Quillen River, Back After 20 Years

Finally after 20 years I got the chance to come back, to fly fish again at the Quillen River in the province of Neuquen in Argentina. We went there from Cordoba by car, we drove almost a for a full day till we got to the Alumine area where we had organized to stay at the famous Casa de Campo for 5 nights while we would be fishing in different rivers.

In our itinerary our first stop was the Quillen river, for we had decided to go with Christian, a friend and guide from Alumine.

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We arrived at Casa de Campo, our accommodation for the trip, and had a great meal with Dani and Marisa where we enjoyed some amazing pasta and nice red wine from Ventus Vineyard. Judging by the wine, we knew this experience was going to be unique. Ventus vineyard is an exclusive premium class wine produced by the first winery in the Province of Neuquen. Neuquen had been considered a desert for a long time, but it has now became an oasis for wine production given its unique characteristics. This highly awarded winery is called “La bodega del fin del mundo” The Winery from the End of the World, given its position in the southernmost part of Argentina.

After that delicious meal, we spend the night together with Juan and the following day we woke up early. At about 6.30, 6.45, we prepared our rods, our lines, all our flies, specially our dry flies and nymphs that would be the ones that we would use the most. We also prepared some sandwiches with tuna, chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, and some special cheese that Juan brought for the occasion. We also took some water and gatorade for the day in a nice cooler. We were expecting a waiting day over big rocks and we were prepared to spend a lot of energy around. We picked up Cristian at around 9 am at Alumine with a selection of flies. We had our boxes packed with flies and a couple of minutes later we were driving in the direction of the river. It is not far away, just 20 minutes driving and we got to a middle area of the river where we got the lines in our rods, mostly number 3,4,5 rods, all with floating lines, long, long leads of 15 feet, normally a tippet in the front of the line to get a good presentation. We were always assuming a fish can break our tippet, especially if it gets tied around the trees in the water or the algae.

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Lets talk about the Quillen river for a while. It starts in the mouth of the Quillen lake and runs to the east for about 35 km before joining the Alumine waters. The Quillen river has profuse vegetation on its banks, being willow trees the most typical species.

For February the river had very low level of water and its temperature was kind of warm. We arrived in a very sunny and clear day. During the morning there was no wind, which was nice for fly casting but in a certain way the warm temperature of the water made it more difficult to get the nice fish because they were kind of non active during the morning. In the early morning there was no activity on top of the water but later in the morning the water got calm and we saw a lot of small fish. Unfortunately,  we lost two small fish. Juan lost one fish, he lost this nice fish even before we got the chance to see how big it was. Then something similar happened to me when the line got stuck in a branch of a tree. I was landing on the water and the fish got stuck around with this tippet and I did not have the chance to hold it. Cristian was helping us a lot changing flies. We moved to different spots looking for deep waters that most of the time were calm. We looked for correderas of water, channels of water, trying to get some fish. We saw some action in those channels but the fish were not really trophies. We caught a nice one that was about 15 inches that morning and a couple around 16-17 inches. After that we stopped for lunch, we had a nice lunch looking at the river.

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That lunch was amazing, we had some meat prepared by the guys of Casa de Campo and we had some great vegetable salads, too. It is nice to have some light food during the day in the water. We all met the other different groups fishing for lunch. We took a short nap, about 15-20 minutes some of us under the shades, others under the sun. When we recovered our energy we were ready to come back to the water.

Cristian, one of the guides, brought a special wine from Mendoza, where he is originally from. We appreciated that a lot. It was a really nice present from a friend. It was a nice invitation, a red Malbec wine. We decided to keep it for the evening though, save it to have it with some good cheese during a nice sunset at Casa de Campo. After lunch we decided to change the area so we came back to the pick up truck and we started to look for a different area after Christian’s suggestion. We had been in an place with lots of trees around in both sides of the river, which make it impossible to fly cast. We did the casting with the rods, the rods casting way. It was not easy, but we liked the challenge and we managed to cast the flies and present them in the right area where we were expecting to get the fish from.

Cristian was very polite, he helped us change the flies, made suggestions, and fixed leaders. Like our friend from Santiago del Estero province said, “if you’re not getting your flies in the trees, you’re not fishing.” We tried to put the flies in the last little corner looking for a trophy.

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During the day Cristian was nice to invite us to fly fish in Mendoza province. There’s a couple of rivers he’d like us to go fish with him. It’s in our bucket list now! A new challenge to go to Mendoza and  see how the fishing works over there and maybe visit some wineries, too.

We had to use loads of sunscreen because the sun was really strong. We were wearing our long sleeves Columbia shirts and nsilta shirts, we were also using buffs to protect ourselves, Simms waders and fly fishing gloves and boots.

We used Sage rods, the zxl, Sage 1, Sage Approach and Sage Method. We found this latest was the better for this waters, it was stronger and we enjoyed it a lot. Sage Approach number 3 was kind of short but very interesting when we caught fish. Sage 6 feet was very challenging for this rivers. By the afternoon when the wind picked up and started blowing stronger we put the rod number 3 in the case and we decided to continue fishing with rods number 4 and 5, specially a Sage 5. It was very helpful.

The day went by very quickly. We could not believe it when we saw it was 6.30 and time to make our way back to the lodge! We were going to meet Rell Tipton, a friend coming from Cordoba where he had been wingshooting; he was joining us for the rest of the fishing trip.

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We finally met Rell Tipton that evening at Casa de Campo. He made a great connection: Cordoba, Buenos Aires, San Martin de los Andes. He left in the morning and he landed around 1.30 pm at San  Martin de los Andes in Neuquen Province. Someone from our staff picked him up and took him straight to the river and Rell had some action over there and after some hours he continued driving up north to Casa Campo. 

Casa de Campo is a beautiful lodge located in the town of Alumine in the province of Neuquen. This lodge offers the unique calm typical of rural settings in the foothills of The Andes. Marisa and Dani, the lodge owners, offer the guests the most comfortable experience and wonderful breakfasts in a lodge that offers great accommodations.

The day had been really good to us, a good beginning for our trip! We enjoyed a delicious dinner together with the Malbec wine Cristian had given us. That night we were all excited for the days we had ahead.

Stay tuned and check the following reports about the rest of our experience in Patagonia!

 

Pablo Aguilo

Director

Pointer Outfitters

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Fly Fishing + Luxury Wines Tour

If you come to Argentina to experience Fly-Fishing with us, you can also choose to enjoy a 6 full days of Wine tour in Mendoza .Park-Hyatt-Mendoza-Hotel-Casino-and-Spa-Night-Facade

We suggest to stay the first 2 days in Mendoza city at the Park Hyatt Resort and 4 days at the renowned Uco Valley winemaking region, nestled at the base of the majestic Andes Mountains, 1.5 hours from Mendoza city.

Tour Description

Day 1

Reception at the airport of Mendoza City. Transfer to Park Hyatt Resort.

At the time to be arranged and accompanied by our host, an experienced guide-sommelier, you will visit the first selected winery on this exciting wine tour: We will have lunch at the restaurant, located on the terrace,. While enjoying a delicious gourmet menu we can admire the hundreds of acres of vineyards that surround it, framed by the Andes. After enjoying our food, we will be accompanied through the vineyards and the wine cellar to finish the tour with their special and famous tastings.

In the evening we will transport you to your accommodation.

Day 2

Transport to the winemaking oasis, the Central Wine Region of Mendoza, famous for its elegant Malbec and prestigious red wines. Here there are 100-year-old wineries mixed in with modern projects and high-end gastronomy. We will visit three well-known wineries in Luján de Cuyo. Taste wines while our sommelier will instruct us on how to correctly perform a wine tasting. Also, he will inform us about Argentinean wines, the conduction and irrigation systems and the elaboration process from the moment of harvest until the wine, after an extensive aging in tanks, oak barrels and then bottles which are carefully stored in the cellars, is ready for consumption, resulting in pure harmonious wines with great character and body. As an expert sommelier, our host will also provide us with techniques for proper wine tasting and successful pairing. Lunch at one of the wineries selected for the tour. Return to your accommodations in the afternoon.

If you want we can arrange a down town citytour and dinner at a nice restaurant with tango show.

Some of the Wineries you can choose to visit in Lujan de Cuyo and Maipu are:

*Catena Zapata9487000_1213990

*Luigi Bosca

*Vistandes

*Lagarde

*Dante Robino

*Tapiche

*Zuccardi

*Trivento

Day 3

Pick you up at Park Hyatt Mendoza and transfer to Uco Valley, home of the greatest wines and one of the most beautiful and special places on the planet. A perfect combination of: high desert, vineyards, and mountains.

Get to The Vines Resort and Spa vinesresort

After 2 days of visiting wineries we suggest to take this day to relax and enjoy what “The vines Resort and Spa” has to offer. Make yourself time to enjoy your villa, to choose your favorite spot on the outdoor deck and start dreaming about that first glass of wine today. The journey can start with a fabulous and very slow lunch, taking the first views of the Andes or jumping into the pool.

Post siesta – maybe head to the spa for a massage or just sit by the pool with a good book or maybe Time for biking through the vineyards.

Head to Siete Fuegos for your first “grilling heaven” and a great bottle of wine. But save room for the Dulce de Leche ice cream (our suggestion: take it outside to watch the stars or inside by the fire)

Day 4

Waking up for sunrise is an absolute must.

Alternatively – get up at 5am to go for a sunrise horse-ride into the Andes – crest a peak just in time to see the sun come up and the Andes explode in colors.

For this day, we’d suggest a tour of the resort and getting to know the 1500 acres of vineyards that surround it.

You can also start the day off riding horses through its Private Vineyards, stopping along the way to get their hands dirty with our farming team, and then end up at their Winery where they’ll be able to meet our winemaking team, taste wines from the barrel, and blend their own wine – a really fun activity.

​Maybe try your very first wineries in Uco Valley without leaving the resort: Gimenez Riili, Super Uco. or Corazón del Sol

Then there is an important decision: big lunch at a winery (Gimenez Riili) or something quick at the pool bar and then on to more wineries for tasting

Siesta! After getting up early, you deserve this great Argentine tradition.

As the sun starts to set, head back and change for dinner but come back to the pool for sunset with a Gin & Tonic made from local Gin “Principe de los Apóstoles” scented with TR1_StaySlidermate, something vinesresort1unique. Share a few stories of the adventures of the day while dining as locals do: two good Empanadas Mendocinas and a few more glasses of Malbec at the bar. Simple & elegant. Uco Valley Style.

Day 5

As you start feeling like a wine expert, its time for Winery touring in the area. We would recommend leaving around 10am and visiting these very unique wineries: Salentein, the pioneers in Uco Valley, also featuring Killka, their art collection. Then another big decision to make: having the great 6 course tasting lunch at Andeluna or La Azul, probably the smallest winery you will ever visit and the warmest hearts on their fabulous team.

If feeling even more adventurous, head a little bit higher to Atamisque, and enjoy their fresh trout menu, one of the rare occasion in which you will be able to choose something else than great beef!

​ Head back to your villa around 5pm, still plenty of time to prepare for another amazing sunset.

Head back to Siete Fuegos (time to order all pending items on the menu on your first night) or “conspire” with us to prepare a private dinner for two at the vineyards (private chef cooking for your in a very unique spot, something you will always remember…)
Time to be grateful…

Day 6

Another day to relax and enjoy in the resort. These are the options:

Relax in your Villa: Enjoy the comfort of the rooms offer its cutting edge design, equipped with the latest technology, the wonderful view of the decks, the fireplace and the hearth of the terraces.

Running and walking among the vineyards: Their farm team designed a circuit to run or walk enjoying the magic of the vineyards while we exercise. It has a 5 km adapted to this activity.

Bike Tour: Combine two wonderful activities, enjoy a bike ride of more than 600 ha.

Horseback riding: Make a stunning ride of over 650 acres, tour their vineyards located at the foot of the Andes.Spa-Fitness-1-Hero_StayHero

Yoga: Stretch out at a yoga class while looking out onto a beautiful view of our vineyards and the Andes.

Pool/Jacuzzi: Enjoy the heated pool and pool bar. Relax in the fabulous Jacuzzi surrounded by vineyards and lake.

Gym: With the latest technology machines, breathtaking scenery of vineyards and mountains and ultramodern architecture, the gym is the perfect spot for lovers of sport and physical activity instead . It has tv and music for your entertainment. Open 24 hours.

Climbing wall: For those who enjoy the adrenaline and the outdoors.

DAY 7

Depending on your departure time, you may add one more light lunch outside and the last picture of the fabulous Andes.

Transfer to the Airport.

We hope you can enjoy this wonderful trip.

Pablo Aguiló

Pointer Wingshooting

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Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino

The grapes for the Malbec Catena Zapata come from a meticulous selection of the best lots of the family vineyards. these vineyards are cultivated manually, so that they produce very low yields. The wine is aged for 24 months in new French oak. This wine is made in very little quantities.

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This exquisite wine has a deep and intensive violet color. Its aroma remits to cassis, mocha, clove and marked earthy notes.

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So… what do you think of this wine!? Have you ever try it? I think it’s ideal for a typical Argentinean “asado” after a long day of wingshooting!

A Perfect Wine

LUIGI BOSCA – Malbec Reserve

Luigi Bosca Malbec is an intense purple colour wine, with distinct aromas of ripe red fruits, spices and black pepper. The intensity of the entry in the mouth is complemented with the softness and sweetness of tannins, respecting the characteristics of the grape variety in Argentina. A pure, full-bodied, well-structured red wine with character and all the juiciness typical of this variety. A long lingering and elegant finish.

Delicious!

Delicious!

Malbec Private Collection: Navarro Correas

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From Navarro Correas in Mendoza Province, this 2012 “Colección Privada” (private collection) is 100% Malbec, aged for twelve months in French oak.

Purplish red, this wine is bright with average fluency. On the nose, aromas of plum, violet, berries and spice. On the palate, plum fruit flavours and a hint of spice.

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With medium body, silky texture and a long, fresh finish, this Argentina red pairs well with roasted meat, chicken and pasta dishes with cream sauce.

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This is an elegant Malbec wine that meets sophisticated processing.

Recommended Wine: Los Alamos Malbec

Alamos Malbec

Alamos Malbec

Alamos crafts quality wines from Argentina, offering the best of Mendoza’s high altitude vineyards.  Alamos grapes are grown at the foothills of the Andes Mountains at elevations of 3,000 to 5,000 feet, where intense sunlight, cool evening temperatures and mineral-rich irrigation from mountain snowmelt translate to rich wines with intense flavor characteristics.

About the Wine:

A classically Argentine wine, the  Alamos 2012 Malbec is blended with small portions of Syrah and Bonarda to meld deep dark cherry and blackberry flavors with hints of brown spice and vanilla. A long finish and firm tannins make this Malbec unforgettable.

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Vineyard

Imagine this delicious wine with a typical Argentinian barbecue after an extraordinary fishing day with Pointer Fly Fishing? Nothing could be better!

Visit our page for more info.

Don David Reserve Malbec

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Cold mornings and nights, and long hot days result in wines that are highly concentrated in color, aromas and flavors with a unique fruity character.

The winemaker goal is to produce elegant and complex wines in the range. 70% of the wines is aged in small barrels of both American and French oak for 12 months. 100% of the wine goes through malolactic fermentation spontaneously.

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Talking about this specific wine:

-Colour: vivacious red with violet sparkles. A noble tear indicates its firm structure.

-Aroma: plum jam and raisin combined with pipe tobacco, vanilla and toasted notes dominate the aromas.

-Taste: very well balanced with sweet and soft tannins. Fruity full of plumbs and chocolate notes. Pleasant finish.

So, what do you think about this wine? Have you ever tried it? I must say that I did and is really good. Specially combined with a good barbecue!

The Best Red Wine in the World is Argentine!

Familia Binachi Malbec Reserve

San Rafael Vineyard, Mendoza.

San Rafael Vineyard, Mendoza.

For the first time in the viticulture history of our country, an Argentine wine received the maximum award for “Best Red Wine in the World” in the prestigious competition “Vinalies Internationales”

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Famiglia Bianchi Reserve Malbec 2012 was elbaorated by Casa Bianchi cellar in San Rafeal, Mendoza. The luscious, intense fruit aromas that hint of ripe plumbs, cherries and berries give an initial indication of why this variety is so highly recommended. The flavors are similar to the aromas with a mouth feel of a massive presence but at the same time soft and silky

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You can enjoy this wine and many others with us. Imagine yourself sitting near a fireplace with a glass of Malbec wine after an intensive full fishing day…Priceless!  We have a selected option of malbec and cabernet sauvignon, which are perfect to enjoy with red meat and with our famous barbecues.

Clos de los Siete – Michel Rolland

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“Clos de los Siete” is a wine project conceived in 1998 by renown French winemakers Michel Rolland and Jean-Michel Arcaute. The idea was to produce a wine in the then largely untapped landscape of Tunuyan valley, south of Mendoza, Argentina. The name derives from the original seven wine industry investors who were first attached to the project. Their mission was to make wines in Argentina that rival some of the best in the world, without the use of fertilizers, pesticides and with traditional, time-tested methods. Since then, a collective of wine-making estates bearing the “Clos de los Siete” name have emerged and gained prominence.

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Opaque purple-colored, the wine coats the glass while offering up a superb bouquet of toasty oak, violets, mineral, black currant, blueberry, and black cherry. This is followed by a layered wine with gobs of ripe fruit, a plush texture, outstanding balance.

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As to foodpairing,we recommend to try this exquisite wine with roasted beef, lamb or barbecue.  Another possibility is spicy food and hard cheese.

Have you try this wine before? I did, and I must say it is perfect for a typical Argentine barbecue or “asado”. This is one of the most requested wines at our lodges!

You should be the next one!

POINTER FLYFISHING