks but it was nice to see the red stags around. Another highlight of the day was a toast with Mark and Pat. Mark had a nice leather flask, with the first letter of his name carved on it and we had some toasts by the river and sips of Patron Tekila, amazing.
The driving to Alumine river was not too bad. We had to go throught the Malleo area and it was about 30 minutes driving. The way back was a bit longer, like 40 minutes to the lodge but the scenery was amazing, so we enjoyed the driving.
Wanna know how day two was? Stay tunned!