On the same day that my previous DIY client left for Chile, 76 year old Dr. Marc Richman, my new pre 30's DIY clients arrived (what a contradiction of DIY clients). Meet Les Vance and Lysa Marquez, the youngest DIY clients on record. Both are pre 30's and hail from Creede Colorado. During the summer months in the USA, Les is the head guide at the 4UR Ranch, a wonderful all inclusive summer resort set in the Colorado Rockies. During the off season, Les spends his time doing DIY trips to places like New Zealand and now Patagonia. Lysa graduated from Colby College, just a few hours from my home in New Hampshire. She works part-time in washington D.C. for a foundation specializing in HIV education and prevention, and then spends her summers working in Creede.
Les contacted me a few months ago and told me that he found my blog on the internet. He explained to me that he was visiting Patagonia for 2 months and was wondering if I had time to work with him. As it turns out, I had a small 5 day window to work with him and Lysa. Also, truth be told, with my broken finger and having worked for a solid month straight with other clients, it was great to work with him because he is a professional guide and a dam good DIY fly fisherman. So, all I needed to do was to find them affordable lodging, food, and drive them to the river every day...pretty low key and no stress at all. In fact, working with Les and Lysa (non-traditional clients) has given me the opportunity to think about the future regarding DIY fly fishing in Patagonia. My thoughts? I hope some of you don't take this personally, but the traditional fly fishing client (lodge folks), due to their age, will soon be fishing in the big sky (and I don't mean Montana); or physically incapable of traveling and fishing. Sad, but true, I doubt the next generation of fly fisherman will have the money to pay the lodge bill (unless you are a TF baby). Plus, I don't see the next generation as the lodge type at all...people and our culture has changed...fishing in general has lost its appeal to the youth (Fishing vs. Facebook, etc). So, at a quick glance, most people look at what FCFF is doing and they think we are crazy, or they simply don't understand the method to our madness. Trust me, we are not crazy and we are well aware that we do things entirely different from the rest of the fly fishing world. But, I feel good about our not-for-profit/donation only model, and our DIY programs that we are offering (it just feels right and I believe if fly fishing has a future, this is the new paradigm). As we have always said, we don't want to be the 'top dog' in the industry...heck, we don't want to be part of the industry at all...we just want to go fishing and help others do the same! And, for 5 long days, with Les and Lysa, that's just what we did!
|En route to Junin de los Andes...a quick stop at the Rio Limay Amphithreater. As you can tell, these guys really know how to strike a pose (not)!
|Lysa tussling with her big bow. We were nymphing pools and going deep.
|This may not look big, but this is a chunky bow, maybe close to 2lbs...and it fights like a wild fish!
|Another chunky lower Chimehuin bow.
|We moved downstream and came across a Pancora crab...cute little buggers.
|Last Day = middle Rio Malleo (yellow bridge). What an amazing day of weather and fishing. As you can see my guest are not into posing for pics.
|Now Lysa, being a beginner and not overly thinking about the above mentioned, simply got into the water and started roll casting. This produce a few fish...not bad for hot mid day action.
|Within a short time, and focusing the the run just behind his left shoulder, Les hooked into a nice Malleo bow using a terrestrial dry fly
|In this spot, the one that Les seemed not so hot on, consistently produces bows in this size and color.
Les and Lysa have left Junin de los Andes and are headed to Mendoza...Malbec wine capital of the world. I don't think they will have much time to explore the many wine bodegas (vineyards) because their flight leaves on April 2nd. That gives them the entire weekend, but to all future South American travelers, this is Easter holiday weekend! This holiday is by the largest in South America and people (lots of people) will start traveling as early as Tuesday. So, I wish them well and hope they can get to Santiago without issue. In closing, I had a great time with them and I thank them for working with me. I hope they can share their experience with the next generation and tell them that DIY fly fishing in Patagonia is real and I am always here to help!
Saludos y Feliz Semana de Santa,
PS. As a result of working with a Les (a guide), I may offer a special DIY guide program for Patagonia. Please contact me directly to discuss details. And if your ever in the Creede or Southwest part of Colorado, I highly recommend working with Les Vance email@example.com