Fishing upside down, Part V
Fishing and hunting
DOTTIE LYNCH landed this beautiful big rainbow on Argentina's Malleo River in the shadow of Lanin volcano last month.
While my wife, Dottie, goes on fly-fishing trips with me, she could not have been described as an enthusiastic fly-fisher – until we went to Argentina last month. There, she discovered the thrill of having big trout rise to a dry-fly.
Our stay at Estancia San Huberto in the northern part of Patagonia near the town of Junin de los Andes was not only delightful in all aspects of accommodations, cuisine and outstanding service, but also a wonderful personal experience with new friends combined with fabulous fishing. This won Dottie over completely. She wants to go back. Our companions on the trip, Tom and Katherine Culligan, agree.
I've already mentioned that our guides, Tuqui and Sancho (Carlos Viscarro and Santiago Ramis), did an excellent job in helping us catch lots of trout. They were also amiable companions and great company. They even took us into town one afternoon to the local rural (a combination country fair and gaucho rodeo) where we watched an awesome exhibition of team cutting horse competition.
The Malleo River, which runs through the very large San Huberto ranch, is one of the easiest wading rivers we've ever fished. We didn't have to worry about large, slippery boulders, and could wade up to waist-deep without much concern. There was plenty of room to cast. We were using large grasshopper imitations, which, when placed within inches of the opposite bank, enticed some very big fish to rise up and swallow them. Dottie landed several rainbows and German brown trout in the 18-to-20-inch range, and two that measured 22 inches. Tom and Katherine had the same kind of great fishing, as did I.
We fished in a high mountain valley, close the Chilean border, surrounded by the Andes Mountains, and in the shadow of the dormant Lanin volcano, which rises to more than 12,000 feet. It was an easy 15-to-20-minute drive from the estancia to our fishing spots and our typical day included fishing from about 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., a break for lunch and a siesta, and then back out from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. for the evening hatch, then back for cocktails and a late dinner with the other guests of the lodge.
The Argentinian fishing part of the trip was arranged for us by Rachel Andras of Andras Outfitters (andrasoutfitters.com.) Rachel did an outstanding job in setting this up, and we highly recommend her as a fishing trip planner/outfitter.
We were sad to leave Estancia San Huberto and our new friends, but we had the next stage of our adventure waiting for us in Chile. Next week I'll tell you about our crossing the border into the Huilo Biological Preserve.
Fishing close to home this week, local anglers who got out in between windy and sometimes stormy weather found quite a few striped bass biting in the Napa River, at the mouth of Sonoma Creek, and over in the Petaluma River. Joel Sinkay, at Leonard's Bait Shop at Port Sonoma, said striper fishing has been good to very good at times in the Petaluma River and near the Pump House and Hamilton Flats. Joel has plenty of bait and expects the wind to lie down toward the weekend.
Keith Fraser, at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael, said he's never seen so many stripers in the Bay at this time of year. Most anglers are hooking them from the anchor while using live shrimp for either sturgeon or stripers. The sturgeon action has been only fair this week, and the stormy weather kept a lot of folks home or fishing off the bank
Capt. Rick Powers, of Bodega Bay Sportfishing, also had to time his trips in-between blows, but did manage to bring home crab limits and lots of sand dabs for his clients.
Dr. Jim Powers, Les Vadasz, Steve Kyle and I spent three days fishing the Rogue River in Oregon with guides Jim Andras and Mike Peters last weekend and managed to land some very nice steelhead every day. I'll write up a more detailed report on that trip soon. Now is a nice time to try the Rogue. Call Rachel Andras at 530-722-7992 to set up a drift.
Photos from Estancia San Huberto, Patagonia, Argentina