Everyone talks about Patagonia.
I get it now. Some of the biggest brown trout I’ve ever caught. 5000-plus kilometer road trip across Argentina. Horse accessed, barely fished, private creek. A lunch of lamb made by legitimate Gauchos. It’s all a little overwhelming considering my stay so far has only been two weeks.
I’m staying at an incredible place called Spring Creek Lodge and I’ve arrived at the perfect time – the creek has plenty of water and therefore plenty of large brown trout. I was completely out of my element fishing for salmon and bonefish, but creeping around with a 4 weight is my kind of water. Further, this area of Patagonia feels like home — Montana that is. Big sweeping grasslands, willow-infested river valleys. Muy frio en la mañanas y noches, yet warm enough for nice hatches during the day. The people even remind me of home: I’ve already met a few of the “ski instructor/fishing guide” types here in Junin De Los Andes. Although I’m completely foreign, can barely speak the language, Argentina feels more like home than anywhere else I’ve been.
I’m lucky enough to be fishing with Tuqui Viscarro and now that the fishing season is open, we’re going to be chasing trout all over Tuqui’s homewaters. Stay tuned….
Top photograph by Francisco @ Spring Creek Lodge
I couldn’t have asked for a better guide.
Siggi likes to laugh. Big jokes accompanied by a big laugh for a big guy. The fly he invented, the Hauger, is in most guides’ flyboxes around the country. He’s said to me over many cups of morning coffee: “You’re only ready to fish when you’re ready to fish.” He’s never in a hurry. Except when fighting a fish. I’ve heard it called the Siggi Sway – he tugs on fish like a goddamn Viking pillages a town – with absolute conviction and zero hesitation.
One night, circa 3am, scotch finished (Thanks C.D!), sun already rising, Siggi throws a curveball at me. I all of a sudden realize I’m in a conversation with a giant, Icelandic fishing guide talking about how salmon learn to slap leaders their tails. Genetics? Behavior? Instincts?
My favorite of Siggi’s stories is his description of when he discovered Catch and Release, historically non-existent in Iceland. He realized a seven-year-old salmon is the same age as his then seven-year-old daughter — it was a revelation for him. It’s quite easy to see when he fishes, that he adores each of those salmon almost as much as his daughters.
Siggi runs Icelandic Fly-Fishermen, a full-service travel agency — he says very confidently: “we only fish the rivers, we ourselves want to fish”, which mainly surrounds the Hofsa River. Beat 1, known as the mountain beat, is hard to top. Deep canyons, clear water, thirty minute hike, big salmon — what else can you ask for?
Bahamas, Iceland, the project and the future. Paris is such a RAD designer.
Life is full of ‘em.
We had a great morning. A few fish landed and although the weather was cold, it held up nicely. We were just standing around bullshitting about the last fish we caught. I accidentally left my camera rolling and this guy decided to show his face and ham it up. We never did catch him so I decided to share him here. Enjoy.