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Articles: Caviahue - Patagonia Andina

by: Lucas Piedrabuena (Dec. 2008)

Having settled in the comfortable and well-equipped cottages of Caviahue, we enjoyed dinner and had an early night, so as to start our first fishing day full of energy. After a short journey of about 25 km by van, we arrived at a river called Hualcupen. The river was beautiful, somewhat small and ideal for rods # 2 to # 4. There were trout everywhere, all of them rainbow. We could easily catch small to medium trout, but it was perhaps due to them that fishing the biggest ones (of over 50 cm.) proved to be more difficult. At noon we had a delicious roast goat in the countryside before we went back fishing. It was a promising start.


On our second day, we went to Trolope Ranch, located 30 km from Caviahue. It is at this point where the Trolope River rises and forms a unique system of lakes linked by it. Both the variety and the quality of fishing were without equal. Proof of this was the fact that 15 to 40 trout, ranging from 45 to 60 cm., can be caught there on a single day. In addition, almost any fly fishing method can be employed, namely streamers and sinking lines in lake shores and pools, or dry fly fishing in small streams, while big fish are feeding on the surface.

Having arrived at the Ranch, we went fishing to Trolope River, along a stretch downstream Rincón Lake - the southernmost lake this river links. At that point the river was not very deep and resembled a common freestone river, with some pools here and there. At this spot, it is advisable to use a rod # 4 or # 5, with either floating lines with dry flies and nymphs, or sinking lines with streamers in reefles and pools. We caught rainbow, most of which were medium size, although there were some bigger ones of over 50 cm. too, as well as some browns. We then had lunch near the river in order to resume fishing early in the afternoon. After lunch, we fished along the last stretch of the river, just before it flowed into Rincón Lake. Fishing there is similar to fishing in a spring creek, with the river running slowly through reeds and other aquatic plants. Trouts could be seen at close range feeding on the surface, so we tried to tempt them with dry flies, small nymphs and strike indicators. They were largely big rainbow trout which put up strong resistance to the rods # 3 or # 4 we used. This fishing was for connoiseurs.

CaviahueOn our third day, we went fishing to Trolope Lake, where the Trolope River rises. We were surprised both at the size and the amount of trout there, most of them rainbow, which ranged between 50 and 60 cm. We began fishing with rods for lines # 5 or # 6, with intermediate lines of 150 or 175 grains and medium-size streamers. On quiet days or at the beginning of the season, it is usual to find lots of rainbows cruising at close range when the lake is in flood. This is also the case in the extensive flats of Trolope Lake, where large rainbow trout can be seen feeding on nymphs and insects, thus making sightseen fishing possible throughout the day. By midday, we had all landed between 10 and 20 trout each. After that, we had lunch at the country house and, in the afternoon, we returned to the river looking for some shelter that would prevent the strong wind blowing from spoiling our catch.

On the fourth day, we headed for Achacosa Lagoon, which was very picturesque and sheltered from the wind. Unlike the lakes we visited before, Achacosa was not linked to the Trolope River. We caught colourful brookies when fishing among the thick reeds. At first, the trout took baits such as big dry flies in violent lifts, whereas later on, at sunset, they took only emergers and small dry flies, but this time more subtly. We were then using rods # 4 or # 5.

On our fifth day fishing, we visited Larga Lagoon, situated to the south of Trolope Lake and to the north of Rincón Lagoon all of them linked by the Trolope River. There we found rainbow trout, some brookies and the biggest browns in the system. It was because of the lattest that we were there, pursuing with rods # 5 and sinking lines with large nymphs with rubber legs and streamers. We caught some brown trout of about 2 kilos and, although we couldn´t land the largest ones of about 75 cm., we had the time of our lives. Everything changed when a hatch came off. The river was teeming with trout which were feeding on the surface. Consequently, we opted for the floating lines and fished with dry flies and emergers over and over again.

On our last day, we went to Trolope Lake since we could not leave without going back there. Each of us chose a different fishing method: while some preferred to fish with sinking lines of 150 or 175 grains and streamers, others chose to fish with big dry flies on the lake shore, and the connoiseurs opted to wade across knee-deep water on extensive flats. The trout found in those flats, which were searching for snails and insects, were caught with dry flies and nymphs. It was fascinating to see how these big rainbow trout struggled in the shallow water after having taken the fly. We thus rounded off one of our most productive days; each of us landing around 40 fish of an impressive size.

We could have gone on fishing everyday in a different spot, each time employing a different fishing method. It was due to this that we thought this place to be incredible. There was never a dull moment and we would have liked to stay there forever!


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