2019 Argentina Fishing Trip Report (Esquel Outfitters)

Steve Flood getting some "fresh air" on the Carleleafu...

We just got back from Argentina and it was a great trip!  It was actually much colder temperatures than we expected, everyone was sure glad we brought along waders once the cold weather rolled in later in the week.  The first 2 days we floated the Arrayanes and the Carleleafu, two beautiful glacial rivers that flow out of lakes near Cholila.  Usually we float the Rivadavia, but recently there has been more fishing pressure on it, so we opted for the less crowded rivers.  On the Arrayanes we probably saw 6 or 7 other boats, on the Carleleafu we only saw one other boat.  Both days our boats caught around 20 fish, most of the fish were rainbows in the 16-18″ range, although we did catch couple browns, the biggest being 23 inches.

A nice brown from Lago Verde, before entering the Arrayanes...

A warm sunny day on the Carleleafu.

The following three days on the Chubut were spectacular.  The gear boats would go ahead to set up camp so everything was taken care of while we fished.  It was as if the river had not changed in 15 years!   Without a doubt everyone caught over 150 fish over three days, although the first day was just mind blowing.  Most of the fish were rainbows (probably close to 80%) with the others being browns and a few perca (perch).  We fished dries when we could, although the wind forced us to fish streamers most of the time, which worked great since the Chubut is chuck full of pancora, (a crustacean similar to our crayfish but more round).  It was the best fishing I have had in several years for numbers of fish.  The biggest was a 22″ rainbow although Marcos has caught 24″ rainbows  before.  The big browns are hard to catch because they mostly likely live in the deepest holes (12-15′ deep) or in willow “caves” that we float through where it is impossible to cast, even with a bow and arrow technique.  In the event that you did hook a fish, you’d be toast and likely be taking advantage of your rod warranty program.  We lost count of how many doubles we had, and even managed to have a few triples and one quadruple between the two rafts…

Re-rigging on the Chubut...

Steve Flood with a nice Chubut bow. Photo: Javier Diez

Steaks on the grill... Photo: Kevin Grimm

Squeezing through a willow tunnel on the Chubut

John Connolly hooked up to a nice Chubut brown...

From the Chubut we drove south to the Rio Pico area where there is plethora of good fishing options, including rivers, spring creeks, and lakes.  Seeing how we had our numbers already we opted for the lakes in hopes of catching a few bigger fish.  Although the lakes were tough fishing, (maybe only 2-5 fish a day) they did not disappoint!  Part of the slow fishing was due to the weather as we had some nasty fronts move in, making if difficult in the wind and rain, plus the fish just weren’t eating as well as they had on past trips.  But the fish were big!  John landed two brookies over 2 feet long, the 25″ weighing in at 8.8 pounds on the weigh net!  Although we were hoping for a monster brown we landed several fish in the 26-28″ range, and lost a couple that looked over 30″ (ha, they always look bigger when they get away).  The big rainbows reminded me a lot of the fish in Jurassic lake…

John Connolly with back to back big brookies!

Marcos with the other big brook trout...

Guide Javier Diez with a fat 28" hen rainbow...

Kevin Grimm with another big rainbow!

Steve Flood with a tail walker... Photo: Javier Diez

Another look at the "pinche marrón"... Photo: Marcos Yeager

We had so much fun this year that we are planning to come back next year with back to back trips, the first during early January and the second during mid-January.  Give us a call at the shop if you are interested or if you’d like us to save you some spots! 1-406-222-7130.

This entry was posted in Fishing Reports. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>