Journal of Dan T. Cook - Fly Fishing the Globe
Traveling 75,000 miles around the world in search of fish and friendship.
February 23, 2008 - Bariloche, Argentina
Hello again from Bariloche! Since the last update I have had the privilege and honor to fish with Leif Milling, expert fly fisherman and distinguished professional photographer. Many will remember that I ran into Leif in a parking lot near his office in Umea, Sweden. We spent nearly 10 days fishing the waters around his hometown of Gimdalen and became fast friends. We decided at that time to meet up in Argentina.
Leif has been fly fishing since Moses was a young boy. Or at least that is what it seems like when you discuss the places he has been and the fish that he was caught. Fortunately for me, when we fish together he usually ends up taking photos and letting me catch most of the fish. It is refreshing to see photos from another angle, other than the constant "self portrait" stuff that I provide in these updates. Hopefully his pics give you a better idea of what I do with myself on this trip.
Our first destination was the Rio Pico. This time I dragged Leif all the way down to the canyon area, which was about an hour's hike from our camp. The canyon area is home to some very deep pools and is also where most of the Chinook are caught. Personally, if I were a King I'd select a different river in which to spawn. The Pico runs quite warm and is rather tannic in color. Anyway, we had good luck in the canyon and I even hooked a couple of fish while standing on the canyon walls, 30+ feet above the river. Landing the fish took a bit of dancing on the rocks down to a spot where I could reach it. Most of the time we fished in a steady rain. I managed to land a nice Rainbow on the walk back (see pic). The next stop was the Rio Corcovado.
As I mentioned previously, the Corcovado is a picturesque river and valley. It is a difficult river to fish from the banks. Usually, there is a lot of overgrowth along the sides and the river moves along like a freight train. Leif and I had quite an adventure finding the right spot to fish and photograph. The terrain surrounding the river is full of very sharp, thorny bushes. It is also the home to a real pain-in-the-ass (literally) plant that deposits it small, round spiky seeds on your pants.... or whatever you manage to brush up against it. Traversing such terrain is a painful experience. Never-the-less, we covered 20 kms and found a few nice fish. As described below, the day turned into an ordeal when we decided to return to our camp via the main road instead of back along the track with its huge elevation changes. Fortunately, we were assisted by a kind local man who took pity on us silly gringos. In true Argentino fashion, he refused our offers of money and merely suggested that putting the boat on Lago Vintter is very dangerous. We thanked him repeatedly for saving our feet and delivering us to the cold beer that we had sitting in the river.
Our last stop was the Rio Limay, just outside of Bariloche. Being so close to a major tourist town, the river is heavily fished. Leif and I concentrated on a couple of spots. We found the fish to be VERY shy and prone to jetting off at mere sound of the line hitting the water. Fishing from a boat would definitely have opened up a whole world of fishing opportunities. Fortunately, the weather has been incredibly warm, making the water very comfortable. Since the river doesn't have many rapids, we pushed the boundaries of wading..... occasionally being up to my neck in water and being pushed down the river in the current. I guess it was more swimming than wading. Ultimately, we caught a few medium size Rainbows but struck out on the big Browns for which the river is famous.
Tomorrow, I will begin the drive to the Salta Province and the Rio Juramento, home of the famous Golden Dorado ("golden dorado" is actually repetitive as "dorado" means "gold"). After a couple of days fishing, I will begin the drive to Peru and finally Ecuador. In Ecuador, I will arrange for the shipping of the LandCruiser around the Darian Gap as well as fish for marlin out of Salinas. Leif has agreed to meet up in Salinas and photograph the fishing. It should be a hell of a good time!
Astonishingly, my time in Argentina is nearly over. I cannot fathom how fast time flies by. It seems like just yesterday that I bid Sebastian and the crew at Dip Ser SRL "chau" and headed out of Buenos Aires, bound for Lago Strobel and its incredible Rainbows. My entire time in Argentina and Chile has been a continuous reel of highlights. There is not enough room in this update to thank everyone who has shown me kindness or contributed to my extraordinary experience. I can promise that I will return soon.
A special thanks to Alberto Alverez at the Hosteria La Pastorella in Bariloche (www.lapastorella.com.ar). He recently purchased a new laptop, and with the demise of mine, I can confidently say that I have used his laptop more than he has. This update would not be possible without his help!
I'd also like to thank everyone that has purchased items from the new FFG store. I appreciate your support and encouragement! And yes....... you can wear the T-shirt inside-out if you don't want to walk around with a picture of me and a taimen on your chest.
Next update will be from Ecuador!