Argentina Fishing Report – Golden Dorado in the North

Argentina Fishing Report – Golden Dorado in the North

Dan Vogel, Steve Rewick, and I just finished an awesome week of fishing for golden dorado in northern Argentina. We spent the first half of the week at Pira Lodge located near the Ibera Marsh and the second half at Suinda Lodge located on the Upper Parana River. Both places offer fantastic lodging, and guides, but the drastically different fisheries between the two locations make for a very fun and diverse week of angling.
The Ibera Marsh is very unique in that the fishing takes places inside a wildlife preserve and few people have access to this protected area. The resident dorado average 4-8 pounds but 20+ pound fish are caught. The variety of birds, reptiles, capybara, and marsh deer add to the fishing experience. There is a plan to reintroduce once extinct Jaguars into the marsh, which could add another incredible aspect to this destination. I have visited Pira numerous times now, and it keeps impressing me. The fish, wildlife, guides, lodge, staff, and food are simply excellent.
Following our time at Pira Lodge, we headed to Suinda Lodge, which has a rustic jungle setting. The lodge is located on the main Parana River.  The fishing takes place on larger water than the smaller, more intimate Ibera Marsh. The Upper Parana has a reputation for 20+ pound dorado – some over 40 pounds have been caught! Waters are clear on this upper stretch of river, making for some incredible sight fishing opportunities. We fished the banks with structure, swung flies near mid river rocks, and sight fished sand flats for massive dorado busting schools of sábalo. We also targeted Pacu, a fruit eating fish, that sits near the bank waiting for fruit to fall out of trees. We saw and heard howler monkey’s and a variety of tropical birds. The lodge, guides, staff, are amazing, just like at Pira.
It is hard to describe in words the excitement of dorado fishing.  Explosive takes, and powerful fights are amplified by the unique setting, hot and humid weather, and exotic wildlife.  The fact that these fisheries pair very well with a trout-based trip to the Argentine Patagonia farther to the south makes them all the more attractive to me.  Variety is the spice of the fishing life!!
This coming week we are off to Estancia Tecka in the Chubut Province to fish for truchas, so stay tuned!
If you would like to find out more about the golden dorado fishing we do in Argentina please contact me via email at jspence@bigskyanglers.com.
12 Days of Christmas – Day Three & Four – Dueling Lanyards

12 Days of Christmas – Day Three & Four – Dueling Lanyards

12 days of Christmas – Day Three and Four – Dueling Lanyards

Over the years we have utilized and seen darn near every single way to carry one’s tools of the trade for attaching terminal tackle.  What is really comes down to is that everyone has a different idea of what they need and how they want to access it. Are you wade fishing or are you in a drift boat? Do you wear a vest or just carry a small fly box and your rod?  In the end, for a day of fishing, anglers need to carry hemostats, nippers, floatant and tippet plus flies, split shot and maybe an extra leader. The question is simple, how do you want to carry your gear?  The vest is still a viable option, but we don’t really see too many anglers still rocking the vest.  Most anglers complain that the vest is too heavy and allows one to bring too much gear.  The next solution is to some kind of fishing pack, sling pack or messenger style fishing bag.  But what about your hemos, nippers, floatant and tippet?  For years most of attached the hemos and nippers to our shirts and rolled with it; however, I personally lost at least one set each summer while jumping in or out of the boat.

Enter the lanyard.

 

BSA Guide Lanyard

Most fishing guides spend a majority of their time in a drift boat or raft and carry boat bags for all their flies and tackle. I like to have a minimal amount of accessories hanging from my neck and the BSA Select Guide Lanyard (above) allows for just that.  This is a simple way to carry exactly what you need for pinching barbs, removing flies from fish and for cutting tippet material.  Heck…we’ve opened beers and pulled porcupine quills from bird dogs with the hemos and even used the parachute cord for a boot lace in a pinch.  When we jump out of the boat on wade fishing trips this lanyard is perfect as well.  If need be, for quick access to tippet, simply un-loop the hemostats and nippers and then slide a few spools of tippet on to the parachute cord.  Floatant and a small box of flies can go in your back pocket.  Whenever we are down south in Patagonia running hosted trips or guiding, we always give this set up to our guide buddies upon departure. They have hard time buying these in remote Patagonia and it adds instant fish karma to any trip.

 

Loaded Lanyard

 

The other side of the coin is the BSA Select Loaded Lanyard, pictured above. These are generally decorated with beads and carry all the essentials: tippet, hemos, floatant, nippers, fly patch, foam beads for drying flies and a small clip to keep it tight to one’s body when bending down to land a fish.  I know a few guides who run this system when guiding on foot as it keeps everything close at hand.  The only down side to the Loaded Lanyard is that you run the risk of Miles making fun of you if you forget to take it off before you go into Wild West for apres-guiding cocktails.

Check them both out in our on line fly shop as these make great gifts for the angler in your family.

12 Days of Christmas –  Day One  – The Patagonia Essential Fly Selection

12 Days of Christmas – Day One – The Patagonia Essential Fly Selection

For the Holiday Season we are kicking things off with a 12 Days of Christmas run here on the blog, Instagram, FB and on our online fly shop.  If you’re looking for that hard to find gift for that angler in your family, look no further.  We will be featuring a new product every day or two from December 4th until December 19th, 2019.  These aren’t just any old items; while Justin was down in Argentina hosting anglers, Jonathan and Joe combed through the shop and packaged up some super dope products that we believe in and use throughout the season while guiding, traveling and fishing ourselves. Each item will come with it’s own little surprise, like Cracker Jacks from days of old! We will be pushing these items out via Social Media as well, but feel free to visit the blog for more information if you steer away from Social Media.

 

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me….51 flies and the box is FREE!

Patagonia Essentials Custom Fly Selection

After years of fishing and guiding in Patagonia, J3 (Jonathan, Justin and Joe) went through the fly bins here at the shop and hand picked their favorite flies for the rivers between San Martin and Esquel in Argentina and Region X in Chile.  Time after time we have seen anglers show up in Patagonia with the wrong flies.  Why travel 6000 miles and show up with a subpar box of bugs? This selection works throughout the entire season down south and is full of dry flies, tungsten bead heads and a solid selection of streamers including Jonathan’s tried and true Pancora Crab.  For the past few years we have been putting together custom boxes for our travel customers, generally we send them along with a few more but this selection is a fantastic start.  If you’re headed down to Patagonia this winter, or any winter for that matter, give us a shout and we will out line the gear you will need.  Our selection comes with a total of 20 dry flies, 14 nymphs and 17 streamers for $150 including the box. Click here to buy the Patagonia Essentials fly selection on the online fly shop – It will not disappoint!

Flies – Left side of the box: (2) #4 Royal Water Walkers, (3) #8 Black & Tan Chubby Chernobyl, (2) #12 Fathead Cicadas, (1) #12 Swisher’s PMX, (2) #12 & #14 Jojo’s Chubbinator, (2) #14 & #16 Arrick’s Ant, (2) #14 & #16 Harrop’s PMD Paraspinner, (2) #14 Red Missing Link, (2) #16 Purple Haze, (1) #12 Red SJW, (1) #12 Tan SJW, (2) #14 AZ Hare’s Ear Dark, (2) #14 AZ Hare’s Ear Light, (2) #16 AZ Hare’s Ear Dark, (2) #16 AZ Hare’s Ear Light, (2) #16 R/L Tactical PT, (2) #16 BH Pheasant Tail.  Right side of the box: (1) #4 Olive and White Barely Legal, (2) #6 Olive BSA Bouface leeches, (2) #6 Black BSA Bouface leeches, (2) #6 BH Olive Crystal Bugger, (2) Olive #4 BSA Best Fly Ever, (2) Black #4 BSA Best Fly Ever, (2) #4 Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow Sculpins, (2) #4 The Professor’s Pancora Crab, (2) #8 The Professor’s Pancora Crab

Patagonia Essentials Custom Fly Selection

Brook Trout Base Camp

Brook Trout Base Camp

ucked away in a remote corner of Argentine Patagonia is a pristine fishery which is home to a population of wild Brook Trout the likes of which are the stuff of legends. Three to five pound fish are the norm, and ten+ pound trout are a very real possibility. A series of interconnected lakes drain into a stunning backcountry river valley framed by the jagged Andes mountains. The habitat in this system is ideal for trophy brook trout, and many believe a world record fish may be found here. El Encuentro’s Brook Trout Basecamp offers unparalleled access to this brook trout Valhalla, and affords visiting anglers a comfortable, well appointed camp with all of the comforts of home in this remote corner of central Patagonia. In addition to the fabled brook trout waters, other classic argentine fisheries like the Rio Corcovado and Rio Pico region are within easy striking distance from camp providing opportunities at trophy brown trout and rainbow trout as well .

We have been involved with the Brook Trout Base Camp from the very beginning. We helped scout, plan, and implement the project from concept to market, and are proud to host visiting anglers to this special corner of Patagonia with our close partners at El Encuentro Fly Fishing. Contact us at info@bigskyanglers.com for more information about this exceptional fishery, and the Brook Trout Basecamp.

 

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.