22 Feb Las Buitreras Report Week VI, Feb 4 – Feb 11
Field Report Week VII
by Stephan Dombaj
Last week’s prayers for rain obviously delivered the message properly. With a persistant low-water level of -35cm – 30cm one week before, the first session for this week’s group we learned that that there was to be an unexpected but very welcome push of colder water headed our way. Although we checked the forecasts for the headwaters of Rio Gallegos on the daily, nothing was indicating heavy rainshowers which can lead to a tsunami-like flood at this time of the year. The water rose continously durning the week and crested on thursday by tipping the +40cm mark, after gaining a ridiculous 75cm in all! As the flood reached its peak, it scoured the river bed of weeds and algea. A wink of fortune for next week’s group and a day less for this week unless you like to clean your line and fly after every single cast. After some research, we learned that a snow-meltdown close to Rio Turbio provided the water. A cold front which decreased the snowline-level followed by a 3 days of moderate warm weather explained the water level and the way it came up – in steps of 25cm.
All of these circumstances aligned to turn Rio Gallegos into a chrome-mine for our 7th week’s group of anglers. In addition to the German/Swedish party that built up a stronghold here in our Estancia, the group was completed by a french-speaking party from all over the Benelux States and our Irish long-term regular, Kerry Hardy, who teamed up with Mawill Lüdenbach!
Two regulars in one rotation is bad news for the chromers. Besides Mawill cracking 19lb. fish from Cantera, Kerry took a 20lb + fish pretty much simultaneously out of Puesto.
The Spors (Meta, Wolfgang, Sara & Anders) were staying another week and continued to perform flawlessly. Almost chemically cleaning out the pools, it was Anders who accumulated on both weight and numbers this week. Congrationlations once again and thank you for the good company! Your beds are already made for your next stay!
Head of the french-connection, Stephane Warrnier has prooven to be a trustworthy leader. Providing the toprod himself and backing up Bertrand landing the fish of the week (22lb), he was definitely a force unleashed here at Las Buitreras!
As we were washed out on Friday, our fishing schedule was supplemented by a spring creek with decent brown trout! In shifts, our fellow anglers successfully presented some fancy foam crickets to those resident critters. If one gets connected to a resident fish, the intensity of our migrating fish’s strength is put into perspective. Although even a 40cm brownie can be quite a challenge, especially when they are trying to shake the hook off and plow into the weedlines.
Since the water conditions changed hourly this week’s main task was adjusting – to both the level and the color. The faster one could adapt to the situation the better were the results. Our rigs ranged from long leaders and small swung flies like small green butts, silver stoats and cascades on floating lines – single handed outfits at the beginning of the week to light weight double handed rods, rigged up with intermediate lines and stream-tips. We had it all. Still, the entire range of Copper John flies and the like remained tops this week. Slightly adjusted to fit the water color and conditions, it’s for sure one of the essential that shouldn’t be missing in ones flybox. Color variations like the Vitamine-C (Flouro-red), Vitamine-D (Chartreuse), Vitamine-W (White) Irish Copper John (Copper body with green dubbing) or the infamous classic Copper John (Copper Body, Peacock Body with white rubber legs) are a safe bet for both absolutely fresh fish and old nasty hen and cock fish. This week’s top rod and the biggest fish are enough of an argument to tie some of those. The harder the current, the less one has to work the fly. Lower water is not only thechnical but also a good workout for retriving the fly. Once your fly is zeroed-in on by a fresh fish, the reward is a violent charge that climaxes in a crushing strike. The heavy tug of a fish intercepting a swung fly half way is a privilege for those who witness high water conditions here at Rio Gallegos.
Stephan Gian Dombaj
- Total Fish: 74 (5 days)
- Average Weight: 8,9lb
- Top Rod: Stephane Warnier (15)
- Biggest Fish:
- - Bertrand Kirszbaum (22 lb – Molino)
- Top Fly: Vitamine White
- Top Pool: 75
- Percentage Of Chrome: 93,2%
- Fish < 10 lb: 28
- Fish < 20 lb: 4