Friday, February 3, 2017

Below is a trip report Tom  posted on Tidal Potomac Fly Rodders about the week.

I just spent a week spey casting for searun brown trout on the renowned Rio Gallegos in Argentina with John Bilotta who organized of the trip.  The Gallegos is famous for it's annual runs of searun browntrout that can reach weights of 20-30 lbs.  The largest fish caught last week while I was there was 22lbs.  My personal best landed was a mere 15 lbs in comparison.  In addition to the searun there are many 20"+ resident brown trout that are also eager to grab you fly.

We stayed at beautiful Estancia Las Buitreras which offers almost 25 miles of exclusive fishing for its guests on both banks of the Gallegos river.  The river is divided into 5 beats and each beat has multiple Pools and lies.  There are over 50 named pools in the 25 mile stretch.  The fishing day is divided into the morning session and the evening session with a break in the afternoon.  During each session you will fish a different beat until you have fished all 5 beats and then you start again.  All fishing is done by wading in this relatively shallow river.

The lodge is very comfortable and well staffed.  The main meal of the day is lunch after you return from the morning session.  Lunch will include a hearty Asado of open flame cooked beef and lamb.  At night around 11pm when you return from fishing the evening session there will be a light meal waiting for you.  As you return from each session the staff is waiting for you at the door ready to offer you a glass of Malbec, beer or beverage of your choice.  You will never go hungry or thirsty at the Estancia.

The guides here are among the best I've seen.  They know the river very well and are more than happy to help those of us who are less proficient with our spey casting skills.

As if the fishing and accommodations were not enough the scenery is spectacular including the wildlife.  You will see Guanacos, Rheas, foxes, armadillos.  For the birdwatchers you might be fishing with flamingos in your pools as well as seeing Ibises, Black Neck Swans and Magellan Geese just to name a few.

The sunsets in Southern Patagonia are breathtaking.  I would stop fishing at sundown just to take in the beautiful colors of the sky and reflections of the canyon walls.

I highly recommend everyone to take this trip who wants a chance at catching very large 20+ brown trout on the fly.  That said it is important for anyone going there to know that there is almost always wind to contend with and spey casting is a good solution to handling the wind.

If you think you might want to go I recommend you contact John Bilotta for further information.

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