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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


Pointer Outfitters


A Legendary Adventure

Fly anglers are a different sort as many of you know. An immediate bond is created between perfect strangers when the discussion of fly fishing comes up in conversation, which frequently does.


I realize I’m biased on this topic but, seriously, can you imagine having an animated impassioned conversation with a perfect stranger if you were, say, a thimble collector? No offense to thimble collectors but the passion and the experiences just aren’t the same.

Evidence is found in the fly angler’s willingness to travel far and wide, crossing oceans and continents, just to have an opportunity to fly fish new water with new friends who may not even speak your language. Such is the case with Argentina, and with Andes Drifters out of San Martin de los Andes in particular.


The trout of Argentina are legendary of course. But it’s more than this. It’s the entire adventure; the land, the history, the people. When you leave Buenos Aires and then Bariloche on your way to San Martin, you actually feel your mind and body changing pace. You’re with new friends now in a different world than the one you left back home. And it’s comfortable yet full of anticipation.

You’re fly fishing for world class brown and rainbow trout in a variety of settings. Each day is different yet tailored to your desires. Day one may be wade fishing the mouth of a river where it enters a lake. Tiny minnows are migrating from the lake to the river to spawn and huge trout are following them. It’s a feeding blitz like you’ve never seen in freshwater.


Day two can find you on a crystal clear glacial lake carved out of the Andes eons ago. You’re fishing big attractor dry flies as the winds pick up and create enough disturbance on the surface to bring up cruising browns and rainbows looking for a meal.

The morning of your third day finds you standing at river’s edge watching a magnificently choreographed beehive of activity as the guides and support staff load rafts for an overnighter on the Collon Cura River. The camp staff will move on downstream of the anglers and have everything set up by the time you step out on land at day’s end. A gourmet meal and the famous Malbec wine await you. As you drift off to sleep, you wonder if tomorrow can possibly be as good as today. The answer; Yes, yes it can.

In all my travels, Gustavo Hiebaum and his staff at Andes Drifters are second to none. They are the friendliest, most accommodating group you’ll find and they show it in their eagerness to insure your complete satisfaction. If you want a break from fishing, they have a myriad of other activities available from hiking and biking to art galleries and sailing from which you may choose.


Jimmy Harris

Courtesy of Andes Drifters

A trip to remember

The morning of that day started really nice. Weather was good but too windy. We woke up at the camp and started fishing at 9 am. Wind was behind us complicating the casting and the fishing but we managed to catch a really nice trout, doing a long and forced casting, from the back of a rock.


After fighting against the weather, we finally caught a nice Rainbow trout of 19 inches in the second try,  throwing the fly to the exact place. That was the prettiest fish of the day.

That morning was spectacular. David fished with Gonzalo, as a guide, and I did it with Lieutenant Dan. We had lots of little catches but we lost three fish. In the middle of the morning, the temperature changed, so we had to use some nymphs Cooper Johnsize 10 and 12, because of the little activity in the surface.


At lunch time, wind was getting stronger. We ate, under some willow trees alongside the river, meet and salad. That afternoon was really complicated because of the strong wind.

The zone changed; there were almost no trees beside the river, but there were longer sliders in which we caught 5 nice fish. All afternoon long was about catching 10 and 12 fish, but at the end of the river there were no fishing activity at all.

There was a really interesting moment when we were in a huge and deep slider; we left the fly go 40 yards and at the end of the slider, we let the fly cross down and so we caught a really nice trout that cut our leader. That was the biggest trout of the day and we had to fish it with this new kind of method because wind was not letting us present the fly propperly casting normally.


On that four day of fly fishing we used fishing rods 5 with floating lines leaders 4X and flies Parachut Hoppers cadies and Cooper John. Also Pointer Fly Fishing shirts with inner layer and long sleeves Nike.

For something as important as protecting our body, we wore original Buff Gloves that are a special polar fleece that blocks 95% of the wind for great protection against cold, great for running, walking, biking and many other outdoor activities like fly fishing, Buff Neckwarmer to protect ourselves from the wind and sun; fleece and a drawstring for quick conversion from neck to headwear, a knitted outer layer combined with a Polartec fleece inner layer, super thermal product.


Another brand that we like using, (and we have been using the past three days) when it comes to waders and boots, it’s Simms.

This brand is one of the best in terms of protection because it is a fishing company. Founded on the pillars of innovation, it strives to build the highest quality products to keep anglers dry, comfortable, and protected from the elements – no matter the conditions.

The Company was the brainchild of visionary angler John Simms who saw a need to develop better waders and accessories than what was then available on the market. That quest led to the development of Simms Fishing Products in 1980. During that era, Simms was one of the first companies worldwide to introduce neoprene waders, which provided enhanced warmth and waterproofing gear for serious anglers pushing the limits of their fishing pursuits.

Today, Simms continues to take the fishing market by storm with a trained eye on fisheries conservation and inspired product development of the world’s premier technical fishing apparel, footwear, and equipment.


At the end of  the day, we stayed at Maiten Lodge located 30 minutes from the lake, and at 7 pm we were ready for Pizza and a couple of cold Stella Artois.

See you next time.

Pablo Aguilo


Pointer Outfitters

Third day at Chimehuin River

Today is the third day of fly fishing in our beautiful country Argentina. We woke up in a quite spectacular morning with no wind at all. After having a quick breakfast, we went down through the Quilquihue River to the Chimehuin River.


From there, we did a floated fishing and we stand by turns; sometimes I was at the front and sometimes at the back. We had to change flies several times until we found out that a particular one worked very well; a nymph that goes under the water calledCopper John 50.

Another brand that we like using when it comes to waders and boots, it’s Simms.

This brand is one of the best in terms of protection because it is a fishing company.  Founded on the pillars of innovation, it strives to build the highest quality products to keep anglers dry, comfortable, and protected from the elements – no matter the conditions. The Company was the brainchild of visionary angler John Simms who saw a need to develop better waders and accessories than what was then available on the market. That quest led to the development of Simms Fishing Products in 1980. During that era, Simms was one of the first companies worldwide to introduce neoprene waders, which provided enhanced warmth and waterproofing gear for serious anglers pushing the limits of their fishing pursuits. Today, Simms continues to take the fishing market by storm with a trained eye on fisheries conservation and inspired product development of the worlds premier technical fishing apparel, footwear, and equipment.


We have also been using original Buff Gloves that are a special polar fleece that blocks 95% of the wind for great protection against cold, great for running, walking, biking and many other outdoor activities like fly fishing, Buff Neckwarmer to protect ourselves from the wind and sun; fleece and a drawstring for quick conversion from neck to headwear, a knitted outer layer combined with a Polartec fleece inner layer, super thermal product.

In the middle of the morning, we managed to catch many great trouts from under a place filled with fallen logs. That place gave paid us with three beautiful trouts of 18 and 20 inches. David did a great job. Most of the time he chose dry flies and, even though he did not want to use any nymph, he caught a couple of trouts of 16 and 18 inches.

At lunch time, we did something like a camp in a pretty place in a shade of a beach. We had a nice surprise when a domestic duck joined us and ate next to us.


After that super nice lunch, we went fishing again. The afternoon was great but at the end it was really windy. Juan did his first casting and caught his very first brown troutof 16 inches. He was really excited and happy; it was incredible.

In that afternoon, wind was with us all the time, which complicated the casting but not the fishing. We did a camp next to the Chimehuin river and when we got there, they were waiting for us with dinner ready. We ate Patagonian lamb with grilled vegetables, always accompanied with red wine from a famous winery of Mendoza.


After a few drinks, the day was over and we went to sleep and get some rest before another day of fly fishing adventures.

Pablo Aguilo


Pointer Outfitters

Day two at Collon Cura River

The second day, we fished at Collón Curá river, which is a geographical feature of Neuquén Province, Argentina. It flows southward from the confluence of the Alumine and Chimehuin Rivers, near the town of Junín de los Andes, for around 70 km (44 mi), past which it becomes a tributary of the Limay River. The valley is famous for its two activities: Birdwatching and Fly fishing.


The temperature of that morning was really nice, I think of about 17ºc, and wind was very slow. We went fishing in three different parts of the river with dry fly and afloat.

We started our day driving west direction and then north direction. When we got to the lake, we embarked with Gonzalo as a head guide, Pablo and David fishing and, the Lieutenant Dan as another guide.
We went fishing to places known as Manhattan, Las Buitreras, and “My Place” (as Pepe calls it); a great place for fly fishing, I must admit.
After sailing a few minutes, we crossed the zone where Andean Condors nest; a huge rock wall well-known in Neuquén.
The morning of that day, fishing was very active. We caught fifteen Rainbow Trouts and lost ten others. Wind was very calmed but then got stronger at midday, which complicated fishing poles. Pablo y David tried out a Beetle when fishing watching the fish.
We got into the water at 9:30 am. Two fishermen, two guides. Fly lines with 3X and 4X leaders, trying to take out the offspring of some fish that go upwards and are eaten by the trouts.
Those offsprings are from Silverside fish and percs. You can see them at the riversides in low zones and big groups. What the trout does is that, when those little fishes are moving up and down, they eat from them.
At 11 am we could see the trouts jumping and feeding themselves with those offsprings in a special part of the river that is not too deep but always really variable with strong sliding that should be avoided.
We had lunch on an island in the middle of the river and then we repeated the same kind of fishing in the afternoon.
Going back to San Martin de los Andes took us an hour and a half. David stayed atCasona Del Alto Lodge but before bed, we ate some tasty Pizza Cala and drunk beers.
For this fly fishing we used Parachute Flies and PMX in dry fly. We have also been using original Buff Gloves that are a special polar fleece that blocks 95% of the wind for great protection against cold, great for running, walking, biking and many other outdoor activities like fly fishing, Buff Neckwarmer to protect ourselves from the wind and sun; fleece and a drawstring for quick conversion from neck to headwear, a knitted outer layer combined with a Polartec fleece inner layer, super thermal product.
Another important thing to protect are our eyes. In order to do that, we used Bolle and Costa sunglases, both with great results.
The first ones are really good for any outdoor activitie. They have this amazing shape and angle of the multi-plane nosepiece that can be adjusted to accommodate any nose bridge for a truly custom fit. The nose pads are very good because those are hypoallergenic and durable and can be tailored for custom fit, giving you additional control and confort. In terms of the optic control system, Bolle helps you stay on top of your game with this interchangeable lens system. By giving you the flexibility to match the lens to the condition, this system ensures optimum performance for any condition.
The other ones, the Costa sunglasses ar as good as Bolle. In this case, all Costa lenses have 100% UV blockage for maximum protection and 100% polarization to kill reflected glare. Their 580 technology goes beyond polarization to produce the clearest lenses on the planet. It selectively filters out the harsh yellow and harmful high-energy ultraviolet blue light, making colors brighter and objects appear more defined. So no matter what you are doing under the sun, you’ll see it in stunning detail. Glass lenses are best for situations that require ultimate clarity, and the plastic lenses are more cost effective while being more durable for more demanding applications without sacrificing clarity.
Another brand that we like using when it comes to waders and boots, it’s Simms.
This brand is one of the best in terms of protection because it is a fishing company.  Founded on the pillars of innovation, it strives to build the highest quality products to keep anglers dry, comfortable, and protected from the elements – no matter the conditions.
The Company was the brainchild of visionary angler John Simms who saw a need to develop better waders and accessories than what was then available on the market. That quest led to the development of Simms Fishing Products in 1980. During that era, Simms was one of the first companies worldwide to introduce neoprene waders, which provided enhanced warmth and waterproofing gear for serious anglers pushing the limits of their fishing pursuits.
Today, Simms continues to take the fishing market by storm with a trained eye on fisheries conservation and inspired product development of the worlds premier technical fishing apparel, footwear, and equipment.

First day at Tromen Lake

This first day, we left Casona Del Alto Lodge in San Martin de los Andes at about 8: 30 am to the lake on west direction from where we spent the night. It was a beautiful sunny morning. Wind was very slow, probably 15 or 20 km/h. After an hour of driving, we got to the lake at about 9:20 am.


Gonzalo was our main guide, but there was Pepe too as a great guide, and the trouts we have been fishing are Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout and Brook Trout.

The first one is a very special trout, the rainbow trout, also called redband trout, is a species of salmonid native to cold-water tributaries of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia.

About appearance, they are torpedo-shaped and generally blue-green or yellow-green in color with a pink streak along their sides, white underbelly, and small black spots on their back and fins.


Rainbow trout usually inhabit well oxygenated, shallow rivers with gravel bottoms; they also inhabit in lakes, although they are usually found in deeper, cool lakes with adequate shallows and vegetation for good production. The ideal temperature range is 50 to 60 degrees. Lake populations generally require access to gravely bottomed streams to be self-sustaining.

The second one, the brown trout (Salmo trutta), is a European species of salmonid fish that has been widely introduced into suitable environments globally.

The first introductions in Canada occurred in 1886 in Newfoundland and continued through 1933. The only Canadian regions without brown trout are the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Introductions into South America began in 1904 in Argentina.


The brown trout is a medium-sized fish, growing to 20 kg (44 lb) or more and a length of about 100 cm (39 in) in some localities, although in many smaller rivers, a mature weight of 1.0 kg (2.2 lb) or less is common.

Within the US, brown trout introductions have created self-sustaining fisheries throughout the country. Many are considered \”world-class\” such as in the Great Lakes and in several Arkansas tailwaters. Outside the US and outside its native range in Europe, introduced brown trout have created \”world-class\” fisheries in New Zealand, Patagonia and the Falklands.

Last but not least, we also went fishing brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) is a species of freshwater fish in the salmon family Salmonidae. It is native to Eastern North America in the United States and Canada, but has also been artificially introduced elsewhere in North America and to other continents. In parts of its range, it is also known as the eastern brook trout, speckled trout, brook charr, squaretail, or mud trout, among others. Apotamodromous population in Lake Superior is known as coaster trout or, simply, as coasters. The brook trout is the state fish of nine states: Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.


The brook trout inhabits large and small lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, and spring ponds. They prefer clear waters of high purity and a narrow pH range and are sensitive to poor oxygenation, pollution, and changes in pH caused by environmental effects such as acid rain.

We were fly-fishing on Tromen Lake, located inside the Lanin National Park and less than 2 hours north from San Martin de los Andes and Chapelco Airport.

This lake is a really special one. It is 1100 mts above sea level and it is a deep waters lake of about 1200 feet deep.



Embarking boat, we head towards the lake bottom where we fished in stone walls.

The day was great since a little wind made some waves which helped us make a closer fly casting. Everything was catch and release and we used fishing rods Siege number 5 and L.L. bean number 5 too, with leading floating lines 4X and attractors flies afloat and fish hooks between 8 and 14.

On this first day of fishing, we used flys like Fat Albert and Turk’s Tarantula. We were also using Simms gloves, neck protector Columbia, Pointer Flyfishing shirts, Simms Wader and Simms wading boots.


At the beginning of the morning, we fished around those stone walls. Although shadows didn’t allow us to see the fish clearly, we had really good results as we fished 2 and 3 pounds rainbow trouts mostly. During the morning we hadn’t any brown trout nut we saw a couple of brooks.

At the end of the morning, we had calm waters so we were able to see the fish, doing some casting to the identification of each one.

Between Pablo and David, 4 fish of about 17 to 20 inches and with great presentation on the flies were caught.

After an awesome morning, we had lunch at the camp, eating salads and omelettes, sitting in the sun and enjoying some cold drinks. An hour later we started the afternoon fishing. It started really hard. There was this really hot weather going on and we were costing like an hour without luck until we could finally start fishing again and, at the end, we caught 5.

_EP_0002_1As mentioned, we were fishing in San Martín de los Andes, a city in the province of Neuquén, Argentina. It is located in the Lácar Department in the south-west of the province, at the foot of the Andes.

A major change in settlement life came when in 1937 Lanín National Park was created. This meant that wood logging was gradually reduced and numerous small settlements along the lake shore disappeared. New roads were built effectively connecting San Martín with the rest of Argentina.

At present, either for the ski season or the summer, it is a popular destination for tourism, and the seat of the administration headquarters of the Lanín National Park. Its landscape is one of the most spectacular of Patagonia.

Going back to this incredible fishing day, I remember one moment at 4 pm when we were coasting on the rocks and Gonzalo said that he saw a fish 20 mts away from us and made us throw ourselves behind a log that was almost inside the water. The fly fell 40 cm close to where he said the fish was and we saw the trout turning and catching the fly. The success of that catching was thanks to the best guide of San Martin de los Andes, Gonzalo Flego.



When you throw the fly and it lands on the water, you make something called “twitch” so the fly moves and then you have to leave it still for a few seconds to attract the fish. In this case, Pablo was a little obstinate, so he did the first twitch, saw the fish coming and not catching the fly, and did a second twitch which pissed Pepe off and so he got really angry ! After several minutes of arguing with Pablo telling him what he did was wrong, we all saw a brooke trout catching the fly, noticing that Pablo was right by proving something impossible for Pepe. After all this discussion, we fished some beautiful fontinalis trouts of about 21 inches.

Patagonia’s Endless Summer with Andes Drifters

Fly fishing with our associated partners in North Patagonia, Andes Drifters, and his CEO and General manager Gustavo Hiebaum.­ News from last season…

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It turns out there is a cure for winter. The sky is blue. The sun is warm. Red stone cliffs rise above deep green water. Rolling hills covered in sage brush, or what looks like sage brush, roll uninterrupted as far as the eye can see. Twenty­inch brown trout rise out every green pocket to eat big bushy dry flies. It’s January and at home pipes are bursting in my basement.

I could swear I was in Montana. It looks so much like Montana. I didn’t expect that. Just like Montana summer, until you spot a group of llamas resting by the river or a snow covered volcano or a condor sailing like a pterodactyl overhead or your guide says something like, “give it to me please, the fly.”

IMG_GR_testimonials1438102816So much about Patagonia is familiar and so much strange. The language, the customs and the wildlife may seem strange, but rivers are rivers and trout, trout. My fly knows what to do here and it does it time and time again.

We float beautiful wild rivers and never see another boat. We fish long days. The sun is up late here, less than five­hundred miles from Antarctica. The water is so clear you can count the pebbles at the bottom of the deepest runs. The air is warm and sweet and even the fish seem to be carried away in the innocence of summer. I drink wine and eat dolce de leche as the crawlspace at home fills with water.

IMG_GR_testimonials1438008751At night we gather around a fire and watch a goat brown on a spit. We drink too much and sleep under the southern cross. I hear Crosby Stills and Nash singing “Southern Cross” in my head all week. The guides tell stories in Spanish long after I have drifted off. They are full of life and love of this land and these waters. It’s easy to imagine that it’s always summer here. That the pipes never freeze.

Patagonia with its red stag and giant birds, its wine and its chocolate, its classical guitars and tango dancers. This beautiful wild Montana of the south with its volcanos and its wind and its crazy, drunken Spanish stories and its wild, wild rivers and its hungry trout. The whole place feels like a fairy tale. Like something lost in time. Like a drunken story told in Spanish by a roaring fire.

IMG_GR_testimonials1438102854The whole week I feel like a high school kid who’s snuck into a college party. Like I’ll wake up somewhere else, somewhere cold and wet with awful work to do. I try to drink it in. I try to tell myself it’s real and it can last. I land one last big brown trout and we row off the river. I ride through the desert in a pickup truck. I take pills and I sleep on the plane. I wake up somewhere cold and wet, with awful work to do.

But I can’t stop thinking about Patagonia. I keep thinking about that politician from South Carolina who told everyone he was going to hike the Appalachian trail, disappeared to Argentina and fell in love with some beautiful dark­haired woman, burned his whole career and family to the ground. I think about that poor miserable bastard while I lay in the dirt of my crawl space in the cold and the wet and I want to be him so bad I could cry.

IMG_GR_testimonials1438102958In the end, the trip to Patagonia cost about the same as the plumbing. I think I’ll do it again next year. Not the plumbing.

Thanks Louis!

Gustavo Hiebaum -­ Andes Drifters

By Louis Cahill/ Gink & Gasoline



Sea Run Brown Summit

What will be the Summit for fly fishing? That is a difficult question and we should think that the answer should be personalize because there is NOT a single one summit, in our opinion, Rio Grande, Argentina in Tierra del Fuego province, down south Patagonia is one of the paradises for avid fly fishermen’s. Sea-runners are brown trout (salmo-trutta) that have, as juvenile fingerlings, made a decision to move away from freshwater and to live in saltwater.

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This specie conjures up visions of ocean fed Sea Run Brown Trout held in the hands of expertise anglers in days with extreme wind and sun.  With high daily catch rates of fish averaging 8 to 13lbs and strong returns every year.

One of the finest lodges in Argentina, Tierra del Fuego, is Estancia Maria Behety, which has the longest area of Rio Grande River and more than dozen years on the fishing dreams. Rio Grande is the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

IMG_GR_testimonials1406210033Sea run brown trout mean leaving a side creek or tributary of a larger estuarine system and moving into the ocean. After taking up residence in this part fresh, part saltwater environment the fingerlings undergo minor physical changes to their gills which will later allow them to live in a totally saltwater environment. Having acclimatized in the first 1-2 years of their lives, the fingerlings move even further downstream towards saltwater.

Upon reaching a near saltwater environment potential sea-run fish have to decide whether or not to leave the estuary. Generally speaking resident trout do not do as well as their sea-going brother and sister fish and usually spend most of their time scrounging for whatever food items they can find. Living as a resident is very much a second existence in comparison to that of a sea-runner.

I had personal enjoy fishing at the Rio Grande a couple of times, and hook some of my best memories fishing with good friends like Bruce Peeler and Tim Leach, and expertise friends like William Leach and James Mc Kay.

It is important that fly fishermen’s that hasn’t been to Argentina yet, realize that fishing Tierra del Fuego means, spey rods, strong winds, early wake up calls, long siestas, and dinner like 12pm when we are back from the river. Day light in summer time in south Patagnia is long as could be in Alaska, so normally in January anglers could be in the river till the end of the day with the last light of the day.IMG_GR_testimonials1406210879

Your guides are everything, they really know how to read this unique and unpredictable river, and most important they have most answers in terms how to stream or drift a fly. At Estancia Maria Behety anglers will be able to fish both sides of the Rio Grande.  No other fishing lodge in Tierra del Fuego has a better access to the Rio Grande.

How you get there? Easy money! International flight to Buenos Aires, overnight in one of the most beatifuls cities in South America, and following morning you will take a 3 hours flight to go down south, to Rio Grande City. From there it will be like 15 minutes’ drive. A warm up session and you will be ready for action.

Season goes from November to April, and prime time could be March. The greatest at Maria Behety Lodge are the 100 prime pools on 32 private miles of the lower Rio Grande. The guides are renowned for both their intimate knowledge of the Rio Grande and consistent success in bringing monster sea trout to the bank.Maria Behety Lodge (28)

At Estancia Maria Behety you will enjoy delicatessen meal and great camaraderie. Anglers can enjoy amenities like single room occupancy, a Jacuzzi, pool table, radiant floor heat, private chef and a huge wine cellar. Please, never hesitate to request personal opinions or advice regarding flies or casts; or where to cast your fly. Guides will be always ready to take you fishing some great pools and runners. Remember that in the middle of a windy day, any time you could have a strong hook and a 10lbs se run brown trout will be fighting for freedom in your line.

Weather is very important, and Catch rates will vary with weather conditions.

Experienced anglers know that Sea Run Brown trout fishing on the Rio Grande is the summit to any other anadromous Brown Trout river in the world.

Believe it; it is difficult to express the feeling about this unique fishing in a short writing report, so please feel free to contact us for further info.

Pablo Aguilo

Pointer Fly Fishing

Chimehuin River Experience

We woke up at 7am at 3 Rivers Lodge. The sun was already shinning on the sky over the amazing flat mountains in front of the Lodge. We are located in north Patagonia, in the south of Neuquen Province, close to San Martin de los Andes and Chapelco Airport. The Lodge is 40 minutes away from the airport driving a grave road that runs close to the Chimehuin River.

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The Chimehuin River starts in the Huechulafquen Lake, where is located the famous Lanin Volcano, an epic mountain that we will be able to see from some parts of the river. The river runs with power and it has perfect conditions for sail it and cast from the boat. The river has clear water and you can see the rocks at the bottom. The river has 4 different main areas to sail it, and depending on the fishing and logistics is where we go. We fished from Riscos to 3 Rivers Lodge that is located in the union of the Chimehuin River and the Collon Cura River.

The down was outstanding, so I sit outside in that dream place with the first coffee of the morning, and I enjoyed that magic view with the river down the valley. There was almost no wind, what made me think: what a great morning!

From the lodge we split the group in 2 different vehicles and we drove half an hour till the river. The guides were Gonzalo and Emiliano, who have more than 10 years guiding in this area with us. We set 3 different rods, 2 #5 rods and 1 #3. We had 2 of them with floating lines and one with a sinking line for some deeper holes. By that time it was around 9:30am and we had the first eclosion of the morning. We were able to see millions of insects flying IMG_GR_testimonials1419025101around the trees and over the water. We call eclosion to the process were the insects become butterflies. And when this happens, normally there is a big action on the river.

Before jumping on the boat, Emiliano and Gonzalo saw some trout feeding on the surface. Amazing! The morning was a dreamed morning. Nice breeze, no wind, shinny, and great group of people.

We caught a fish on the other bank. Emiliano move the boat fighting with the stream and we were in position; two casts later we had a trout attacking our caddy that was floating in the water. We used some caddies #16 and #18 that worked very well during the eclosion time.

We mostly fly fished the banks on the side of the runs, looking for certain speed of water, and trying to cast just 5 to 10 inches from the bank. It was amazing, but the closer the flies were, the more efficient the fishing was. We have been successful with some fish on the IMG_GR_testimonials1419025584shade areas, under trees or just where big rocks make shadow. We did not fly fish the runs this time of the year. It was also very efficient to cast on the foam, where the water has 2 different speed levels; we had good fishes on those areas too.

We have tried with some attractors PMX and some attractors stimulators; and we have been successful with some Spinner flies in #18. Most of the fish were caught under the willow trees that are in the bank of this river; probably the river with more willow trees of North Patagonia, what makes it very special for the dry fly fishing, normally watching the fish before the cast, what makes a whole different fly fishing experience. IMG_GR_testimonials1419026115

We hope this report of our last fly fishing experience help you to make a decision about your next fly fishing destination. We are behind the best fly fishing trips, and we will make you have a fly fishing time that will be on the top of your life memories.

Tight Lines

Pablo Aguilo

Pointer Fly Fishing


The River of Monsters

Most of the fly fishing world have read about the big sea run brown trout of Tierra del Fuego but few know about or have fished the RIVER of MONSTERS. No sea runs here but bows that make the reel sing and BIG, BIGGER and really BIGGG browns.

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The mighty Limay River, once flowing freely for about 300 miles from its source, Lake Nahuel Huapi near San Carlos de Bariloche until it joins the Neuquen River to form the Rio Negro on its final decent to the Atlantic Ocean, has its flow now interrupted by five dams.

It is the stretch between the Pichi Picún Leufú Dam and the Exequiel Ramos Mejia Reservoir that is called Middle Limay or Limay Medio but many have dubbed it the RIVER of MONSTERS.IMG_GR_testimonials1406932282

In addition to the big browns it is a world class rainbow fishery.

As a result of the dams, the reservoir creates a great habitat for enormous minnow populations of different species as well as a great environment for trout to grow fast and reach unbelievable size.

I have been fortunate to have fished these waters many, many times over the past ten years. People ask me why am I so obsessed with the LIMAY MEDIO.

There are many components to my answer and each time I fished there I add another to the list. The sheer remoteness and beauty, having the river to myself, fish that make your hands tremble and your heart race, the incredible minnow hatch, fireside evenings with amigos looking at the amazing Southern Cross ….well that just for starters.IMG_GR_testimonials1406932129

I have never experienced a river that has so many big browns both resident and migratory and the bows on steroids are a bonus.

The flies used mostly imitate the main species of baitfish and crabs; the Pejerrey, Puyen and Pancora. Imitations feature slim profiles and pulsating materials. To say these fish are aggressive is an understatement.IMG_GR_testimonials1406932589

Two different approaches are used in fishing these waters. A floating line with small floating minnow patterns can be used when minnow activity is visible as bows and browns bust on the baitfish in a feeding frenzy. All hell is breaking out around you during the blitz and good luck in keeping your wits about you. This top action is as exciting as it gets and we call it the minnow hatch.

Secondly, we use 28’ shooting heads with Slick Shooter running line and backing to prospect the likely lies, runs and pools. This river can easily accommodate single handed or double handed spey rods. Easy wading makes it more relaxing as every cast can produce a trip fish or the fish of a life time.

The River of Monsters should be on everyone’s bucket list!!

Chip Drozenski