Fly Fishing In Argentina With Alyssa Adcock: Part II

Fly Fishing In Argentina With Alyssa Adcock: Part II

Editor's Note: If you missed part I of this three part destination travel fly fishing series, CLICK HERE.

Words and photos courtesy of Riversmith Ambassador Alyssa Adcock 

Our first overnight float trip was on the Rio Chimehuin, which by the end of the trip, would completely steal my heart and reminded me so much of my beloved Kanektok in Alaska (only with sunshine). Willow lined banks, gin clear water and braided tunnels created an angler’s paradise filled with aggressive fish and opportunities to test your casting accuracy.  As a guide in the pressured waters of the southeast US, I was enamored by the willingness of large browns to rise to simple, yet effective dry fly patterns. We spent the first two days picking apart each eddy and back channel.

The lore of Patagonia did not disappoint- we utilized every style of fishing techniques that an angler could list- single dry flies, dry-dropper, streamers, nymphs, spanish nymphing - among others. Some patterns were wickedly simple yet nuanced in the approach and if I had to part with a word of advice for others it would be to leave your ego at home and get ahold of your soul before you take on these rivers. While these fish still act on natural instincts- feeding aggressively on the most basic patterns in the right spots- thanks to a healthy and thriving riparian zone, have the beautiful option to opt out under the willows if the conditions aren’t right. You must be ready to capitalize on the opportunities you are given (or find a really good set of guides like I did).

One of my favorite fish was a close quarters stealth mission in a braid during lunch one day. A pod of large rainbows were relentlessly crushing aquatic insects above and below the surface. After making several rejected casts from my knees, I was able to convince a snakey male to the surface. The resounding cheer from everyone watching on the bank confirmed that it wasn’t as much about the fish as it was sharing in a collective moment of beauty and the wilderness.

Our 12 hour fishing days were separated by numerous siestas and lavish meals. One of my favorite parts of Argentinian culture was the emphasis they place on rest and community; it is not uncommon to take at least an hour and a half to two hours for lunch paired with a cold swim or siesta in the shade. A typical fishing day starts with a huge breakfast around 9 a.m - Hot ham and cheese croissants with bacon, eggs, and dulce de leche on toast alongside juice coffee before hopping in the skiff until 2 or 3 p.m. in the afternoon. Lunches were a full riverside fare of jamón del cievro (smoked red stag), sun dried tomatoes in oil, or torre de panqueques (tortilla tower) appetizers, carrot and corn, lettuce and kale, or red cabbage salads and pickled mushrooms or peppers. Main dishes of chicken breast, drunken pork loin, Milanese (chicken fried steak), or stuffed beef tri tip were typically paired with a nice malbec, followed by the most decadent desserts of tiramisu, strawberries with fresh cream, flan and dulce de leche, lemon mousse or apple crumble alongside hot coffee. Once you forced yourself away from the table, you were back on the water until 7-7:30 in the evening, which was the precursor to an extravagant riverside cocktail bar and open pit Asado (my first experience) paired with fire roasted veggies and blood and chorizo sausage.

Not only did I have a chance to fish many of the watersheds mentioned earlier, I was also fortunate enough to spend a day at one of the volcanic lakes that rested in the shadow of Lanín; a truly breathtaking experience categorized by unbelievable scenery, alpine rainforest flora and fauna, and big rainbow trout with murderous convictions for large foam cicadas popped across the surface. We worked our way around numerous rocky edges and targeted freezing tributaries that fed one of the smaller of the three lakes in the area, Lake Paimún. After catching numerous fish on the dry dropper, we retreated to a private beach that offered a stilling view of Volcano Lanín, cooked pork chops on the grill with fresh veggies and yeast rolls. After lunch, I opted for a swim and cat napped in the sun while finishing Flowers on the Moon by Billy Chapata. I truly believe there are moments in life, where everything seems to pause and you are able to be fully present in an experience. You are able to tap into a deeper life force that brings you to your knees in awe, shocked that somehow, in this karmic lifetime, you had been gifted such a day. And while we caught fish after fish in the afternoon with a larger than life volcano as the backdrop, I’ll always look back on that day and remember the feeling of my soul being at quiet peace on that sun soaked beach.

The last few days of my trip were spent visiting potential lodge partners- not surprisingly these beautiful oasis were the pinnacle of customer service offering gourmet meals by private chefs, well stocked wine cellars and cocktail bars, amenities like horseback riding, massages, and hunting opportunities that catered to anglers and partners alike. I was impressed with their dedication to detail and luxury- an opportunity for guests to separate themselves from the business and strain of life while being inundated by scents of lavender and wild rose. It's hard not to sound too whimsical when describing these lodges, but they truly live up to their legacy of a wild, yet gracious land and culture that embraces the most beautiful parts of ease and enjoyment.

Part III of this destination travel photo essay is now available.



Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.