Lejano Sur (Further South)

Our January red fish trip was a success with decent weather, plenty of fish in the marsh, and everyone in our group of five boating multiple fish over 20 lbs.  We had a couple of anglers in the group new to the game of stalking big bull reds with a fly rod in shallow water; both caught fish in the 25 lb plus range.  And both were totally jazzed with the experience.  For me the highlight came on day two when we found large groups of big reds feeding in shallow water.  Seeing so many big fish actively tailing at once, with birds working over them was a sight I won’t soon forget.  And the fish were feeding so aggressively that I was able to hook my first red fish on a surface popper – very cool indeed!

 

Justi Campa shows off a healthy bull red taken on our last day of fishing the marsh.

Justi Campa shows off a healthy bull red taken on our last day of fishing the marsh.

Happy angers! Mick (left) and Jeff (right) with a couple of bright red fish taken from a group tailing on the flats.

Happy angers! Mick (left) and Jeff (right) with a couple of bright red fish taken from a group tailing on the flats.

A month later however, with recent sub-zero temperatures and the snow flying here in NE Wyoming, our January red fish trip seems a distant memory and I’m ready for some warmer weather and a change of scenery.  And nothing says “change of scenery” like fishing south of the equator this time of year.  In Patagonian Argentina February is late summer; a great time of year to take advantage of the long days and the trout’s willingness to hit big terrestrial patterns on the surface. 

With our departure just days away I’ve been watching the weather in Patagonia, going through gear and clothes, and packing and repacking in preparation for the trip.  The entire group is psyched to go and the emails are flying!  

This adventure will include a 4-day float trip on the Rio Collon Cura.  I haven’t done an overnight float trip in several years and am very much looking forward to it.  If you haven’t experienced Argentine river-side hospitality, you really don’t know what you’re missing.  These folks know how to camp in style!  Each day, the provision boat pushes down river ahead of the fishing boats to set up camp and start dinner.  By the time the group of tired anglers reach camp at day’s end after fishing 12+ hours, they are welcomed with a cold beer or maybe a gin and tonic, a place to relax, and the smell of meat cooking over open fire. 

The supply boat getting a head start.

The supply boat getting a head start.

By the time you get out of your waders, change into dry clothes, and swap a few lies about big fish caught and lost, it’s time to head to the dinner tent for an amazing meal of grilled meat and salad accompanied by a couple of glasses of good Malbec.  And of course, more fish stories.  What better way to end the day? 

Preparing camp dinner at river side. Lamb a la cruza (on the cross) and pollo al disco (chicken seared on the disk). Fabulous!

Preparing camp dinner at river side. Lamb a la cruza (on the cross) and pollo al disco (chicken seared on the disk). Fabulous!

Even the mid-day meals on the river are special. Tables and chairs, real plates and silverware, and multiple courses washed down with local beers and wine are standard fair. Perhaps a short siesta and then it’s time to fish again!

Even the mid-day meals on the river are special. Tables and chairs, real plates and silverware, and multiple courses washed down with local beers and wine are standard fair. Perhaps a short siesta and then it’s time to fish again!

Fly fishingKeith Marcott