South America, Part Four
After leaving the Punta Blanca Hotel we headed further into the interior to explore some of the tributary’s of the Rio Gallegos River. We came upon this very large Estanzia and went to the main house to ask permission to go on their property. The people there were extremely nice and they invited us in for coffee. The lady of the house was originally from Spain and could speak fluent English. She told us about some streams that were on the ranch where she could see fish feeding on the surface quite often. Needless to say we were all ears. This one particular stream was about fifteen miles from the main ranch and on a very rough trail, but it was still on their property (this gives you some idea of the size of some of these Estanzias). By this time we were chomping at the bit to go there and we had two spare tires. The trail was rough and slow going but it reminded us of some of the back roads we take here in Montana to go huntin. Eventually we found the stream and in some places it was no more than four feet across but very deep. There would be a narrow channel for a way and then a big pool and this went on for miles and miles. She wasn’t kidding about the rising fish. In each pool their were surface rings all over the place. I tied on a Madam X and made a cast to the middle of the pool. In an instant there were two wakes coming for it and in my excitement I took it away from both of them. I made a mental note to settle down and presented the fly again and in no more than three seconds I was hooked up with a nice brown trout. There was a lot of celery grass in this stream so we had to use fairly heavy tippet, like 2x. After awhile the rubber legs were gone from my Madam X and it was pretty well trashed, but they kept hitting it. The fish in this stream were not large compared to sea-run brown trout standards but they were all between 14 and 20 inches. In all my years of fly fishing and expecially dry fly fishing, this had to be the mother lode. Although it didn’t require a whole lot of finess it was a whole lot of fun.
There were a couple swampy areas along the stream and wouldn’t you know it but Mr. Hollywood wandered right into one of them with his new Nikkey’s. All he was concerned about after that was where he could get to a store and buy a new pair. Barry, Perry and I just looked at each other and smiled and in his language said, “dude you just don’t get it”.
This was desolate and and beautiful country in the eyes of the beholder. On each side of the valley were high and windswept bluffs with not a tree in sight but seas of flowing grass abundant with wildlife.