14 May Las Buitreras report #8
Besides a delayed arrival due to a flight issue, everything was joy from the very beginning. A group certainly focused on fishing hard and having a great time. Among them were Brian, Jeff, Sandy, Ken, John, Tony, John, David, Richard and group leader/host Glyn. Once in the lodge, and after a brief meeting with the camp manager, most of the members of the group picked up their coats and went down to the Bridge Pool (also our home pool) to see the river for the first time, and check its conditions and looks as well. The water level was simply perfect and, as we always say, that’s more than 50% of this game. But there was something we didn’t expect and it was a hot weather wave that hit us since day before to their arrival. This warm weather made the water temperature rise quickly reaching unusually high levels, so what was supposed to be an “easy” week turned out to be one where hard work was needed (and without doubt done) from anglers and guides while also fighting upstream winds most of the time.
During the first two days this group started to get use to this river, the type of fishing, and what’s most infrequent for salmon fishermen, the Double “S” of sea trout fishing: Stripping and Striking! No matter what the speed of the water is, down here this fish will follow the fly during the swing, while it sinks and comes around but take almost every time on the strip. So let’s put it like this, striping works just like a trigger to make the fish go for it. Once that happens, these sea trout will not nibble on the fly. They will hit so hard you won’t have time to think. Still setting the hook is the second most necessary thing to do. Nevertheless, it sounds easier than what it really is, mostly after a life of salmon fishing trying to avoid it. During this time of adaptation an important number of fish were hooked and unfortunately not landed. There was some action happening around thou… Just like that, it happened to Sandy Scott the first day. A fair number of sea trout came off the hook before being able to land them. The long distance release was neither what he was expecting nor what he was thinking of doing. But he did caught up with the captures on the third day of the week after hooking a massive fish while fishing on his own in the classic pool of Beat #2, Cojedero. He hooked it. He fought it. He landed it. An outstanding performance that ended up with a record of the season –so far at least- of 26lb! By the way, he also ended up being Top Rod of the week. Congrats Sandy!!!
The super high tides (13 meter) by the second day of the week did help by pushing some fresh fish into the system. These fresh ones were in the move and randomly took but did help also by disturbing some of the older fish that were staying in this stretch of the Gallegos River for some time already and make them go a bit “aggressive” again. Another unexpected phenomenon occurred and was directly related to the high tides. It was a big push of lampreys that came into the river as well, filling in the pools and looking for spawning grounds… these nasty creatures where around followed by some of their predators too: Seagulls, Cormorants, and Sea Trout! A tale that will be told for many years was originated this week too. The main character: Brian Flannigan. The place: Barranca Negra, in Beat #5, a deep, big slow water pool that always holds big fish. So imagine the situation: the guide (Juan Manuel in this case) takes him to the pool and explains the structure and the best and most effective way to cover it. After that the line is put out and a brilliant cast that crosses the whole of it is made … line is coming around and the fly is sinking quickly because of the substantial lead base in it. They both know that the fly is swimming among monsters, and its time to strip: one, two, boom! Its on! Runs, shakes his head and takes lots of line out and suddenly stops, just like if it has come off the hook… The quick feeling of disappointment goes away as there was something still in the end of the line, not so heavy and not really moving, but something was certainly there. Guide approaches and finds what it was. The fly was stuck onto a 50 cm. long semi digested lamprey that was obviously at some point inside the fish after being swallowed by it. The conclusion of this tale is that the fly the fish chased and took, grabbed the lamprey inside the mouth of the fish. The lamprey eventually came off pulled out by the fly. The greedy fish that could have been another record fish this season was never seen and is still swimming around…
River conditions during week #8: The river started dropping after flooded the week before, from +35 to 0cm. The tidal level during the week reached the 13 meters. The second highest in the season, which made a reasonable number of fish slowly run up into the system. The water color turned quickly from dark tea to clear due to the lack of wind and the fast drop of the water level. Water temperature changed constantly. As an overall result of the week we had a cheerful group who had a gratifying experience with us with all not only in the river but also at the lodge, with all the assistance of our staff and sharing some great times together like while listening to Juan Manuel singing followed by Ken’s impressive guitar playing and those times in the living room with a glass of wine while enjoying chefs Sofia cuisine. They all had their quote of joy landing double figure fish and having the chance of maybe duplicating the number of fish caught, and more. Surely a group of people that we’d love to welcome back to Las Buitreras any time for another week chasing sea trout in the south of Patagonia. We’d like to mention the remarkable assistance, hosting and guiding job did by El Señor Glyn Freeman for Jim Curry and Halstead and Bolton Intl. Sporting Agent.
Las Buitreras Camp Manager
Total Number of fish caught: 37 sea trout over 4lb for 9 anglers.
Average weight: 10,4 lb.
Top Rod: Sandy Scott (UK) – 6 sea trout over 4lb.
Best Pool: “75” (Beat Nr. 1)
Best Fly/Flies: Bitch Creek & Yuk Bug.
Biggest Fish: 26 lb. Sandy Scott (Scotland)