Apr 23rd, 2020
The fifth season for the Route of the Spring Creeks program says goodbye with a summary by the head guide and manager, Juan Manuel Biott, from Tres Amigos Outfitters.
“Every season we learn more about our land and waters.”
This particular season our guests had the chance of scouting some new fisheries with us with all kinds of results. New stunning landscapes and untamed creeks. It’s been again a very dry season with low water conditions which made trout very spooky – demanding all kinds of techniques and approaches (ninja style). Seeing waves on the shallows leaving pools every time you speak loudly or simply step not smoothly was enough to produce this effect on fish, even 15 to 20 meters from you.
We fished 6 different creeks in a range of a two hour drive from the lodge. All of them inside private ranches.
Foam patterns had been the main choice for anglers (beatles and fat alberts). The biggest brownie reached 25-inches while the biggest brookie reached 24-inches (6 pounds). The average size for brownies was 14-inches in very good shape, all caught on dries. Brookies average is more likely 17.5-inches in the main stream that we fish for them.
Some of the highlights to remember were the very “calm days” where some of the creeks showed the real potential of sight cast fly fishing to a very healthy population of brownies and brookies. When this event happens 4x- to 5x-tippet and size 14-16 parachute adams and elk caddis with green bodies nail them. Those days gave a dozen fish per session with epic takes. Regular winds create disturbance and allow anyone to cover water without being a super talented caster – producing very good results on the surface too.
When chasing brook trout, techniques are completely different. All our guests learn how to move a streamer to make brookies go crazy, and this is another visual kind of fishing. Big brookies on mouse only happens when conditions are right and just before sunset.
Regarding tackle, 4-weight rods and lines were the most frequent choice. A weight forward format is always the number one requirement for the typical regular wind.
Wildlife has been another highlight for our clients. Numerous families of rheas (Patagonian ostrich), armadillos, foxes and thousands of hares are always a very good excuse to stop the truck and take some pics. Bird life is also very rich and usually flamingos take all the attention from our guests that find them very strange to be in this location.
Our main goal is that you feel part of the family.
This was a very important season for our main Estancia Río Pelke. We finally achieved a complete sustainable running house with solar energy. Also added internet service 24hrs.
We have taken our organic meals to the maximum available in our cold zone to give our guests a real feeling of Patagonia. Highlights of our menu consisted in fresh lamb in different recipes other than barbecue, green strawberries, brass berry liqueur (10-year-old) and different kinds of jams for breakfast, completely organic. Our selection of wines consisted mainly in Salentein malbecs and cabernets and our Argentinian beers.
Some of the things that guests say after a week with us has to do with the connection they find with their own past. Smells, recipes, or our traditional furniture are many of the things that wake up all kinds of feelings while staying at the ranch main house.
We are following the family tradition and taking it to a whole new level.
My grandfather had a goal of planting 100 trees a year. Not only that has been an amazing idea 70 years ago but there is another thing that we have changed: Silver poplars are very invasive and they grow everywhere if you don’t manage them, so through the years these trees had been cut to keep gardens nice, but now we let them grow along the ranch creating many square meters of silver poplars producing fresh air and capturing carbon, that is our small contribution to our planet.
Right on the border with the Chilean national park Pali Aike we have set up our domes base camp. The reason: “big brookies”. We can proudly say that this river has produced most of our guests’ biggest brook trout. The average is higher than any other creek and its food source is absolutely massive. Every day 16 inch fish are easy to see while some 17- to 17.5-inches are available in some part of the day. This very special river is surrounded by volcanoes and lava fields which makes it very unique in this region. One afternoon to remember was flat, calm, and an experienced angler, Andy, landed 35 fish on the same big pool, including a couple of 17 inches. Crazy!
All these attributes have converged into the same opinion: this is the cherry of the trip.
Thank you to everyone who joined us this season, we look forward to fishing again soon!
Words and photos by Juan Manuel Biott of Tres Amigos Outfitters.