Fishing upside down, Part II
Fishing and hunting
Katherine Culligan with a 22-inch rainbow caught on the Collon Cura River in Argentina last week.
The Collon Cura River is born in the Andes, just east of the border between Chile and Argentina and runs east to the Atlantic Ocean. Before the 1800s, there were no trout in it, but early European settlers saw Argentina’s incredible river system and decided they would be perfect for trout. They brought in brood stock eggs from Germany to introduce brown trout, and rainbow trout eggs from California's McCloud River to add the feisty rainbow to the waters. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.
There are so many trout in the river that they literally jump into the boat. OK, maybe they don't usually jump in the boat, but in my case, one did.
Dottie and I were drifting and fishing the Collon Cura with our excellent guide Tuqui (Carlos Viscarro) and we were having lots of fun catching and releasing some big trout. But the wind really came up in the afternoon, so Tuqui rowed us into a small side channel of the river surrounded on both sides by thick willows that hung over the water. The wind was lighter, but still present and Tuqui pointed out that small green inch-worms were feeding on the willow leaves. Whenever the breeze picked up, many worms fell into the water and suddenly the water was alive with rainbows gorging on green worms.
Naturally, he had some green worm flies in his box, and soon we were casting the fake worms into the spots where the trout were rising. They accepted our offerings, but went wild when hooked, making our reels sing as they pulled off line and, unfortunately, often wrapping it around willow branches that hung in the water. We hooked seven big trout, but managed to only land three. Actually, it was just two that we brought all the way to the net. One trout was a crazy jumper that, after several leaps away from the boat, attempted to leap over it. He fell short and landed in the boat. True story.