Thursday, January 9, 2014

DIY Fly Fishing Patagonia Argentina: Living Your Dreams...A Client Testimonial

Many years ago, in the Andes, I sat at a campfire with my best friend. We stared at the stars, drank Malbec wine, breathed fresh air, and talked about our future goals (it was a good time). I came to the conclusion that I did not want to spend the rest of my life in corporate America, living out of a suitcase, three out four weeks per month. The corporate paycheck had always been good, but my soul/health was in serious debt. My friend went to bed and I stayed up staring and thinking (and, sipping more Malbec).  Like a trout rising to a dry fly, I began to slowly balance my thoughts (I am a literal /logical thinker) with more emotive feelings. As I drifted down this river of thought, I closed my eyes and fast forwarded to my 80th birthday.  I then pictured myself at 80 years old, asking, "how did you live your life?"  Did you live your life as a free man, following your heart-dreams-goals?  The next morning, I shared these thoughts with my friend and he said, "why not?" Why not do what you do best and more importantly, what makes you happy/healthy.  At that moment, I realized that I did not want to be an 80 year old, looking back on my life, saying, I did not follow my hearts truest desires.  I share this with you because I just spent 10 days with a 21 year kid, who at this young age, is already living his dreams and goals.  It was an honor to be with him and I hope the entire world reads about this because despite all the negative crap in the world, there is always a choice to live your life the way you want.  I think Kenton will continue to do just that!

Kenton, on behalf of the entire world, thanks for living your dreams...keep the good energy going. Hope to see you again, on the road less traveled.

Kenton 1st Patagonia Trout.  

In November, I found Mark Foley’s blog on the internet. At first, I was a bit skeptical and confused about what a DIY walk and wade trip entailed, and if the trip was even possible due to such short notice. Thankfully, Mark was very easy to reach and work with over Skype, phone and email, and after a few conversations, I booked my fight and was set for 10 days of mid-December fishing in Patagonia.

The day I was due to fly out, my flight was delayed by 8 hours, meaning I missed my connecting flight to San Martin de los Andes. This was a stressful moment, but with swift and insightful help from Mark, I was able to figure out an alternative route that allowed me to fly into, and explore Bariloche for a night, and still arrive on time.

After a scenic, three hour bus ride from Bariloche to Junin de los Andes, I was greeted by Mark, and he promptly set me up with a habitable, affordable lodging, and got me a great rate exchange rate for pesos, and showed me where to buy delicious local food. Up until the trip, I have probably been fly fishing for about 7 months, (mostly nymph fishing around upstate NY, minutes from Cornell University,) and would consider myself a beginner. I was itching to fish, and Mark wanted to gauge my abilities, so we didn’t waste any time and hit up a local spot that evening. When Mark told me that there might be hundreds of fished lined up in this one run, I didn’t believe him at first. By the end, I knew he wasn’t kidding. I landed more than a few good trout, but lost more fish in a 5 hour session than I had hooked into all season in upstate NY.  It was the start to a good trip.

Mark planned to progressively challenge my abilities as a fly fisherman, and each day we fished spots that became increasingly difficult. These spots became increasingly attractive as well, due to both their beauty, and the amount and size of fish holding in them.  There were times where my lack of skills caused me (and I’m sure Mark was well) much headache, and frustration, but this continual pushing of my comfort zone as a fisherman, coupled with his ability to effectively teach with simple analogies, immensely improved my casting and fishing ability in the 10 days I spent with him. Mark also introduced me to the dry-dropper combo, and man was it deadly on the fish!

We specialize in E.I. Fly Fishing.  In other words, we focus on the emotional intelligence of fly fishing, and turn beginners into peaceful, 'fly fishing' warriors.

Aside from the fishing, Mark was very knowledgeable of local attractions in and out of Junin. I received the full Patagonia experience by visiting some local food and artist markets, and even had a Patagonia BBQ with a local family on Christmas Day.

All in all, the fishing was great, the weather was warm, and the beauty of Patagonia was jaw-dropping. Mark’s affordable, quality DIY service really made this trip a possibility for me. He’s knowledgeable of the area, and knows of spots that are relatively unfished (if that’s your desire). He’s really easy to get along with, and will do the best to make sure your fishing trip is unforgettable.

I know now what a DIY walk-wade fishing trip is all about....Affordable and 100% Fishing!

Kenton Chik.  Brooklyn, NY. USA