Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Rio Huemules and Arco

The weather has been fantastic the last few days.  Bluebird sky, 80 degrees and NO wind!   Yesterday’s plan was to go to Balmaceda and fish the airport stream.  You don’t get many windless opportunities there.   Plan was to get on the road about 9.  We came close.  We were out about 9:15.  I was very happy.  Now the other shoe drops.  Guess what we find at the airport stream bridge.  You got it.  Two fishermen just finishing rigging up.  Look like they had got there about 10 minutes ago.  We missed it by 5 minutes!  Plan B, the Rio Huemules.

The Rio Huemules is right on the Chile-Argentina boarder.  We stopped at the Immigration and Customs check point and told them what we were going to do and they let you pass.  Of course you can’t legally go into Argentina since you technically haven’t left Chile yet.  I learned all about that a few years ago between Greece and Turkey.  After the Chilean post it about a Km drive to an old bridge (45 54 51.55 S – 71 38 45.67 W).  On one side of the bridge a sign says Welcome to Argentina and on the side we parked a sign says Welcome to Chile.

I walked well downstream, Max a shorter distance down and E and Randy fished upstream.  The Rio Huemules is deeply incised into the pampas, has a sandy bottom with areas of weeds along some of the banks.  The fish are not really what I would call spooky but were very aware of their surroundings.  

I saw 5 fish, all over 18 inches and there was one I didn’t see at first.  I plopped a big foam hopper about 6 inches from some weeds and in a heartbeat I was into the biggest trout of my life!   Now I preach “Exit Strategy” to my clients.  Mine didn’t work because I didn’t have one!  I was about 6 feet above the Huemules and on the same side as the weeds and the fish.  My strategy should have been to slide off the bank and turn him away from the weeds.  I did turn him away from the weeds for a second but he got into them.  In the Valley of the Moon when that happened I had Ethan with me.  He went in and worked the fish out of the weeds.  I had to try and work my way down the leader picking off weeds with one hand and holding my rod in the other.  I could feel tugging on the leader and every once in a while feel water moving against my leg.  Then the tugging stopped.  I put my rod down to expedite getting my leader out of the weeds.  Second mistake.  He was still on and just resting.  Unprepared for his rush out all I could do is watch as a brown close to 30 inches shoot across the Huemles and under the bank on the other side.

After lunch in Balmaceda we headed back toward Coyhaique with as stop to fish the Arroyo Arco.  We fished it right above the bridge last year but locals apparently fish it hard.  Four years ago I went upstream a bit above the bridge and did OK.  Randy and I went up to the second fence across the river and started fishing there.  The Arco fished well.  We both got several nice rainbows and even nicer browns.  The deep holes only produced fish about 12 inches long.  They all had a lot of “trout tracks” around them.  The Arco is back on the fishing list.  

E went home today.  We fished the airport stream so we could fish until about two hours before his flight left.  I got him to the airport about 1, we had a beer and then I headed back to the stream.  At just after 3 when his plane flew over I raised my rod in a salute.  I’m going to miss him.  Of course on the plus side it means that we don’t have to compete with the big fish catching machine anymore. 

When you come down with us next year make sure it is while E is here.  He will put you over some great fish!

No comments:

Post a Comment