The season is literally flying by and we already have 7 weeks in the books.This week we started with low but very fishable water levels that kept dropping a tiny bit day by day throughout the week. We also had some big temperature swings with a few nights dropping to as low as 2 degrees C. With a good number of fish in the river we are still catching good numbers but with a few slower sessions here and there. We had a big run of tiny fish in the 1-3 lbs range coming up this week, lowering the average weight a bit.
Most of the guests this week were returning clients for several years with a few first-time visitors joining as well.
Married couple Amanda and Marco have been here many times before and know this fishing well. Amanda is a great angler, always casting and fishing to perfection but is also the most self-critical angler we see in the lodge. She would rather not fish if she feels her casting isn’t perfect than catch a fish on a bad cast. Luckily most of her casts this week were good and she caught plenty of fish. Her biggest of the week was landed in Cantera where she was fishing a size 8, Marianne nymph.
Marco kickstarted his week by landing a stunning 19 lbs fish in pool 75 on the first evening. The fish took a Toni Special, Sunray Edition. But perhaps the most memorable session for Marco this week was on the very last evening when he landed 5 fish, weighing in at 6, 14, 12, 12, and 6 lbs. Three of those were caught in the same pool within 20 minutes of one another.
Toni, an excellent and passionate fly-tier who always brings at least 10 boxes full of new flies for each trip, was paired up with his friend Jörg for the week. Toni always fishes with great confidence and is often overheard singing or talking to the fish when he is on the water. We can’t say with any scientific certainty that this actually works, but nonetheless, it seems to work for Toni as he landed the biggest fish of the week yet again. This time it was a 20.5 lb fish caught in Barranca Blanca. Although we were all happy for Toni, it probably stung a bit for Jörg, at least for a minute or two, when Toni landed this fish. Jorg was fishing the lower part of Barranca Blanca and had fished most of the pool when he decided to take a short break. When Toni caught up to Jorg a few minutes later he asked if Jorg wanted to continue but Jorg kindly said he was going to wait a few more minutes, so you can go ahead. Casting his fly exactly where Jörg had walked out of the water, the river erupted and 15 minutes later Toni landed his 20.5 lbs pound fish in front of Jörg. We don’t know if there is a lesson in this or not but sometimes that last cast really counts.
Sven and Dirk had a good week with plenty of fish between the two of them. Sven is an amazing caster and always covers every pool to perfection. He landed his biggest of the week, a solid 15 lbs fish in Barranca Blanca on a chartreuse Woolly Bugger.
Dirk had one of those weeks where you can’t do anything wrong. It didn’t seem to matter what pool or conditions Dirk was presented with, he would still find a fish to pull out. His favorite pool of the week was Old Bridge where he landed one 17 and two 15-pounders, where the 15-pounders were landed in the same session.
Jason and Graham, great casters and experienced seatrout anglers having fished Grande many times, had decided to give Rio Gallegos a chance this week. James and Graham are great anglers and seemed to be enjoying every aspect of the trip. Whenever you were near them you would hear a laugh and joke, always poking fun at each other. James caught plenty of fish, including two 19-pounders. Graham was fishing perfectly all week and managed to put two 17 lb fish in the book as his biggest landed.
For Mathias this was his first time fishing in Patagonia. Being fairly new to Spey casting he really focused on learning to cast and improved fast. Even though he was new to the Spey casting he didn’t take long to land his first Patagonian seatrout when he landed a 6 lbs fish on the first day. Feeling confident after landing a fish Mathias went out the second day and landed a beautiful 17 lbs fish in Becks Bank.
Willi, here for the X time, had his most memorable event in Barranca Blanca on the last day of the trip when he hooked an absolute beast. The fish took almost in the middle of the pool and went absolutely crazy. After splashing and thrashing in the surface for a couple of seconds it took off downstream at a furious pace. Willi tried to follow as best he could but when the fish suddenly made a 180 and started running upstream, Willi knew he was in trouble. With a steep bank behind you, there is nowhere to go and you have to try and reel in super fast to keep contact with the fish. Willi did very well and kept the line tight for most of the run, with the fish passing only meters in front of him at one stage. When the fish started pulling out backing again and running past Willy upstream it suddenly did another sharp turn and went deep into the weed bed in the upper corner of the pool. The guide did everything in his power to get the fish out but after a few attempts at splashing in the water, Willi’s rod tip went up in the air, and the fish was lost. A heartbreaking ending for Willi who had been working so hard to land a fish like this, but also a memory for life.
Michael and Peter were both here for the second time. Michael started his Argentina trip with three days of fishing in Glencross before his week at Buitreras. Last year Michael visited us was his first Spey fishing trip and this year he had improved his casting substantially. Applying his German, scientific, and mechanical approach to how to break down a proper spey cast, Michael was covering most pools with ease. Peter on the other hand is a very experienced angler and spey-caster, and has been fishing his whole life. Together they form an interesting but very successful duo on the river. We don’t get too many double hookups during the season but Michael and Peter have managed to do so on both their weeks here at Las Buitreras. This year it happened in Barranca Blanca where they landed an 11 and 10 lbs fish respectively. A very impressive stat and it will be very interesting to see if they can repeat it for a third time.
A big thank you to the whole group for making this yet another week full of laughter and fish nerdery down here at Las Buitreras.
Stats of the week
Biggest sea-run brown trout landed: 20.5 lbs by Toni
Top rods of the week: Dirk and James with 12 sea-run brown trout each.
Fish over 15 lbs: 9
Fish over 10 lbs: 26
Average weight: 9.5 lbs