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Estancia Las Buitreras Lodge
Rio Gallegos Fishing Reports
January 18-25 & Jan 25-Feb 1, 2020
Weeks 3 & 4
January 18-25, 2020
This week it was time to greet old friends from the UK, USA, Canada, Luxembourg and Norway. Most of the guests this week have been coming to Las Buitreras for years. For David this was his 15th time at the lodge so to say that these guys know the river pretty well is a bit of an understatement.
This year however they were accompanied by a few first-timers: Sten brought his two sons Nicholas and Chris, and Kjersti was accompanied by her two daughters, Emilie and Linnea. It is great to see more and more families at the lodge as well as younger generations getting into fly fishing.
When it came to fishing this group made their intentions clear from the get go. David, using all his previous experience and knowledge, placed a small red nymph in the exact right spot in Molino pool and landed a massive fish during the first morning session of the week.
Nick had a very special moment on day two when he tricked a mad 21 lbs fish to grab his fly on the upper part of Goat using a small chartreuse EMB fly. It is always super exciting fighting a big fish in such a narrow fast flowing channel. This time however, Nick and everyone around him could have probably done with a little less excitement than how it turned out.
Somewhere along the fight Nick´s running line got stuck in the reel, Not a good thing to have happened when you are fighting the fish of your dreams. Carlos, our head guide reacted quickly and took the line in his hands, trying to keep just enough tension on the line while Nick and another guide, Franco, frantically tried to take NIck’s reel apart and get the backing in place. In the background Nick’s fishing partner Keith was observing it all, jaw wide open, trying to make sense of three guys running together up and down the river, carrying different parts of equipment in their hands.
Somehow during all this madness the reel got assembled back together, the leader didn’t break, the hook didn’t come out, and Nick was able to land the fish. To say there were cheers and jubilation on the bank is a gross understatement. These are the types of memories you will carry with you for a lifetime.
The fishing remained fairly consistent over the course of the week with the sea-run brown trout average weight ending up at 9.4 lbs. By the end of the week we had a quick rise in the river followed by an immediate drop of the water level. This changed the fishing a little and we saw shorter and more intense biting periods the last couple of sessions.
Small rubber leg nymph patterns were the most commonly fished flies during the week and it seemed to be working very well. During the more windy sessions bigger girdle bugs, leeches, and yellow yummies seemed to be more efficient as the wind tends to color the water a little in certain sections.
As is often the case the weather varied quite a bit during the week. We always recommend bringing several layers of back up clothing for your fishing session as you never know what to expect. And since you always have a car with you there is never any concern about having to carry anything heavy around. Just leave it all in the car until you need it.
We’d like to thank all of our guests this week for some really good times. It is always a pleasure to have you guys visit and we got to say that the “Estancia Las Buitreras” lyrics this year were top notch! To the new generation we have to say we were very impressed with your fishing and how you improved during the week. It was a true pleasure to get to know you all. We hope you had a good time and that we get to see you again next year.
Biggest sea-run brown trout landed: 21 lbs by Nick
Top rod of the week: Nick and Keith with 9 sea-run brown trout landed
Number of fish over 20 lbs: 2 (Nick and David)
Number of fish over 15 lbs: 11
Average size: 9.40 lbs
Estancia Las Buitreras Lodge
January 25 – February 1, 2020
Another great week in the books at Las Buitreras and we’ll go straight into the details. We started the week with a water level of 15 cm below zero which is quite normal for the summer season here on the Rio Gallegos. With this type of water we kept using or old faithful rubber leg nymphs like Copper Johns in smaller sizes during the day. In terms of colors basically anything seemed to work and we caught fish on both green, black, brown and red versions.
Our guests this week came from all corners of Europe, and North America including Poland, Sweden, UK, Canada, France and USA. Along for the ride was Christer and Annakarin Sjöberg. Although most of our guests met each other for the first time it didn’t take long until the first jokes and fishing stories were exchanged.
Once again the fishing started off really strong and only two days into the week we had 35 sea-run browns in the book. Around day 4 the fishing slowed down a little bit and we finally saw a bigger push of water which animated the fish to move upstream without resting too much in between. This being said we still had productive periods especially during the magic hour when it was time to fish bigger flies close to the surface.
Onday 5 Christer was doing just that, fishing a big sunray shadow during magic hour at Upper Limits. Letting the fly sink for a couple seconds before taking it home with long slow strips is usually deadly and this time was no different. Two casts into the pool a big fish took the fly, went up in the air and simply spat it out. Shouting out in equal parts excitement and frustration Christer was surprised it came off that easy before checking his fly and realizing the hook had got tangled in the fly and never even touched the fish. A few casts later another solid fish hit the fly and after some nerve wrecking moments where the fish went under the weed bank Christer was able to land a super nice 16 lbs fish.
Annakarin was her usual self landing one fish after the other, making Christer come up with some very creative excuses as to why he wasn’t catching as many fish as her. One fish that stood out a little extra was her massive 17 lbs fish (55 cm girth!) from Island Stream which fell for a classic silver shadow. Nothing wrong with the backdrop of the photo either.
First-time guests Stefan, Cor, John and Hans all did well, each of them being able to land several nice fish. We had three sea-run brown trout hitting the 18 lbs mark this week, caught by Jean-Luc, Claes, and Jamie. Jean-Luc caught his on day one in Flats, fishing a small yellow Intruder. Claes followed up with his big fish on day two in Little Corner using a small rubber leg nymph. Jamie was a little more patient and waited until the last day before hooking and landing his amazing fish in Island Stream. Fittingly enough this fish also secured his position as top rod of the week with 13 sea-run browns landed.
As expected the weather varied over the week with temperatures between 10 and 17 C. We saw two days with stronger winds which didn’t stop our guests from catching fish. During those sessions we switched to bigger flies (e.g. yellow yummy, yuk bug or green lantern).
I think this week showed again that Las Buitreras is a great place to meet like-minded people and develop new friendships as well as new skills on the water trying to catch that trophy sea-run brown trout. We hope to see everyone again next year and are looking forward to another great week here in Patagonia.
Biggest sea-run brown trout landed: 18 lbs by Jean-Luc G from France, Claes B from UK and Jamie M from UK
Top rod of the week: Jamie M with 13 sea-run brown trout landed
Number of fish over 15 lbs: 6
Number of fish over 10 lbs: 13
Average size: 9.14 lbs