Week 11 is in the books and it was an outstanding one. The river was in perfect shape after the flood last week and these conditions helped our group from USA, Poland, Lithuania, and UK to land a record number of fish, passing the three digit number by a wide margin. Most anglers can probably relate to arriving to a river or fishery only to hear, you should have been here last week. So how nice it was to tell this group that they arrived at the perfect time, with a river in perfect condition. This obviously doesn’t mean that fishing will be great as there are no guarantees when it comes to fishing.
The river kept dropping ever so slightly day by day during the week but kept its perfect tea color throughout, encouraging us to switch back to the standard set up with float/intermediate lines. However we kept fishing fairly big streamers, woolly buggers and nymphs in size 6 and 8.
Weatherwise we had typical autumn conditions with temperatures varying between 8-15 C°, and normal to easy wind, helping us to cover the water properly. The leaves are slowly turning yellow and orange around the lodge, a stunning scenery when you combine it with the incredible sunsets we get here in the autumn.
Tim, Sonya, Brian (BT), and Kim (Nak), entered their second week full of confidence and with a clear goal in mind. After landing plenty of fish during their first week they were now hunting for the big guys, making sure leaders, tippets, and hooks were perfect at all times. Knowing that there is really big fish in the river, it’s worth it to be meticulous when it comes to details so that when that monster grabs your fly, you maximise your chances. Even so, it’s not easy to land fish when they hit that magical 20 lb mark and up. Brian was first to hook into a serious fish when he landed a beautiful seatrout at Old Bridge that came in at 19 lbs. A truly magnificent looking fish wearing autumn colors.
Kim’s response didn’t take long as he walked out the following afternoon and had a phenomenal session. He started by landing a near-perfect 18 lb fish in Bridge pool on almost the first cast of the session. After a few more fish in various pools Kim and Brian came back to finish off the evening in the same pool, since it had been producing plenty of good fish the last couple days and seemed to be full of fish. As it goes with fishing, there is usually a story to go with all the big fish. At some stage during the evening, Kim had mentioned to Brian that even though they had caught plenty of fish so far during the trip, there hadn’t been any fish caught on a weird cast, or when the fly is just sitting somewhere while you’re trying to sort out a tangle, or anything like that. Well when the boys arrived at Bridge pool again in the evening Carlos told Brian to start close to the bridge and Kim to start just below the fence. Kim walked down and started to strip out line from his reel, rolling the fly out in the water just in front of him. Suddenly the water explodes and a fish takes off, backing and line flying all over the place. An intense fight followed with the fish taking Kim into his backing twice before Carlos eventually was able to net it. A perfectly shaped, 22 lbs sea-run brown and a new PB for Kim here at Las Buitreras.
Tim and Sonya kept on doing what they always do, catching fish. To no-one’s surprise, Sonya cracked the 20 lb marker when she landed a super nice fish in Old Bridge pool already on day 1 of the week. Sonya has the sort of mojo that one would pay alot of money for, always finding fish and usually really big ones. Tim had several fish in the double digits and his biggest landed this week was caught in La Curva and weighed in at 14 lbs.
Our Polish/Lithuanian team, Maciej and Olegas, have been fishing the Rio Gallegos many times. Maciej was here for the second time this season after spending a week with us in January as well. Maciej is a huge fan of fishing with a Sunray shadow and usually never fishes anything else here. This week however, something strange happened and he tried fishing with a nymph. And what’s even worse, it worked. It was a slightly embarrassed Maciej who had to put “Nymph” under the heading “Fly” in the catch book. Perhaps the experience of actually writing it on paper was too much because the following session he was back to fishing Sunray’s exclusively again. To be fair the Sunray’s worked very well for him and he caught several nice fish, many of them when fishing a single hander at that.
Olegas, a real fishing machine, back for the first time in a couple years wasted no time and landed a 15 lbs fish on the first day in Limits. Typically a pool for good water levels, Limits was a bit slow during the early season but it’s nice to see it picking up again with the higher water.
Olegas and Maciej had plenty of action during the week but the really big fish kept eluding them. However, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Sometimes that’s the way it goes as their is no forcing it when it comes to hooking big fish. You just gotta be a bit lucky with who decided to go for your fly.
Back after their first visit to Las Buitreras in 2022, Jersey boys Bruce and Warren came perfectly prepared this time around, knowing first hand what to expect. The experience from last year paid off immediately as Warren decided to go for a quick evening session on his own on the Saturday of arrival and landed a chrome colored 14 lbs fish in Bridge pool right off the bat. Being part of Glenda’s hosted group and getting those extra casting instructions seemed to pay off as their casting kept improving day by day, hence helping them to cover water more efficiently witch paid off. After landing that first fish in Bridge pool, one could tell that Warren really enjoyed fishing that pool and believed in it every single cast. As it tturned out the rotation had Warren fishing Bridge pool again on day 1, Sunday, and hooked into an absolute freak of a fish. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to land this one but we are sure it’s still haunting him in his dreams. Bruce landed his biggest for the week in Limits pool as this pool really picked up during the week. Together with Bridge pool these were the clear hot pools in Zone 3 this week. Glenda was doing her usual thing, joining different duo’s from her group, helping out with casting instructions and fishing a bit here and there. She had some really nice fish during the week, as she seemed to find fish everytime she stepped into the water. It’s an absolute blessing to see the sheer joy in Glendas face everyday, whether it’s on the river bank or in the lodge. There are always smiles and encouragement going around. Thank you for the positive vibes Glenda and for bringing such great groups every time.
Last but not least there was Martin and Rick. Martin, who unannounced ran into Glenda back home in Ireland when they decided to catch up over a quick lunch. Walking out from that lunch an hour later he had booked a trip to Las Buitreras, and now he was here taking it all in and enjoying every second of it. Martin is an experienced angler and had no problems with the small adjustments needed for this particular fishing. He was catching fish from day one, with his first double digit fish on day 2 standing out as it was his first reel feel of a bigger sea-run brown trout in Argentina. One particularly good session happened in Zone 1 where Martin and Rick landed 5 seatrout in Kitchen pool in about 1 hour, the biggest weighing in at 17 lbs. It’s funny how that works, sometimes you can’t seem to catch a fish nomatter what you do, and sometimes you can’t drop the fly in the water without hooking up.
Another amazing week and we are so thankful to everyone that was here and shared these moments with us. We hope to see you all again.
Stats of the week
Biggest sea-run brown trout landed: 22 lbs by Kim N from USA
Average size: 9 lbs
Fish over 10 lbs: 40
Fish over 15 lbs: 14