Yesterday – Saturday – we drove up to an area called the Valley of the Moon.
Based on my limited geologic knowledge I can't be sure but my bet is that is the remnants of a caldera. The lava plugs, rim of distant hills and flat landscape are
my clues. Even if I’m wrong it is still a cool place to see. And, one hell of a good place to fish.
This is the pampas. Wide open whit nothing to stop the wind. And windy it can be and was! But not as windy as it was one time we tried to fish it last year. That day the wind was blowing so hard that it was picking up pebbles and blowing against the truck. Yesterday wasn’t quite that bad but the wind blew hard enough to make us think twice about rigging up and trying to fish. But we did.
Pampas streams are almost a hybrid cross between a western meadow stream and a spring creek. Most gringos refer to them as spring creeks. Definition is just a choice of words. Two words work well: wind and great fish.
A crawl under the fence and a 100 meter walk and we were on the stream. The wind was blowing from every way except head on. Precision casting was out of the question. If I could get my fly within 2 meters of where I wanted it I was happy. If the wind died down for a moment and I could get my fly within half a meter of where I wanted it I was ecstatic!
Early on the fishing was slow. But once we started applying a bit of “Kentucky Windage” to our casting things started to improve. And I think as we moved a bit further up the river the wind seemed to be a little less intense. The transition into the head of a pool produced fish.
But the best fish came from long arrow straight pools. These sections were a uniform as if they had been channelized. Step off the bank and you were in
waist deep water. The water was about the same depth all the way across the river. The logical place to cast was tight to the banks. And it worked but not necessary any better than anyplace across the width. And with the wind plowing the way it was it make for simple fishing. Get it anyplace in the water and be ready!
I’m not sure how many Km’s we fished with the river meandering its way across the pampas. Following a straight fence back to the truck took about an hour and a half.
There was only one thing wrong with the day. Both E and I thought the other had put a six pack of Crystal in the truck. Almost 80 Km’s back to Coyhaique for a beer!