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.


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