Save Bristol Bay Road Show

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Talk about a great event for a great cause. The Save Bristol Bay Road Show will be in Austin on January 8th at Abel's on the Lake for a one night only event. They are out to gather support and spread the word on the potential harm the proposed Pebble Mine would cause this incredible Alaskan fishery/outdoor paradise. Check out the Save Bristol Bay homepage ( to learn more or just head over to Abel's on the Lake January 8th.

Patagonia Part 2

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The second part of our trip in Argentina (part one here) had us departing the Caluefu River and transporting about an hour and a half back towards Bariloche. One of the most impressive things about Fly Fishing Patagonia's operation was the amount of variety they have set up for their trips. While the first part of our adventure was spent fishing and camping a hundred miles from civilization, the second stretch gave us a very different look at the area we had come to visit.

Our home for the next couple of days was a working sheep ranch set near the banks of the Limay River. We had to say goodbye to Martin and Juan once we arrived at stop two, but met up with Alex who would guide us the remainder of the trip. After we got acquainted with Alex, he showed us around the property and gave us some history on it. It was really fascinating to learn about the land, the old buildings, and the general way of life of the people who had called it home. We also set up a game plan for the next few days which was focused on hunting big browns on the Limay.

The operators of the property had set up a feast for the night we arrived which we were really excited to take part in. They had a full on Argentine BBQ going which was quite an experience. Argentina is famous for having some of the most fantastic beef in the world. Coming from Texas, the land of cattle, Greg and I figured we would be decent judges on just how good the beef was. It did not disappoint in any way, the food was amazing. It wasn't just the beef either, everything they served was incredible. Our hosts at the ranch had been slow cooking a lamb in the brick oven for hours which in my mind was the highlight of the night. Now I can't say enough about how good the fishing is in Argentina, but I would be happy to agree that a trip to Argentina for the food and wine alone is well worth it. I was never much of a wine drinker before this trip but I found a love for Malbecs in Argentina. I have been trying different ones out ever since we returned and it's hard to find a bad one.

After an amazing dinner the night before, we woke up the next morning excited at our first shot at the Limay. Alex said we were going to be focusing on stretches of the river that did not have as many fish, but traditionally brought in some pigs. We would be solely wade fishing the next two days drifting streamers in search of the big boys. We fished hard the next couple of days, hitting stretches of the river that had wide banks and deeper water. Casting involved getting a lot of line out across the river, letting it drift down stream, and starting the retrieval process. This was repeated over and over, it had a feel of what I have been told steelheading in the northwest is like. A spey rod would have been perfect for this type of fishing. Each tug of the rod on the Limay really got your heart pumping as you knew what could possibly be on the other end. We brought in a number of beautiful fish on the Limay but did not net any of the huge fish the river is famous for.

Though we didn't catch the monsters we were after on this leg of the trip, it was still quite the experience. The backdrops to our sections of the Limay were some of the most post card worthy shots of the Andes that I can imagine. I knew the scenery in Argentina was going to be beautiful but I was really blown away by everything we saw. That would be no different as we made the move to our next destination. We had such a good time at our stay on the ranch but it was time to head up into the National forest for our final stretch of the trip.

Trout Time in Texas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I was able to make my first trip of the season down to the Guadalupe this past weekend. With Liz and Collins on a girls weekend visiting Liz's sister, Saturday was wide open to head south for some solid time on the water. As the forecast for the day called for 80 degree temperatures, the plan was to hit the water early and try and beat the heat. With the first round of Texas Parks and Wildlife's stocking program taking place the day before, I was hopeful to beat some of the crowd that I knew would be there as well. I made it down to stop number one, Rainbow Camp, right at day break. It's always a good sight pulling up to the water and having no other cars around, it really makes that 5:30 wake up call worth it.

I fished a pretty typical Guadalupe nymph rig for most of the morning. 6 weight rod, 5x tippet, split shot for some depth, and a variety of tandem patterns. I fished for a good hour and a half with no strikes, changing up fly combinations along the way. The first hookup came closer to 9am on a small copper john (size 22) that was trailing a hares ear. It was a beautiful 18 inch rainbow that I was able to get to the net. With the warmer water temperatures, I did my best to play the fish as little as possible. Long drawn out battles and warm water are a bad combination for trout on the Guadalupe. After a quick picture, he was back on his way.

It wasn't ten minutes after watching the first fish swim away, that fish number two was on, a pretty 13-14 inch rainbow. As with the first fish, he took the little copper john trailer. I felt like I was on to something. 

I fished for a while longer at Rainbow camp but with crowds increasing and no bites, I picked up and made a move. I stopped off at Action Angler to stock up on flies before heading to Lazy L&L for stop number two. There were a number of anglers on the water at the far end of Lazy L&L. I had to make my way down river a bit to have an area to fish. I fished a while with no success but the highlight came when Texas Parks and Wildlife showed up with their stocking crew. They brought bucket after bucket full of trout down to the water to release. I walked over to check it out and it was quite a sight seeing so many sizable trout swimming off down river for us anglers to chase. Of course I fished for a while longer after that but with the place becoming a mad house, I decided to pack it in for the day.

All in all, it was a fun first trip of the season to the Guadalupe. Sattler was having a big Christmas parade which I stopped off at (or got road blocked into) on the way home. The whole town was out in full force to show their holiday spirit. The Reel Fly shop was a great spot to take it all in as they had a keg of trout slayer and Christmas cookies for people to enjoy as the floats went by. Great way to top off the day!