Friday, January 17, 2014

DIY Fly Fishing Patagonia: From Stratham New Hampshire to the Malleo River

It's not the weirdest thing that has happened to me.  But, I never expected to take my dentist fly fishing in Patagonia, Argentina.  Here's a brief write-up of Tom's one day fishing adventure.

Several years ago, Tom Shealy and his wife, booked a trip to Patagonia.  Unfortunately, due to a volcano eruption, the entire trip had to be cancelled.  At the time they booked the trip, Tom was not my dentist, and FCFF in Patagonia, did not exist.  Fast forward a few years... FCFF now exists in Patagonia, I am receiving routine check-ups at the Tom's office, and we regularly talk about fishing and hunting.  So, about eight months ago, unknowingly to Tom, his wife sent me an email.  She stated that they would be in San Martin de los Andes for a few days and that she was planning a handful of adventure activities (hiking, biking, etc). The next thing I knew, I was confirming a one day walk-wade fishing day with Tom.  As they say, the rest is history.    

Rio Malleo Facts

Location: Junin de los Andes, Argentina.  Approximately, +/- 1 hour from Junin.
Province: Neuquen
Fishing Season: Generally, November 01 till May 31st.
Licensed Required: Yes, general fishing only.
Floating:  Floating the Malleo is prohibited.
Entrance Fee:  Currently $40 pesos (per day) to enter the lower section or Mapuche reservation.
Camping: Yes, only on the Mapuche reservation, $15 pesos per night.
Length: 64 Kilometers or 40 miles.
Origin: Lago Tromen (third major lake tributary to the rio Alumine).
Termination: Alumine.
Fly Rods: 9ft/4wt through 9ft/6wt. Switch = 11ft/5wt.
Fly Lines:  Floating for dry flies and nymphs.  Seasonal use of sink tips for faster-deeper water.
Flies:  Sorry, but we only share this information with our guest.

Does this not look like the classic 1st day of school, waiting for the school bus, photo. Dr. Tom Shealy, my dentist from Stratham, New Hampshire.
He's ready to start fishing the upper Malleo. Tom especially loves walking and wading small trout streams; casting to rising fish, no matter what size.
Tom's 1st Patagonia Trout; a solid 14" bow that gave him a good fight.  When we don't take pictures of fish, and to practice catch and release, I try to teach people to keep the fish in the water.  Why?  By pinching the hook (as seen in photo) and releasing the fish, you avoid touching the fish, entirely.  We also avoid touching the lateral line and protective slime coating.  Plus, I don't use nets because they are pain the ass to walk-wade with, and if we catch a trophy and a photo is desired, we beach the fish, keeping it in H2O, until we take the photo.  I personally believe this is the best way to handle a fish; to ensure it lives on.
Tom caught about 50 fish today.  Much of the fish were in the 8"-14" range.  He had two big bow's on the line, about +/- 22".  Unfortunately, both of these fish turned down stream and spat the hook.  
Tom and I share a common passion = sight fishing small streams, with dry flies, regardless of the size of the fish.  If Tom saw a rise, which he saw plenty, he had a fish on.  
I thought Tom's wife and family would appreciate seeing some of the local scenery.  The river is a short walk from this spot.
Tom and Mel Krieger, two Patagonia fishing legends.  

Final Word

When I go to the dentist, for my routine check-up, I know I am in good hands.  With that in mind, it was a great honor to do the same for Tom.  Thanks to you and your wife for working with FCFF.

Gone Fishing,

PS: Fishing Patagonia with FCFF

Most people don't have the patience to read information that has been posted on the internet.  For example, they read a few lines and move on.  If you are among the less than 1% (searching for DIY fly fishing Patagonia information), you might find 'all' of our information to be worth your time.  If you do read 'all' of the information, you should begin to understand what we are all about... we are all about fishing and providing you, your very own DIY fly fishing vacation.