Sunday, January 19, 2014

Do it Yourself Fly Fishing Patagonia Argentina: Two Buddies Walking-Wading and Floating Junin de los Andes

In the Patagonia DIY walk-wade business, I get a lot of solo travelers/anglers.  I take no issue with this fact, but it's nice to see long time fishing buddies traveling and fishing together.  That being said, I had the pleasure of hosting Carl Johnson and ???  Mr. X, as I will call him, wishes to remain anonymous, both in print and photo.

Forty-one years ago, both Carl and Mr. X wives went to nursing school together (this is how Carl and Mr. X met).  The two young ladies became life-long friends and upon graduating from nursing school, they married and went onto to raise families.  

Carl is a 71 year old retired steel man.  He spent much of his life managing steel plants, in the upstate New York area.  He recently lost his wife to cancer; of which I am very sorry for his loss.  His buddy, Mr. X, convinced him to come on this trip.  Now that their trip is over, I think a two week dose of DIY Patagonia (trout and culture), has done him well.  When Carl is not fishing, he enjoys carving wooden birds, and spends time with his three boys, both in the USA and abroad.  One of his boy's married a woman from Peru, and they currently live there.  Upon completing his Argentina trip, Carl will fly from Buenos Aires to Peru, to visit his son, and their family.

Mr. X is an interesting chap. He is 71 years old, retired and lives on the east coast. Like Carl, he lost his wife to cancer.  In 1968, the year I was born, he obtained a master degree from the University of Montana.  He purposely chose University of Montanan because of its proximity to trout waters.  Since 1968, he has been returning to Montana and Yellowstone, to fish each summer (he was in education and had the summer's off).

A True Fish Story:

Carl was about to cast when a small Rainbow Trout took his fly.  Seconds later, the rod tip bent and it seemed as though his rod was going to break.  He said," I think the little guy has wrapped himself around a rock." Well, within seconds, this rock started to move.  It was then we realized that the rock was another fish, which had bitten/eaten the smaller fish.  Carl fought this fish for about ten minutes. During this battle, and due to the crystal clear water, we could see the fish; both fish! We estimate the bigger fish was +30" and at least ten pounds; and a Brown Trout.  Here's the catch...the larger fish had bitten the smaller fish and was not hooked by the fly!  This fish was so big, he simply clamped down on the smaller fish and would not let go. Well, just as we were beaching this big brown, and a split second before we were going to net him, the big brown decided to let go of the smaller fish, and swam off.  If you could see the look on our faces!  Oh, by the way, the small Rainbow Trout was still alive and we released him.  Crazy, unbelievable story, but 100% true.  

Well, here's to big Patagonia Trout and 41 years of friendship.  Thanks for visiting...we wish all the best.

Carl's 1st Patagonia Rainbow Trout.
Carl Johnson and Gustavou.  
Carl Johnson has the magic touch.
More Patagonia Magic.
Carl Johnson and Frank Clarkson.  In the background is the Malleo River = the premier walk-wade only (no floating) river in Patagonia, Argentina. 
For a guy who has not fished in two years and would be considered a poor caster, Carl did more than fine.  A testament that patience and good presentation are two major factors of a successful fishing trip in Patagonia.

Fishing Patagonia with FCFF

I know FCFF does things different, and we are proud of this fact.  For example, in the United States, FCFF is set up as a not for profit, donation only educational entity...we have no interest in selling you a product, concept, or asking you to become a member of a fee based organization.  FCFF simply focuses on teaching you how to be an emotionally intelligent angler (E.I. Fly).  In Patagonia, we take the same approach by focusing on giving you the best DIY fishing and cultural experience.  To accomplish our goals, either in the USA or Patagonia, only one thing is necessary; effective communication.    

Forget the talk about fly rods and types of flies...communication (i.e. expressing your personal needs) is the single most important tool you will need to bring to Patagonia.  Remember, this is a 'Do it Yourself' trip, which means, you create your own trip, and my job is to make sure (within reason) that your personal needs are met. So, please remember, all of our fishing trips are 100% customized to meet your personal needs (hint-hint...we don't read minds so please tell us what you want).  We hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to do so. Many thanks and hope to see you in Patagonia.

Gone Fishing,