Friday, February 22, 2013

Trout Tails - February 22, 2013

This will be a long one, at least photo wise (so if your just looking for big fish, scroll to the bottom) Video hopefully to come soon......Had the chance to fish with my amigo Herb Baker in Tierra Del Fuego again, so of course I jumped at the opportunity.  It had been 5 years since my last trip down and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to bum around southern Chile for a month, chasing monster browns.

After 24 hours in airports/airplanes, I finally arrived in  Punta Arenas.  Since our friend Alejandro was guiding at the lodge, we used his house as a "home base" to gear up for the next several weeks on the island.  I had brought enough flies to stock a small fly shop and between the two of us, we had 3 SLR cameras, a point and shoot, and two Contour video cameras.  A stop at the local grocery to stock up on beer and pasta  and we were ready to roll.

After crossing the Straits of Magellen, we spent the first few days fishing the Rio Side.  This was the last stream I fished 5 years ago when I was there and it was loaded with browns 16" plus, all willing to eat dries...this time was no different.  We spent 3 days exploring a large portion of the river.  While it doesn't look like much, its deep holes and undercut banks make prime habitat for some nice browns.  As much as it can for TDF, the wind cooperated enough for us to throw dries (hoppers/crickets) most of the time.   Usually fished until about 9 each night before retiring to the tent in a roadside ditch/sheep pasture.  One night the security guard for the local oil/gas well pads stopped and apparently felt bad for us....I couldn't really understand what he was saying, and thought he was going to kick us off the property, but instead went to his truck and came back with a sandwich for us.

The next several days were spent camping on the Estancia/lodge Cameron, a 500,000 acre property that borders almost the entire Rio Grande in Chile, all the way to the Argentinian border, and a lot more.  We spent the first several days on the upper Rio Grande, mainly swinging streamers for resident browns, but did manage to catch a few smaller sea runs.

Smaller sea run (5-6 lbs)

Typical Rio Grande Resident Brown

Refuel time
The next couple days were spent on the lower river with the spey rods, swinging for sea runs.  Wind was bad, with a steady 40 mph "breeze" and gusts up to 60-70 mph.  The wind was actually picking water up off the river and throwing it a half mile inland.  The sea runs don't come easy, but they are nice fish when they do. 

After a couple days, we headed over to the Russfin Sector to camp above Lago de Medio on the Estancia property and fish it and the nearby rivers.  Caught some monster 8lb browns in the lake and some nice 6-8lb browns in the nearby rivers on dries.  The rivers were fairly small/narrow, but with really deep undercut banks.  The wind was a double edged sword on these creeks.  If it was blowing, it was hard to cast into it, if it wasn't, a lot of the pools were like glass and it was real easy to spook fish....but if you could make a gentle 60 foot on!  Also had some incredible sunsets and views of the stars at night.

de Medio

Hopper Brown

The Hopper Strikes Again

Lack of spots was a strange "pattern" on this guy

Another Victim of the Hopper

After a quick resupply, we headed back to Rio Grande for the last week or so to spend a few days on the lower river and fishing another "pond" that we were told there were big fish in, but that they were impossible to catch.....they must have never tried an olive bugger ;)  Herb also caught a nice 11lb sea run our last day on the river.
11lb Sea Run
Lower Rio Grande

Also a few shots from out trip down the coast as we were coming back from resupplying in Porvenir.

Rey Penquins


Captain Herb

After an 8 hour drive and another 24 hours in the airports, I made it back.....going to be tough to fish Spring Creek this weekend.  

Last time I was down, I was even further south, but still a long ways away.

1 comment:

  1. cool! i've been dreaming of a patagonia TDF trip for a long time!