Fly-Fishing Bucket List

Recently, we here at the Highland Hiker had a chance to fish for trout  in the Futa La Fu river at the El Encuentro Lodge in the Patagonia Region of Argentina. 

The first question that casual fisherfolk might ask is, “Why on Earth would you fly four-fifths of the way to Antarctica just to catch the same kind of fish that you can catch in the streams and rivers around Highlands?” 

The answer is that although the fish in Argentina may share the same names – Brook, rainbow, and brown – as the fish in this area, they are quite different.  First off, these fish are on average quite a bit larger than their North American counterparts with some of the browns reaching 28-30 inches in length. 

Second, these fish are wild. None are placed in the water by a stocking system or a hatchery. Therefore, much like the local wild brook trout, they are more challenging to catch. And oh, do they put up a fight! Technique in everything from the cast to the fly presentation is only the beginning of the challenge as actually netting one of these fish after hooking it takes a precise retrieve as well. 

The variety of the types of fishing you can do offered by the Argentinean ecosystem is amazing. You can use dry flies, streamers and sinking lines to go for the larger fish that reside in deeper water, or a dead drift approach with a hopper/dropper set at the end of your line all in the same stretch of river!  

Using the entirety of your fly box in one afternoon is something we rarely get to do here in the Eastern part of the US and of course the view of fishing for these wild trout beneath the snow-capped Andes mountains didn’t hurt either. 

We’ll be returning to this region in 2018 if anyone might like to check a box off of their fly fishing bucket list.