13 May Las Buitreras report #7
The 7th week of season 2011 at Las Buitreras was, as every year, the week of our great friends form Scotland. Paul, Jamie, Sandy, John, Jonathan, Innis and James, and two new members of the team for this year: Rob and Frank. For Paul (known now as Pablo), Rob and James, this was the second part of their trip in the south of Patagonia, after fishing for Chinook salmon in the King River for four days with Loop guide Juan Manuel. The arrival of the group to our lodge was a special one, as for request of Jamie some pictures of him holding his biggest fish of last year and a writing below reminding everyone of the 20-20 he achieved last year too were put in almost every wall in the building, for the delight of the rest of them. With all the achieved experience of the last few years in their backs, they started Sunday morning ready to give their best and beat some old Buitreras’s records. And by the way, we’re not only talking about the wine record, but the fishing one too… Anyway, the result of this was a very productive first day, with 17 fish caught among the nine of them in the five beats. Not bad for a starting day at all. They all kept moving around the different beats following a not so easy to understand rotation scheme that was still good enough to let everyone in the group fish at least once alone with the guide.
River conditions during week #7 at Las Buitreras: The river stood in -20 to -25 cm the first half of the week, with dropping water temperature that went down from almost 20°C to 11°C. On Wednesday the river rose 70cm in two hours firstly to finally reach +60cm. approximately by the evening. This flood washed away all the algae that bloomed in the bottom too. By Thursday the color was still too dark but as there was almost no wind it settled faster than normal. On Friday morning the river was fishable again and certainly looking promising for the next week, dropping and clearing up, with +35cm. and dark tea color. So with all the pressure on his back Jamie had to work hard, while feeling a bit sick, to keep his record in this river, and although he couldn’t repeat his 20-20 from 2010, he still got the biggest fish of the week, a gorgeous fresh 20+lb sea trout that he caught in the legendary “75” pool in beat Nr1.
Things were looking good by the middle of the week. After 3 days there were already 40 fish caught and a good average size too. It was by Wednesday morning that we started to realize that the river was rising and it was happening quickly. The water gage by the bridge started to show how fast the river was rising, and in a matter of two hours the level changed from -24cm to +50cm. Of course the muddy color and the algae that was being washed away by the current didn’t let them fish the evening session. They decided then to stay at the lodge and relax, enjoying the sunny summer weather that we were having, with some wine out in the veranda and in the front yard, playing around and trying to beat our guides in casting competitions. The evening ended with the guests and staff making a party, with a Mexican food evening menu, followed by Juan Manuel performing as usual, singing some of his best songs and some of the classics we all like. We also had the pleasure of listening some of Sandy’s verses full of funny, clever rhymes and of course the Scottish touch and accent to top it off.
It was then time for a Plan “B” for Thursday, and they all agreed on doing some brook trout fishing in the creeks in the northern part of the Estancia, and have a picnic there too to give a day for the river to clear up. Luckily the wind didn’t blow those two days letting the river conditions improve instead of stirring the mud up and keeping the water too colored… so for Friday morning they were all ready to give it a good try, just like James who managed to get 4 fish straight out of Old Bridge pool in Beat Nr2. The excitement and the promising conditions led James to make a quick change of plans and book for the following week and fish a few more days down in Las Buitreras. The group left as usual on Saturday morning after spending a great time together. The whole of Las Buitreras staff will be looking forward to have them back next year and giving them a warm Argentine welcome hug, and share another week chasing silver in this country, truly named after it*.
Las Buitreras Camp Manager
* The word Argentina comes from the Latin Argentum, which means “silver”.
Total Number of fish caught: 47 sea trout over 4lb for 9 anglers.
Average weight: 7,6 lb.
Top Rod: Robert Layton (UK) – 8 sea trout over 4lb.
Best Pool: Fence 2 (Beat Nr. 5)
Best Fly/Flies: Stoats Tail & Prince Nymph.
Biggest Fish: 20 lb. Jamie Stewart (Scotland)