Sunday, January 22, 2012

Troy and Bros fishing in Argentina

 Troy and three of his brothers headed to Argentina a couple weeks ago to do some fly fishing in the Patagonia's.  Troy served his mission in Argentina a million years ago and has always wanted to roam the Patagonia area ever since.  He finally got his chance.

First stop was Buenos Aires.  Troy will have to edit this to get all of the places correct.  Tatiana and her fiance are in Buenos Aires and they stopped at the hotel to say hi.  We love Tati.  Tatiana and her sister Debi stayed with us for a couple months in 2005?  We loved having them and are so excited to hear that she is getting married!

 Brett joined the gang and troy took them to see one of my favorite places in BA, the cemetery.  It's almost like it's own little city.  I was glad to see that there weren't many cats around.  When we went there were like 20 cats at these gates.  Eva Peron is buried here.






Eva Peron's tomb.  Always lots of people there.
Some of the mausoleums had broken windows and it was interesting to poke one's head in and see the statutes and little seats to sit in while visiting your dead ancestors.



One of the many feral cats we saw.  They seemed quite used to visitors.
Inside a mausoleum



Brett and Klint in front of a hobbit hole-style grave.

 Kim doing a little tango in the streets!  This area is like the artist community, Troy fill in the name please, Boca district?  Yes, it is Boca.  The street is the famous caminito.  We walked up and down once and had our fill.  Entertaining, but a seedy, touristy crowd.







 At the lodge in the Ande's Mountains/Patagonia.  Troy will have to fill in the rest!  We were on the banks of the Futaleufu river, a gigantic (snake river size) trout stream. 
Brett and Klint started the week off with a 100 yard dash to see who was fastest.  There may have been a time when Klint was quickest of us, but Brett took him this day.
Outside the lodge, getting rigged up for fishing.

First day on the Futaleufu.  This is one of our guides, Martin.  He was a crack-up, with his Argentine cynicism, he had a quip for almost every moment.  He said he liked us because he could use all his jokes.  I think he tends to guide a lot of older couples.  This bank you see us fishing off of was one we returned to several times because the fish would patrol its edges here looking for wind-blown bugs.  But as soon as they saw you, they would dart low and stop feeding.  So it was a lot of fun "hunting" them with our flies.  My problem: once they took the little dry we'd cast, they shot off like rockets, and I broke off several.  Brett with his lighter touch had better success.




Brett's first big one--21 inches.
My first bow.  18 inch fish, which was the standard size on the Futaleufu. None of the fish are stocked--all wild.  Mostly rainbows with some browns here and there.



A nice bow the guide held for me.


Day 2.  This is outside the Los Alerces National Park where we floated down the Rivadavia river.

Cool trees at the mouth of the river.
I forget the name of the lake that the Rivadavia river begins at.

Crystal clear water.



More cool trees along the bank of the Rivadavia.
On this day, Kim and I were with the other guide, Guillermo.  Geesh (as he went by for short) really knew his fishing but his english wasn't as good as Martin's.  His most common phrases were "It's good" or "It's no good" (meaning, it's not good), which he used constantly.  Also, we grew to enjoy his frequent guttural "mmmph" sound which he would utter either to show he was pleased with something we did or that he was disappointed. Yes, sometimes we weren't sure which he meant.  Not a man of many words, Geesh.



One of only 3 fish we caught on the Rivadavia.  Klint (who does not fly fish) caught the other two!  I had two fish on at different points, but one went straight under a branch and broke me off and the other one threw the fly on a series of jumps.  Can't say it wasn't exciting.  Despite the fact that the fish were very picky on this river, it was a lot of fun because of the scenic beauty, and the clarity of the water allowing us to see fish in the water all over the place.  Much like the Green River in Utah.  Klint and Brett liked it so much that they went back on Friday, though unfortunately got skunked.
These are the pretty trees at the "Kiss my ___" hole, named for some supposed incident when one fisherman won a bet over the other for hooking a fish in a challenging spot.  Gotta love names inspired by fishing stories.





The lake at the end of the Rivadavia.  The river is essentially a 5 mile link between two very large and very beautiful mountain lakes in the National Park.
Geesh working hard to get us to shore.
Day three, we went back to the bank where we "hunt" the fish.  This is one of my rainbows.  Martin was kind enough to drop down the ten foot enbankment and unhook it for me.  The convenience of having a guide.

Klint during a slow stretch.
One of only two browns I caught.  A 21 incher that fought like a demon for about 15 minutes.
A better picture of the same fish.
Nice bow.

Asado time!  We ate grilled ribs and blood sausage, I think it was Wednesday night.  The lodge had a separate building just for asado, which is the Argentine style of bar-b-que. 

Me with our chef, Herman.  He was hilarious.  He came from a family of theatrical types, one of his sisters was a TV actress.  He was quite theatrical himself.  A great cook too.




The other folks here are all Argentines also staying at the lodge.  The first one on the left is Fabian, one of the partners who owns the lodge.  Next is his friend, Gustavo, then Gustavo's wife (forget her name).  Fabian's wife is next to Kim and got cut out of the picture.  Their kids (boy and a girl from each family) are on the right.  They all go to the same private school where English is a primary focus, and they each spoke English quite well.
Hard to see, but the little dark specs in the pasture are ostriches (or the American version of them).  Much smaller than the African version, but still big enough to knock a twelve year old over and they ran like the wind.

This is a snapshot of the grounds at a ranch we went to on day 4 to fish a spring creek there called Arroyo Pescado (Fishing Stream in english).  Legend has it that Butch Cassidy was once the owner here 100+ years ago.

Pretty flamingos in the pond.




Big bow caught in the spring creek.  It was slow going at first as we tried nymphing for them in the relatively shallow, clear water, without much success.  When we switched to a small dry, things heated up.  Brett caught a bunch.

Probably the longest fish I caught on the trip.  Didn't measure him, but I suspect 22 inches. However, he was old and thin, so it didn't feel like much of a conquest.
Lunch at a bridge at the spring creek. 

Brett caught a nice fish here by standing above the tree in the picture and floating his fly down to where he couldn't see, but we on the bridge could see it clearly and when the trout came up and took it we all yelled at him to set the hook.  A lot of fun.


We ended the spring creek day trying to fish this pond-like branch of the stream.  There was a lot of algae and not much action.



A gravestone that we thought might have been Butch Cassidy's!  But, upon closer inspection, it wasn't.

Kim had never let his beard grow out this long.  He said he left it on goatee style for a couple days when he got back to Nampa, to the shock of many.



A nice big rainbow caught in a pool of floatsom that was one of our favorite spots.  You literally park the boat in a slow eddy that flows round a pool of driftwood leaves and such and look for rises.  Then quickly cast to them and hold your breath.




This was our picnic area on the last day of fishing.  Klint and Brett had gone back to the Rivadavia, and Kim and I stayed on the Fualeufu.  This spot was really neat because it was hidden up above some winding steps that took us up and on top of the tall bank.  The gnats were bad at first, but Martin started a fire and smoked them out.  Of course we smelled a little smoky the rest of the day too.
Random flower.


Not sure but this might have been my last fish of the trip.

Kim's nice take.