Argentina Fishing Report – Rio Grande Sea Trout

Argentina Fishing Report – Rio Grande Sea Trout

Dan Vogel, Steve Dixon, and I just finished a week of sea trout fishing on the Rio Grande River in Tierra Del Fuego.  At the very bottom of South America, TDF is an unbelievably unique, harsh, and beautiful place.  From the scenery, to the wildlife, to the wind, and the sea run brown trout, everything just seems extreme.  For those who want a shot at the biggest sea trout on earth, this is the place.  The combination of fertile oceans, great spawning habitat, and protection from commercial fishing makes TDF and it’s sea trout second to none.
We have fished this river for a number of years throughout its length, typically between Mid-February and Mid-March. Every year has been a bit different, but normally there are plenty of fish in the system at this time of year. Going into the week we knew there were good numbers of fish in the river, and plenty of fresh ones coming in every day, too. The week started off great!  Water conditions were stable, visibility was good, and the fish were very grabby.  Mid-week everything changed for us, however, after it snowed in the mountains and the melt caused the river to rise several inches and color up significantly.

Overnight, we went from fishing smallish size 10-12 patterns on floating and intermediate lines to fishing large 3-or-more-inch-long, dark colored string leeches on fast sinking lines. Seeing the river change in such a short time reminded me of the importance of being prepared with a variety of rods, lines, and flies in TDF. The single handed and switch rods that we used earlier in the week were the wrong choice for casting the larger flies and heavy lines required to fish the river swollen with melt water.

The change in water conditions not only changed the gear we were fishing, but the way we approached the river.  In lower flows, the fish were primarily holding and staging in known lies and pools, where we could target them using a slow, measured approach.  We knew where the fish were, and it was our job to figure out how to get them to bite.  Multiple passes through the runs with changes in fly, swing speed, sink tip, or retrieve were the norm.  When the water rose, as typically happens in anadromous fisheries, the fish were activated and started to move within and between pools, and the stained water gave them comfort in different types of lies.  The approach became more of a search, much like a great deal of the steelhead fishing that I’ve done.  From mid-week on we worked very hard to locate fish, but were always rewarded with a couple each day. Big flies made for aggressive grabs and we saw some fish of incredible quality. It was more mentally challenging to stay in the game during the second part of the week, but also extremely rewarding.
If you are interested in learning more about fishing the Rio Grande River in Tierra Del Fuego for sea trout we work with the several of the top lodges on the river. We will gladly help you organize a trip. Email jspence@bigskyanglers.com for more information.
Justino
Argentina Fishing Report – Estancia Tecka

Argentina Fishing Report – Estancia Tecka

I have spent close to two decades fishing the waters that surround Estancia Tecka, but never experienced Tecka myself until this year.  Estancia Tecka is a massive 400,000+ acre ranch located between Esquel and Rio Pico in the Chubut Province of Argentina. Over the years I had heard so many intriguing things about the hundreds of miles of spring creeks, the 30+ miles of the Corcovado River above the waterfalls, the many lakes and lagunas, the giant hoppers that appear during summer months that cause fish to feed violently, the 20 + inch brown trout that live in small waters and come out from under cut banks, the trophy brook and rainbow trout that move into the Corcovado River from Vintter Lake, and so much more.  Joe Moore hosted a group there a couple of years ago, and he recommended it as a must-do stop for my trip this year.  So, I found myself at Tecka for the first time just over a week ago with a great group of guys from back home – Dan V. from North Dakota, and Steve D. and Steve R. from Oregon.
We explored different water almost everyday. We fished several different spring creeks, lakes, lagunas, and sections of the Corcovado River. We caught brown, rainbow, and brook trout. During the week we just barely scratched the surface of fishable water. Dries, nymphs, and streamers all worked well, but dry flies were definitely the most productive. Foam beetles in sizes 8-12, small (12-16) purple, royal and peacock Chubbys, and especially JoJo’s Royal Ant in size 12-14, all took plenty of fish for us.
Why go to Tecka? Estancia Tecka is a wonderful place to experience for a wife variety of trout fishing with one base lodge.  What makes Estancia Tecka unique is the vastness of the ranch, the lack of other anglers, and the consequent lack of fishing pressure. Wade fishing prospects on the estancia are endless.  All of the smaller rivers and spring creeks provide plenty of action for 14-16 inch fish with chance of catching 22 inch or bigger fish.  Trophy brook trout fishing is best in the fall-March/April, as brookies from Lago Vintter move into the Upper Corcovado River. During November/December one can target 25+ inch rainbow trout  from Lago Vintter in the Corcovado.
One thing is for sure:  I’ll be back!  As far as destinations within Patagonia go, Tecka is top notch!
Gracias a todos en Estancia Tecka , especialmente a Pedro Ochoa, Federico Conesa, y Jorge Gonzalez, por mostrarnos tu magnífico lugar! Until next time!
Best,
Justino
Route 40 Road Trip – Patagonia,Argentina

Route 40 Road Trip – Patagonia,Argentina

March 21 – April 4, 2020

From the birthplace of  Patagonia fly fishing in the north to its frontier in the south, Route 40 runs through the heart of Patagonia. Join Big Sky Angler’s Steve Hoovler March 21 – April 4, 2020 on a customized, two-week adventure from the north to the south of Argentina’s classic trout country.

 We have spent the last 2 decades living, working, and fishing throughout this vast region and this trip encompasses some of our absolute favorites.  You’ll experience the best fly fishing and authentic Argentine hospitality in all of Patagonia. You’ll be fishing with english-speaking guides that are not only our partners but are our friends, the people we have come to know and respect through our years of experience.

This two week adventure is designed to sample the best of what Patagonia has to offer, 5 days of fishing in the south and 5 days in the north.  It begins in a remote basecamp situated on the high steppes at the base of the Andes, here you’ll be fishing for large, migratory brook trout while enjoying views of the glaciers and mountains of Chile.  We’ll venture north, fishing from drift boats and rafts on the Rio Corcovado and southern Argentina’s fabulous tailwater fishery, the Rio Grande.  We’ll stay at El Encuentro lodge on the banks of the Rio Grande, enjoying the warm hospitality of our good friends, great wine selections, and terrific food. After the first five days of fishing, we’ll drive through Los Alerces National Park and make our way to Bariloche for a rest day on the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi.

We’ll spend the next session north of Bariloche near the cradle of flyfishing in Argentina, drift boat fishing on the Rio Collon Cura and Rio Limay, lodging on the shores of the Collon Cura.  These are two of the most spectacular and exciting fall fisheries of Patagonia and both host great populations of resident trout with migratory fish in the systems as well. The Collon Cura valley is filled with wildlife, and you’ll catch glimpses of red stags in the rut, rheas, wild pigs, and armadillos.  Condors soar high above the river and and flocks of parrots will noisily entertain you while drifting the river. The Rio Limay is located out in the steppe country, away from the Andes, some of the largest brown trout in Patagonia are taken from its waters.

We invite you to join us on this unforgettable Patagonia flyfishing adventure!  Please contact us for more information.

The Ultimate Patagonia Sporting Adventure

The Ultimate Patagonia Sporting Adventure

“You Deserve Another Autumn!”

Fall is one of our favorite times in Patagonia. When the Andes get their first coating of snow, and the Beech trees begin to turn yellow, orange and fire-red I get excited about Brook Trout on the Corcovado, Brown Trout on the Rio Grande, and Pointing Dogs locked on a Coveys of wild Quail. There is enough fishing and wing shooting in Patagonia to last more than a lifetime. It’s impossible to see it all in two short months.

Just like it is here in North America, the only problem with fall is that it is way too short. There’s never enough of those glorious amber-lit days. Wouldn’t it be great to have two fall seasons? If you’re like me, and you can’t get enough fall fishing and wingshooting, consider a trip to Patagonia this March and April and get another autumn.

Our good friends at El Encuentro have put together a fantastic Fly Fishing / Wingshooting combination package, and are offering a special rate for the few remaining dates available in March/April 2019. I have been on the ground in Patagonia working with the El Encuentro team to develop these programs for the past two seasons, and will be there there again this year to host visiting anglers and wingshooters.

Book your March/April 2019 trip now and receive 20% off the standard package price. Call or email Big Sky anglers at info@bigskyanglers.com to learn more about the Ultimate Patagonia Sporting Adventure and available dates.

Dispatches Volume 3 – Fly Fishing in Argentina for Trophy Brook Trout with Steve Hoovler

Dispatches Volume 3 – Fly Fishing in Argentina for Trophy Brook Trout with Steve Hoovler

Welcome to the third edition of Dispatches, a new series which reports on the Big Sky Anglers crew as they travel the globe in search of angling adventures. Each edition of Dispatches will feature an interview with one of our angling pros while they are on assignment or traveling for fun. Our crew might be hosting anglers in a remote destination, guiding clients on our home waters, or exploring new fishing territory at home and abroad.

This edition features BSA guide, Steve Hoovler who is reporting from the Brook Trout Base Camp in Argentine Patagonia. Steve spent a month in Argentina this Spring working with our good friends at El Encuentro Fly Fishing to help develop their late-season fishing and wingshooting programs. During his time in Patagonia Steve visited El Encuentro’s Brook Trout Base Camp on the Rio Corcovado to hunt for trophy brook trout. Give a listen to what Steve has been up to, and stay tuned for more reports from the BSA crew.

“Where are you right now?”

 

“How did you get there?”

 

Fly Fishing for Trophy Brook Trout in Argentina

 

“What is your target species? Why did you pick this location and time for that species?”

 

Fly Fishing for Trophy Brook Trout in Argentina

 

“How are you targeting these fish?”

 

Fly Fishing for Trophy Brook Trout in Argentina

 

“What’s one thing that’s happened on your trip so far that you didn’t expect?”

 

Fly Fishing for Trophy Brook Trout in Argentina

 

“What are the conditions like?”

 

Fly Fishing for Trophy Brook Trout in Argentina

 

“What’s been your favorite piece of gear on this trip so far, and why?”

 

Fly Fishing for Trophy Brook Trout in Argentina

 

“What’s the best thing you’ve had to eat?”

 

Fly Fishing for Trophy Brook trout in Argentina

 

“Have you learned any new words or phrases?”

 

Fishing for Trophy Brook Trout in Argentina

 

“What’s your playlist been on this trip…what tunes are you listening to?”

 

Fly Fishing for Trophy Brook Trout in Argentina

 

“Where are you off to next?”

 

Wingshooting in Argentina