The fishing in the highlands of Cordoba: On a typical day in the highlands, you will be using a 3 to 5 weight rod. Depending on the weather, the fly will be a dropper or a dry fly. Usually the fish range from 1 pound to 3 pounds and average length is between 4 to 13 inches.
The rain drizzles. Thunder roars in the distance. Cold wind blows, chilling our bones. Another great day of fishing in the hills of Argentina! The river is beautiful, clear, and full of fish. Martin, our guide, did not lie about the quantity of fish. Rainbow and Brown trout are abundant and hungry. If only the weather would allow us to continue fishing. We huddle for warmth inside the car, waiting for a break in the storm. The river beckons to us. The storm laughs at us, producing hail in a quick flurry.
Something mystical starts to occur, the clouds part and the sun peaks its way through for the first time. The downpour turns to a drizzle and then stops completely. It’s still cold, but we can handle that baby! Bill begins his trek up river with Martin. They stop at a beautiful area where fast water meets slow, eddying around various submerged rocks. We are surrounding by mountains on all sides, mist clinging to them lazily floating from one peak to the next. The scenery is gorgeous, as it should be, considering the drive to the remote river, nestled in private property, took us an hour up rough roads.
I turn my attention back to Bill and Martin. Martin is expertly tying a dropper on the end of the fly line. A nymph mimic with black hair around the base leading up to red fringe around the collar. With the rod ready, Bill perched upon a rock, it was time for the fishing to commence. Slowly, he started casting. Five to ten minutes pass, nothing happens. I see frustration creep to the edge of his features. We move down the river to another promising spot. Again he begins casting. This time with luck on his side, his rod tip bends towards the water. A monster, five kilos at least, thrashing on his line. His features light up, twisting and turning, trying to handle this six kilo rainbow.
Luckily, Martin got his net out in time to safely subdue the seven kilo rainbow. Bill almost falling in the water battling the titan let out a sigh of relief, glad to be finished with such terrible exertion. All said and done, Martin pulled the nine kilo rainbow from the net, and gingerly handed it to Bill. Bill, struggling with the weight, frantically waited for Juan to take the picture. Juan, master photographer and videographer, quickly took the necessary shots before Bill passed out from the weight. It took all three of us and a small crane to strap the fish on top of the truck. By this time, the rainbow was at least thirty kilos and still growing. What in the world did they put in this river?
Well, at least that how fishing stories go don’t they? The fish was actually a little more than a pound and just under twelve inches. It put up a great fight however and had gorgeous coloring. It was the biggest fish caught that day. Most of the fish we caught were four to five inches and well under a pound. If you are looking for those monsters, then South Patagonia is the place to be!
We settled down for lunch, enjoying a “la picada” before our main dish. Pablo makes sure there are three courses to every meal, in every operation he runs. Whether said meal is in the field or at one of his many lodges, the food is always filling and spectacularly tasty. A “la picada” is a sort of appetizer platter, with a variety of meat, cheese, and pickled goodies. Our next course was a sandwich, either beef or chicken, with delightful relishes upon it. Lastly, we had a milk chocolate or dulce de leche custard with sugary breadcrumbs. A great way to finish out the day. All said and done we caught nine fish that day. A great day with fantastic people and delicious food, the fishing wasn’t all that bad either!
Don’t cry for me Argentina!
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