We’ve reached mid-March, and the days are rapidly getting shorter. Fishing however seems to just get better and better! It’s incredible to see the amount of fresh fish still entering the river, stacking up in the pools.
Temperatures this week varied between 8 – 15 C during the day, with nightly temperatures on some occasions dropping to just a few degrees above zero. The water level was still great all week, staying just above the zero mark. Since the water is very clear again we went back to smaller flies, mainly size 8 nymphs paired with intermediate tips. During the more windy days, we fished bigger flies like girdle bugs, yellow yummies, and Green Lanterns.
The group for the week was a group of friends from across the globe, including Canada, Luxembourg, France, and Africa. This group usually goes on one trip per year together, and this year we were lucky to host them here at Las Buitreras. Although most of them were completely new to fly fishing they still had a great time as the focus was not so much on the fishing but more to have a great time together, enjoying the lodge and the food, and taking a break from the world outside of Las Buitreras.
As most of the group had never fly fished before the focus the first couple of days was learning the basics of casting and fishing in this type of environment. As a cherry on top, we were treated to the full southern Patagonian treatment with very strong winds the first two days, as if it was trying to test the will and determination of each and every one of the new fly anglers. Turned out there was no quit in this group and everyone powered through, catching fish from day one. A great effort and testament not only to the determination of all participants but also to how healthy the population of fish is. Although it obviously is beneficial to be able to cover the water properly, you don’t need to be a professional caster or experinced angler to catch a few fish here.
With this water level most pools are fishing really well and we saw a very even amount of fish being hooked in all zones. And some of the fish that were hooked were definitely in the trophy-size category but unfortunately, most, if not all, of those fish found a way to unhook themselves. One of the bigger fish that were lost was hooked in Old Bridge by Julien, one of the experienced anglers in the group. After aggressively taking the fly the fish did several runs back and forth before doing a classic move and ran straight toward Julien. Although Julien did incredibly well and managed to keep the line tight while moving back quickly, the fish suddenly took to the air. Not once, not twice, but three times in a row, and on the last jump managed to shake the fly out of its mouth. Left on the bank was Julien, processing the fact that he just lost the biggest sea-run brown trout of his life. Julien, we know it’s not much comfort, but you are in damn good company and we are certain there will be more chances for you to land a fish like that down the road.
Luckily we did land some nice fish as well during the week, like Stan’s 15 lb fish in Upper 1 on day three, and Nicolas R’s and Julien’s 13 pounders in zone 3.
We want to take this opportunity to thank the entire group for making this such an incredible week, and also for putting in such an effort to the fishing. Salute to all of you, Julien, Nicolas, Stan, Cedric, Olivier, Patrick, Julien, Nicolas D, Ben, Thomas, Raphael, Mathieu, and Louis! It was a pleasure to show you Las Buitreras and we’re looking forward to seeing you in Greenland.
Stats of the week
Biggest sea-run brown trout landed: 15 lbs by Stan from Canada
Average size: 8 lbs