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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Director

Pointer Outfitters

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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ANECDOTE

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

http://www.ginkandgasoline.com

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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

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Llao Llao Hotel: Great combo for Cast & Blast!

Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, San Carlos de Bariloche

Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, San Carlos de Bariloche

“Las Peñas” Lodge

“Las Peñas” Lodge

At Pointer Fly Fishing we offer a great combo for cast & blast. First we have dove hunt in Cordoba at the luxurious “Las Peñas” lodge; and then, rainbow trout fly fishing in Bariloche at the elegant “LLao Llao Hotel and Resort”.

Rainbow Trout Fly Fishing

Rainbow Trout Fly Fishing

Dove Hunting at Las Peñas Lodge

Dove Hunting at Las Peñas Lodge

Las Peñas Lodge

The hunting lodge itself is a client favorite, and over the years, has drawn plenty of critical acclaim from industry insiders. The lodge has been completely renovated in 2010 to meet the absolute highest standards of excellence.

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The Lodge perfectly blends the charm of “old-world” Argentina with contemporary luxury, and offers 5-star amenities seldom found at hunting lodges. The Lodge sits on an immaculately-kept boutique estancia, and has an inglenook den, an outdoor fire pit lounge and a formal dining area.

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Llao Llao Hotel & Resort

Located in the tourist resort of San Carlos de Bariloche within the province of Río Negro, Argentina, this famous hotel is situated in the foothills of the Andes on a hill between the Moreno Lake and NahuelHuapi Lakes.

Amazing view

Amazing view

This unique hotel has everything a guest could ask: a spa with the most modern techniques for men and women blend with delicate aromas and scents creating the perfect atmosphere for relaxation and enjoyment.

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Outdoors swimming pool

The hotel also counts with a golf course surrounded by perfect Patagonian scenery. 18-hole golf course with rolling fairways, stunning greens and perfectly integrated bunkers.

Like the combo?

More information at http://www.pointerflyfishing.com