Cast & Blast

I love and hate this time of year. I love it for the chance to have some time with family, take a mid school year break, and head to one of my favorite spots to fish. I hate it because of the cold, snow, and limited fishing closer to home without going out on the ice. 

So with my Dad, two brothers and myself all being teachers we had some time to plan a trip. We decided on doing a jack rabbit hunting/fly fishing trip. I think my brothers tend to get more excited about hunting while my Dad and I were really looking forward to the fishing. Awake(ish) at 2:30 AM to hit the road at 3:00, a short three and a half hours later we were nearing our destination and seeing good numbers of rabbits from the road. Hit it hard and saw rabbits consistently throughout the day, burning through a significant number of .22 shells and getting some rabbits. Around midday my enthusiasm was waning but my brothers continued to hunt as my Dad and I waited in the truck. I pointed out that my bros were a bit crazy, my Dad pointed out that they hunt the same way that I fish. Touché. 

I think that night’s stay in the motel really brought how tired we all were into focus. Some ill advised discussion of politics (we don’t see eye to eye) and general bickering points were brought up. We couldn’t quite stay awake to watch the last NFL game of the season. Then once we were asleep some pet names were uttered that shouldn’t have been (I’ve never been called ‘Peaches’ before…). The next morning came early with some seriously cold temperatures and some storminess that would assure our isolation while fishing. 

It was a bit cold

We found some decent success in the AM with a couple of decent trout in the mix to keep things interesting. My older brother Jeff hasn’t had much experience fly fishing, but he was able to get into some fish and really improve his casting. 

The typical size, we caught a lot of these


A nicer one. Dig the automatic reels.

Weston and my Dad caught as many as they could wish for but didn’t find any better ones. Fish came to a mix of nymphs and Woolly Buggers with nothing really out performing anything else. I was able to finally pick up some fish on my 8wt which was a blast to cast. 

A good one. You know it’s cold when your smile ends up being a grimace.

Around midday we started searching out different places to fish in hopes of finding some better sized trout. What we found was dirty water and unresponsive (or non-existent, not sure which) fish. I managed one more decent trout on an olive bugger but Jeff broke the tip off of his rod and lost any enthusiasm he had left for fishing. 

Pretty girl

We were about to call it and make the long trek home when my Dad suggested we stop at one more place. Amazingly there were rising fish waiting for us there. They were pretty picky, but we picked up a few on hanging midges and Orange Ashers. My Dad fished circles around me on this last spot just to prove he still could, and I couldn’t think of a better way to end the day. 

A nice buck. Sorry about the pic quality, all I had was my point & shoot.

The ride home was a bit messy with a complete whiteout and an unexpected layover that made the long ride even longer. Rather than just get another room and wait out the storm we decided to push through and make it back to my Dad’s in the AM. After a quick night I loaded up my stuff and made the drive back home feeling sick, but happy about the successful trip. Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy the outdoors.

– Kidder


I think it’s letting up!

I love and hate this time of year. I love it for the chance to have some time with family, take a mid school year break, and head to one of my favorite spots to fish. I hate it because of the cold, snow, and limited fishing closer to home without going out on the ice. 

So with my Dad, two brothers and myself all being teachers we had some time to plan a trip. We decided on doing a jack rabbit hunting/fly fishing trip. I think my brothers tend to get more excited about hunting while my Dad and I were really looking forward to the fishing. Awake(ish) at 2:30 AM to hit the road at 3:00, a short three and a half hours later we were nearing our destination and seeing good numbers of rabbits from the road. Hit it hard and saw rabbits consistently throughout the day, burning through a significant number of .22 shells and getting some rabbits. Around midday my enthusiasm was waning but my brothers continued to hunt as my Dad and I waited in the truck. I pointed out that my bros were a bit crazy, my Dad pointed out that they hunt the same way that I fish. Touché. 

I think that night's stay in the motel really brought how tired we all were into focus. Some ill advised discussion of politics (we don't see eye to eye) and general bickering points were brought up. We couldn't quite stay awake to watch the last NFL game of the season. Then once we were asleep some pet names were uttered that shouldn't have been (I've never been called 'Peaches' before...). The next morning came early with some seriously cold temperatures and some storminess that would assure our isolation while fishing. 


It was a bit cold
We found some decent success in the AM with a couple of decent trout in the mix to keep things interesting. My older brother Jeff hasn't had much experience fly fishing, but he was able to get into some fish and really improve his casting. 


The typical size, we caught a lot of these


A nicer one. Dig the automatic reels.
Weston and my Dad caught as many as they could wish for but didn't find any better ones. Fish came to a mix of nymphs and Woolly Buggers with nothing really out performing anything else. I was able to finally pick up some fish on my 8wt which was a blast to cast. 


A good one. You know it's cold when your smile ends up being a grimace.
Around midday we started searching out different places to fish in hopes of finding some better sized trout. What we found was dirty water and unresponsive (or non-existent, not sure which) fish. I managed one more decent trout on an olive bugger but Jeff broke the tip off of his rod and lost any enthusiasm he had left for fishing. 


Pretty girl
We were about to call it and make the long trek home when my Dad suggested we stop at one more place. Amazingly there were rising fish waiting for us there. They were pretty picky, but we picked up a few on hanging midges and Orange Ashers. My Dad fished circles around me on this last spot just to prove he still could, and I couldn't think of a better way to end the day. 


A nice buck. Sorry about the pic quality, all I had was my point & shoot.

The ride home was a bit messy with a complete whiteout and an unexpected layover that made the long ride even longer. Rather than just get another room and wait out the storm we decided to push through and make it back to my Dad's in the AM. After a quick night I loaded up my stuff and made the drive back home feeling sick, but happy about the successful trip. Hope you can get out, be safe, and enjoy the outdoors.


- Kidder


I think it's letting up!

DIY Fly Fishing Patagonia: Walk-Wade Junin de los Andes, Argentina

How to use this blog?  Use the blog search engine and type in key words such as Float Trip, Walk-Wade, Float Tube, Lessons, Pesos, Fy Rods, Flies, Best Months, etc.  The search engine is located on the right side, just below the weather. &nbs…

How to use this blog?  Use the blog search engine and type in key words such as Float Trip, Walk-Wade, Float Tube, Lessons, Pesos, Fy Rods, Flies, Best Months, etc.  The search engine is located on the right side, just below the weather.  FYI, there are over 100 post about fishing Patagonia...the information you are looking for, is probably on this blog.  Thanks.

Regis has spent his entire career in the fishing and hunting industry.  Based out of Ohio, he was a independent manufacturer's sales representative, and at one time, manufactured his own flies and lures in Guatemala.  Given his background, he's the perfect angler for one of our DIY walk-wade services (he does not want/need a baby-sitter... just some tips and pointed in the right direction).  As you can see from the photos below, he did just fine on his own and found our DIY service to be exactly what he desired.

We off two DIY walk-wade services.  We feel both of these services are unique because we plugged you into the following:

  • Affordable Hotels
  • Best Food Options
  • Great Fishing Locations
  • Expert advice on equipment, flies, and tactical presentations.
  • We charge a fair price for both of our walk-wade services.


In the late afternoon, I met up with Regis for a quick chat and a few photos. He had about an hour to go before the fishing day ended. Before leaving him, I gave him a few tips and told him about a pool just around the corner (see next pic).  
It's rare to find a Brook Trout/Fontinalis in the upper Malleo.  The Malleo is 99.9% rainbows and browns. 
The right way to end the day!
I enjoy being the photographer.  As a solo angler, it's hard to get quality shots like this.

Final Word

For thousands of years, man has fished by walking, and depending on the water temperature, wading. Walking and fishing is arguably the most natural form of the sport we call fly-fishing.  Why anglers don't do more of it here in Patagonia, is really puzzling to me.  However, this angler from Ohio insisted on walking and I am pretty sure he was happy he did so.

Regis, thanks for working with us.  It was a pleasure meeting you and your wife.  Hope to see you again in Patagonia.

Feliz Ano Nuevo,

Mark

DIY Fly Fishing Patagonia, Argentina: US Dollars and Pesos Blue

How to use this blog?  Use the blog search engine and type in key words such as Float Trip, Walk-Wade, Float Tube, Lessons, Pesos, Fy Rods, Flies, Best Months, etc.  The search engine is located on the right side, just below the weather. &nbs…

How to use this blog?  Use the blog search engine and type in key words such as Float Trip, Walk-Wade, Float Tube, Lessons, Pesos, Fy Rods, Flies, Best Months, etc.  The search engine is located on the right side, just below the weather.  FYI, there are over 100 post about fishing Patagonia...the information you are looking for, is probably on this blog.  Thanks.

In Junin de los Andes, I work with anglers varying in age, gender and financial health.  Regardless of these labels, my job as a host is to quickly share with them the knowledge that I have gained over the past 16 years, while traveling and fishing Patagonia.  This may seem simple and straight forward, but it's not.  Why?  I have a very short amount of time to teach people the Do's and Don'ts of traveling/fishing in Patagonia.  Also, when compared to the USA or other countries, I am giving clients life lessons that are unconventional and for the average person, highly questionable (I get some weird looks).  The sooner you learn that this is Argentina and normalcy is the un-normalcy, the better your travels and fishing will be.  Take for example, the use of your dollars, ATM and credit cards.

You can do as you please, but my strongest recommendation is to bring as much USA dollars as you are comfortable traveling with (per USA laws you can leave America with $10,000 cash).  In other words, use your ATM and credit card only as back-up or for emergencies.  I make this recommendation to future clients and I sense that some of them think I am trying to set them up for the scam/pinch/theft, etc.  This makes me laugh and is far from the truth.  Here's why:


  • Visit this website http://www.dolarblue.net/ to see the current official and 'blue' exchange rate. At the top of the page the 'blue' rate is posted.  If you scroll down the page, you'll find the official bank rate. You should notice a HUGE difference between the official bank rate and the 'blue' rate.  
  • If you use your ATM card your losing up to 40% of the value of your dollar, when compared to the 'blue' rate.
  • If you use your credit card, the same story applies, but you may be dinged international banking fees.
  • Exchanging dollars for pesos 'blue' is perfectly legal and is done throughout the country.  
  • The best locations to obtain the highest pesos 'blue' rate is Buenos Aires (BsAs).  Avenida Florida, a well know tourist/shopping trap, has multiple people willing to exchange dollars. These people can spot you a mile away, so don't be alarmed if they approach you; just don't follow anyone down a dark alley.  Do your homework before asking, "Qual es el cambio para peso blue?"  Ask two or three people and take the highest. 
  • The other best location is in Bariloche, on Avenida Mitre.  This is another tourist street, lined with shops, restaurants and bars. The rate here may be slightly less than the rate posted on-line or in BsAs. Again, a number of people will approach you in the street and may ask you to enter a small store.  I favor the store that sells ladies clothing and hats.
  • For anglers and travelers visiting San Martin de Los Andes, you'll want to visit a small candle shop called La Araucaria, located on 845 Belgrano.  The rates here will be better than Junin de los Andes, but perhaps slightly less than BsAs or the website that I have shared.
  • Be sure to present new, clean, unmarked $100 USA bills.  Bills lower than $50 are accepted, but your rate drops significantly.


As of this posting, in BsAs, a Benjamin will get you $1,400 pesos 'blue.'  Compare this to the official rate, at $850 pesos. Take Away Message = Cash is KING.
The tourism office in Junin de los Andes will gladly offer you pesos 'blue.'  The current rate, as of this posting, is $11.50.  The take away message = if your in BsAs or Bariloche, get more pesos 'blue.'

The ATM/bank, located in Junin de los Andes.  During high tourist season, there always seems to be a line here and the wait can be up to 30 minutes.

Final Word

So, why is a guide/outfitter (First Cast) sharing information about the Argentine Peso?  I am supposed to be slinging poetic prose and value added statements; all designed to capture your attention and convince you to work with us.  More importantly, why don't lodges or other guides share this information? Well, let's summarize reality/facts and do some math.

  • If you fish with us, compared to lodges and other outfitters, you'll save up to 50%. How is this possible?  The answer is quite simple; lodges and local outfitters base their business model entirely upon the US dollar.
  • Our platform is built upon the peso 'blue' and the US dollar.  This is how we provide what the industry calls real VALUE, not perceived value.

Folks, it's simple math, all based on facts (dollar vs. peso blue).  That being said, I am convinced that we do offer the best value in all of Patagonia.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you in Patagonia.

As always, keeping it real,

Mark