And just like that we’re leaving the peak summer months of January and February behind us and head into March. The month of March at Las Buitreras usually means more water coming down from the Chilean mountains, blessing the Rio Gallegos with some excellent water conditions as well as huge schools of fresh fish entering the river system. This season seems to be no exception.
This week we welcomed some old friends from the USA and UK. The American team consisted of Sonya, Andy, Kim, Dan, Dayne, and Vance. All Buitreras veterans except for Vance who visited us for the first time. In addition, we had longtime guest and friend Kerry from Ireland making the journey across the sea. We were also fortunate to welcome Gary from Scotland with his mates, Nick and Gary, both first-time visitors. Although this was the first time here for Gary Stuart, he felt he had already been here in spirit as he had been forced to listen to stories about Las Buitreras from his dad for years. Gary arrived as a man on a mission: “beat my dad’s record”. Nick, familiar with seatrout fishing from spending several years fishing Rio Grande, arrived a couple days earlier for a couple warm up days in Zone Zero before his week at the prime beats of Las Buitreras.
A few days with strong winds early in the week stirred up the water and gave it some colour which meant we were fishing yellow yummies and bigger flies in general. A nice change from all the small nymphs we have been fishing primarily throughout the season. Having said this, all of our clients handled fishing in the wind well and often these conditions actually get the fish even more active, allowing for some excellent sessions as long as the wind is from the right direction, so that you’re able to cover the pools properly. Sonya, a regular here at the lodge since 2003, was handling all the different conditions like a champ all week long and consistently hooking into fish of all sizes. One of her more memorable fish came early in the week when she fished Lawson pool. After letting her yellow yummie sink for an extra couple of seconds through the sometimes complicated backwaters at the bottom of the pool, she had a full stop as soon as she started to strip the fly. A second later she was greeted by an explosion of water and a screaming reel. Several runs, jumps, and nerve-wracking Sea Trout headshakes later she was locking eyes with a near perfect 19,5 lbs fish.
One pool up from Lawson pool we had Dayne fishing Machaka while Sonya was busy fighting her fish. Doing his best to keep up with Sonya, Dayne also managed to hook and land a double digit fish. A perfect double to close the session. On another note: thank you Sonya for the candy supply! It should last us until the end of the season!
Andy and Kim, coming to Las Buitreras since 2004, had a great time together on the water, as usual. Andy did impressively fish with an injured foot all week long and got rewarded with some nice seatrout, including a cracking 16 lbs fish on his single hand bamboo rod in Lawsons pool, which was one of the hottest pools of the week. Kim was into fish from day 1 and kept on landing fish all week long. Something we have gotten used to with Kim over the years. Dan and Vance also got their fare share of personal encounters with the elusive Argentinian Sea-run Brown Trout, both landing a beautiful 12 lbs sea run each as well as several more in the same range and smaller.
Our UK trio of anglers were inseparable throughout the week and decided not only to share all the whisky but also the fishing on a daily basis. For them it was more important to share the moments and celebrate each landed fish together rather than fishing on their own. Nick, famous DJ and producer, had his most memorable day on the last day while fishing Upper 1 and Chrillos pool when he hooked four fish in four casts. His personal best for the week (17,6 lbs) was caught in Lawson’s pool on a heavy nymph. Two days later Gary Scott fished this same pool and same spot, using the same technique as Sonya, Andy, Nick, Kerry, and several others had done earlier in the week. Cast, upstream mend, count to 6, strip and ON! Of course, he caught his biggest fish not only for the week but a new PB; a solid 18 pounder. This pool just couldn’t stop producing fish this week.
Our good friend Kerry started his trip with landing a 16 lbs chrome fish in Lawsons pool and he kept on being on a big fish mission, landing another 18 lbs and 17,5 lbs seatrout during the week. Having the experience of past seasons in your pocket usually helps and Kerry showed he didn’t forget how to tame the sea runs! Sven and Toni, here for their second out of three weeks for the season, were hunting resident browns in Zone Zero and were catching fish all over the place using both double and single-handers. They will be here for one more week on the regular Las Buitreras beats, so let’s see what they will be up to next week.
Thank you all for a fantastic week! We hope to see you next season for more banter and PB’s.
Stats of the week
Biggest Sea-run Brown Trout landed: 19,5 lbs by Sonya P from USA
Top rod of the week: Kim from USA and Gary from UK with 11 Sea-run Brown Trout landed
Number of fish over 10 lbs: 29
Average size: 9,3 lbs
Our fly fishing specialist Peter Collingsworth has been over to Las Buitreras, fishing the banks of the famous Rio Gallegos many times, so if there’s anything you would like to know about the fishing or if you have any questions you’d like to ask him, you can contact him on 01603 407596 or email at email@example.com he would be delighted to speak to you.