The opportunity to possibly catch not one but a number of large Sea Trout, made the long to journey to fish the Rio Gallegos in Patagonia irresistible. After long flight to Buenos Aires, a good meal and a night’s sleep, our party arrived at the lodge a few hours later to a warm welcome from the staff. The first thing I noticed was the vastness of Patagonia, known for having a “big sky” due to the bare landscape, the views were breathtaking to say the least and in terms of the fishing, one thing that never lets the angler down is the sense of anticipation.
Having met the previous week’s party at the airport returning home and knowing what their week had been like (lots of fish), the anticipation on the first morning when introduced to the guides was a feeling I shall never forget. After a short ride to the first pool, I made my first cast into for me was un-chartered waters. A Slow retrieval of the flies on my trusty double hander was the order of the day. After a few casts the line tightened and the fish exploded, running two hundred yards of backing down stream. Could I stop it was the question. The answer was eventually yes. The fight lasted another 10 minutes as the fish was drawn towards the guide, it was huge. At 21.5 lbs it was bigger than any Atlantic salmon I had landed in the UK. I turned towards the guide and he said “Welcome to Patagonia Paul”. The fish was returned alive, as the nearly the whole system is catch and release. What a start!
As the week unfolded the trips to the various pools gave us chance to see the wild life; Rheas, Foxes, Armadillos and Flamingos. Together with the stunning sunsets it was just a pleasure to be visiting such a wild place. The week unfolded with a number of fine Sea Trout, the largest a fish of 24lbs on a single handed rod, not to mention the many wild Brown Trout that were caught bay all the party.
The last day arrived and the morning was bright and sunny; some days were very windy (great conditions for fishing). I managed to land a fish of 22lbs on a Girdle Bug, a large coloured fish (prized by the locals more than the silver fish). The trip was approaching a crescendo. The evening session saw me separated from the guide and the sun setting with a glorious red-orange glow. Fishing down a small run I was just letting my mind wander in this far away place when the fly line and backing disappeared down stream. After a short spell I managed to bring the fish up stream and beach it; a magnificent 15lb fresh run fish with spots as big as half crowns. The most enjoyable trip of a lifetime was now complete.