A new month is here and with March arriving we had our first real taste of autumn with a big flood hitting the river from the Chilean mountains. The group this week consisted of guests from apart, with Charles and Rob representing Australia while the rest of the group came from Scandinavia, Scotland, and Germany. A fantastic mix it turned out.
On the day the group arrived we had a river with clear water, sitting at a water level of – 20 which is considered quite low. This meant that we mainly focused on smaller flies in the form of rubberleg nymphs tied onto long leaders. From day two things started changing with the river quickly coming up, and before we knew it, we were fishing light sink tips and big flies such as yellow yummies, and chartreuse/pink streamers and wooly buggers. After the first push of water, the river got a bit colored but it kept clearing up during the week and by the end of it we had the perfect tea color we love down here.
Charles and Rob, old mates from Australia, are both experienced fly anglers who have fished all around the world. Charles has been here before while Rob visited us for the first time. In classic Aussie manner, they approached the river with great confidence and started hooking into fish right away. With a couple of fish landed on day one they went all out on day two and landed two fish over 20 lbs. Charles started the big fish hunt when he hooked into an absolute brute in pool 75 on the last cast of the morning session. Charles was fishing a chartreuse wooly bugger when a colored male took a real disliking to his fly and hit it full force. With the wind howling down the river, it was quite spectacular to see the fish take to the air over and over again. It’s usually hard to keep contact with the fish with the wind creating a huge bow in the line as soon as you lift the rod tip but somehow Charles figured it all out and in due time managed to land a stunning 23 lb river monster. An amazing fish and achievement. Rob, who minutes earlier had landed a nice 14 lbs fish in the same pool, immediately decided that 20-pounders were the way to go. After lunch and siesta Rob and Charles were off to Zone 4 and Rob was on point from the first cast. Fishing a small Sunray in Tiura pool his swing suddenly came to a full stop and a huge fish headed downriver with his sunray in its mouth. After a back-and-forth fight Rob came out on top and could land a beautiful 20.9 lbs seatrout. Aussie Aussie Aussie.
Our good friend Gary was also here this week and brought along a group of excited, first time visiters from Scotland. Two of his guests, Gavin and Yvonne, had decided to spend a couple days in Buenos Aires before heading down south to Las Buitreras and had already fallen in love with Argentina when they arrived. Now the only thing missing was a Seatrout, which didn’t take them long. Yvonnne caught her first ever Patagonian trout in Tiura during her first session, and followed it up with a beautiful 14 lbs fish from Upper One. Gavin on the other hand had an insane session in Old Bridge on day 4 when he landed no less than 6 fish in one pool.
Paul and Barry, also from Scotland and both experienced salmon anglers, did like everyone else this week and went headhunting for big fish from day one. Looking through the catch records from this week you will find a 19 and 18 lbs fish as their biggest landed with a few nice ones lost that probably will stay in their thoughts for quite some time. Having a group of Scotts in the lodge mixed with Aussies and Scandos is a great recipe for plenty of story telling and laughter, even though most of us only understand half of what is said most of the time.
Gunnar from Sweden had been planning to visit Las Buitreras for many years, but it was his wife who finally told him to just book it and go. “You’ve been talking about it forever and you only live once”. Gunnar arrived with several boxes of beautiful flies, as one of his missions was to catch an Argentinian seatrout on a fly he had tied himself.
As this was one of the more windy weeks we’ve seen this season, it took some getting used to but once Gunnar had adjusted his casting to the conditions he started fishing like a seasoned Patagonia vet, covering the water with ease. Gunnars fishing partner for the week was Willy from Switzerland. Willy was a on a big fishing trip across southern Patagonia, fishing Buitreras, Glacier King, and Jurassic lake, all in one sweep. Willy is one of the most positive, easy going people on the planet and Gunnar and Willy were a great match, catching plenty of fish and laughing constantly in the lodge. One moment that stands out was when they had a double hook up in Old Bridge pool, where Gunnar landed his biggest fish of the trip and a new personal best for seatrout. A stunning chrome colored fish that weighed in at 19.8 lbs.
Team Denmark, Erling and Lars, first visited us here back in 2016, and had now found themselves back again several years later, chasing these magnificent fish and enjoying some nice Malbec. Their favorite pool of the week was Old Bridge where Erling caught a beautiful 12 lbs fish. Lars landed his biggest fish of the week in Upper 1 while making a few casts in Coco’s pool. Two strips in his Yellow Yummy got smashed by a big fish that made him work hard for his moment of celebration. After a great and intense fight, Lars could finally stare down at a solid, 16 lbs sea-run brown resting in the net.
Last but not least, we had good friends Anton and Daniel from Germany. Both very good fishermen who usually spend their summers chasing salmon in Norway. Daniel was particularly focused on landing a big seatrout on his single hander, and being a phenomenal caster he was covering most pools with ease. Some of you may even have seen Daniel in his well known Tarpon movie Tapam, where he’s chasing huge Tarpon in a belly boat in the jungles of Nicaragua. Daniel achieved his mission on day two when him and Anthon took turns with the single hander and landed three fish in less than an hour, all between 7 and 11 lbs. Before the session ended they had landed another two fish, although the last two were caught with a 7-weight double hander. Anthon and Daniel kept experiencing great fishing all week long with several double digit fish landed. There was one particular morning session that stood out, when they landed three big fish within a 90 minute span. The biggest, an amazing 19 lb male, was caught by Anthon in upper Little corner pool. The fish was incredible strong, and using the current to his advantage. It took around 15 minutes before Anthon, standing in waist deep water, was finally able to land the fish.
Thank you all for a great week. We enjoyed every minute of it and hope to see you all again.
As of writing this we are watching the river rise fast and we are expecting even more water the next couple days. Exciting times and great conditions coming up once the river settles.
Stats of the week
Biggest sea-run brown trout landed: 23 lbs by Charles B from Australia
Average size: 8,2 lbs
Fish over 10 lbs: 30
Fish over 15 lbs: 12