Arroyo Pescado: A Spring Creek in Argentina
Jim savored an afternoon snack of homemade bread and hard sausage while I enjoyed a fresh pear from the orchard and some sharp cheese. We each sipped a glass of Argentine red wine and munched a few walnuts from the tree shading us.
It had been an hour since we arrived at Hosteria el Trebol, near Cholila in Chubut province. We quietly soaked in the grandeur of the surrounding Andes. Autumn was arriving in Patagonia, but we were warmed by a mid-afternoon sun and thoughts of adventures ahead, including a trip to one of Argentina's spring creeks, the Arroyo Pescado.
A well-used blue Suburban rolled to a dusty stop in front of the small lodge. The tall, tanned driver got out and extended a large hand.
"Buenos dias, senor, I am Jorge Graziosi; are you ready to go fishing?" I responded as if Ted Williams himself had offered me an autographed rookie card.
Jorge turned his enthusiasm to my companion. "Jimmie, my good friend! You are looking well. How was your season? Many large trout, I suppose?"
"And many happy clients!" responded Jim.
Jimmie is Jim Repine, photographer, author, guide, and for the last eight years the proprietor of Futaleufu Lodge in southern Chile. I'd just spent a fabulous week with Jim and his wife, Sonia, chasing rainbows and browns in his angling Shangri-la. Earlier that day, we crossed the border and drove the four and a half hours through southern Argentina's Lake District to meet Jorge.
Jorge Graziosi is legendary; a former member of the Argentine Olympic ski team, a mountain climber, adventurer and fly fisherman. For the past 30 years, he and a handful of professional outfitters have explored the trout fishing opportunities of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, some 1,500 miles from Argentina's resort city of Bariloche to the southernmost tip of the continent.
Along the way, they discovered some of the most fabulous fly-fishing in the world, and have made a living guiding anglers who come from all over the world to experience Argentina's bountiful trout fishing.
I was in South America doing some "important" field research for my company, Hexagraph Fly Rod Co. Both Jorge and Jim had just wrapped up their regular summer seasons and were ready for a week without clients. The excitement that fishermen feel with the first cool days of autumn is every bit as high in Patagonia as it is in Montanaeven if autumn does come in April.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication