With Week 6 done and dusted, we can add another 100 plus fish week to the books. This week was a full blown british invasion at the lodge as it was the yearly hosted week by Sportquest Holidays.
The water level was still very low at the beginning of the week but luckily we had cool and comfortable temperatures in the 15-20 C range during the days, followed by colder nights keeping the water temperature down and the fish active. Day one started with very strong winds which stirred up the water and gave all the first-timers a good idea of what Patagonian weather can be like. Fortunately we don’t get this type of wind very often but it’s amazing to see how strong mother nature can be. The rest of the week saw more favorable conditions with a nice, downstream wind, cloud cover, and sprinkles of rain here and there. More or less perfect fishing conditions down here.
Neil and John, long-time friends and fishing partners, have been coming to Las Buitreras for many years. Over the years we have gotten used to seeing John sneak down to the river for a couple extra casts during siesta time, or late in the evening the day of arrival. This year was no different and it only took a couple minutes from arriving to the lodge until he was in his waders heading to the river. A couple hours later he was back, adding the first fish of the trip to the book.
We could dedicate this whole report to the adventures of John and Neil but we will skip straight to the most memorable moment. On day 5, Neil was fishing Lawson pool and had just started covering the fast water in the upper section when a monster trout destroyed his fly and went absolutely crazy. From the moment the fish grabbed the fly to when it had Neil deep into the backing took no more than a couple seconds. With less and less backing on his reel Neil started running after the fish. 20 minutes later Neil managed to get the fish close enough to the bank in La recta, the pool below, to be netted. A perfect 21.2 lbs kyped male and a new Personal Best. With Neil landing the biggest fish of the week, and John ending up top rod with 18 landed, it was quite the week for them.
This week we had two father and son duos at the lodge. Peter, who’s been here before brought his son Tom along for the first time. They started on day one with a double hook up in Cantera, landing two super fresh fish, 13 and 6 lbs. Peter kept hooking fish all week, landing a 17.5 lbs in Lawson pool, and a gorgeous,19 lbs male, in Cantera. Tom, trtying to keep up with dad, had a very special moment up in C-pool. Fishing the fast run towards the cut bank in the upper part of the pool, Tom was just setting up to get started, pulling out line from the reel and making a short roll cast to the middle of the small channel, asking guide Charly how to best fish it, when a fish hit his leech fly with full force. After the usual headshakes and a short run upstream, the fish turned and went downstream, all the way to Shelf pool, well over hundred meters further down. Tom stayed cool and managed to manouvre the line and fish through all the shallow parts and obstacles before Charly eventually was able to net a fresh, 20 lbs sea trout. Not a bad fish for a first visit here.
The other father and son duo, Chris and his son Will, are both visiting us on a regular basis and know their way around the river. Chris, struggling a little with a knee issue this week, kept fighting and landed several nice fish. Will was on point from day one and didn’t set a foot wrong all week. Standout moments were when he landed a nice double in little corner, weighing 12 and 13 lbs respectively, and a 16 lbs fish in Barranca Negra. In classic Barranca Negra manner, the fish went deep into the weeds, forcing our guide Franko to wade chest deep, digging around in the weeds before he could finally scoop the fish into the net.
David and Christopher were both here for the first time after being convinced by other groupmembers to try out the Las Buitreras experience. Based on their own accounts it seemed like they made a good call coming here, enjoying all parts of the trip. Especially the wildlife surprised them as this is not something that is talked about that much. “This is something safari tourists travel around the world to experience and we get it included with the fishing”, was a sentence we heard several times during the week.
In terms of fishing they both got along very well. David preferred to use his light switch rod and was very successful. Among his highlights was a three fish blits in Zone 2, with a 14.5 lbs fish as the final touch. David landed his biggest fish of the week, a stunning 15 lbs fish, in Cantera on a Marianne nymph.
Christopher worked hard all week on his spey casting technique and made some impressive improvements. He caught his biggest fish of the week in Turning Bank, a nice 11 pounder, casting with his left hand for the first time.
Last but not least, we had Niall and Steve. Niall has been here a couple times while Steve visited us for the first time. Niall caught his biggest fish of the week in C-pool, a tempered 15.5 lbs fish that gave him a good run for his money before finally being netted. Steve, an avid Salmon angler, quickly adapted to the style of fishing here and landed plenty of fish during the week. Among his more memorable fish was a beautiful 14 lbs from the sceninc Kitchen pool that went for a classic Copper John.
A big thank you to the whole group for yet another amazing week down here in Southern Patagonia. And a special thanks to Sportquest for always sending such nice guests.
Stats of the week
Biggest sea-run brown trout landed: 21,2 lbs by Neil R.
Top rod of the week: John D with 18 sea-run brown trout landed
Average size: 7,8 lbs
Fish over 10 lbs: 37
Fish over 15 lbs: 12