Friday, February 10, 2012

Argentina Trip

NIFT member John Rodelli sent in the following picture and story about his fly fishing adventure in Argentina. 

I was in Argentina for a “cast and blast” trip for a couple of weeks.  My long time friend, and fly fishing mentor, Joe, and I flew to Buenos Aires for a brief overnight, where we met my Canadian friends.  Very early the next morning, all of us flew to Kau Tapen Lodge, Tierra del Fuego to fish for sea run browns on the Rio Grande.  Conditions were somewhat tough, as the water was low, clear, and the temperature of bath water.  During the week, we had air temperature swings of 25 degrees (34 to 60), and water temperature drops of 10 degrees, down to 45.  Fortunately, we had only a half day of those infamous TdF winds of 50 mph.

Still, twelve anglers landed 120 sea trout, which included a 25 and a 22 pounder.  My biggest was a 15 pounder, and my average was over 8.5 lbs per fish landed.  I caught most of my fish with my 13’ 3” 7/8 rod, lined with the new AirFlo Rage line, with either an intermediate or 3.5 ips polyleader, attached to a small prince nymph, or a wonder bug.  Did get a couple of fish one evening using a Skagit line with a type 3 sink tip and a Peacock fly as the wind was up, and we were in a deep pool after the water temperature drop.  The attached photo is of one of my 11 pounders.

One of the most memorable things for me this trip was landing the 15 pounder without the assistance of a guide or a net.  Max, our Russian guide that day, was downstream setting up Joe in his part of the pool, out of sight and earshot.  I felt the fish hit, and when I saw the fish clear the water on the first jump, silhouetted against the high bank across the river, I said, “Holy S#@*!!!!”  Then I said, “Holy S#@*, what am I gonna do now!”  I held on, had to run down the bank as the backing went out, but eventually landed and measured it, and kissed it good bye.

Also memorable was that Joe and I had simultaneous hook ups, and we landed both fish.  In 25 years of fishing together, that’s never happened.  His fish was bigger, I have to say, but mine was much, much prettier, objectively speaking, of course.  For some reason, Jean Baptiste, our guide, seemed rather non-committal about my observation!

After the week, Joe flew home, and I went on to Cordoba, which had 90 + degree heat with humidity.  I was introduced to some other shooters at La Dormida, and I shot doves with them for 2 ½ days.  There was a group of five friends there from Florida who are members of a gun club.  One of them was originally from Chicago, used to be a member at Northbrook Sports Club, and was the Illinois State Skeet Champion back in the day.

The former champion and I had a lot in common.  We both have been members of the same club; have the same make, model and color duffle bag; and one afternoon, we both missed 10 doves.  He missed 10 doves (out of a shot shell case of 500), and I missed 10 doves (out of a box of 25, and every box thereafter)!  I overheard that he finished at 95% for his stay, while I shot the best I ever have, and only “humility” keeps me from giving you my percentage.  Nevertheless, I had a great time, and look forward to going back to Kau Tapen in March of 2013.         

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