Thursday, May 1, 2014

DIY Fly Fishing Patagonia Argentina: Arroyo Pescado

Arroyo Pescado = Fish Creek

First Cast Fly Fishing home waters are in, and around, Junin de los Andes.  In the Junin area, we specialize in DIY walk-wade fishing, and floats trip.  We also offer a program called adventure travel. This is industry code for, we'll take you to other fishing spots in Patagonia Argentina and Chile.  One spot that we frequent, typically on our Los Alerces/Rio Rivadavia/Futaleufu-Chile run, is a place called Arroyo Pescado/AP (fish creek).  

AP is well known in the fishing community; in fact, it's known to be one of the best spring creek's in the entire world.  Well, that's what many have said.   It's also a fact that I am not the first one to write about AP; however, I just might be the first to offer a more balanced view.  That being said, I believe there is a lot of hype surrounding AP, and having fished it many times, I don't think that AP is one of the best spring creek's in the world. Allow me to explain.

Each year I have clients ask me about AP.  My reply, "if we are in the area and you want to check it off your bucket list, then lets fish's a good experience and the fishing is usually good (not epic, but good).  But, to fish it day after day, and pay $100 USD per day... I can bring you to much better places, without daily fees!"  

Up to 5Km of shoreline fishing for wild fish.

Advantages of Fishing AP 

  • Easy access from DIY lodging in Esquel.
  • It's loaded with healthy fish = wild aquarium.
  • Drive your car/truck right up to the river; park and fish.
  • Easy to walk.
  • Sight fishing is common.
  • It's private water with a daily limit of anglers (6 rods).
  • Generally, towards the end of the season, you may have the entire place to yourself and you can fish from 8am until dusk.

Negatives of Fishing AP

  • For the beginner/intermediate angler, fishing here is challenging.  Fish are wild, spooky and the wind can kill all attempts for a proper presentation.  
  • For those of you on a tight budget, it's $100 USD, per person.
  • Large set of power lines are in constant view.
  • During January and February this fishery gets pounded.  Several local lodges and outfitters fish AP daily.
  • During the high season (Jan, Feb, 1/2 March) you need to make reservations. Communicating with the estancia manager can be challenging.
  • Wind-Wind-Wind:  we recommend starting your day as early as possible; by mi-day, you might find yourself trying to cast in +30 knot winds. 
  • We have noticed a possible trend = perhaps it's not at trend at all, but we are seeing lots of large Perca (Perca like slow, warmer water).  We have nothing against Perca, but time will tell if climate change (or, something else) is causing this fishery to change.
Wild, Native Perca (Patagonia Perch)

Arroyo Pescado Facts       

  • Location:  Approximately 40-50 minutes from Esquel.
  • How to Get There:  A) Personal car B) In Esquel, you could easily hire a taxi.
  • Public Transportation:  There are no buses to/from the creek. 
  • Fishing Season:  January 01 till  April 30th. 
  • Licensed Required: General fishing only, good for all of Patagonia, except TDF.  
  • Floating: No, this is a spring creek.
  • Public Access Points:  The land surrounding the creek is 100% private. Do not attempt to fish this creek with paying at the main gate (first house).
  • Price:  Upon our last visit, the cost was $100 per angler.  Hours are from 8am till dusk.
  • Length: 14 kilometers total, but no more than 5 kilometers is worth your fishing time.
  • Species:  Rainbow and Brown Trout; and some very large Perca. 
  • Walk-Wade:  Wading is strictly forbidden, and access is limited to one side of the creek (kinda). 
  • Where to Stay:  Esquel, in-town hotel or in-town camping. 
  • Fly Rods:  Single hand rods 4wt -6wt. Switch rod 4wt/5wt.
  • Fly Lines:  Floating.  There are a few deep holes, but the need for sinking line is zero.
  • Specific Flies:  The fly selection is not complicated, but we only share this information with our guest. 

A healthy wild bow that kicked like a bull.
A great fish caught on my 'tango' nymph rig.
Brad Bohen's Chronic Leach does is again! 
Get ready to pull some nice fish out of some tricky spots
Hard to beat the combination of sunsets and rainbows

Final Word

If you are in the area and if time permits, fish it!  In the long run, it's only $100 USD for the day, but good memories for a life time.

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.

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

Saludos y Abrazos Amigos,,