This year we came over in early march which usually means a variety of different temperatures as fall slowly takes over in Patagonia. Our group consisted of Sven, Eckhardt, Jörg, Andreas, Toni, Dirk and Axel. For Dirk, Andreas and Axel it was the first time at Las Buitreras, always great to show this amazing place to new friends. Furthermore, Axel came with his long-time friends Marco (Italy), Amanda (Scotland) and Dorel (USA), Janis (Latvia) and Li (China) came separately - a great mix of different countries. Especially Li had a very long trip in the books when arriving at Las Buiteras, nearly 3 days to reach his final destination from Beijing, respect buddy! As last year we spent a nice day in Buenos Aires before heading down to Rio Gallegos. 24 C and blue skys, we certainly enjoyed our day on one of the boardwalks near the water and ended the day with our traditional steak dinner next to the hotel. When arriving at the lodge the next day it was Sidne and her team who welcomed us and we again had the honour this year to spent the week with our good friend Rick from Solid Adventures. Everything was prepared for a great time!
Already on Saturday a few of us could land their first seatrouts combined with those beautiful Patagonian resident browns. As always, we had a few meetings and a casting clinic in Germany to prepare everything so the different tackle setups worked well. Due to the early flight from BA to Rio Gallegos you have a lot of time on Saturday to prepare everything and spent a few hours on the water without a guide before the real fishing week starts on Sunday. Dirk and Andreas joined me for their first casts and immediately hooked up in Flats below the bridge, not a bad start at all! The conditions weren´t easy during our week even though the water level was okay. Warm temperatures, blue skys, no wind and one day with east wind made fishing quite tricky during the day. It was often the last hour when the fish got active but the results were incredible!
Well, where do I start...in general this was by far our best week in terms of double digit fish landed. We had a good amount of fish above 15 lb and two in the 20+ lb area. There were less medium sized fish but then again a big fresh run of smaller ones between 3-8 lb. After Eckhardt was a little unlucky the last time it was now his week! 17,5 lb on Day 3, 14 lb on Day 4, 15 lb on Day 5 and 20 lb on Day 6! A very good example why it pays off to return to Las Buitreras on a regular basis, persistence will be rewarded! Another example was the trip of my good friend Sven who was still waiting to land a big one. What a classic: last evening, guide Valentin and his fishing partner Dirk already waited behind him to finally go back to the lodge, last cast and BOOM. 20+ lb, silver, fresh, awesome! That´s what I call a very good way to end the week, champagne time!
The fishing was good for all of us. Dirk had an amazing first trip to Las Buitreras and was one of the regular guests in the catch book with absolutely stunning catches in the double-digit area. With their experience on the Rio Gallegos Jörg and Toni landed a very good number of seatrouts, highlight was Toni´s fresh fish from limits, 14 lb of perfection. Our good friend Jörg from the tackle shop Angel Bär was making sure that nobody was short on leaders, flies and lines as well as being the DJ with his spotify-playlist on the way back to the lodge. Even Andreas, who was absolutely new to spey casting, did manage to land a few nice ones and was in the end able to cover the water very well. Big respect for him for his positive attitude during the week. Also Axel, Marco, Amanda, Janis and Li spent a good week on the water and I guess there were as well a few great experiences that were celebrated with a glas of Malbec in the evening.
The atmosphere on the lodge was fantastic, it is always nice to see how people from different countries/cultures meet on a lodge and have a great time together. A big thank you to Sidne and her team, the service and food was again outstanding, they certainly made sure that we came back with one or two kilos more on the scale. We had two new guides this year with Santiago and Valentin, the whole team did a great job maximizing chances on the water for all clients. You learn on every trip fishing different conditions and making sure to adapt accordingly. Thank you all!
It is always hard to leave but we will be back in 2020.