Field Report Week X and XI, March 3rd - March13th 2012
Jurassic and Buitreras Shift Split Weeks
by Stephan Dombaj
Week X and XI
The sonic boom like sound, emitted by the calving Perito Moreno Glacier releasing giant icewalls into the placid Lago Argentino marked just the beginning of a weather period that seized to amaze. An unusual constellation in our schedule joines two great countries on their hunt for chrome. An United Staates – Australian pact forged by chrome with an unforseen by much welcomed change of the conditions, hence an happy ending for the 2nd shift. Our former week’s top rod, Lawson Jones, completed the circle of english speaking majors with UK-pride. The first shift, so the first 5 rods of our 10 rod rotation arrived on Saturday, the 3rd of March, and started on Sunday. Fishing all alone in a cherry picking hot spot rotation thru the zones till the rest of the group, the Aussie-Connection joined and accompanied them on Thuesday. Each shift spent a full week fishing though.
Brilliant Highlights In The Shadow Of The Sunset
Globetrotter Michael Blakely and his friends Jon Bloxham, Larry Flat and Jeffrey Williamson teamed up to take the first round in this combi week. Jon and Larry sharing pool alliance and a dark secret that has to be revealed a few blocks later.
A very special thanks to Jeffrey Williamson, one of the finest fly fisher that I know with the heart on the right spot. I will never get tired listening to the vast amount of good stories that more than four decades of fly fishing around the globe have left on him. In a rotation with Michael, fishing was almost secondary since time just passed by over all the good company.
Lawson Jones, a deadly weapon for both numbers and sizes. Yet again he claims both the top rod and the biggest fish with 12 fish up to 18lb. The Snakeflies that he left behind were traded for the price of pure gold the moment he jumped on his plane back to the UK. A man on a mission that truely deserves the reward of being the dominat rod for two weeks. As the 2nd shift arrived to claim their fair share of the chrome cake, he and Annie landed 8 fish within a few casts in „Molino“ and „Ochenta“. The shelter of an early night fired those fish up and we were at the right time in the right place.
Peter Godfrey, Sandy Mennie, Charles Russel, Alan Rogers and Annie Skarrat – better known as „The Aussies“ joined our party on thuesday just to accomplish the mission of getting all of them into fish within the first session.
There’s nothing better than marvelling at one’s first double digit chrome fish and Annie did me the favour of taking her first double figure trout with me in Zone 1 – Pool 75. When female intuition meets persistance, fish should better watch out – Annie might be around. Way to go! Welcome to the club!
Our regular, Peter Godfrey, played his advantage of knowledge card pretty well. Amongst his group, he was the most successfull trout hunter with some spanking fish up to 14lb. He was sharing the beat with Sandy who saved up his shots for the day before the flood arrived.
Another pool alliance raised the bar of sharing fish numbers consisted out of Alan Rogers and Charles Russel as they were frog-leaping in Kitchen with seven fish within one morning session. Well done guys!
Unravelling the supernatural secret
After we’ve shared some creepy stories about old gaucho believes, ghosts ans spirits in the desert on the way to „Hell’s Kitchen“, it was a simple plastic bag flying around on the other side of the river that lightend up a bulb in Larry’s and my mind. We could make it up a little bit to spice up the fishing with a little thrill of the unknown. Jon was fishing lower Kitchen pool when I brought myself close to him, pretending to take some scenic casting images. On my sign, Larry started yelling like crazy – it was an acadamey award worth perfomance. As I sprinted up to him, cursing in sheer unbelieve of what was happening infront of my lense, I took some blury shots. As Jon came up, we said something was going zig zag on the other bank and disappeared, definitely not human and most definitely not an animal either! First, he didn’t quite bought it, but as we presented the pictures infront of the rest of the group plus the whole story including some detailed background information about restless souls of indians etc, the whole group had only on hot topic. But that was just the first stage. Some were smiling and joking about it but as the week proceeded, every one came up with a creepy story from the past. In the end it was Larry and me behaving paranoidly, fishing the evening sessions. Sorry guys for busting the myth, but hey – never say never! Thanks Larry, for being a perfect actor and partner in ghost crime
Water & Fishing
The first week, the water level remained untouched from any mayor changes. Still low but quite chilly for the waterlevel. A couple of days eastwind (upstream) as the cherry on top, made fishing in the bright sunlight very difficulte and again the evening fishing saved us another time. The flipside of eastwind – especially if it lasts a couple of days. It presses humid air from the atlantic ocean against the andean barrier between Argentina and Chile which might cause some rain. Circumstances that might feel difficulte for the moment but may pay off later. And it did. After a drought like this, the flood doesn’t come quite. In seatrout fishing, there is no such thing a the quite before the storm breaks lose. A seatrout’s entire reproducing cycle and spawing run is affected by the level and temperature of the water, hence even the smallest changes in either one or another factor can cause a reaction. The usual reaction on a push of water is an agressive behavior just before the water arrives our part of the Rio Gallegos watershed. The day before the flood arrives usually doesn’t differ from conditions of the day before in terms of waterlevel and temperature. The only difference is even the oldest and grumpiest male fish will take ones fly; the activity climbs up a 100%. The last chance before the river blews out. Right after the first shift has left Gallegos airport, the first pieces of foam and scum on the surface marked the arrival of heavy rainshowers in the headwaters. A glimpse of hope that didn’t fail us this time. The rainshowers spread all over Patagonia Austral and indicated that this year’s march flood wont come quite. Raining continously from sunday on for more or less six days, the fish were fired up. Flies don’t really matter by than as long as they are not too big. Small Yellow Yummies, Wolly Buggers, Vitamine C – the whole portfolio did justice. Sunday morning with 12 fish on 5 rods and continuing like this till the flood arrived on thuesday night, the 2nd shift made the numbers of an entire week in just 4 sessions. They all got fish, they all got double digits! Taking away one day of their Jurassic Lake schedule and staying one day longer than planned to hit the activity phase with full impact was worth it and payed off big time. Revenge is a dish best served ice cold or wet and muddy! A pity that the first shift missed those days just by a glimpse. Their payback awaits in the valleys of Rio Barrancoso and Jurassic Lake…
Stephan Gian Dombaj
Camp Manager – Solid Adventures
- Average: 8,6lb
- Top Rod: Lawson Jones (12)
- Biggest Fish:
- - 18lb – Lawson Jones
- Top Fly: Snake Fly
- Top Pool: 75
- % of Chrome Fish: 74%
- Fish < 10lb: 23