Sunday, April 7, 2013

Fly Fishing Patagonia Argentina: Alumine and Chimehuin River Camping Trip and More.

Hola Todos,

The below comments are from one our recent DIY clients.  Ross and his wife are from Canada and have lived a life of true DIY travelers.  For example Ross has paddled +12 arctic rivers in his lifetime.  I believe they could easily afford a lodge, but they wanted a true Patagonia fishing/traveling experience, offering the combination of float trips and walk-wade fishing.  Well, that's what they got because that's what we do!

On behalf of the guides and their families, thank you for working with First Cast Fly Fishing!

Ross and Gustavou: Alumine rainbow on the dry.

Our Patagonian adventure started when Mark met my wife and me at the Bariloche airport.  It was to be more than just a fishing trip as we had discussed in e-mails preceding our trip.  We wanted a taste of Patagonian life to go along with some fishing.  Mark turned out to be a great tourist guide, a currency expert, a casting instructor (how to manage a 40 mph wind at your back and get the fly out over 80 feet to those browns cowering under the overhang on the other bank) and a language instructor.  We stopped at out-of–the-way markets, dined in local family-run restaurants, fished in rivers as clear as aquaria, enjoyed an asado (Argentine BBQ) on the banks of an incredible river that we had all to ourselves, spotted wild boars, guanacos, red deer and experienced wonderful fishing.  Whether it was walking and wading or floating, Mark knew the fishing spots and made the arrangements for us to get to the fish.  I had great dry-fly action as late as the second week in March followed by wonderful nymph fishing as the weather cooled off.  Riding around in the largest pickup in Argentina is comforting given the local driving habits, and Mark even threw in a blown voltage regulator 40 km up a gravel road in Los Alerces National Park for a truly novel experience.  Nothing phases this guy and he will introduce you to everything Patagonia has to offer.  Thanks Mark!

In addition, we would like to say something about Mark's partner/floating guide, Gustavou Sarthou. 

Evidently, it is illegal for Americans to guide/float in Patagonia, Argentina (except for Tierra del Fuego).  Mark told us that his partner/guide was an ex-olympic rower, former bank executive and bi-lingual speaker.  So, we were anxious to meet him and we are so very glad that we did because: Gustavo treated my wife and me to three great floats on the Alumine and Chimehuin Rivers just outside of Junin des los Andes this March (2013).  The fish came to big bushy dry flies all day on the Alumine and probably more than 7 were in the 18-20 inch class.  Gustavo positioned the boat so that I had an optimum shot at the shoreline despite the ever-present Patagonian wind.  It was fun because he speaks great English and we enjoyed the day thoroughly.  Gustavo also guided us on an overnight trip on the lower Chimehuin, one of the greatest float trips you could ever imagine.  Crystal clear water, class II to III rapids, incredible scenery and fish (mainly rainbows) to match. Having a boatman of his skill level was a real comfort as we bolted down complex rapids with the willows often brushing the raft.  The weather had cooled down considerably, so Gustavo recommended we go to a small nymph below the big dry.  And for two days I landed over 20 fish on the nymph, at least half in the 18-22 inch range.  At the bottom of one rapids, where we fished from the shore, I had a whale break my 8 lb test tippet as if it was a piece of dental floss.  Gustavo knows all the secret lies on these rivers and at the end of day three, he led us on a one kilometer trek to an isolated overflow pond full of big browns.  They did not oblige me with a bite but it was such an unforgettable way to end our time together.  Again, thank you Mark for creating a true Patagonia fishing/traveling experience!

For more information about Ross's Patagonia adventure, you are welcome to read more and view photos at the following:

Walk-Wade Fishing on the Malleo River