Santa Cruz – Week Report #3

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14 May Santa Cruz – Week Report #3

On the 18th of April we welcomed a group of Swedish anglers eager to try the one and only Atlantic Steelhead.

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Jim, Patrik, Ulf and Lars arrived to Los Plateados right on time for lunch, and chef Diego was waiting for them with a traditional Asado, after the 4 hour journey when all the theory was explained . The tackle set up took time during lunch. Putting the Skagit heads, choosing the right tips and flies. Then it was time to start. The group headed to Guanacos in order to get a hang of the Skagit casting techniques and see if there was a Steelhead ready to take their flies.
After Jim and Patrik went through it, Ulf reached the middle part of the run where he hooked a good one. The hard fighting Steelhead was eventually landed. It was one of the prettiest male Steelhead seen this season! A 16lb colored one that Ulf will never forget.
In the meantime Patrik was connected to one that quickly got off the hook in upper Guanacos. Minutes later Patrik hooked up again and this time landed a solid 15 lbs fish!

Result Day 1 (half day). 2 landed (16 lbs + 15 lbs), and one lost.

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For the second day strong winds were expected, so they all got prepared for it and took the trucks instead of the boats to move along the river.
The storm put the fish down and the water got colored immediately. It was only one fish hooked for the tough day, it was Jim’s at Fence pool.
It was time to go back to the cabin for dinner and make a new strategy and plan for the following day while enjoying some Mexican appetizers and a proper dinner afterwards.

Result for Day 2: One lost.

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So for Monday morning the plan was to split into two groups. With much better conditions, guide Pollo went upstream with one of the jetboats and guide Claudio managed to cover pools tried the day before by truck.
Both groups fished during the morning and joined for lunch in Comedor pool where Leandro and Pollo were preparing pizzas oon the grill by the riverside. The result of the morning, Jim landed a 7lb in Power Plant pool followed by a 22 pound fresh one from Fence pool in a double with Patricks 17lb! First double of the season and the biggest fish so far! Apart from Patriks 2 landed fish weighing in at 10 lbs and 17 lb, he found time to lose another 4! A pretty good day of Steelheading!
The group working the lower pools managed to get an 11lb fresh one at Elephants and after than while trying Blacksmiths Lars had a massive pull that unfortunately didn’t connect but they also saw a few fish on the move, reaching the pool.
After switching, it was time for Ulf and Lars to go upstream and Jim and Patrik to try lower pools. They headed straight to Blacksmiths in case some more fish reached the pool. In a matter of an hour Patrik had two good strikes, one broke off and landed one of 10lb while Jim, trying the lower part of the run managed to land another beauty, of 93x50cm, his second 20lb+ fish of the day.

Result for Day 3: Seven fish landed (two over 20lb) and 5 lost.

The water level kept more stable during these days, with the visibility improving and water temperature dropping to 5°C. Winter Steelhead patterns did just fine, with Orange and Blue combinations working well. We clearly saw the arrival of a fresh run of fish with a large average size. Still more to come!
It was great fun for this group of hard fishermen and good friends. We’ll be looking forward to have the again with us.

The figures after 2 and a half days averaged just below one fish per day per angler, with most of the action happening on the second full day.

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