FINALLY OUR FIRST FISH

Our first Arapaima was stocked in the lake yesterday. Not a monster but a respectable fish . He was followed by a couple of our smaller fish … We will be steadily stocking for the next 2 months ready for our November opening..


Our first Arapaima was stocked in the lake yesterday. Not a monster but a respectable fish .



He was followed by a couple of our smaller fish ...




We will be steadily stocking for the next 2 months ready for our November opening..

Fly Fishing Patagonia Argentina: Walk-Wade and Float Trips

The 2014 Patagonia fly fishing season will be here soon.
 Come join us and experience the real Patagonia!  

To learn more about our fly fishing packages, please visit the ‘Patagonia’ tab, on the above header.    


Argentina Fishing Season: November 1st to May 31st.























Why Visit and Fly Fish Argentina?


Atop Cerro Catedral in Bariloche. Photo by FCFF.


Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world and covers over 1 million square miles. Despite its size, Argentina is only inhabited by 40 million people.  Half of the population lives within ten of the largest metropolitan areas.  The other half of the population is spread throughout rural areas and in some parts of the country, population density is among the lowest in the world.  This affords visitors the opportunity to entertain in modern citys’ such as Buenos Aires, yet escape to…

  • Oceans of open land in Patagonia…equivalent to the America West +100 years ago
  • Explore the longest mountain range in the world,  the Andes at 4,400 miles.
  • Visit the highest mountain in the western hemisphere, Aconcagua 22,841ft
  • Stand on wind swept beaches and view Sea Lions, Penguins and Orcas.
  • Drive to the end of the earth and visit the land of fire, Tierra del Fuego.
  • Tour Antarctica, it’s only a few hundred miles from Tierra del Fuego.
  • Watch monkeys and other exotic species while fishing in subtropical forest.
  • Feel the power and the spray of the longest waterfall in the word, Iguazu Falls.
  • Witness one of the few advancing glaciers in the world, Peritio Mereno. 
  • Savor Argentinas famous cuisine (beef) and Malbec wines.
  • And of course, wet a line in the immense network of lakes and rivers filled with wild Salmon, Steelhead, Sea Run Brown Trout, Brown-Rainbow-Brook Trout and South America’s very own apex predator, the Golden Dorado.


FCFF Home H2O: Northern Patagonia

Bamboo Thickets in Valdivian Rainforest. Photo by FCFF.

Northern Patagonia (Neuquen Province):  In the 1960’s, fly fishing gods such as Joe Brooks and Mel Krieger made the rivers surrounding Junin de los Andes famous. What they discovered back then was a trout fishery unlike any place on Earth. They discovered many of the rivers in the area are attached to large trout producing Andean lakes. As a result, during the spring and fall runs, they targeted monster rainbows and browns moving in and out of the lakes. When the runs slowed down in mid-summer, they discovered an amazing dry-fly fishery second to none. Today, dry fly fishermen have pioneered the use of large attractor dry flies, such as the gypsy king, chernobyl ants, large hopper patterns, and big beetles. Folks, Junin de los Andes is the fly fishing capital of Argentina.  Though vacation towns such as Bariloche and San Martin de los Andes offer more for the average tourist, there is no other place other than Junin that offers more accessible rivers/lakes and modern conveniences for the fly fisherman.  Below is a list of rivers and lakes that we fish in the surrounding Junin de los Andes area. 

Chimehuin River – is a large freestone river (similar to the Madison River) and offers the trophy hunter a chance to wet the fly in the world famous ‘Boca.’ In addition, it’s the picture perfect fishery for float and sight fishing while prospecting with streamers, nymphs, and large attractor dry flies. The river fishes best from early December to to then end of February. March tends to be a transition month.  In April and May, when the rains and cold weather come, the ‘Boca’ can produce large migratory brown’s.

Collon Cura River – is known as the most prolific trout fishery in all of Patagonia! The trout are wickedly wild and average in the chunky 14” to 20” range and fall browns can come close to 30”. As you float this large river, the willows and high sandstone cliffs will remind you of Wyoming’s Snake River. During low water levels, its mild gradient and broad gravel riffles make for easy wading. Minnows are an important food source in this river, so you’ll find streamers are effective throughout the season (particularly in January, April and May). Like other local rivers, dry fly fishing with large attractors will produce action throughout the day.

Alumine River – is a slower river for the dry fly purest who loves to match hatches for large sipping trout. The river is often compared to Montana’s Missouri River and anglers often take rainbows between 16″ and >20″. The river fishes best during peak summer months when the caddis and mayfly hatches occur.  During the months of April and May, the brown trout fishing ranks with the Collon Cura and other rivers.

Malleo River – like the Alumine, this river is a spectacular fishery for the dry fly enthusiast. Known for its spectacular caddis and mayfly hatches, anglers will delight with wild, hard fighting fish.  This is a wade only fishery and for those who like to walk-wade for trophy wild fish, this is your river.
Caleufu River – Due to the proximity to the Piedra del Aguila reservoir, this river fishes extremely well early and late in the season. In fact, late in the season there is what locals call the minnow hatch.  If the minnow hatch is on, and if you have a small minnow like pattern, fishing for large rainbows and browns can be amazing!  Warning, your minnow fly and presentation must be exact or these fish will not take it. Overall, this river is a medium-size tributary of the Collon Cura and can be floated till the end of January, beginning or February.
Tromen, Huechulafquen, Epulafquen, Verde, and Curruhe Lakes – a trip to Patagonia would not be complete without fishing one of these magnificent trophy trout filled lakes! The combination of crystal clear waters, breath taking views and water filled with rainbows, browns, brookies and land locked salmon makes for an unforgettable day. You’ll be stripping streamers, tossing dries and sight fishing with a chance to land all four species in one day!


Final Word

We hope you enjoyed reading this post.  If you have questions or comments, please feel free to do so.  Many thanks and hope to see you next season in Patagonia.

Gone Fishing,

Mark

PS. Our business is 100% by referrals (word of mouth).  Please feel free to share this amongst friends.  Also, you can follow our blog via email, Facebook or Google Connect.

PS. To read more about Patagonia, simply use the First Cast Search Engine.  For Example: type in Malleo River or scroll archived post.

The 2014 Patagonia fly fishing season will be here soon.
 Come join us and experience the real Patagonia!  



To learn more about our fly fishing packages, please visit the 'Patagonia' tab, on the above header.    



Argentina Fishing Season: November 1st to May 31st.




























Why Visit and Fly Fish Argentina?


Atop Cerro Catedral in Bariloche. Photo by FCFF.

Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world and covers over 1 million square miles. Despite its size, Argentina is only inhabited by 40 million people.  Half of the population lives within ten of the largest metropolitan areas.  The other half of the population is spread throughout rural areas and in some parts of the country, population density is among the lowest in the world.  This affords visitors the opportunity to entertain in modern citys' such as Buenos Aires, yet escape to...


  • Oceans of open land in Patagonia...equivalent to the America West +100 years ago
  • Explore the longest mountain range in the world,  the Andes at 4,400 miles.
  • Visit the highest mountain in the western hemisphere, Aconcagua 22,841ft
  • Stand on wind swept beaches and view Sea Lions, Penguins and Orcas.
  • Drive to the end of the earth and visit the land of fire, Tierra del Fuego.
  • Tour Antarctica, it's only a few hundred miles from Tierra del Fuego.
  • Watch monkeys and other exotic species while fishing in subtropical forest.
  • Feel the power and the spray of the longest waterfall in the word, Iguazu Falls.
  • Witness one of the few advancing glaciers in the world, Peritio Mereno. 
  • Savor Argentinas famous cuisine (beef) and Malbec wines.
  • And of course, wet a line in the immense network of lakes and rivers filled with wild Salmon, Steelhead, Sea Run Brown Trout, Brown-Rainbow-Brook Trout and South America's very own apex predator, the Golden Dorado.


FCFF Home H2O: Northern Patagonia


Bamboo Thickets in Valdivian Rainforest. Photo by FCFF.

Northern Patagonia (Neuquen Province):  In the 1960’s, fly fishing gods such as Joe Brooks and Mel Krieger made the rivers surrounding Junin de los Andes famous. What they discovered back then was a trout fishery unlike any place on Earth. They discovered many of the rivers in the area are attached to large trout producing Andean lakes. As a result, during the spring and fall runs, they targeted monster rainbows and browns moving in and out of the lakes. When the runs slowed down in mid-summer, they discovered an amazing dry-fly fishery second to none. Today, dry fly fishermen have pioneered the use of large attractor dry flies, such as the gypsy king, chernobyl ants, large hopper patterns, and big beetles. Folks, Junin de los Andes is the fly fishing capital of Argentina.  Though vacation towns such as Bariloche and San Martin de los Andes offer more for the average tourist, there is no other place other than Junin that offers more accessible rivers/lakes and modern conveniences for the fly fisherman.  Below is a list of rivers and lakes that we fish in the surrounding Junin de los Andes area. 


Chimehuin River – is a large freestone river (similar to the Madison River) and offers the trophy hunter a chance to wet the fly in the world famous 'Boca.' In addition, it’s the picture perfect fishery for float and sight fishing while prospecting with streamers, nymphs, and large attractor dry flies. The river fishes best from early December to to then end of February. March tends to be a transition month.  In April and May, when the rains and cold weather come, the 'Boca' can produce large migratory brown's.


Collon Cura River – is known as the most prolific trout fishery in all of Patagonia! The trout are wickedly wild and average in the chunky 14” to 20” range and fall browns can come close to 30”. As you float this large river, the willows and high sandstone cliffs will remind you of Wyoming’s Snake River. During low water levels, its mild gradient and broad gravel riffles make for easy wading. Minnows are an important food source in this river, so you’ll find streamers are effective throughout the season (particularly in January, April and May). Like other local rivers, dry fly fishing with large attractors will produce action throughout the day.


Alumine River – is a slower river for the dry fly purest who loves to match hatches for large sipping trout. The river is often compared to Montana’s Missouri River and anglers often take rainbows between 16" and >20". The river fishes best during peak summer months when the caddis and mayfly hatches occur.  During the months of April and May, the brown trout fishing ranks with the Collon Cura and other rivers.

Malleo River – like the Alumine, this river is a spectacular fishery for the dry fly enthusiast. Known for its spectacular caddis and mayfly hatches, anglers will delight with wild, hard fighting fish.  This is a wade only fishery and for those who like to walk-wade for trophy wild fish, this is your river.
Caleufu River – Due to the proximity to the Piedra del Aguila reservoir, this river fishes extremely well early and late in the season. In fact, late in the season there is what locals call the minnow hatch.  If the minnow hatch is on, and if you have a small minnow like pattern, fishing for large rainbows and browns can be amazing!  Warning, your minnow fly and presentation must be exact or these fish will not take it. Overall, this river is a medium-size tributary of the Collon Cura and can be floated till the end of January, beginning or February.
Tromen, Huechulafquen, Epulafquen, Verde, and Curruhe Lakes – a trip to Patagonia would not be complete without fishing one of these magnificent trophy trout filled lakes! The combination of crystal clear waters, breath taking views and water filled with rainbows, browns, brookies and land locked salmon makes for an unforgettable day. You’ll be stripping streamers, tossing dries and sight fishing with a chance to land all four species in one day!



Final Word

We hope you enjoyed reading this post.  If you have questions or comments, please feel free to do so.  Many thanks and hope to see you next season in Patagonia.


Gone Fishing,

Mark

PS. Our business is 100% by referrals (word of mouth).  Please feel free to share this amongst friends.  Also, you can follow our blog via email, Facebook or Google Connect.

PS. To read more about Patagonia, simply use the First Cast Search Engine.  For Example: type in Malleo River or scroll archived post.

Fly Fishing New Hamsphire: Beginner Lessons vs Guiding in NH

An excellent fly casting instructor comes with a bag of teaching tools, gadgets, and equipment.If you are just beginning fly fishing you may not know it yet, but you are in a awkward and vulnerable position. For instance, whether it’s finding classes, …


An excellent fly casting instructor comes with a bag of teaching tools, gadgets, and equipment.

If you are just beginning fly fishing you may not know it yet, but you are in a awkward and vulnerable position. For instance, whether it's finding classes, a guide, buying equipment, or which fly and tippet combination to use, you have thousands of decisions ahead of you.  You will make decisions based on good intentions, but like all beginner fly fisherman, you will make lots of mistakes.  Why?  

In my opinion the fly fishing industry marketing strategies prey upon the beginner and the misinformed.  For example, the industry itself sells tons of products that simply are not necessary.  Some how, through the power of persuasion, many of these products end up in the vest pockets of beginner fly fisherman.   Another area that tends to be challenging for the beginner angler is choosing a fly casting instructor, versus a fly fishing guide. So, the purpose of this post is to help you sort through the options of...

  • Hiring a Fly Fishing Guide or Hiring an Fly Casting Instructor.
  • Attending a Fly Fishing School or Attending a Private/Small Group Fly Fishing Class.

   

Fly Fishing Guiding Services

A few months back, Steve Hickoff wrote an article titled "Beginner's Guide to Hiring a Guide."  This was published in the March/April edition of the New Hampshire Wildlife Journal, available at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wildlife_Journal/WJ_mag.htm  Steve did an excellent job and we highly suggest finding a copy to read.  To add to what Steve wrote, we would like to offer an additional perspective (Lessons vs. Guiding).  But before doing so, we warn you, with respect to guiding, we intend to get to the point immediately.  In other words, there are many reasons why you hire a guide but...

  • You hire a guide because you want to catch fish on waters that you are not familiar with.  He/She is the expert on these waters.  He/She lives and breathes the water's you want to fish and knows what pools, runs, and pockets hold fish.  They also know what equipment to use, casting-presentation techniques to employ, and which flies will catch fish.   

Final Word:  Hiring a guide does not guaranty that you will catch fish; especially if you are a beginner angler.  If you hire a guide, the guide is expecting that you already know how to fly fish.  If you don't know how to fly fish, you should look into hiring a fly casting instructor (not a fly fishing guide).  


    An excellent instructor works hard at his craft, and knows how to make beginners feel comfortable.

    Fly Fishing Lessons  

    Overview

    We all want to catch fish and we want to catch them NOW!  In today's fast paced world, it does not take a PhD to understand that this attitude is widespread.  We want results/gratification, and very few people have the time to receive professional instruction or the time to self-educate.  Folks, no B.S., it takes time and self-discipline to be a good fly fisherman; it does not happen overnight and it's a life long learning process.  Take me for example...     

    I first picked up a fly rod between the ages of six to nine years old.  As I grew older, I brought both my fly rod and spinning rod to the rivers.  While on a river, I used my fly rod, but I had no idea what I was doing.  I spent more time with my fly in the tree's than in the water.  Feeling frustrated, I would switch to my spinning rod, and usually caught fish immediately.  I engaged in this fly fishing (fish-less) experience till I was 29 years old. That's right folks, I fished for almost twenty years before I caught my first fish on a fly rod.  Why?  I never had lessons, but for the past 14 years, since I caught my first fish on a fly rod, I have dedicated my life to learning the art and science of fly casting and fly fishing.  During this time, I can't tell you how many instructional books and video's I have watched.  I even managed a fly fishing lodge in Patagonia and have fished with famous guides and instructors.  Also during this time, I have attended/audited many seminars and classes on fly fishing. All of these resources have been great, but in my opinion, if you are a beginner angler, and if you want to save yourself twenty years of frustration, I highly recommend finding a good instructor...an instructor who wants to teach you how to fly fish/cast, not necessarily catch a fish.     

    Lessons... Do you need an Instructor, or a Guide?

    Before you hire a guide to teach you fly casting, think about the following:

    • Not all professional guides can teach fly casting.     
    • Just because it says NH Fish & Game, Kittery Trading Post, Orvis or LL Bean, does not guaranty the quality of instruction. 

    I'll probably upset someone by stating this, but I know excellent guides, certified casting instructors and great fisherman, who struggle to teach.  It's true, the vast majority of guides and instructors are not trained teachers or public speakers; but they can fish!  Unfortunately, as a consumer, there is no independent agency that evaluates and ranks guides or instructors on their ability to teach fly fishing (a flaw within the industry). The only organization that I know that offers certification is the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF).  Using a FFF instructor is a good choice, but just because someone has passed a test, has an official patch on their shirt/vest, does not mean they can stand in front of strangers and be a good teacher.  Bottom line, teaching is hard work and some people are naturally better than others.  Again, if you are a beginner angler, we believe your first objective is to find yourself a good instructor (not necessarily a guide or fly fishing school).    


    Where: Beginner Lessons Available in New Hampshire


    In New Hampshire, there are a number of resources available for beginner lessons, ranging from free to expensive.  Let's take a closer look at the free option: NH Fish and Game, 'Let's Go Fishing,' program. http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Fishing/lets_go_fishing.htm

    Advantages:
    • The program is FREE! 
    • The program offers ice fishing, fly fishing, and spin fishing.
    • Many class locations throughout the state of New Hampshire.
    • All are welcome to participate in classes.
    • Usually involves a final field trip.
    • You do not need to buy a fishing license (only while in the LGF class). 
    • Classes are taught by volunteers and all have been screened via the F.B.I.
    • Instructors are CPR and First Aide Certified.

    Disadvantages:
    • You get what you pay for = very basic, non-technical instruction.
    • You can not create your own schedule or course of instruction.
    • Class size might be too large = teacher to student ratio might be prohibitive for learning.
    • Instructors are volunteers = you might find instructors abilities to be less than what you expected.
    • Quality of equipment might be questionable and might not be in the best condition.

    Final Word:  I have been a Let's Go Fishing volunteer instructor for over 10 years.  So, I know the advantages and disadvantages of this program.  Overall, for the price, the program is a great value, especially for families who can not afford private fishing lessons.  But, the content is extremely basic.  The quality of instruction can vary immensely.  For those looking for smaller classes that offer more technical programs that fit your personal schedule, we suggest looking into other options. 


    Local and National Fly Fishing Schools

    Fly fishing schools do an amazing job of convincing the public that they are the best choice for instruction. They promise a lot, but do they deliver?  Plus, the business model that schools employ have become popular, and very profitable.  For example: sign up 15-30 people for a 1-2 day course, charge $300-$600 per person.  If you do the math (10 x $600 = $6,000) you'll quickly realize that you might be in the wrong profession! Personally, at the request of a few friends, I have attended a fe w fly fishing schools.  Being a self-taught angler, and a consumer who wants value for his money, I was not overly impressed (perhaps because I was not a beginner, at the time).  I am not saying that fly fishing schools are bad.  I am just saying it was not for me.    

    Advantages:
    • Many programs throughout the country.
    • Offered by companies such as Orvis, LL Bean and local guides.
    • Typically taught by guides or certified instructors.
    • Participation in the class may afford you purchase discounts at their local retail shop.


    Disadvantages:
    • Programs are for profit, therefore, class size tends to be large (10-30 students, with 1-2 instructors).
    • If class size is large, student to instructor ratio is too high for one on one attention.
    • Schools typically cost $$$$.  If you don't like the program or your instructor, you are stuck.
    • Qualifying instructors ability to teach.
    • The program content is set and does not allow for individual instruction.
    • Content is generic and it seems that most schools teach the same old stuff.
    • You can not create your own class schedule.
    • Your instructor might be an excellent fisherman, but the delivery/quality of instruction is not guaranteed. 
    • Only the cost of the class is guaranteed. 
    • Sales or discounts offered by the school might steer people towards buying products they don't need.

    Final Word:  Again, do fly fishing schools deliver on their promises?  Because they are very profitable, fly fishing schools are here to stay, and they will convince you that their on-stop-shop model is the best.  But, is it the best for you?  Try to think about what teaching environment will best meet your needs.  In my opinion, I would rather have small classes, with one on one attention, taught by a great instructor who is completely dedicated to his passion and mission...not a paid seasonal employee who more than likely suffers from burnout (repeating the same stuff day after day).     

    Private & Small Group Fly Casting Lessons   

    Market studies prove that the average person will not choose private or small group lessons.  Why?  People believe that private or small group lessons are too expensive (another reason why the fly fishing school model is widely accepted).  In specific parts of the country private and small group lessons are definitely more expensive.  For example, in Montana, a private lesson could cost $150 per hour!  But, not all private and small group lessons are expensive (some can be extremely affordable). Regardless of cost, the one fact that everyone agrees upon, private or small group lessons offer the best educational format (if the instructor is good).    


    Advantages:
    • One on one instruction and attention = you are constantly part of the learning process.
    • Small group offers the best instructor to student ratio = individual attention is available.
    • Communication is more efficient and productive = allows Q & A's, between instructor and student.
    • Create your own class or a series of classes based on your personal schedule = Flexibility and learn at your own pace.
    • Work directly with the owner who lives the passion and mission = Great teachers don't do it for the money.
    • Meet your specific fly casting, fly fishing or fly tying needs = customize your program.
    • Develop a relationship with a mentor, not a corporation/school = a Great teacher will always be there to help.
    • Support a business model that invest in your community =  sustainable educational resource for years and years.

    Disadvantages
    • Cost of instruction might be high.
    • Qualifying instructors teaching skills.
    • With one instructor, the instructors teaching style may conflict with your personality.


    Final Word:  Traditionally, private or small group lessons offering the lowest instructor to student ratio is the best teaching format.  We suggest finding a good instructor who offers private or small group instruction at a reasonable price. Why?  If you go to a fly fishing school and spend $300-$600, and you don't like it, you are stuck.  Further, ask yourself this question, if you are prepared to spend $300-$600, wouldn't you want one on one instruction? (of course you would). Again, find an instructor who offers a series of private or small group classes (the content will be the same or better than a fly fishing school), and pay him/her the $300-$600 = it's a much better VAULE!    


    What's Next? 

    The way we look at it, you have two options.  Option #1: You can follow the crowd/herd and do as the industry/market wants you to do.  Option #2: You can slow things down... think for yourself and pick the right path the meets your specific needs.  Just remember, Rome was not built overnight.  In other words, be patient, you have a lifetime to become a good fly fisherman...and by the way, good luck!   

    If you think our message makes sense, and you desire private or small group instruction, please feel free to read about our lessons and guiding services.  We ha ve several adult and youth programs. 



    One instructor for every two students = one on one attention


    Mid-way through a FCFF beginner class = future casting champion!