FFI International Ambassador Jorge Trucco Reports from His Summer Season in Patagonia
After a serious winter in Patagonia the snowpack reached its highest level seen in the last decade. Things were looking great, as this snowpack level usually ensures outstanding water conditions throughout the entire season. This will benefit all the rivers in northern Patagonia, especially the Traful, the Malleo, the Filo, the Caleufu, as well as the Aluminé, the Collon Cura, the Trocoman, and the Chimehuin. Rivers in central Patagonia such as the Rivadavia, the Carrileufu, the Rio Grande (Futaleufu) will also benefit from last winter’s heavy snowfall.
Under these conditions water levels everywhere are generally excellent all summer long, with water temperatures ideal for healthy, happy, and hungry trout – not only for this year, but with a good spawning and rearing season, trout populations will likely boom over the next few years. This, of course, makes for happy anglers, too!
November brought a brutal runoff, rivers were too high and fishing was almost impossible on many river stretches. We were restricted to lake fishing almost only, though the lakes did provide excellent fishing in November. By December the water levels dropped enough that river fishing started to become fantastic. December and January the fishing was excellent on all of the Patagonian rivers.
During late January and early February weather started to get really hot and rivers started dropping very fast. Having had an excellent winter, and thinking that we wouldn’t have water-lever problems. However, by mid-February we started to worry since the dropping rivers and hot weather could cause the waters to warm too much, negatively affecting the fish and the fishing. Fortunately, early February brought very cold nights nonstop which kept the waters cold and the fish active.
Most of our rivers have delivered very good fly-fishing, with fish on dry-flies, nymph and streamers. Powerful rainbows and hefty browns were taken consistently. The “Large Yellow Mayfly” (Chiloporter eatoni) hatch was exciting on the Chimehuin during December and January. The green worms falling off the willows in January and February offered exciting sight fishing on the Aluminé River, the Collon Cura River and others.
The highlight so far this year has been the Traful River. This season the Traful delivered its fair share of big fish starting in December. But the peak moment happened February 17. Guide Miguel Marino was guiding guest Harvey Vignault fishing below the rapids on the legendary Traful River, when Vignault passed the rod to his guide to demonstrate a particularly challenging cast. On the first cast the guide hooked and landed a 40-inch brown trout, the large brown having taken Kelly Galloup’s fly the Peanut Envy on 2X tippet. How’s that for a guide story!?
We are expecting an excellent late season and we are excited for more to come.