“La Gordita” No. 1

When I first saw Rio Gallegos reports some six years ago written by Stephan Dombaj and covered with some amazing images of giant seatrouts, that destination entered personal bucket list instantly. Next to other 75 other destinations already there. Since then every winter would he kindly remind me how are things going down there at the very end of the world. As most things in my life I plan to do usually fail or needs to be postponed due to a lot of unplanned events so was the case with this one. Stephan could persuade me as much he’d want but I just wasn’t able to go there. So I just stopped planing to go there for a while. Usually it works the best like that for me. And it did eventually. Finally i’m in plane to Argentina super excited i’m about to see all these beautiful places from pictures in real life and also might catch a seatrout. First time I get to the river images and actual places are not the same. Everything looks much better in real life. Wildlife on a way to the river from a lodge is just fascinating. I feel more like i’m on safari, not a way to the river. As i’m inexperienced and unfamiliar with seatrout as well i’ts behaviour seeing 4 kg fish jumping fully out of water is just something mind blowing.

Main reason everybody travels such a long distance to arrive here of course is not to enjoy just natural wild life and watch fish jump but to catch one. You fish all day no matter the weather is like. One does not fish alone but is accompanied by fellow fly fisherman and guide who knows all the good places where you should put your fly in pursuit for chrome. Guides not only knows the spots but proper technique as well the flies one should use in given situation.You better listen to their advice or you might end up with no fish like me while experimenting with something that might be working on your home waters. Only satisfaction left there is to watch others catching chrome. Thorsten the fellow fly fisherman and Joaquin the guide who happens to have day off in my case. Next day I decided to stop experimenting with my own tactics and started to listen my guide of the day Joaquin. Sink tip fly line in this case. Wind was blowing like mad that afternoon making casting hard and even impossible on some places. Luckily Joaquin found one by the name Little corner. Thorsten went in to fish it first, then me after him a bit after. in the middle of the pool I managed to lost fly, sat on the bank, changed it and talked to the guys since wind was even stronger. Since I didn’t finished the pool both of them persuaded me to do so as I missed the very best of it at the end. As I mentioned before that you should listen to the guide so I did and went to make few casts. No more then five casts later strong pull at the end of the line. After that blackout. First thing I remember after that was silver titanic stuck on the beach. Couldn’t believe this was my first seatrout ever caught. We didn’t have a net to weight it properly so Joaquin made an estimation later in the car with help of length girth table of 22 lb. Couple of pics later she swim away.

unnamed (3)This whole story might look like complete fiction and still is a bit, even to me. But pictures prove me wrong. If somebody would say it was beginners luck I would agree with him and say it was pure luck since the fly I used was the one found the day before on the beach of one pool. Even more without listening to guys and not finishing pool all of that would never happen. Up until now I have consider myself as unlucky guy. Looking back at all the things that happen resulting in landing such a fish that a lot of people are trying to catch whole life I better appreciate such a fish and rethink a bit about how lucky I might be.

Janko Bartolec

Author Janko Bartolec

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