Golden Dorados in Esquina – Part II

The first thing I heard that morning was the rain on the roof. I couldn’t move. I was still in my warm and comfortable bed, just thinking what would happen with the fishing that day. We need some fish, we wanted to be able to see the monsters of the Parana fighting at the end of our lines.

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We came that far to fight the tiger of the rivers, and we will not surrender before fight for it.

I had started to think about my rain gear because I normally have it all the time with me, but is great to double check, it could be always something missing and when you are that far from the lodge you want to be sure you have all your gear with you.

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There are some great water proof Simms baggage that can be very helpful for extra clothes and cameras, passports and money, for this type of days; or if by mistake you drop your bag in the water. We highly recommend them.

The fly fishing area

We had arrived the day before to Esquina, Corrientes, after driving 400 miles and the last afternoon had been poor. But we know and we understand nobody can guarantee fish, otherwise fishing would be boring.

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It was the first time for me in Esquina, I had been many many places in Argentina fly fishing either close by to Esquina, but it was my first time. And I had to confess that is not one of the top cities in the country but have a malecom besides the river that is nice.

The city is famous for 2 things, In January and February many tourists visit Esquina to enjoy the street carnivals; and in March the town hosts the Fiesta Nacional del Pacú, a fishing competition which attracts around 25,000 visitors. The city has around 20.000 people and many fly fishing options.

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We had fly fish the Parana area riding south from the city getting into Entre Rios area. We had fly fish the east side of the Parana, that is where Esquina is located, you have to realize the from one side from the river to the other side could be more than 30 minutes by boat, the river have a delta in between sides banks that make it complicated to cross from one side to the other.

Amazing

An amazing moment had happened that morning, after casting the banks under a cloudy and windy day, there was a change in the weather and suddenly for like an hour, it was almost calm and a tiny drizzle.-

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We were casting the banks, and in a shallow waters where cows drink water from the river, there was one tree, that was fall down on the water. My good friend Lucas saw the area and had tried a longer shoot, probably 45 yards cast, and as soon as the fly hit the water, he started striping the line. 3 seconds after we have seen a big face coming out of the water, and aggressively catched  the fly, the floating line got tense, and Lucas have started his fight with a 28 pounds dorado!!!

Again: 28 pounds Golden dorado!!! Can you believe it!? Amazing.

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It took him like 15 minutes fighting with this beautiful fish; that was jumping at the beginning, but then he started trying to go to the bottom, looking for some cover. Every time this fish got a little bit of current, the fight was more aggressive and stronger. Lucas is a very experience fly fisherman and has been many places in the world fly fishing, but he was excited as a kid with his new bike. What an amazing moment.

Nacho, the guide, did a great job coaching and advising Lucas all time, but always letting Lucas do his work! Nacho is highly recommended as a guide and I am sure every person will enjoy with him.

We have catched  a dozen of fish each, but definitely the 28 pounds dorado was the best of the day. Enjoy pictures and please take 5 minutes to check the amazing video!

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Looking forward to take you fly fishing Esquina soon.

You should be the next one!

Pablo Aguilo

Owner

Pointer Outfitters

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Fly fishing Casa Blanca

Dear Friends of Pointer Outfitters. I just came back from a great fly fishing trip again. Casa Blanca is an angler’s paradise. Situated on the northern tip of Punta Pájaros with immediate access to the prime fishing areas of Ascension Bay, our guests spend less time travelling to the fish.

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The lodge is built right on the water, overlooking a beautiful flat visited daily by bonefish schools, permit and tarpon. Some of the best fishing takes place right off the lighted pier after dark.

We were fortunate to catch good weather for most of the week. For the two preceding weeks, the weather was pretty bad.

A very wealthy fellow who lives in Mexico owns the 24 mile long island on which Casa Blanca and Playa Blanca are located. It is about a 55 charter flight from Cancun. Casa Blanca is located on the north end of the island (and such north end is on the sound end of Ascension Bay). Playa is located around 15 miles south of Casa.

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The fall group that I go with consists of 14 fisherman who all stay at Playa. I have been a member of this group for 4 years. Pretty good fly fisherman.

A typical day at Playa Blanca, Like Casa Blanca, the fishing program at Playa starts with the sunrise, hand delivered coffee, and a delicious made to order breakfast from six to seven. Anglers then load up into the lodge truck for the five-minute ride to the Santa Rosa Lagoon pier or the ten-minute ride to Sacrificio flat, where skiffs and guides await.

Fishermen return home at approximately four p.m., and are driven back to the lodge for waiting appetizers and drinks. Many guests choose to spend the hours before dinner at our beach palapa. Ten feet from the water with a stocked bar, beach towels and snorkel sets, it’s a fantastic place to pass the late afternoon hours.

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I do not recall the final fish count but will see if I can locate the same and send to you. We have a bonefish tournament mid week which results a decent bonefish count since the losing boat has to wear tutus the next day.

IMG_GR_testimonials1465855041.jpgPlenty of good shots at permit this year. A couple of 25 plus pounders with the rest being in the 10 to 15 range.

Lots of snook this trip. One day on my boat we caught 15 snook including 5 very nice sized fish. Could have caught more. Probably saw 60.

In one of the lagoons the snook and tarpon were stacked up. Folks probably saw 200 or so tarpon and 80 to 100 snook.

A number of us walk the beach with spin casting rods with spoons or top waters. Not too good this trip. Frequently catch barracuda and jack crevaile.

We have limited wifi at Playa. Cannot stream anything but can send and respond to emails.

The boats are 16 foot Dolphin boats with 40 or 50 horsepower hand driven Yamahas.

Casa is the bigger lodge that fishes Ascension Bay. Playa is the smaller lodge that fishes south of the lodge. Only one other lodge (located a further south a fair amount) is licensed to fish the waters that Playa fishes (and we infrequently see a boat from that lodge). Casa Blanca is remote but not disconnected. The main lodge has wireless Internet for guest use. There is no regular telephone service, but satellite phones are available for a small fee.

IMG_GR_testimonials1465855062.jpgThe group I go with are all from the States. My son Park has been with me once (in March of 2013). We both caught permit the same day.

 

My best

Rell Tipton

 

 

The Secluded Paradise

The location we were fishing was located halfway to Carlos Paz, through a national park, on a local rancher’s private property. The area itself was gorgeous. Large rock structures jutted from the ground reaching high into the air.

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The terrain was composed of hills covered in sparsely grown shrubs and high grass. The river itself was beautiful, crystal clear with plenty of natural rock formations providing cover for countless Brooke trout. The sun was out and a nice breeze continually swept through the area. Occasionally, a lazy cloud drifted across the sky providing fifteen to twenty minutes of cover. If you saw the fish most likely they saw you as well, making it an intriguing game of predator and prey.

I accompanied Jason, Sam, Juan, Augustin, and Martin today. Our guides, Augustine and Martin, were very excited as we started rigging up the gear. They had fished the day before making sure to scope out the area before our arrival.

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Clearly, they were pleased with the amount of fish and their aggression. Today we were using two four weight fly rods and a three weight rod. Our flies were nymph and moth patterns, exclusively dry flies. We finished setting up and began our walk to the river which was only a couple hundred meters away. As soon as we arrived at the water’s edge, Martin pointed out a small pool behind a large rock with close to fifteenBrooke trout in it. Martin beckoned for me to make the first cast. I complied and was delighted to see a Brooky leap from the water, devouring the fly in one graceful jump. Oh, this was going to be a fantastic day! Setting the hook a bit too hard, the trout flew onto the bank. I picked it up gently and washed it in the stream, slowly releasing it back into the current. It swam quickly back to its starting location where it joined its fellow Brookies.

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I looked to my companions faces and saw excitement strewn about their features. They were anxious and ready to start fishing. The river contained an innumerable amount of spots where hungry fish waited. They would not be disappointed this day. Sam and Jason began fishing. Each were inexperienced with a fly rod, yet their guides were solid fisherman and immediately began giving helpful hints. They were quick learners and adjusted their techniques accordingly. Soon after they mastered the basics of the fly rod, they began catching fish. One, six, ten, fifteen. The fish kept striking and Jason and Sam kept bringing them ashore. The average fish we caught was around half a pound, its length anywhere from six to twelve inches. Before we knew it, lunch time was upon us. We headed back to the vehicles.

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Martin and Augustine set up the table for lunch and we all sat comfortably, enjoying the scenery while snacking on a picada. The picada was composed of pickled vegetables, salami, duck pate, cheese, and sliced bread. A delicious appetizer to enjoy while our eyes wandered over the terrain and we shared stories, laughing and grinning in turn. The main course was grilled chicken sandwiches. They were filled with avocado, bell peppers, succulent diced chicken breast, and onions. A light splash of lime juice to add a wonderfully tangy flavor. Martin’s wife is quite the cook! Lastly, for dessert, we had arroz con leche. It was a creamy consistency of rice and milk. A light cinnamon flavor gave it a refreshing taste, cleansing our pallets. As always we have wine, beer, soda, tea, coffee, or water to accompany your meal. All said and done, it was delicious and filling. Finished with lunch, we headed back to the river.

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The rest of the day played out as you might expect. We caught Brooky after Brooky. Their aggression and quantity never faltered throughout the day. The last thirty minutes of our trip, I had wandered ahead a couple hundred meters in front of our group. I casted behind a large rock and watched my fly float nonchalantly for a moment. Then magic occurred. A large brooke struck the fly with a ferocity unmatched by any fish I had caught earlier that day. The fight was exquisite, bringing about a goofy grin to mark my countenance. I slowly tired the fish and brought him to the bank. It was by farone of the biggest fish in the river. It weighed around four pounds and was twenty-two inches in length. I looked around shouting for my companions. They were nowhere to be seen. My heart sank. Every fisherman knows proof is in the pudding. If I didn’t have someone to see me catch this fish, there was no way anyone would believe me when I recounted the story. So, I unhooked the fly and started running up the side of the river. Every ten seconds dipping the fish in the water, allowing water to run through its gills, making sure it could breathe easily. I repeated the procedure for a couple hundred meters until I finally saw my companions. I yelled excitedly beckoning them to come look at the monster I had caught. They quickly hurried over and took pictures. I kept the fish in the water, gently moving water over its gills, then releasing it with a sigh of pleasure. The Brooke moved swiftly into the current and then out of sight. A great way to wrap up the day. Later, before we left, Martin told me that there were maybe fifteen fish in the entirety of that river so large. It’s good to be lucky!

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Finished fishing, we headed back to the vehicles. We were all feeling quite tired and looking forward to a relaxing evening. We were lucky to have such fantastic guideswho provided such a wonderful fishing experience! As always, Pointer Fly Fishingdelivered in full.

Don’t cry for me Argentina!

Parker Tipton

Host & Guide

Pointer Outfitters