Patagonia Adventures - Part Two

Sean Visintainer - 02/22/21

Marcela Appelhanz of the Las Pampas Lodge hoist a large brown trout caught on a dry fly in southern Patagonia.

Southern summer memories

Shortly after returning home from our hosted trip to Patagonia last year the world took a turn for the worse and words like "COVID", "PANDEMIC", "CORONA VIRUS", and "SHUT DOWN" were plastered all over the news. The world of travel as we knew it was changed for the foreseeable future. With the craziness that ensued I had become completely sidetracked and forgot to post this second part of our trip report.

It has been a year since that last trip to the southern reaches of Argentina, yet it seems like it was yesterday. This trip was our second hosted trip to the fabled trout paradise of the Chubut, Argentina region. Known as the flat grasslands, Las Pampas is ideally situated at the base of the Andes mountains where fertile streams and lakes dot the landscape.

2020 Silver Bow Hosted Trip to Las Pampas Lodge was a great success!

While public access is available, much of the best streams trickle through large estancias, or ranches, and the thanks to the great folks at Las Pampas Lodge they have forged long term relationships with the gauchos affording us access to the sacred waters.

Last year's trip group enjoyed some stellar late summer Patagonian weather. The climate in the Las Pampas area is more arid, but being near the mountains it does see a few more storms and cooler temps. For late summer, waders are still needed as the water is chilly and some days the wind can bring the air temps down even further. It is however, substantially warmer than our Inland NW winter and I have no complaints.

Everyone in our group (8 including myself) enjoyed numerous good days of fishing. Fishing is still fishing and depending on the body of water a couple slower days could be mixed in. The lakes in the Rio Pico region can be the trickiest. I would say this last trip yielded better results compared to our 2019 Las Pampas trip, but if you were to have a potentially slower day a lake might be where it happens. That being said, most of the trophy trout reside in the lakes and without fishing them you would be really missing out on a different experience that could land you a fish of a lifetime.

A brown trout fell victim to a dry fly on the Las Pampas River, near Rio Pico, Argentina.

Stream fishing was mostly done walk / wade style in large part due to late season, lower flows. Streams in the Rio Pico region are easy wading and fish counts are so good that one really does not need a boat to get from spot to spot, or fish to fish. During February in Patagonia your fly selection will consist mostly of terrestrials, small attractors, and a few caddis or pmd style mayflies. For me I often found myself fishing a foam beetle, small pink hopper, and for more selective trout I little foam ant (affectionately known as tube steak) or a classic like the elk hair caddis. Since the trout don't see too many flies during the year having ultra-techy patterns and light tippet isn't normally necessary. The joke with the Las Pampas guides is, "What is 5x?!"

I appreciate the crew that headed down there with me pre-pandemic and look forward to hopefully returning to the Patagonia region again over the next couple years when travel becomes more normal again. Also, another big thanks to the great people of the Las Pampas operation and Fly Water Travel for helping facilitate the logistics. The Las Pampas crew truly makes you feel like you are part of the family, hence why we had to go back for a second visit!

Wade fishing the Rio Pico River with Las Pampas Lodge.

If you are interested in joining in on group trips like these with us please reach out and we will add you to our list.

In-case you missed Part One of our Argentina Adventures from 2020:

Sight fishing a piece of backwater along the Rio Pico for wary trout.

Hooked up a on voracious trout in southern Patagonia.

A beautiful rainbow trout ready for release near Las Pampas, Argentina.

Fly fishing the Las Pampas River.

An organized mess of trout flies for typical Patagonia fly fishing.

Angler Kevin West of Spokane with a beautiful fly caught brook trout from Engano Lake in Patagonia.

A relaxing day of fly fishing in beautiful Patagonia.

Summertime in Patagonia means a box of attractor and terrestrial fly patterns.

Another quality brook trout from Engano Lake, Patagonia.

Fly fishing a small spring creek near Rio Pico, Argentina.

Angler Aaron Banks hooked up on a Rio Pico trout.

Las Pampas all star guide Tim Watters and our friend Mark S. with a great brown trout from the Rio Pico.

Brett Stevens and Las Pampas guide Marcela with a brown trout from the Las Pampas River.