2019 saw both Tracey and I hosting another successful week to Las Buitreras Lodge on the famous Rio Gallegos River. This year saw a mixture of old friends returning and new customers who, by the end of the week had all become firm fishing friends. I think it is fair to say each year we seem to be lucky in regards to the customers who join us on the group trip and for both Tracey and myself it is one of the most pleasurable trips to host in our entire season.
This year we all waited with baited breath as the final days approached for our departure, what would the river level be? What would the water clarity be? And what would the Patagonian weather throw at us throughout the week? The usual nagging questions that go through our minds as we are all getting ready to depart for the airport. This year the news was good as there is nothing like it when you have all been looking forward to an annual trip to be told by the head guide only 2 days before you arrive that the river looks like it will clear down into perfect condition. Somehow the thoughts of getting to the river bank with stories of the river being full of fish, with good water conditions makes all that long distance travel dissolve into a distant memory.
For the 2019 trip we had returning friends, Paul and his son Tim, Carl, Chris and John. Unfortunately Peter who was planned to return again with us this year had to pull out right at the last minute for personal reasons. (He was sadly missed by the gang but I am sure he will be back again with us soon) We had a few new friends joining us, two friends of Chris & John called Andrew & Neil. We also had two couples with us this year in the form of Mark and his wife Noelle and Peter with his partner Rachel, so with 13 of us at the lodge you could say we had a pretty full group.
As promised the water and river conditions were just about perfect. At the start of the week when we all arrived the river was at a very healthy +25 and more importantly had just the right amount of colour. Therefore it was no surprise that the first day was a cracking start with the group landing 26 Sea Trout with the biggest just over 19lb.
As the week progressed the water started to drop to around a height of 0 and the winds became stronger as normal. However in the second half of the week both the weather and water began to improve again and was back up to +20 still with perfect colour.
As per usual there was both highs and lows for all anglers during the week as sometimes the rotation would work for you other times you would seem to be just off the fish. However it always comes good in the end with all customers catching fish. The end result for the week was 110 Sea Trout and 45 Brown Trout. The biggest fish of the week went to Paul with a fish well over 21lb, close behind was myself with a fish just over 21lb. Top rods of the week were both John and Andrew.
So even with 1 man down and some of the group missing some fishing sessions due to illness that seemed to have followed a few of us from the UK it was an amazing week and so far the best week of the season.
It comes as no surprise that as soon as we returned back to the UK the phone is ringing off the hook with everyone getting in touch looking to repeat the trip again for 2020, which by all accounts is already looking like it’s going to be another outstanding group.
Both Tracey and myself would personally like to thank everyone who was on the trip, we all shared the highs of catching fish and lows when you have a blank session or two. Everyone keeping all their spirits up, helped of course by some serious amounts of wine. Mind you with the group only consuming 125 bottles of Malbec for the week you could say it was a light drinking week. ( personally I think so many people had so much talking to do about their fish there was not enough time for drinking) Thank you all for being such a pleasure to spend time with, to those old friends until we do it again and to all new friends by the end of the week, it will be a pleasure to share some time with you all again soon.
Lastly but by no means least, a huge thank you to Sidne our house manager, Claudio for his organisation skills, Carlos as head guide with his great team without who none of the above would even be remotely possible.
Until next season tight lines.
Regards Peter & Tracey.