Posts Tagged ‘Fly Fishing’

It’s all about Accessorising!!!
As the title eludes to, after my first guided trip I was hooked better than a Cut Throat on a Wooly bugger. My next stop was my very first of many trips the my local Orvis Store. Yes I know some of you don’t like or won’t use Orvis for what ever reason, well I like their gear and service, so I won’t bag Sage, TFO or other brands as they are also great products.
Anyway, my very first visit to my Orvis Store was probably the reason I have been back many times and spent many hard earned dollars. Everything from my first Rod and Reel outfit to all of the accessories all of you Fly Fisherpeople know you just have to have.
As with any business, good service costs nothing and the service, info and support I have had from Chris at the Houston Orvis store has been nothing but excellent. So for those of you just discovering fly fishing, once you find a good shop, stick with them.

And once I found my shop, that’s when I just had to have this item, that nick nack, every little thing that may just give me that extra edge over the fish. Also I had to have about a million different flies, plus buying others where ever I went fishing, just to ensure I had what was hot at the time. So it wasn’t long before my wife was telling me never to comment when she buys a new handbag or pair of shoes!!!

I look at it this way. As my Rugby coach once said, “you may not be the best player, but at least go out there looking like one, so pull your socks up”. Fly fishing seems a bit like that. I may not catch many fish, but at least I look the part!!
Tight lines everyone.

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Can you catch anything?

Well firstly I must apologise for not blogging for so long, but our life has been very hectic recently, and as such a big lack of fishing, I really haven’t had anything worth blogging about.

So I thought I would at least try to do a regular blog even if its not about anything I’ve done recently. Over the next few months, I will post a few short blogs just to wet the appetite about how I got interested in Fly Fishing, and some of my past Fishing exploits.

This first trial I have called “What’s Fly Fishing anyway?” This is what I get asked by some people who still haven’t evolved from using 100lb line, a hook and a lump of meat!! I will try and outline in this Blog, how I got into and become hooked on the art.

Sowing the seed

Way back when I first started traveling, I saw beautiful rivers, streams and lakes, nothing like we have in Australia. Although Australia is my home, and the best country in the World (my opinion), we just don’t have water courses in countries that have regular snow on massive mountains, or plenty of rain. Places like Norway, the USA, and Ireland where the first places I traveled and during these trips, not only did I see majestic rivers etc, but these guys skillfully waving a rod backwards and forwards waist deep in water.

Although it doesn’t sound like fun to the uneducated, but to me observing these gents, I saw that as the ultimate in the noble art of fishing. So that’s when I said, I NEED to learn how to do that. Not want, NEED.

Little Steps

It was probably after 5 to 7 years of yearning to learn the art, until I got my chance by way of moving to the USA for work. Unlike my attempt to learn Golf, I wanted to know everything I could before buying any equipment. This was mainly due to the fact that similar to Golf, Fly Fishing equipment can cost a little or a lot. So I wanted to make an educated decision when and if I went to by my first outfit.

After a quick “Google” search for “Texas Fly Fishing” and “Fly Fishing Guide” I had hooked myself up with a guide on the Guadeloupe River, who was more than happy to teach me the finer point of the art. This noble man was in the form of Dan Cone from Castell Guide Services

20130123-183854.jpg My very first lesson.

I met Dan on the River and he proceeded to start from the basics and technical explanation of Fly Fishing (FF) before we even hit the water. Everything from what a leader was, to how the line is made, what is a tippet, as well as explaining how the rod and reel worked etc etc.
My next task was getting into the signature uniform for Fly Fisherpeople around the world, yes the figure hugging waders. Since getting more into FF, I don’t care what anyone says, they look crap on a fat man, but they are comfortable and necessary.

Once I had the fashion statement waders on, we peacefully slipped into the raft, and procedure down river. All along the way, Dan started to give me expert instruction, without yelling once. But one thing any newby to FF, you soon keep getting reminded by your guide to “Mend”, “Mend”, and continue to”Mend”. Those who FF know exactly what I’m talking about.

Fish On

Yes that feeling of hooking my first Trout on a fly will not be forgoten, as from that point on, I have been hooked on this wonderful art. And any good Fly Fisherperson knows, the next step is the endless task of buying your first outfit, and gear. By endless, I mean I now have 6 or 7 rods of different weights, reels and spare spools with several different line types, and numerous other gear and hundreds of flies!!!!
In my next blog I may try to outline why!!
Cheers Grego

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My first trout!!

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Day one on the Collon Cura River seemed surreal as this trip had been a long time coming with a lot of effort, research and planning for what I hoped was going to be a Fly Fishing trip to be remembered. Within the first hour, I would in fact be able to confirm that Patagonia was a Fly Fisherman’s “Holy Grail”.

Getting to Patagonia
Having planned this trip for more than a year, doing hours of research, and sending countless emails to guides etc, finally my wife and I were checked in for the first leg of our three leg flight from Houston, Texas, to Bariloche, Argentina in the heart or Patagonia. Our three legs took us from Houston, to Lima Peru for one overnight hotel stay, then onto Buenos Aires, Argentina for another overnight stay, then a 4am wake up for our final leg to Bariloche. Once in Bariloche, we picked up our trusty Ford Eco-sport hire car, and headed north to the small town of San Martin de Los Andes, where we would base ourselves for the next 10 days

Day 1

Up at a reasonably hour, as my Outfitter, Carlos from Patagonian Fly Fishing was picking me up at 8am. After loading my gear, Carlos and I headed to his home town a short drive away to pick up the Float Boat and my Guide for the day, who just happened to be his son Charly. Charly is your typical keen as mustard 23-year-old Fly Fishing Guide, and fit as a Mallee (or should I say, Argentinean) Bull. For day 1 I choose to play it safe and take just my Orvis 6wt outfit to get the lay of the land so to speak.

We were on the river by 9-30, and casting my line into the wide clear waters of the Collon Cura River. The river lies in a very dry valley area, with the water coming from the lakes and the nearby Andes Mountains. Either side is covered with lush overhanging trees, which hide calm pools and deep holes which the trout of this river love so much.

Within the first 3 or 4 casts, I had my first Patagonian Rainbow hooked, but alias, it was not to be, and this was my first lesson from Charly and the trout of Patagonia. In other words, these fish know how to fight!! This first fish was one of 3 I would lose in the next hour, until I learnt that I need to let them run, and to take my time. After having fished several Rivers in Montana and Wyoming, the trout in Patagonia would knock out their North American brothers in the first round. Prior to coming to Argentina, no trout had taken my reel to the backing, and yet I was to find that this was going to be a common occurrence while down here.

My first Patagonian Rainbow

 After being told for the third time by Charly, to “let it run” and “take your time”, I finally landed my first of many Rainbows. This first fish was 22 inches, but fought like a 30 incher, and the day was only early!! With the first one landed, and released to fight another day, we continued floating the river catching several more before lunch time.

We broke for lunch under a nice big shade tree on the river bank, and as my wife commented, you get spoiled when fishing with a top rate fishing guide. Charly proceeded to set up a linen covered table and chairs, along with a spread prepared by his mum, fit for a king, or at least a big hungry Aussie fisherman!! Nibbles along with grilled chicken and salad, were complimented by my choice of an Argentinean white or red wine.

Lunch fit for a king

 Lunch digested, we were back on the river, throwing hoppers with nymph droppers at any and every back eddy, slow current or drop off the river had to offer. The day was very hot, and after drinking about 2 gallons of water, we called it quits around 7-30 in the evening, by which time I had landed around 27 Rainbows ranging in size from 18 to 26 inches. Overall for me it was a great day, and a great introduction to Patagonia and what it had to offer. Long hot day, and after a well-earned beer, it was an early bed for me.

Day 2

Well after such a great start, I was ready to take on anything Patagonia had to offer, so day 2 had me take along my brand new 4wt rod that was built by Matthews Custom Fly Rods of Spring Branch, Texas. Although the Rainbows of Patagonia give me a great fight on my Orvis 6wt, Charly assured me the 4wt would add to the fun and fight on another great river, the Chimehuin. This river, although narrower, had the same unmistakable overhanging willow like trees, with the same great back eddy’s and drop offs.

Within the first hour of fishing, we knew the fishing was not going to be as good as day 1, but I had a fly rod in my hand that I did not want to put down. The only word I can use to describe this work of art is sensational. Load the rod, point the tip and BAM, the fly line along with the fly shoots out like a bullet from a gun, and hits the target with the same accuracy.

As mentioned above, the fishing of day 2 didn’t turn out to be the best as far as size went, but as for numbers, I must have landed or hooked close to 40 Rainbows that were from a measly 4 inches to 12 inches in size. This goes to show that the rivers down here will be a health breeding ground for many years to come.

Lots of small stuff on Day 2

 We once again had the now “standard” Patagonian spread for lunch, only with a different choice of Argentinean wine, and cold beer!!

Day 3 – final fishing day

After the success of my new 4wt on day 2, I took my now new best friend, the Matthews 4wt, along with my Orvis Hydros 4wt. This I thought would be a great test to see just how good these 2 rods were. Today we headed out early to where the Malleo River meets the Alumine River. The Alumine eventually becomes the Collon Cura where our take out would be our launch site on day 1.

Today started fairly windy, so a 4wt wasn’t going to cut it first up, so I reluctantly dragged out the 6wt with a shooting line and a streamer. After just 2 casts, stripping the streamer as I was told, WHAM, our first hook up for the day. This ended up being a nice size Rainbow, which was uplifting after so many small fish on day 2.

Another nice Rainbow

We continued for several miles down river, and hooked up on another 2 or 3 good-sized Rainbow, but I also finally hooked a nice size Brown. Yes this was what I was hoping for. I’m not sure about anyone else, but Brown Trout to me are a level above Rainbows, even if it’s for the variety of colors. Ranging from deep brown to deep orange, they just look the goods.

Just prior to lunch, the wind finally eased to the extent I could drag the 4wt rods out and give then a trial. First off was the Orvis with a dry hopper and bead head nymph as a dropper. It didn’t take long to have my first Rainbow attack the dry, and we were once again down to the backing trying to pull back a nice sized fish. We continued on until lunch, and although the Orvis was light and great to use, I wasn’t convinced if it was better than the Matthews.

We stopped for what was once again a very relaxing and delicious lunch, thanks to Charly and his mum’s preparation. All washed down with a nice Sauvignon Blanc, we hit the water again, but this time armed with the Matthews 4wt using the same set up as the Orvis.

As soon as I had the Matthews in my hand, I knew this was the rod for me. I’m not sure what it was, but it just had something that suited me. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be getting rid of the Orvis, it a great rod, just the Matthews suits me better.

As for the rods performance when landing a fish, the large grip on the Matthews comes into its own. I hooked and landed 1 nice sized Brown and 2 nice Rainbows, and the rod performed very well. All tolled, I landed about 7 fish on each rod, and they both performed better than expected, even with good-sized fish.

Brown Trout

Brown Trout caught on the 4wt Matthews

The day ended fairly abruptly with the mother of all thunder storms coming over. I’m not too keen on lighting, and after 3 unforgettable days in Patagonia, I told Charly that we would call it a day. So as Charly paddled the float back to the take out as any good guide would do, I sat in the rain drinking a nice cold Argentinean beer and pondered over yet another 3 great day of fishing.

People to thank

Carlos and Charly Trisciuzzi – from Patagonia Fly Fishing – they were great guys and very professional guides. All guides and tourism in general has been doing it hard due to false report about Volcano eruptions. As such tourist are staying away in their thousands. The reports and info in the press is incorrect, and its entirely safe to travel. Just keep in touch with your airline.

Hector and Ida Scagnetti – from Arco Iris Cabins – Hector was the one who put me onto Carlos and Charly. He and his wife Ida are the best hosts one can have and made us fell at home. What a great place to base yourself for any type of vacation

This is my new page where I hope to be able to post some of my exploits with Fly Fishing and using my Kayak to help me fish.

So this is day 1, so come back soon when I hope to have some pics.

Cheers Grego

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This is my current logo that I hope to have stickers made. Stay tuned.