(My best fishing correspondent and friend, Steve Kyle, recently returned from Patagonia where he was part of an expedition organized by Rachel Andras of Andras Outfitters. Here is Steve’s report from the south side of our globe.)
“After a couple of days fishing for steelhead on the Eel River, I jumped a plane for Argentina and a week of trout fishing in Patagonia. Fishing and exploring Argentina was quite enjoyable. Rachel Andras, andrasoutfitters.com, put together a stellar group of anglers that made for an outstanding fellowship.
“The fishing went from good to very good depending on where you were on a given day. Some guys really smoked them but for me, less than outstanding. I did manage to land some very large rainbows and browns in the 18-to-22-inches, but they were few and far between the 12-inch variety, which I attracted by the dozen. These little guys are miniature rockets and fight well beyond their size. I’m not sure how they get to be so tough at such an early age, but they could put a large bend in a five-weight rod that was quite surprising. But the company more than made up for the angling and besides, unlike The Donald, I have no issue with size.
“Before the fishing, I spent a couple of days in Buenos Aires and enjoyed exploring that city very much, especially after finding the five-star, Patagonia Sur, a Frances Mallman restaurant. It is an amazing place that only takes one table an evening to serve up its amazing six-course meals. Seven of us went and sat at the only table in evidence while $200 bottles of wine were brought out like Perrier and went just as quickly. The good news for six of us was when one of the guys picked up the entire tab. It was probably close to the equivalent of making a house payment. He’s my new best friend.
“For most of the time, the weather was great with the exception of one notable afternoon which found me sitting in a boat, miles from the take-out during the mother of all rain storms. It wasn’t just a rainstorm; it was like a carwash in its intensity with raindrops the size of large peppercorns coming in sideways for a solid three hours. The three of us were without any rain gear. Within 30 minutes, the rain had worked its way down inside my waders and I have to say, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of cold water dripping down your fanny, making its way down your legs and then pooling nicely at the bottom of your waders’ feet. I had a good three feet of water covering my feet by the time I took my waders off.
“At 73 years of age, it’s good day when you learn something new. I learned a good lesson about Mother Nature – she doesn’t screw around and the only thing that kept us from getting hypothermia and into some serious trouble was the temperature of the rain, warm, sort of.
“Rachel was also on this voyage and simply sat there and smiled that lovely smile she has, as she was the only one of the three of us with a rain jacket. By any measurement, it was a totally excellent day.”