As with most of the world, my plans for March and April were rapidly thrown out the window with the oncoming threat of Coronavirus. On a crisp Patagonian morning a few weeks ago I awoke early to begin planning my post-El Encuentro travels. As the season began to wind down I was looking forward to fishing and seeing more of this beautiful country with some of my new friends before returning home. By evening that same day, however, it became clear that I would have to leave the country before quarantine orders and airline suspensions left me stranded.
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After we finished our fishing trip in San Martin de Los Andes area, we drove south for 6.5 hours, mostly on the famous Argentine highway called Route 40 to a city called Esquel in Chubut Province. This is Chubut area is famous for uncountable fishing venues. We took a couple rest days in Esquel before drivers from El Encuentro Lodge picked us up. Taking rest days shows our age, but it’s not ALL about fishing, its where the fish take you.
One unique facet of the El Encuentro experience is our close proximity to the water. As I mentioned in my last post, the lodge sits atop a large stretch of back eddy, providing a spectacular view of the Futaleufú River. But it’s not just picturesque — more importantly, it gives us a 24/7 barometer of fishing conditions. There’s a lot fewer mornings spent waking up early to check CFS flow data online, reading wind charts, or looking at forecasts.
Happy New Year from Patagonia! The heart of our summer season is upon us. We’ve enjoyed long warm days, wonderful guests, and exciting dry fly fishing for feisty trout.
Heavy rains and early season snow storms in November produced higher than normal flows on our home river, the Rio Futaleufú during December.
Big water meant big hatches of March Brown mayflies, and exceptional dry fly fishing. We found great fish rising in foam lines, back eddies, and flooded willows.
Another fishing season is under way in Patagonia, and we couldn’t be more excited about the conditions, the fish, and the prospects for a great year at El Encuentro Fly Fishing.
Much like the Rockies in North America, Patagonia’s Spring can be cool and wet. As we get deeper into November, temperatures warm, and we see some drop-dead gorgeous days. The remnants of a robust winter snowpack continue to coat our rugged mountain peaks. The countryside is lush, green. And, the trout? Well, they’re as spectacular as always here in Patagonia.
OK, it’s winter in the northern hemisphere and the fish are rising in Patagonia. What could be better? Warm days, plenty of hatches from early mornings into long evenings, crystal clear waters, and wild and active browns, rainbows and brookies.
Think of summer in Patagonia as running more or less from mid-December through the end of February and beginning of March.
Spring fishing with El Encuentro is an amazing adventure. Come prepared for big and hungry trout, and fickle weather that can range from warm and dry to wet and chilly, but which is always beautiful and dramatic.
At this time of the year we will find fish feeding in small waters such as springs and tributaries of lakes and other major rivers as well as big rivers and shoreline of big lakes.
The tricky home pool
After a sophisticated dinner and a first night at El Encuentro Lodge with a great breakfast each guide picked up his clients and headed out for fishing on different stretches of Rio Futuleufu. Rio Futaleufu is a tailwater river of a big lake at the end of a very long water system with several rivers and lakes in-between. After the dam the river is divided by EEFF in 4 sections. I fished the section 3 on this day. Starting directly in the front of the lodge.
~ January 2019 ~
The second half of our 2019 trip began an hour and a half south of the town of Esquel at a very large Estancia called The Tecka Land Company. We booked the trip through a company called El Encuentro and used their guides, which when we did it we didn’t know how fortunate we’d be having Alun Lloyd for the week.
After a week at Tecka we moved to the El Encuentro Lodge overlooking the Futaleufu River and Alerces National Park.