April is here and vibrant autumn colors are abundant with all leaves now displaying a bright yellow and orange. This time of the year the light gets really intense, painting the landscape in incredible colors with sunsets that has to be experienced to understand. At the beginning of the week the water level was at a perfect level, just above the magic zero mark, but midweek we received a big push of water from the mountains making the fishing a bit tough for a day before it cleared up again. In terms of temperatures, we experienced rather cold nights around 0°C (32°F), resulting in cold water temperatures in the early morning. Fishing seemed to turn on around midday when the sun had warmed up the water a bit, and stayed hot until dark. This gives us a big window when the fish are active, making up for the shorter days at this time of the year.
We have a lot of people asking whether we catch any fresh fish at this time of the season, as there is a big misconception that late season means catching mainly colored fish. This couldn’t be further from the truth as huge schools of fish enter the river all through April. As a matter of fact, the week with most landed fish the last two seasons was week 12, where a vast majority of fish landed are as fresh as can be, straight from the ocean. This week we didn’t land one colored sea-run for the first days. The guests this week represented Sweden, Austria, USA, and Germany. A fantastic mix of people it turned out as thye all bonded together from day one, cheering eachother on and celebrating eachothers achievements.
Tomas, a long time friend that’s visited us several times in the past, brought along his wonderful wife Petra to celebrate her birthday. They are both great fly anglers, spending several weeks fishing for both sea-run brown trout and Atlantic salmon in Sweden and Norway each year. They immediately recognized that they had arrived to a river in great condition and were determined to make the most of it. And did they ever. Wrapping up, they had an amazing week, landing more than 30 fish together. But the standout moment for them took place already on the morning session on day one. Fishing zone one, Tomas was making his first few casts in Molino run, a nice pool located about 100 meters or so above Senior’s pool where Petra was fishing with Charly. Fishing one of his self tied Leech patterns, Tomas landed the fly near the current line on the other side of the channel and let it swing around into the deeper channel. A swirl, a tail breaking the surface, and the line went tight. Tomas immediately lifted the rod and set the hook, ready for an explosion of water, but instead there was nothing. The fish went straight down to the bottom and refused to move. Tomas kept the line tight and for a couple seconds he was just standing there, the line tight but the fish not moving an inch. Tomas then figured, well I can’t stand here all day, something’s gotta give eventually, so he decided to put some serious pressure on the fish, trying to move it. With the rod bent down to the cork without anything happening, he tried to pump the fish up a couple times with no success. Then suddenly the fish turned and did a short run downstream, but this was enough for Tomas to know that this was a serious fish. “Charly”, Tomas shouted from the top of his lungs, while doing everything in his power to keep the right pressure on the fish. Charly who was with Petra in Senior’s immediately knew that it was time to run and did a 200 meter or so run around in less than a minute, net raised in the air the whole way. In the meantime tomas was busy pairing violent hedshakes and rapid runs up and down the pool. After a couple minutes of looking at Tomas fighting the fish it was finally getting close enough to the shallow bank for Charly to attempt to net it. Knowing it was a big fish, just now how big yet, Charly was very careful before making his move. With Tomas carefully guiding the fish even closer Charly stepped out and made his move. Tomas could hear the sounds of gravel hitting the rim of the net before a loud cheer from Charly and violent splashing in the net. Quickly running up to the net Tomas couldn’t believe his eyes. An absolute monster, measuring 100 cm x 57 cm, and weighing in at exactly 25.3 lbs! Cheers and hugs was all around as they tried to take in the sheer size of the fish. A true dreamfish and the biggest fish landed of the season so far. Huge congrats Tomas and well done. As mentioned above both Petra and Tomas landed several more nice fish during the week, including a 19.8 lbs fresh fish that Tomas landed in Bridge pool.
Klaus and Christina from Austria visited us in Greenland last year and had now decided to give the sea-run brown trout fishing a try for the first time. They came well equipped with some of the most beautiful flies and fly boxes that we have seen this season. Both quickly adapted to the style of fishing and were catching fish from day one.. Klaus had an incredible session right at the beginning of the week when he first landed a fresh 10 lbs in Pool 75 , only to follow it up a couple minutes later with a fish almost double in size, hitting the scale at just under 20 lbs. Christina had a special moment in Tiura pool when she hooked up and thought she was fighting a decent sea-run brown trout, until Carlos netted the fish and realized it was a resident brown trout. After admiring the stunning colors for a few seconds it was measured and weighed. Believe it or not, but the fish came in at 13 lbs, and the biggest resident brown for the season. An absolute dream fish for Christina.
After three days at Estancia Glencross with great conditions and exceptional sea trout fishing, landing several fish each session, Michael and Fred, members of the super exclusive Schaman club, founded on the Russian Tundra in the 90’s, were now ready for a week at Las Buitreras. Having been part of the early days on the Kola Peninsula in Russia with Christer, exploring salmon and trout rivers on the tundra, we were all treated to some great stories during the week. Both Fred and Michael landed a good amount of fish during the week and enjoyed the whole experience of fishing in this unique landscape, with its wildlife and exceptional sunsets. It was great to have you both here and to hear about all the crazy adventures you’ve been on.
Then there was the Harlam gang, brothers Greg and Jeremy, along with their father Alan. A great bunch of fishy guys that enjoyed taking such a memorable trip together down to Patagonia. All three were fairly new to spey casting but quickly mastered the whole process and started covering good water almost immediately. Both Jeremy and Greg started putting fish in the book from day one, mostly fishing Jeremy’s self tied nymph patterns that worked very well. Greg landed several nice fish during the week with a couple double digit fish from zone 1 and 4. Jeremy had a very nice 12 lbs fish in Cantera but unfortunately lost a really big colored fish in Wagon Wheel on the last day. Happy to have the boys have their fun for most of the week, Alan decided to show them how its done on the last day when he landed a magnificent 18 lbs sea-run in Tiura pool. A great finish for him and the whole family!
in order to cover water in each pool. Already on day one Jeremy and Greg had several fish in the books, fishing nymph patterns most of the time. At the end of the week they landed a few more nice ones, such as a 12 lbs for Jeremy in Cantera and Greg with a couple of double digit fish in Zone 1 and 4. Jeremy also lost a very big fish on the last day in Wagon Wheel, when he hooked up and a big coloured sea trout rolled on the surface and unfortunately got away after a few seconds. You’ll get that one next time. Alan showed them how its done by the end of the week when he landed a magnificent 18 lbs sea-run in Tiura pool during one of his last sessions. A great finish for him and the whole family!
Good friends Rick and Bert was also here for the first time. Fairly new to Spey fishing they enjoyed the whole process of learning to spey cast at a place like this. Apart from catching a bunch of fish they also shared their fare share of stories. Rick also shared alot of knowledge about Argentinian wines and vineyards as this is one of his big passions in life. And to top it off he had brought some very special bottles that he shared with the group on the last night of the week. Thank you so much guys..
Looking forward, the river is in great shape and we can’t wait to see what week 14 has to offer. Stay tuned.
Stats of the week
Biggest sea-run brown trout landed: 25,3 lbs by Tomas Ö. from Sweden
Average size: 8,4 lbs