|David Ames, stalking trout in Patagonia.|
I was referred to First Cast Fly Fishing by a fly shop owner in New Hampshire (Steve Cole of Upper Valley Outfitters; www.uppervalleyoutfitters.com) who had heard about the do-it-yourself options Mark offers in Patagonia and thought I would appreciate them. In reading the introduction and a few entries in Mark's blog, I was impressed not only by the logistics of Mark's approach, but by the philosophy. Although I have been fly-fishing for about five years, I tend to take two or three multi-day trips a year rather than get out on the water on a consistent basis. So my skills are unrefined at best, and non-existent at worst. I tend to fish by brute force rather than delicate presentation, having success by covering large stretches of water rather than by out-smarting any of the more selective fish. Until now, I'd been satisfied by that approach; but over the course of my trip, Mark demonstrated some of the unique challenges I was missing, and made it evident that, through improving my casting and not being so quick to bypass certain river features, I could get even more out of my fishing experiences.
My three consecutive days of walking and wading on the Malleo gave me the unique opportunity to both fish at my own pace and in my own style, and to receive periodic instruction that would enhance my experiences on this, and future trips. Mark allowed me to fish on my own, while at the same time providing insight on improvements I could make to my casting, presentation and target selection to catch more fish in more places. The instruction Mark provided was timely without being intrusive, and was focused as much on overall philosophy as it was on specific technique. I have a long way to go in terms of improving my mechanics, but these three days did more to set the direction I'll take my fishing in the future than any three before. There are fish in places I couldn't even imagine in the Malleo, and Mark knew how to find them. And the insight he provided throughout the trip will stick for many outings hereafter.
D.Ames. Quechee, VT and Bogata, Columbia