Thursday, April 17, 2014

DIY Fly Fishing Patagonia Argentina: Sea Run Brown Trout Rio Gallegos, Part 3

Thanks for reading part 1 and 2 of our three part series, DIY fishing the Rio Gallegos for Sea Run Brown Trout.  If you missed part 1 and 2, here are the links:

Part 1:
Part 2:

DIY vs. Hiring a Guide on the Rio Gallegos

We ended part 2, on purpose, with a highly loaded question:

  • Are you prepared to travel half way across the globe, attempt to speak another language, arrange transportation and lodging, walk-wade a +300 kilometer river, find the best spots to catch a Sea Run Brown Trout, and perform a successful DIY trip...without hiring a guide?  
  • If you have two weeks or less, and if you answered yes to the above question, in my humblest opinion, you are pathologically insane!  

If you have read my bio, you know that I am a veteran DIY adventure traveler and fisherman (Alaska, British Columbia, New Zealand, and more). You also know that I 100% encourage you to do your own DIY adventures.  But sometimes, especially in far away places, when time is limited and English is not spoken, a full-on DIY trip does not make sense. Here's a personal account of a personal DIY experience, without the assistance of a guide:

Rio Grande- Tierra del Fuego (TDF):  In 1999, I spent one year hiking and fishing from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego to Columbia.  In that time, I hired a guide only once to take me into the Amazon for two weeks; not for the purposes of fish guiding.  Early in my trip, I DIY fished the Rio Grande for a few days. Looking back, I deeply regret not hiring a guide on the Rio Grande. Truth be told, I had the money to stay at the finest lodge, but my DIY values would not allow was 100% DIY or bust. Well, I caught a few small fish; nothing worth mentioning or posting a's somewhat embarrassing to admit this, but as they say, "live and learn."  

I share this experience with you because I do not want you to make the same mistake.  In your entire life, you may have only one chance to catch a Sea Run Brown Trout.  So my advice is to create a plan that balances your personal DIY needs, yet maximizes your chance to catch one, or two, or three SRBT! 

Here are my suggestions:

  1. Hire a local guide via First Cast Fly Fishing.  We have several partner guides who were born and raised in Rio Gallegos...they know everything about non-fishing things in Rio Gallegos. They know the river like the back of their hands and they have private access to places far away from the crowded, over fished, public access spots.  If you are on a budget and would only like to hire a guide for a 1-3 days, and then fish on your own = no problem.   
  2. If you have little or no desire to camp, I would recommend staying in town, at one of the hotels suggested in part two of this series.  The hotels may not look like much, but the rooms are clean, quiet, safe, hot showers and extremely affordable. I hand picked these hotels because they are conveniently located to resources that DIY anglers need: Grocery Store, Restaurants, Banks. Regarding camping, for two reasons, I don't recommend it:  1) Theft.  2) If the weather kicks-up (wind-rain), trying to cook your dinner, or sleeping in gail force winds, after 10 hours of fishing, might not be the best idea (you need to rest your body each night). 
  3. If you would like to camp, and work with our guides, no problem.  Bottom line, we are flexible and our program is 100% designed to meet your needs.

When to Fish Rio Gallegos?

The fishing season starts early November and ends April 30th.  The SRBT come into the river in November. The locals hit it hard during November and December.  If your schedule permits, and you don't mind funky weather and mixing it up with the locals, December can produce some great fish. But, the majority of anglers show up when the weather turns in their favor; January through March.  During January through the end of March, water temps and flow are best for catching fish.  April is an option which affords off-season discounts, funky weather patterns, cold water and a chance to have the river to yourself.  

Late season (April) SRBT color changes.
Tons of healthy resident Brown Trout in the Rio Gallegos; I have seen pics of resident brown's that are +15 kilos and +35"
A.M. commute from downtown to the river
Walking this river is not the issue.  Finding the primo holding spots for SRBT is the issue.  Much of the water is featureless, making it hard to easily identify good water.  If you have a few years, you could eventually figure it out :)

Our goal with any blog post or information posted on our pages/tabs = no BS...keep it real and 100% dedicated to creating a DIY program that meets your personal needs.  That being said, I hope you enjoyed reading our three part series.  By now, I hope you realize why we believe the Rio Gallegos is the best DIY walk-wade SRBT river in the world.

Looking forward to working with you next season and please feel free to contact me with questions.

Saludos y Abrazos Amigos