__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1

CUBA LIKE NEVER BEFORE DORADO IN THE JUNGLE THE ANDES #16


Photo by Stephan Gian Dombaj


WELCOME BACK!

Here’s our Christmas present for you: The December/Winter edition. It might not be that snazzy fly rod or reel, you were really wishing for – or that new fly line, vest or fly tying vise, you’ve been dreaming about for so long. But who cares about materialistic things? Fly fishing is about meaningful, memorable and engaging experiences whether in solitude or in the company of dear friends. And with this release, we hope to inspire you to endeavour into the unknown, to get out there and explore and to live out your fly fishing dreams – no matter how lofty or unlikely they might be. To help you get in the right spirit, we’ve comprised another batch of great articles and features from some of the world’s most accomplished fly fishing writers and photographers, including Tarquin Millington-Drake, David Lambroughton, Florian Kaiser, Jaime Castillo, Christiaan Pretorius, Rasmus Ovesen, Marina Gibson, Barry Ord Clarke and Stephan Gian Dombaj. Tight Lines// The In the Loop Crew


CUBA

LAGUNA VERDE

DORADO

Photo by Florian Kaiser


#INTHELOOPMAG Presents

Cuba Like You Have Never Seen It Before by Stephan Gian Dombaj The Laguna Verde Pt 2 by Tarquin Millington-Drake Golden Dorado in the Jungle by Florian Kaiser A Billfish’s Dream Location by Christiaan Pretorius Beautiful British Columbia by David Lambroughton Fly Fishing in Glacial Realm of the Andes by Jaime Castillo And much much more...

BILLFISH

BRITISH COLUMBIA

THE ANDES


Contributors RASMUS OVESEN

In the Loop Magazine C/O Cast Away Media Org no: 999 320 147 www.intheloopmag.com

GENERAL INQUIRIES

info@intheloopmag.com

ADVERTISING

info@intheloopmag.com

FRONT COVER:

By Stephan Gian Dombaj

Oslo-resident, Rasmus Ovesen, was handed his first fly rod at the tender age of eight, and he has been a borderline fluff chucking fanatic ever since. Rasmus has written articles for some of the world’s most renowned fishing magazines, and his travels take him to remote areas across the globe in search for fish that will test and challenge his skills to the maximum. He has seen his fair share of exposed backing in the tropics, but his heart truly belongs to the soulful realm of trout and salmon fishing.

TARQUIN MILLINGTON-DRAKE

Although he has fished and photographed extensively around the world through his work as the MD of travel company Frontiers UK, TMD’s heart lies with the Atlantic salmon. He has fished Norway, Iceland and Russia every year for the past 20+ years. He was also President of the Ponoi River Company for 10 years and is an international Director of NASF. He is lucky to be a member of the 50lbs + salmon club. You can follow his travels and love of photography at blog.www.millingtondrake.com.

STEPHAN GIAN DOMBAJ

We choose not to print this magazine and we are happy not to use paper and harmful inks as used in a conventional printing process. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher.

is one of the most influential fly fishing journalists and photographers in the new Millennium. Stephan is extremely dedicated to the sport, and he splits his time between guiding and travelling. Having written for a myriad of renowned magazines across the globe, Stephan has become a household fly fishing name, and he continues to amaze with his spectacular photography and adventurous mindset.


DAVID LAMBROUGHTON

FLORIAN KAISER

David Lambroughton splits his year between British Columbia and New Zealand and lots of stops in between as he gathers his photos for his annual Fly Fishing Dreams Calendar (http:// www.davidlambroughton. com/fly-fishing-dreams2016-calendar). His calendar comes full of info on the people, places, passion and fly patterns of our sport and is sold all over the world.

JAIME CASTILLO

Jaime Castillo is a Chilean fly fisherman, photographer and guide – who splits his time between Chile and Mongolia. He is an extremely experienced trout fisherman with vast knowledge about the biology, habitats and reproductive cycles of indigenous trout, and he has spent considerable time doing conservation work in his home country and abroad.

Florian Kaiser, a native Bavarian, has been fly fishing and traveling for the past twenty five years in the northern and southern hemisphere for fresh- and saltwater species in remote places such as Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Seychelles, Slovenia, Venezuela and New Zealand - enjoying outdoor sports, mountain biking, photography and good wine. Fly fishing is only one of his hobbies, but the one he kind of loves most. Florian hosts selected trips, and he is a European Ambassador for Thomas & Thomas and a Pro Staff for World Fly Angler (leading distributor of fly tackle and top brands in Europe) and of Alfa Reels from Finland. Follow his trips at http://theflyfishingfamily.blogspot.com

CHRISTIAAN PRETORIUS

Another South African comet, Christiaan Pretorius is a globetrotting all-star, who has served as a guide and general manager at some of the most spectacular lodges and camps across the globe – from Kamchatka to Alphonse Island. Christiaan is a well-respected writer and photographer, whose work has appeared in a number of the world’s foremost fly fishing publications, and he is always on the forefront when it comes to developing new and exciting techniques and destinations. https://www.instagram.com/christiaanpretorius/

WANNA CONTRIBUTE? Do you have any great fly fishing photos, videos, or stories that you would like to share with our readers? If so, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are always looking for quality material for In the Loop Magazine, and we look forward to reviewing your material.

info@intheloopmag.com


THE CARIBBEAN:

Cuba like you have (never) seen it before! Cuba has a reputation like few other saltwater destinations in the world, and now access to some of its best fishing spots is easier than it has been for a long time. In the following Stephan Gian Dombaj details the recent developments and takes you to Cuba’s beautiful flats. By STEPHAN GIAN DOMBAJ


Cuba’s sporting virtues might be just as eventful and rich as its history. Everybody is talking about this Carribbean destination since the rumors began about the renewal of diplomatic and economic ties between them and the U.S. Looking back at it now the rumors and speculation was about right. Although the ultimate transformation from arch enemies to best friends has a long way to go, the mills of politics are grinding slowly but steadily ever since Congress passed a fundamental economic reform in favor for free entrepreneurship in 2011. Coincidentally, that was the year I fished Cuba for the very first time. It would take another three years till U.S. president Barack Obama announced the subsequent end of the cold war (but of the Embargo not quite yet)… To make a long story short: Cuba is opening up to the U.S. market. Everybody in the fishing industry expected a cataclysmic shockwave violently flushing people over the borders straight onto the skiffs and

boats of Cuban guides and outfitters. To be on the safe side, many smaller outfitters from the US opened up or subcontracted Canadian based business to get a fair share of the pie. The presence of rum faced realtors from all over the globe at bars like Sloppy Joe’s, Floridita or Bodeguita del Medio in Havana Vieja was growing every year. These guys would sit at the bar, chug one drink after another and would tell you the story “this is Puerto Rico all over again.” What these guys would discover is that it’s still nearly impossible to buy land as a foreigner. But we all know nothing is really impossible. Money talks, you just have to find the right person with influence. Now let’s forget politics for a while, let’s forget about business and let’s talk fishing. A mere 90 miles off the coast of the U.S. lies an outstanding fishery that is opening up to the U.S. market. The funny thing is, that the great new thing and hype is not so new at all.


It has been there forever. Whereas anglers from all over the globe, except for the States could enter and indulge in the solitude that the restricted access to Cuba’s marine park had to offer with ease, our American friends found it a bit more complicated. But that doesn’t mean that it was “closed.” How else would you explain that over the last decade some of the largest outfitters on the islands clientele were 60-70% U.S. anglers. This was long before there was ever talk about Cuba opening up. Fishing is a great universal unifier, it’s a passion without borders. It would take a dedicated U.S. angler only a day or two to fill out an application form that would allow them to travel legally to Cuba for humanitarian, religious or social reasons… even if one would go small time narco-style via Mexico, as long as you were smart enough to pay cash on location and not get a stamp in your passport (which they only do if you asked them too) you were perfectly fine and ready for some exceptional inshore fishing. It was that simple really. Good thing, in the near future, simplified border procedures

will grant an easier access. The rest of the fishing and destination angling world was affected as well. Some feared that the simplified access and ultimately open gates would flood the market with Floridian weekend anglers. That the prices would rise to a westernized standard and that the fishing pressure overall would increase. This fear resulted in a run for the fishing spots like never seen before. Many people wanted to see it one more time before the rusty old lady Havana Vieja would lose her slowly decaying charm and her old American dream cars along the way. Cuba was an evergreen amongst European and Canadian anglers - it was so readily available at a reasonable price that as a matter of fact, most anglers didn’t really know how good they had it… and they had it almost all for themselves. In this respect, men (mainly) never really mature at all. We get careless about people and things, till someone else comes along and shows more affection or interest and suddenly we are all ears again.


Cuba was and still is caught up in this love triangle and this is what happened: For the first time bigger outfitters have to deal with waiting lists that reach as far in the future as 3 years for prime time weeks, low season weeks are still moderately requested. This is slowly changing as demand grows. The potential restrictions on DIY angling in the Bahamas is also pushing this trend, although DIY angling in Cuba, especially where it’s worth it, is highly restricted too. Anglers who have feared that the high demand would lead to more fishing pressure, stay calm and rest assured that the marine park regulations will rule this out. There’s only so many boats officially allowed in each area, just showing up and hoping to “do your own thing” is not an option. The number of rods/boats per area has increased moderately to cope with the numbers of anglers, but it’s important to put the numbers in perspective.


The fly fishable part of the highly sought after Jardines de la Reina marine park is twice as big as the entire Florida Keys area (356 km2 without the Everglades) - a maximum of 32 rods per week is allowed to fish it. And this is just one area of six that are well known to fly anglers. Most smaller areas like Cayo Cruz or St. Maria operate a max. of 8 boats and 16 rods during prime time. Do the math, there’s plenty of water to roam freely and undisturbed. Another bonus is, on the ocean and the flats, there are no weekend kitesurfers, boaters or jetskis detracting from the your fishing experience - they just don’t exist (yet). It is still as good as it has always been, and as long as the marine parks keep their strict guidelines and enforce them, it will stay like that for a long time. The Cuban government is slowly realizing the potential of its marine parks and the talk is out about a Marine Park Entrance Fee of 100 Dollars per year that will cover the costs of an extensive protection and enforcement plans to further strengthen this trend. As I sit down to write this article, I can literally see the foreign

money at work. Havana Vieja is getting a facelift, mainly the tourist areas of course. Just get a drink on top of either the Hotel Saratoga or Parque Central, and you will get to see reconstruction happening on one side, and what locals and Cuba long timers call „little Bagdad“ on the other. The old lady has partied hard, has seen a guerilla war, democracy, socialism, boom times, economic crises and many other highlights and downfalls…now she’s licking her wounds. Nearly every production team and photo crew has done a segment about Cuba lately and if not, it’s on their list. For some of you, watching this footage might be something fresh and new - an opportunity that’s lurking literally 90 miles around the corner, a tease. For others, it’s the same good old very reliable fishing ground that has stepped up a notch - and seriously, do we ever get enough of flats fishing anyways? If your answer is no, then this pictorial is just about the right thing to help you escape for a brief moment into a world of white beaches, cocktails, warm weather, girls who like to fish and the hope of a grand slam.


The first experience on Cuban’s prime flats seven years ago was eye opening - and ever since, I have been fortunate enough to fish almost every marine park on the island. Sharing is caring - together with the European Agent for Avalon, Catch Outdoors, we decided to invite London based model and fly fisherwomen Rabia Maddah, to follow us into the flats of Cayo Cruz. To leave her comfort zone and trade trout gear for saltwater rigs. As we all expected, she did well - and we had the pleasure to follow her first steps into the world of a lifelong addiction that every saltwater angler just knows too well: The Flats‌


FOR SOME, THERE IS NO ESCAPE. Black Death (9318)

Slaters Half and Half Baitfish Burnt Orange (9385)

Crab Grand Slam Tan (9098)

Cuban Shrimp Tan (9082)

Homer Shrimpson (9185)

Clouser - Deep Chart White (9601)

World Class Flies, hand crafted from the finest materials. After sourcing the sharpest, strongest hooks and the finest fly tying materials from around the globe, each and every Fulling Mill fly is then lovingly crafted by one of our highly skilled in-house artisans. We are 100% focused on quality and this means that each and every Fulling Mill fly in your box is a little work of art. With over 2,500 proven patterns to choose from, we’ve got you covered. Just be sure it’s “Fulling Mill”. Available from all reputable tackle shops.

www.fullingmill.co.uk


THE LAGUNA VERDE:

Jurassic Monster Trout – Part 2

By TARQUIN MILLINGTON-DRAKE


Nine years ago names like Monster Bay, Sea Bay or El Puesto meant nothing to us fly fishers but in a few short years they have become iconic, hallowed pieces of water that we talk of with lust in our eyes and dream of fishing when conditions are right. They have very quickly established themselves amongst the great, revered fly-fishing destinations and deservedly so. They are named bays and features on the Estancia Laguna Verde Lodge water of Lago Strobel (aka Jurassic Lake) in southern Argentina, five hours from the town of El Calafate. So what is the story behind these celebrated pieces of water?


Continued from the previous issue… Let me try and bring some normal perspective about what one might expect from a stay at Estancia Laguna Verde. First, the length of stay… there has been much talk of only doing two or three days because you catch so many fish it gets dull after that. If you stand in the mouth of the Barrancoso River and hammer away at a certain time of year that might be the case but you don’t and I recommend that you don’t. It is dull and not really fishing. The guides tell me that a really top day for a good fisherman (casting skills and presentation as well as handling takes and strong fish) could be 30 fish in day. We know the worst, we lived it but the average on the lake under normal or decent conditions might be 6 to 12 fish in a day, which might weigh from 2lbs to 22lbs or more. In my view, I would recommend a week ($5,200) to really get to know and enjoy all that the place and the fishing offers. It allows for the odd overly windy day as well as time for the lagoons, which are special in their own right and I will come to later. At the very

least do the 4.5 (half day arrival, then four full days) programme at $3,850. Mornings tend to be slower than the afternoons because the fish prefer it when it has warmed up (the mornings on the lake were painfully slow for us) but that is a great time to go to the lagoons, which are frankly, equally astonishing. Eight Lagoon for example, has wild rainbows in astonishing numbers from 4 to 6lbs. Laguna Verde itself has rainbows, browns and brook trout in the 2 to 6lbs range. Potrero Lagoon has fish up to 10lbs and so its goes on. These lagoons should be revered in their own right and when fishing is tough under the worst of conditions, the lagoons just keep on producing superb fishing. We know, we witnessed it. I come back to length of stay because you want to experience these places and try and catch browns, rainbows and the brookies and get to know at least two or three of the lagoons during your stay.


Keep in mind that there are 16 (Monster Bay, Point Ollivier, Farmers, Camelot, Finger Bay, Moro Bays, Tasmania, Sea Bay, El Puesto, El Puesto Cliffs, Blue Lagoon, Dry Fly Bay, Dry Fly Bay Cliffs, as well as the Island, Aquarium and Island Bay) named places to fish on Lago Strobel so that in itself is a location a day or two a day but you can move around more if you wish. Then, to mix things up more, there is the Barrancoso river where the resident population of rainbows can be tackled with small dries and nymphs along the 8 km (approx.) length of river at the Estancia water but also the big rainbows that have ascended the river to spawn. The best time for the river is early or late in the season, which runs from 1st November to 30th April. November and December are good because the river has lots of water and there is a big run and then April can be good again once the autumn rains have come and there is another run of fish. The fish can be tempted on dries, nymphs or streamers. Early season, there is also the little Moro Creek that can be fished but then it dries up as the

season progresses. So, in summary, you can see that there is a lot of fishing to be enjoyed and if one does not want to be torn between trophy hunting on the lake and everything else to experience, then a week is the better option or at the very least four days. We left with some sadness, of course the fishing was spoiled by the weather but everyone gets that but during our stay we had grown very fond of the place, intrigued by the fish and the fishing and had really enjoyed Luciano and his team. What Luciano and Roberto have created in one of the harshest of environments is amazing. They have, and continue to do so, carved out mile upon mile of track to provide access to all the lagoons and many bays. The small lodge is hunkered down inside the basin of the Laguna Verde attempting to get out of the wind. The cars take a beating on the rough tracks but somehow they keep them going with their mechanic team, and the guides and house staff were still smiling as month five of the season was drawing to a close. The food was excellent too despite the lodge being so remote.


The fish are quite simply spectacular and I left with far more questions than I arrived with. Should we be fishing as the fish go up the Barrancoso? Should we be fishing for them in the river?

the finest rainbow trout in the world today and now need very good stewardship. Luciano and Roberto plan to find out the answers to these questions so that they can better look after what has evolved there.

Do the big fish actually spawn successfully or do they go through the process but produce no young? Is it actually the resident fish that produce the young, which go to the lake? Is that why there are not so many fish in the lake that the size is beginning to reduce like Lake Cardiel (which once had huge rainbows too but there is not enough food to sustain so many big fish)?

This was a great adventure in every respect and combined with staying at Eolo (or other hotels in the area), seeing the glacier and everything else there is to do around Calafate (which I really liked), there is an entire experience just out of Calafate. Equally, it can be combined with northern Patagonia trout fishing, dove shooting in Cordoba, dorado fishing further north, sea trout further south or any other tourism in Chile and Argentina. There is just so much to do and enjoy.

If the fish are getting bigger, why and where is the threshold when there is not enough food to sustain such extraordinary fish? If there are less – why? Should the old fish caught be killed? Should some other fish be killed? How do the fish in the lagoons reproduce? How are they staying the same size and in such numbers? We simply do not know the answers to these questions because this phenomenal fishery is so new. What is certain is that the rainbows must be amongst

Further Information// Restaurants in Calafate A Calafate favourite is Patagonian lamb, which you can find at La Tablita, which is perhaps the most famous restaurant in El Calafate. Another well-renowned parrilla, is Don Pichon, also famous for its excellent barbequed lamb.


A Typical Day You are allocated a guide for the duration of your stay, which allows all your stuff to stay in the same car for the duration. If you are struggling with your guide tell Luciano or Roberto and they will make a switch. I doubt this will be an issue, as they are all good but some have better English than others. Breakfast is at 0830. You depart with your guide at 0930. There is no set rotation, the guides just work out a plan based on what their guests priorities are. Lunch is usually at about 1330 to 1400 at one of the two lunch huts and is a relaxed social affair. You tend to fish different locations after lunch and this is decided at lunch. You head home at about 1900 but earlier in the season this might be a bit later. Dinner is around 2030 and bed can be anytime from after dinner onwards depending on whether you have been persuaded to try some port or not! The lodge will do laundry twice a week for you. Tackle, equipment and clothing You always have a vehicle fairly near so you can leave lots of gear in the car if you wish. The guides are right, I took a 7 and 5-weight but the right

choice is an 8 and 6-weight rod. Lines should be weight forward but with a decent taper for presentation. Bring a sink-tip for the 8-weight for certain in case of cold weather. Reels should have plenty of backing and I would bring a spare 8-weight line and spare spool of backing. I nearly lost a line and some backing to a fish going under the rocks, which they are good at. Leaders should be tapered to work at their best in the wind with the terminal section varying from 15lbs when the wind is blowing to perhaps 10 or 11lbs in more still conditions. Flies You need a very broad selection of flies (or you can tell the lodge you will use theirs and the guides will prepare a selection for you to buy/use there). Flies should range from heavy streamers with tungsten heads in Woolly bugger patterns, Zonkers, Matukas and other streamer patterns (including rubber legs) in black, olive and brown but bring some white, orange and chartreuse which work well too.


Make sure you have some rabbit patterns. Sizes need to run from the biggest all the way through to tiny one inch or less than one-inch woolly buggers with perhaps a gold bead head. A full assortment of nymphs from largish stone flies all the way down to size 14 pheasant tails, hare’s ears and Prince nymphs, buzzers etc. Bring heavy and light. Scuds of all sizes, weights and colours. Your dry-fly selection will likely be the most limited but should start with mouse patterns and bombers and wakers in big and medium size, attractor flies work well, such us Chernobyl Ant, Fat Albert, Tarantula, Parachute Madam X, Gypsy King, Stimulator (yellow and green), and Stimulator Rubber legs (sizes 6/8/10/12) all the way down to the small stuff. You are not matching the hatch so you can bring the mainstream patterns and you do not need tons of them. It is very important that flies are tied in strong heavy wire, to avoid bending or breaking of hooks when playing or landing big fish. Indicator material could be useful!

Clothes and Accessories Waders should be full chest waders with Aquastealth or Vibram soles. They will disinfect them at the lodge. You do not wade massively deep but you do get hit by splashing waves. There is a good wader room at the lodge with numbered pegs. You never walk very far except if you did the full river walk. Wading jacket is a must for warmth and spray. Layers of clothing to put on or take off as the ever-changing weather evolves. Polaroid glasses are a must – the water is very clear and the wind makes casting more dangerous to eyes. Nippers, hemostats, floatant, a day pack, a buff, fly boxes that hold your flies well in wind, gloves, some people like to use a vest or a wading stick (there are two at the lodge) and a stripping basket. Sunscreen is vital – the sun is very powerful there even if it is cloudy.


SURGE

single / switch / doublehand / 4-6 piece

The strongest, lightest and most powerful materials on the market were at our disposal. We chose the ultimate mix of materials to build the ultimate fly rods based on our philosophy of depth, smooth, unbroken bending curves and short stroke lengths. A Surge fly rod will bend almost all the way, but the short stroke length will mask the inherent power of its factual depth until the need for longer casts unveils the true nature of a cultivated beast. Enjoy the seemingly effortless elegance when casting short lines and feel it morph into equally effortless brutality anytime you engage the deeper and more powerful parts.

scierra.com | facebook.com/scierraflyfishing | youtube.com/scierraflyfishing | The difference between a good day and a great day!


TSIMANE REVISITED:

Golden Dorado in the Jungle Golden dorado have fast become one of the most coveted species that a fly fisherman can target. And Tsimane is one of the best places to fish for them in the whole world. In the following, Florian Kaiser makes his return to Tsimane to once again search for gold in the jungle.

Text by FLORIAN KAISER Pictures by FLORIAN KAISER, CHRIS DAUGHTERS and LUCIANO SALD


DISE


Every seasoned traveling fly fisher probably has a very special and individual happy place - a place that touches his soul, that he is addicted to and that he has to come back to again and again. For me that place is on the opposite side of our precious planet, compared to my home in Bavaria. You might guess where it is? I won’t mention it, as this article is not about my happy place - but about another place that touches my heart in a very intense way as well. That place is Tsimane on the Secure River system deep in the secluded and remote jungle of Bolivia. You probably have read the occasional article already, seen a movie or listened to a narration about this unique place. It is a venue based on three excellent lodges developed in cooperation with the local indigenous Tsimane communities. Fishing is done by wading or from drifting wooden boats for golden dorados between 5 and +25lbs. Golden dorado are aggressive, easy to catch the one day and spooky, sophisticated and frustrating the other

day. They are hard fighting, mean, amazingly beautiful and provide superb fun on an 8 or 9-weight rod. It’s easy to get addicted to such “golden trout on steroids” – no they are not related to trout, but their shape is similar. First Impressions More than five years back I ran into a fisherman (down south at my happy place) that raved about Tsimane. He just said: “Tsimane is a blast!” Those few words of mouth were enough to make me think about it and eventually book my first trip to Bolivia. Carefully considering the circumstances of such a trip in terms of investment and family – I ended up going there without my fly fishing and life partner Ines, due to the fact that our son Tobias was burn just month before. Thus in August 2012 I traveled to Tsimane: For my first time fishing for Dorado and for my first time fishing in the South American Jungle. The place was jawdroppingly beautiful, and the whole setting, scenery, service, and staff amazed me.


It was a truly magic place. The fishing was not easy at all, but I caught my fair share of dorado and some of them made a lasting impression. Besides the fish, I made a much bigger catch: I hooked a good fishing partner - and good friend ever since: Breno from Belo Horizonte in Brazil. An avid fly fisher experienced in the various South American settings. And as he was casting with his left hand and I cast with my right hand we had double the fun in the boat. Making friends, especially those you won’t like to “release”, is a special element of true fly fishing. You instantly know that you share some very important mutual principles, interests and you feel that you are soul mates. Back then we periodically has good fishing from the old Asunta lodge and from the old Pluma lodge, one or two days of very fishing and we lost one day due to heavy and cold rain – a typical week even at one of the best fishing destinations in the world. Not every day is perfect, thus you have to make every good day count. To experience more of Bolivia than just fishing, I spiced the trip

with some high altitude mountain biking around La Paz and riding the remote Choro trail, an old Inka trail from 4500m above sea level down to the lowlands and the jungle. Bolivia with these two extreme perspectives made a lasting impression. I loved it and ever since, Tsimane and a potential revisit has been on my mind. Revisiting Tsimane Fast forward some years of repeated trips to my happy place (I cannot stop thinking about it…) to 2016 and an offer by Daniel Beilinson, an agent from Argentina, to join him and his group for a week at Tsimane in September 2016. It took me less than a minute to confirm his offer: I was going to revisit Tsimane! To spice this trip up as well, I came up with the idea of “The Ultimate Jungle Blast” and combined it with a week at Rio Marie for Giant Peacock Bass in the Brazilian Amazon where Breno would join me. Combining two top locations, I’m sure, will become the preferred style of fly fishing traveling over the years to come, as it makes the most of your international travel time.


But the second part of the trip and that very special Giant Peacock Bass I caught is another story. Back to Tsimane September 2016. Revisiting a location is a two-sided affair. You already have some basic experience; you now the good and the not so good, you might be less thrilled and you might possibly get disappointed in case revisiting is less good than the first trip. Nevertheless coming back for another time or for several times to one location is like a bank account: the more you invest, the more you might receive in return and the more “successful” you might be. Most of the itineraries at Tsimane are based on two lodges combined in one week. That adds a lot to the variety of fishing and experience as you sample different river structures, settings and ways to fish. The Secure River in the Tsimane region is reached after a good two hours flight north of Santa Cruz with a small plane. You then touch down on a small grassy landing patch in the middle of the jungle close to one

of the remote Tsimane settlements. A short transfer in a wooden boat and we were at our home base for the first three nights: the new Asunta lodge. High and safely located some hundred meters above the old lodge that got swept away by a huge flood some years ago (it was in the rainy off season, nobody was hurt). As we went upriver towards the new lodge it was hot but I got goose bumps – it was that intense feeling to be back at a place that deeply touches your soul and the anticipation of the days ahead. Life in the Jungle Our group of six seasoned fishermen from Argentina, Oregon and me from Bavaria got settled in our comfortable safari style double occupancy tents with en suite bathroom and shower. The comfortable camp consists of several tents, huts and one big house for dinner and fish tales afterand before the fishing sessions. As the jungle is very friendly during the dry or “good weather season” as the Tsimane call it, we regularly had our after dinner Whiskey and cigar outside on the veranda.


Insects are rather few during the season. Nevertheless it is a good advice to wear long clothes during the day and at night and to use insect repellant and sunscreen accordingly. The only real danger in the jungle is caused by reckless angler behavior and a slight chance of stingrays that can be avoided by taking care. Other animals you might experience are tapir, macaw, several species of parrots, caiman, monkeys, butterflies and several other fish species such as Yatorana or Surubi. The fishing We were keen to get on the water, so we settled in and rushed to reach home pool. Unfortunately our first session was fruitless. The dorados simply weren’t in the mood to go for our flies but in stead were rolling on the surface to check out those fly fishing intruders. Rolling Dorado is never a good sign - most likely you will not catch any. Next day my fishing partner Chris (a lefthander again and hopefully a good friend for future adventures to come – btw. he kind of shares my

happy place) went to fish the upper sections of the Secure. The river has several tributaries and the further we went upriver the more the river changed into a creek. We passed good Pacu water, which we left untouched for our group mates. We spotted several solitary fish or pots of Casare as the Tsimane call Dorados. As fishing for Dorado can be challenging, it took some opportunities to wet our hand for the first dorado release from our barbless flies. The river up there is clear, remote, tight and challenging a times. A pristine place to fall in love with! We only experienced very few of those legendary feeding frenzies where several Dorado just smash and destroy schools of Sabalo. Those feeding orgies are hard to describe. You have to experience them! Much too early we had to turn around to be back at the lodge in time well before dark. Getting stuck in the jungle at night might not kill you, but the comfort of the lodge,


a decent dinner, some Malbec or Whiskey and a real bed certainly beats an unplanned night without shelter in the Bolivian jungle. Especially since this area has one of the highest densities of Jaguar. But with two Tsimane at your side even that would not be too bad. Making the most of things Fly fishing and enjoying Tsimane is highly related to your level of experience, preparation and fitness. You can fish it the easy or the more challenging way. Likely, you will have fun doing it either way. But preparation is a good advice with most remote fishing locations. On the second day we fished the river below the lodge. There, The Secure River is much more open and turns into a wider river that provides dorado holding structure such as riffles and sunken trees. Casting not just close but at times in the structure from the drifting boat is the way to go. The attack might come anytime between your fly hits the water or close to the boat. So be prepared – everything can happen and will hap-

pen! A 5lbs Dorado being chewed up by a 20lbs Dorado is a more common thing. On the third fishing day we had to say “good bye” to Asunta and transferred downstream to reach the Aqua Negra Lodge some 45 kilometers downriver. Thus we only had half a day of fishing but I finally got my very first Pacu: A strong fighting fish with high endurance and strength. Rather uncommon it took a deceiver. As we went downriver we saw clouds forming on the horizon. Those clouds made us worry as my fishing partner Chris (The Caddis Fly Shop, Eugene, OR) and I had planned a headwater camp out for the following nights. Two of the Tsimane said that would mean nothing and two said that would bring rain. Unfortunately the last two were right. A horrendous rainforest storm hit the whole catchment the following night. The Secure River came up more than a meter and the tributary we wanted to explore rose more than four meters.


Our dream of fishing the remote headwater section of a tributary literally got swept away. Again: make the best of the good days you have! Wrapping it up Luckily we all only lost one fishing day. The day after, Chris and I started towards our camp out and went for the long half-a-day tramp upriver, swimming at times in high and murky water, crossing the river back and forth many times. All the time we were not sure if our camp out would have survived the flooding. After four hours of pushing upstream we reached the camp and were relieved, as most of it was still there and useable. We instantly continued to fish upriver and meter-by-meter the river seemed to become clearer. It was still murky but we started to have fun catching fish in a river that had the structure of a medium to small trout stream in alpine regions – except it was filled with Golden Dorado between 10 and 25lbs. In one big, deep, slow gliding pool, Chris caught a good-sized Pacu. My

idea was to imitate him and catch a Pacu as well. After a couple of casts I got a solid take: No jumps but a very strong and constant pull. Clearly a Pacu, at least until we saw the fish in the surface. Luciano, the guide, commented in amazement: “Wow! That is a true cow!” The cow turned out to be a 96cm and +28lbs Casare aka Golden Dorado: One of the top fish of the season for Luciano and the lodge. At night we had some beers sitting around our “white man bonfire”, telling fish tales, staring into the fire and listening to the sound of the jungle… The sound of the jungle woke us the next morning as hundreds of parrots and macaws discussed their plans for the day. Our plan was clear: fishing upriver, where the creek became clearer and clearer for each step: A truly marvelous place. Far too early we had to turn around to reach the Aqua Negra Lodge before dark. Tramping and drifting back to the lodge Chris and I were already dreaming of coming back the next year …


Practical advice Some final words for preparation: take three to four rods in the 8 or 9 weight range such as a T&T Exocett, two WF floating and two intermediate tip lines each and one sinking line. 40 4/0 flies in different weights and lengths. Add some fruit or surface flies for Pacu. The leader should be 40lbs level with 30 or 40lbs wire shock tippet. Bring stripping finger gloves, long nose pliers and good fitness to cast heavy lines for a week. Felt soles with studs will give you the best traction, Vibram is not enough. Take a warm jacket and a real rain jacket, as cool days tend to be both cool and wet. Last advice: book your trip to Tsimane soon - you will have a blast! Contact: Tsimane is an Untamed Angling destination and all details can be found at www.untamedangling.com If you have questions or want to join the author for a hosted trip: florian.kaiser@gmail.com http://theflyfishingfamily.blogspot.com


In


nnovative Design

...more at www.scierra.com


GUATEMALA:

A billfish’s dream destination Billfish are becoming increasingly popular target fish for fly fishermen across the globe. Guatemala boasts some of the finest fly fishing for sailfish around, and in the following, Christian Pretorius provides an account of his recent trip there.

By CHRISTIAAN PRETORIUS


I was still recovering from the previous week, hunting massive jungle tarpon in Nicaragua. The line burns on my fingers were still evident, a physical reminder of the memorable week we had. We had exactly two days to recover though and to regain our strength before heading off for our next adventure in Guatemala. When traveling all the way to Central America from Eastern Block countries it kind of just makes sense to plan several consecutive trips if your time and schedule allows, seeing that around every corner a world class fishery is to be found. This place is truly fishy (pun intended)! Our target species for the next four days would be the breathtakingly beautiful sailfish of the Pacific which, once hooked, dances like a well orchestrated street act. Of course, when fishing the deep purple-blue water of the Guatemalan coast, one never knows when the big cousin, the marlin, might make an appearance - a fish not really suited for the fly rod. It is therefore that I decided to be ready when and if that oppor-

tunity does present itself. In most cases a 12wt outfit would be sufficient for sailfish, paired with a high quality reel with a strong drag. I had a slightly different approach though, and was armed with my 16wt Sage SALT. This trip would also form part of my Belarusian friend Vadim’s aroundthe-world fishing adventure. He planned to travel to some of the best fly fishing destinations around the globe within two years. I was delighted to be invited to join him on this South-American leg of his trip. The first time I met Vadim was at a little Atoll called Astove in the Indian Ocean fishing for giant trevallis and other fantastic species. Since then we have done a couple of trips together, amongst others salmon fishing in the Kola Peninsula. After just a short flight from Managua in Nicaragua, we found ourselves in Guatemala. With time to kill our driver showed us around Antigua. What a beautiful place! This was a particularly good time to buy something special for the supportive other half back home.


As you probably know: it’s those small gestures that keep them happy while we’re out fishing. After spending enough money like true tourists, we were finally on our way to the hotel. Like Vadim said, we had bought our luck ticket into the country that day. Everywhere along the busy streets and sign boards there were evidence of the presence of sailfish. The rumors must be true then, I guessed…

ground which was about an hours’ drive. Excitement levels were peaking and I could feel the adrenaline pumping. Oh, how I love that feeling! It was obvious that it wasn’t this crew’s first rodeo and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing a well prepared boat with everything in place and ready for action. It was just before 07:45 when we reached our starting point. Vadim was up first, preparing his line on the deck, while the teasers were dancing away on the surface.

After a good nights’ rest at our comfortable beach resort, we were ready to go see what the blue waters of Guatemala is all about. We met up with our boat and crew, a friendly bunch of non-English speaking guys. It was evident that these guys were ready to catch a lot of fish, and when mentioned that we were only going to flyfish, their facial expressions spoke a thousand words. They must have had some bad past experiences, I guessed. Also, you will never land as many on fly as you do with bait, but we weren’t there for numbers we were there for the rush of getting them on fly gear ONLY. We were soon on our way to the play-

Everything just felt right: calm sea, jumping sails in the distance, gentle swells rolling… It was really difficult to take your eyes off the teasers though. It wasn’t long before we raised the first fish, a lazy one indeed, not at all aggressive towards the fly. It was one day before full moon and this is usually not ideal in any way when blue water fishing. That didn’t drown our energy levels one bit and just before 11am we got our first hookup (of the five raised fish.) This sail did some awesome aerial displays of backflips, front flips and flips that a professional gymnast would not be able to attempt without serious injury. Oh, how I longed for that sight...


Those first couple of minutes of a proper sailfish fight is just as good as it can possibly get with a fly rod. With the expertise of a very experienced boat captain, we managed to get most of these fish to the boat in less than 10 minutes, which is usually great to ensure that the fish will swim off strong once released. It was also really comforting to see how much those local people cared about their fish even thought they have caught thousands over the years - a very good sign at any fishery. I was up next and took the stage, line stripped and ready for any fish to show itself.

I wanted another shot at getting a fish into the boat though and the fishing gods were kind that day giving me a second hookup shortly after the first. This time I had a solid hook set. After a short fight we finally got this breathtakingly beautiful specimen to the side of the boat. Happy days! This carried on for the rest of the afternoon. We raised a good number of sailfish, but still no marlin. We headed back to the resort where we enjoyed a lovely buffet dinner with just enough tequilas to act as a very efficient sleeping aid, not that I needed any after a long and satisfying day on the water.

It was quite something to see how aggressive these sails get when teased correctly. This was exactly the case with the next fish that we raised, he was hungry. I dropped my fluffy pink fly just as the boat got into neutral. One pop and the dark shape approached and porpoised on my fly displaying his beautiful purple sail. Unfortunately I lost this one after about 5 minutes, which was more than good enough. The hook set and a couple of jumps are more than enough to get me excited!

Just after 7am the next morning, we were on our way again. This time joined by a more experienced local guy when it comes to teasing bills for the fly rodder. He had eyes like an eagle spotting the fish even before it came to the surface. The fish was even lazier than the previous day and didn’t show too much interest towards the fly. It was awesome just seeing them coming to have a look at the teaser hoping that one of them would be tempted enough at some point.


Around 10:30 am we had probably raised about 8 fish including our first marlin, a striped marlin that was super aggressive. Very exciting indeed! It wasn’t 10 minutes after the marlin when I finally got a solid hookup on our first sail for the day. After the first jump it confirmed a good hookup, which is not too easy with these fish. Just before heading back to port, Vadim had one more shot at a sailfish that looked pretty hungry, having a go at the fly more than once. Finally Vadim set the hook like a true master, it turned out to be our biggest sail yet. With broad smiles all around, we made our way back to where a couple of “cold ones” waited at the bar. In total we raised 22 sails and one marlin for that day. Another special day in Guatemala! Arriving back at port is always exciting as everyone shares all their fishing tales of the day, about the ones they leadered and the ones that they couldn’t stop. These guys were super professional and passionate, which was great to experience! It is almost guaranteed to be able to sleep like a log after a day out on The

Deep Blue, and believe me, I did. But I have to admit - I woke up the next morning not exactly feeling like a 25 year old anymore: my body clicking and cracking as I got up. That would be our last day of this truly special fishing trip. Just past 7am we headed out once again - calm seas, well prepared boat and high energy levels. We had yet another deck hand that day and I wasn’t surprised to hear that he had more than 20 years experience. One can quickly determine if someone has done something many times before, in this case it was obviously not his first rodeo for sure. By now it was two days after full moon and much better conditions all round. One could clearly see the difference in attitude once the sails came up. They were super aggressive and therefore it didn’t take too long for Vadim to hook the first one of the day. It was only 8:35 am - what a start to the day. Before 10 am we had landed three sails. I was on the deck once again with my 16wt in hand waiting for the next fish. All of a sudden the captain saw a shape under the teaser, this time much bigger than a sailfish.


This time a blue marlin decided to investigate. The experienced deck hand expertly teased the fish in and it had a go at my fly, but I did not get a hookup. What a rush! Just to see a fish of that size having a look at your fly is absolutely incredible. After a delectable lunch prepared on board, I retired a bit on the very comfortable couch while Vadim was on the deck. At around 2:30 pm Vadim signaled that it was my turn. I didn’t mind at all. I was still busy preparing my line when once again a massive shape appeared behind our squid teaser, aggressive as hell. He was coming in hot and the deck hand brought him in close enough reeling as quickly as he could. Everything went as planned and I managed to get the fly in the right area. All of a sudden the 300lb Blue Marlin porpoised on my fly and I got a proper hookup! The next 5 minutes were absolutely chaotic with the fish jumping all over the place. The energy levels on the deck were insane and I wish I could understand more of the Spanish language. I would have loved to know exactly what they wanted me to do.

I just went with my gut feeling and kept the tension and made sure to keep maximum pressure without popping my fly line. I knew that this was going to be one epic battle, but holy crap, after an hour and a half of pulling as hard as you can you would love to see at least a sign of the fish getting tired. Not this one..! Finally after two hours I got the fish to within 20ft from the boat and we confirmed it to be a fish of a lifetime. A dream come true‌ But to be honest, at that moment I was in pain as well as I could feel the blisters on my fingers starting to open up. Fresh wounds combined with salt water? No fun at all! The captain did a great job to push the boat into reverse at the right moment and we managed to lift the fish to the surface. After 2h 10mins we finally touched leader, which means a legally-caught marlin by any competition rules. Over the moon! But the fight was far from done as the fish shot off on one last run, taking line as if I had just hooked it. In a frantic effort to slow down the fish once more my 16wt exploded and soon after my fly line parted. I had experienced a blue marlin on fly though, unbelievable!


I have never ever experienced strength like that in any other fish. My good friend Vadim saluted me with a cup of local Guatemalan rum, much needed at that stage. Our absolutely satisfying adventure had come to an end and on our way back home, I constantly had flashbacks of our tremendous experiences over those two weeks, firstly in Nicaragua and thereafter Guatemala. South America has so much to offer to the fly fisherman. The local people are super friendly and helpful, the food is excellent and the rum is surprisingly delicious! I would sincerely recommend it to anybody considering it as an option.


IT TAKES MORE THAN 80 STEPS TO MAKE A PAIR OF LENZ SUNGLASSES

www.lenzoptics.com


In a world where 95% of all sunglasses are injection moulded, Lenz has chosen to produce their glasses 100% by hand – quality rather than quantity. See the difference!

www.facebook.com/lenzoptics


Mount on hook, paint, deco add eyes & tail, go fishing.

Don’t worry – with Flymen Fis body, you can still do these fu these steps and let the Double back in poppers do the job for


orate, clear coat, wait to dry,

shing Company's new Surface Seducer® Double Barrel™ popper & slider un things and customize your foam flies as much as you’d like. Or, cut out e Barrel’s strong outer skin, vibrant colors, and deep cup that puts the POP r you. It all depends on how soon you want to be on the water.

click here to learn more


BY THE SEASON:

Beautiful British Columbia If you have ever thought about making that first trip to British Columbia, it would be hard not to be a bit overwhelmed with the project. The shear size of B.C. is daunting; almost as large inland mass of California, Oregon and Montana combined and for you Euros, it’s bigger than both France or Spain. So it can be hard not to feel like an Ant on a super large picnic table looking for the cookies. Add to this, the seasonal changes, and you’ll also pay more attention to the timing of your trips.

By DAVID LAMBROUGHTON


Years ago I wrote a story about “Where Montana Meets Alaska” and that’s exactly what describes British Columbia: Lakes, Trout Streams, and Steelhead Rivers. As a Photographer, it’s been a wonderful gift to me and my annual Fly Fishing Dreams for over 30 years now and counting. Stillwaters You can always tell when the countless small lakes start to open in early spring as you start seeing Car Top Boats whizzing down the highway. In May and June, with the longer days, these fisheries start firing on all cylinders and hundreds of little rustic fishing lodges around the Province are renting out their lakeside cabins and boats. But if you would want to step it up a bit, Google: DouglasLake.Com. This is a working Cattle Ranch with a whole bunch of well-managed lakes on it, and like almost all the B.C. trout lakes that can produce some large fish, May-June and Sept.-early Oct. would be their best months. Other well liked lodges that are within an hour or two from the Fishy City of Kamloops, would be Tunkwa Lake

Lodge, Knouff Lake Lodge, and south of town, Roche Lake Lodge. But if you want to really focus on some Lake Fishing, just go to Riseform. Com. This is the website of Brian Chan and it will open the whole Stillwaster Scene for you. Brian and his good buddy Phil Rowley have put out tons of info; books, videos, seminars (at great lakes!), blogs, hosted trips, TV Shows, etc. They have been the Gold Standard for B.C. Lake Fishing for decades. The Trout Rivers With so many super large lakes and rivers that both feed and drain them, there are some famous intersections where large trout intercept the newly hatched salmon fry. Places like Little River or the Adams River in the Shuswap Lake System comes to mind, as does the Babine River, or where the Horsefly River meets Quesnel Lake. But these fisheries and others like them can be hard to time, even for the locals, and it often intermingles with snotty spring weather, sitting in a boat, or the need to be on the water at daybreak.


So my journey through all this has steadily pushed me towards the smaller rivers and streams that have the fishing I like best with hatches, dry flies, light rods and no need for anything but a floating line. Here’s a few notable rivers: Chilko River Draining Chilko Lake in the Canadian Coastals, this is one of the most stunning settings in all of B.C. and being that it comes off a lake, always crystal clear. The resort, Chilko Lake Lodge (info@ chilkolake lodge.ca), would be the place to stay and there are all kinds of things to do besides chasing the Rainbows and some very large Dolly Vardens. The outflow of the lake also has nice evening caddis hatch. Stellako River Flowing out of Francois Lake, the Stellako runs clear and has some really good hatches, the big stoneflies too, and June or early July would be a good time for it. There is also a nice little lodge right where it leaves the lake, called Stellako Lake Lodge (phone: 250-699-6695). Thompson River Every time I go to the Thompson, I swear I’ll never return. It’s BIG, very slippery, flows through a dry forbidding environment that can easily hit 40 C. in July and August, but it’s a Fish Factory where the trout move up and down the river to meet both hatches and intercepting the salmon fry migrations.


We float it in small boats (Water Striders) and if you don’t have much experience running rivers, you might want to take a pass on it because you could end up on the 6 o’clock news.But when people from far away places contact me looking for info or a game plan for a nice B.C. Trout Trip, this is what I tell them. Fly to Calgary, Alberta and rent a car and do a day or two floating on the Bow River, which regularly produces New Zealand/Argentina sized Rainbows and Browns. They are stunning Photo Fish and the best Fly Shop in town, with top guides, is Fish Tales Fly Shop (.com). They can organize your float trip and put all kinds of X’s on your map to start your road trip south that will take you to the Crowsnest Pass and right past the front door of Vic Bergman’s Crowsnest Anglers (403-564-4333), a great source of on-the-spot info, as well as Guide Trips. Just taking a day and driving up the Oldman River and through “The Notch” is worth it in itself just to see this area. From here you quickly hit the pass and the B.C. Border and then you’ll have about a 1 hour downhill glide to the Ski Town of Fernie and a landscape that

seems like it might have been purposely designed for West Slope Cutthroats; big mountains and snowpacks to feed cool water into streams all summer long and the wonderful Southwest Exposure of the Elk River Valley that bugs, fish, and wildlife love. Me too. I usually hit Fernie in mid to late July on my way home from Montana/Idaho and it lights me up. After the often grueling, high focus days of matching hatches on rivers like the Henry’s Fork, Silver Creek, or the Beaverhead, it’s fun to just put on an #12 Elk Hair Caddis (with rubber legs!) and just fish the water and feel like a kid again. But some drake hatches and other mayflies can kick off selecting feeding at times. But still, if you’d like to introduce someone to fly fishing, this would be the place. Being a ski town, there are tons of places to stay but my annual choice is the Snow Valley Motel (250-423-4421). It’s inexpensive, has Kitchenette Units, and is within 5 minute walk to the two Fly Shops in town, plus several nice restaurants (The Curry Bowl or the Bridge River Bistro) and you can park right at door, which is nice with gear, ice chests, etc.


To hook up with some really good fishing guides and do some floating, go to DaveBrownOutfitters.Com and look at all the rivers they fish in the area. Dave’s a great guy and been on the scene for about 25 years. He could also float you down the St. Mary’s River near Kimberly after you continued west after your Fernie Stop. Now from the Kimberly Cranbrook Area, you turn north and will be driving up the West Side of the B.C. Rockies. Your skills have been honed and every stream you cross will have fish but driving up high on the Skookumchuck River, near the hamlet of the same name, or fishing the White River below Whiteswan Lake would be your best choices out of many. From this point you are about 2/3’s your way through the Calgary to Calgary Loop and not that far from the town of Golden, home of Dave Burns and his Golden Gille Guide Service; fish@goldengillie.com. Dave guides on the Upper Columbia and a number of lakes, many of which lend themselves to sight fishing and I just saw a photo of Brian Chan holding a fish out of one of them that was just short of 12 pounds.

By this point, if you’ve fished half the waters I mentioned, you’ll likely be dragging your arse on the ground as you close the loop and turn east and you might need a day just cruising by Lake Louise and Banff on your way back to Calgary. In all the Trout World, I don’t think you could find more attractive scenery than this loop in the B.C. Rockies. It’s basically a mid July to mid Sept. season, and barbless hooks for all waters, province-wide, which I like. Chasing the Summer Runs… the 100 Day Season Steelhead run up the rivers of B.C. every month of the year but outside the mid July to mid October window it can be tough sledding with few fish or miserable weather or both. So the summer runs are the main attraction and first up for me would be Vancouver Island. According to Biologists on the Island, all the summer runs will be in their rivers by mid July, after enjoying the best water conditions between spring and summer, to make the jumps and find their canyon pools. But this certainly would not be fishing for everyone.


It can be extremely physical as you crawl over the deadfalls, hike around the canyons and if you ever wore waders you could die of heat prostration. Wet wading, as with the B.C. Rockies, is almost always far more comfortable. But it’s easy, on these Island Fisheries, to find yourself cut and bruised and looking at your rod-reel and camera and wondering how much you can sell this useless crap for. Then you try one more pool and there they are, a dozen bars of chrome, quietly finning in the tailout, and once again, all is well. It’s upstream fishing with both dries and stonefly nymphs and would be what you would get if you morphed N.Z. Trout Fishing with the Famous Skeena Steelhead Rivers. If you’ve read the wonderful books by Roderick HaigBrown, it’s just something you have to do and it makes the pages come alive. Now comes August, the center month of the 3-month long season on the Dean River which is to Steelhead Fishermen what the Alta would be for the Atlantic Salmon Crowd. The fish are not quite as large at the fish from the famous Skeena Rivers but often T-Shirt Weather, warmer water to skate dries on, brighter/fresher fish and the best

scenery of all the steelhead rivers more than makes up for it. To pull this trip off, you have 4 lodges spread out from the mouth to about 25 miles upstream. You can also go through a draw system and doing it on you own, either by camping at the bottom end or helicoptering (West Coast Helicopters) to the top and rafting it, with care. Then comes the month I always wish was twice as long… September. It might be the best all around fishing month of them all and it can be hard deciding where to go. But the Steelhead Gang starts showing up in towns like Terrace, Hazelton, and Smithers and they follow the runs as they make their way up this massive drainage. The fishing itself is not too complicated. Take a cast, let it swing, take a healthy step downstream and repeat. Think Mowing the Lawn as you cover the water. With a couple of friends and some boats and car shuttles, you can easily find water to fish on your own or even just drive to. But if this is your first time, you can pad your bets with some guidance. Here’s some good choices for that:


Poplar Park Farm (kathylarson860@gmail.com) on the Kispiox River, near Hazelton, would be a top choice. It’s sort of a B&B, except with all the meals and an easy river to float that isn’t going to kill you. There also lots of pools where you just park you car and hit the trail to the water. Another good all-inclusive set up would be via www.WestCoastFishing. Ca in Terrace. Gill Mckean and his wife Mandi have a lodge set up at their home and are booked fairly solid for all the right reasons. By mid-September and into October, Smithers becomes the place to be and there are several lodges in the area. But I’d first get ahold of Steve Morrow, whose an extremely well-liked guide and who always seems to be in the center of everything Steelheadwise, and April Vokey is lucky to have him as a Brother in Law. Check out info@epicwatersangling.com.

Steve also works with Kimsquit Bay Lodge on the Dean earlier in the season and is a calm and relaxed wealth of info. One more option for planning a Steelhead Trip to B.C. would be to simply contact Ken Morrish at Fly Water Travel (.com). Steelhead Fishing has been his passion for years, and he’s fished every decent river from Northern California to Alaska - and he books anglers into all the best lodges in B.C., including those on the Sustut and Babine Rivers. I’ve been fishing British Columbia since I was a kid in the 60’s and every year I love and appreciate it even more. Like New Zealand, the waters are there for all or in the words of Roderick Haig-Brown, “I like to fish waters that are open to everyone and not the privileged few.” Immigrating to British Columbia in the 70’s after I got out of college was the smartest thing I ever did.


The Profile of a Fly Fisherman

Name: Marina Gibson Born: 1990 Occupation: Commercial Property in London Country of residence: United Kingdom Website: www.marinagibsonfishing.com // www.instagram.com/marinagibsonfishing

OUT OF UK, Marina Gibson is one to watch out for. She is an Orvis and Costa Del Mar ambassador, and everyone who has ever fished with her will tell you that she is experienced and savvy beyond her years. We’ve had a chat with Marina, who is currently preparing for yet another season of exciting trips both at home and abroad. How did you get started fly fishing and when? It’s hard to tell which memory came first. I was lucky enough when I was growing up to have the opportunity to learn the basics of salmon and trout fishing. However, one

of my fondest memories was in our school holidays in the wilds of Scotland. I must have been about five. We were on holiday with some family friends called the Cleggs and their children were about the same age as my brother and I, their names were India and Charlie. One day all the children jumped into a boat with our ghillie, the boat crammed to the gunwales with fly boxes, rods and waders. At that age it’s relatively normal to want to catch the biggest fish… Not long after we set off India hooked into what seemed like the ‘catch of her lifetime’. Although the line was pointing in the wrong direction; upwards not downwards. As we all peered up


Marina Gibson we all started hysterically giggling, at the end of the line was a hugely unamused seagull! Not long after this episode of catch and quick release, I landed an almighty sea trout. Photo evidence shows it wasn’t actually that enormous, however I still remember it as the ‘biggest catch of my childhood’. What is it that intrigues you about fly fishing? I am a traveller at heart. I love to explore new hidden gems and I guess when I figured out I wanted to follow the fish wherever I went, that was the day I realised I was going to save up and spend all my earnings (!) and my 25 days of holiday fishing in the UK and further afield. I couldn’t go on holiday now and not wet a line - that would be criminal! When I turned 22, I was in London studying Graphic Design, maybe it was the high rise buildings or the ‘hustle and bustle’ of London that drove me to find something that would make me happier than just going out and socialising with friends. What goes through your head when you’re out fly fishing? “When am I going to feel the bite - any moment now” and then when I haven’t felt a tug for a while my mind starts wandering onto my surroundings and watching what’s happening around me - never forgetting the fact there is an element of concentration needed to catch a fish!


The Profile of a Fly Fisherman

Nearly every time I’ve been fishing I’ve never thought of the outside world - when you are fishing there are more important things than adult problems! Fishing in general has long been heralded as a great source of therapy. When I spend time on the water the beautiful surroundings and the art and technique of the sport distracts me and perhaps clears my head of any day-to-day worries. What characterizes the most rewarding moments as a fly fisherwoman? Each fisherman’s ‘most rewarding mo-

ments’ should come at different stages. For example, although I had learnt to flyfish when I was a wee nipper that didn’t mean I was a brilliant caster. I had to put in the time and effort. Approximately three years ago I visited local fisheries to get to grips with my casting. Being the perfectionist that I am I wanted to improve my technique and once I felt through my line presentation that I was getting better this was unbelievably rewarding. At present I am getting a lot of satisfaction out of teaching and introducing people to


Marina Gibson fly-fishing. Four months ago I started free fly-fishing classes in London called ‘Casting In The Park’ – check us out on Facebook and add yourself to the group to keep up to date with future dates/ times and locations. Orvis UK supply the rods and instructors and so far it has been a huge success with different people coming every time and from far and wide. The pinnacle of my ‘most rewarding moments’ whilst fishing has been practicing catch and release. I must admit this was not on my agenda when I started out. There’s nothing more satisfying than letting a

specimen’s tail slip through your finger tips back into the water. It’s become such an important process in a sports fisherman’s journey. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy taking a fish or two back to my kitchen, I love cooking especially when you have sourced your own meat or fish. Does fly fishing help you become a better person? Yes I think it does, well it certainly made me a better person. Since fishing took over my life I’ve cared less about my social life and more about nature and conservation. Surely that makes me a better person!


The Profile of a Fly Fisherman What’s it like being a female in a male-dominated sport? Sometimes it’s extra rewarding and sometimes it can be really tough. Some men love to see a woman do well and some don’t. I’ve enjoyed every moment and the good times outweigh the bad so I won’t stop doing what I love and hope that I and also all the other ladies out there representing a male dominated sport can inspire more

women to get involved and take a leap of faith. Maybe one day fishing will be an equal sport – now there’s a thought! What is your favorite species to target on a fly rod and why? It all depends on where I am. In the UK pike on the fly is pretty rad! I haven’t done as much of it as I have done trout or salmon but that’s perhaps why it intrigues me more.


Marina Gibson

I also have a secret obsession with carp! I love how slow they suck in your fly and how strong they are when they are hooked. When I am dreaming about salt-water fishing tarpon springs to mind - the big-

ger, faster and more powerful the species the better. From the moment you step up on the bow of the skiff, spot the illusive shape coming towards you to the moment it sucks in your fly and the rest is history.


The Profile of a Fly Fisherman What are your fly fishing ambitions for the future? I will keep putting pressure on ladies fly-fishing in the UK and I hope that when I am old and wrinkly the perception of fly-fishing will have changed and it will be a more gender-balanced pursuit of the outdoors. I intend to do a lot of coaching once I have passed all my exams and I will keep on keeping on chasing my fishing goals. Oh and my bucket list! Any exciting new projects coming up? There are new projects cropping up all the time; some I can tell and some are top secret! Hopefully most will evolve. I have my Level 2 Coaching Exams with the Angling Trust in February and March so if I pass (crossing fingers) I will be qualified to teach all ages and people with disabilities. I am also studying for the IFFF exams and hope to do the exam this summer 2017. I am also hosting a couple of awesome trips to Belize and Canada in October 2017 so if you want to jump on either bandwagon please email: marinagibsonfishing@ gmail.com If you could be anywhere in the world right now fly fishing, where would you be - and why? My favourite salt-water fish is a bluefin trevally - the day I catch one of these will be the day I lose my marbles! There is talk

of a trip in May to Kiritimati, also known as Christmas Island. Kiritmati is located in the Pacific Ocean and is 1,200 miles south of Hawaii. It is home to many magnificent species including giant trevally, bonefish, parrotfish, triggerfish and several billfish (the list goes on). This could be my chance to hook up to many fish I have dreamed about for many years. It is an absolute pain to get to from the UK but I have heard once you’re there it is totally worth the 40 hours of travel and stopovers. If we had a teleportation service, I would be there in a flash!


Marina Gibson


NO ONE CAN PREDICT THE WEATHER THE BEST YOU CAN DO IS BE PREPARED

www.scierra.com


Kenai pro Wading Jacket

High performance 2-layer jacket with high breathability and fully waterproof taped seams, manufactured using a mix of strong 100% 320D Nylon Taslon shell fab­ric with extra durable rip stop material on the shoulders, all treated with a water-repellent DWR finish.

www.facebook.com/scierraflyf ishing


The door to Dream Waters

Alphonse Isla Seychelles

Pictures by Keith Rose-Innes, Stuart Webb and Alphonse Fishing Co.


and


The Seychelles is an archipelago located North of Madagascar, and it mainly consists of small coral islands, atolls and reefs. The Seychelles is known for its beautiful palm beaches, but it is also home to some of the best and most diverse tropical saltwater fly fishing in the world.

Alphonse Island is situated in the Indian Ocean some 400 kilometres southwest of Mahé, which is the main island in the Seychelles. The island, which comprises an area of a mere 171 ha, is the home of an exclusive resort with a pool area, outdoor bar, full gourmet catering, and an array of super-comfortable private villas along the palm-strewn waterfront. The resort caters up to 12 fortunate fly fishing guests – and in addition to being spoiled with service and cuisine in a league of its own, they are treated to some of the world’s best and most diverse tropical fishing. It is possible to fish on your

own along Alphonse Island’s flats with good results, but the guided fishing takes place around the St. Francois Atoll, which offers varied hunting grounds in the form of flats, coral reefs, tidal currents, and drop offs. You’re transported to St. Francois on a catamaran and will subsequently get on board one of the flats skiffs that are anchored up there. Once there, you’ll find massive schools of fully grown bonefish, plenty of Indo-Pacific permit, trigger fish (Yellowmargin, Moustache and Picaso), milkfish and giant trevally – in addition to snappers, bluefin trevally, brassy trevally, groupers, bonito, parrotfish, nurse sharks and much, much more.


A typical day at the St. Francois Atoll involves close combat encounters with triggerfish along the coral reefs, quality shots at golden permit and nervous milkfish on the flats in addition to chaotic intermezzos of foraging giant trevally that appear suddenly and unannounced along drop offs and reef formations. There are bonefish enough to keep one plentifully entertained from morning till evening, but most people target either giant trevally or permit. Or they’ll methodically sweep through promising areas, cover the water and cast at whatever presents itself – and that’s a lot! If the impulse to go big game hunting should manifest itself, Alphonse Island also has the option of renting a charter boat. On it you can easily access deeper water and fish for sailfish, marlin, tuna, wahoo, giant trevally and much more. Especially the sailfishing is in a league of its own and the same is the wahoo- and tuna fishing. If you’re interested in booking a trip to Alphonse Island, or some of the other renowned Alphonse Fishing Co destinations in the Seychelles – including Cosmoledo and Astove, send an email to: reservations@alphonsefishingco.com For further information, be sure to check out these links: http://www.alphonsefishingco.com http://www.seychelles.travel


Fact file – Transport and logistics The transportation to Alphonse Island is usually via Dubai to Mahé and Seychelles International Airport. Here, Emirates is an obvious choice, seeing as they have regular flights with appropriate arrival times in relation to the journey onwards: www.emirates.com/no/English Depending on your itinerary, you might experience a good deal of layover in Dubai International Airport, and it might therefore be a good idea to get some rest in the Dubai International Airport Hotel, which is conveniently located inside the departure terminal: www.dubaiintlhotels.com From the airport in Mahé you’ll continue your journey to Alphonse Island on a 1-hour IDC flight arranged by Alphonse Fishing Co. It departs from a hangar outside the International Airport, and getting there involves a five-minute taxi-ride.


Martin Ejler Olsen

PHOTOGRAPHER & FLY FISHING GLOBETROTTER


I’m lucky enough to get to fly fish some of the most remote and beautiful destinations in the world. When I’m there, however, I don’t want to rely on luck. I want to eliminate all the stochastic variables! That’s why I only use the best gear available – and Lenz Optics have become an integral part of my gear setup. Lenz Optics keep me sharp and focused when it really counts!

www.lenzoptics.com | www.facebook.com/lenzoptics


New on the market

Two-in-One Sun Glasses: ALL NEW LENZ OPTICS SPOTTER SUN GLASSES Lenz Optics have impressed greatly with their hand-made sunglasses fitted with the very best ZEISS polaroid lenses. Now, they’re launching a new range of sunglasses: the Spotter. They are 2-in-1 sunglasses that can be used with or without the leather side shields, which means they can be used for both casual wear and for hard core fly fishing. Their side- and front shields effectively block out any false light, so that the 100% polarized lenses can do their job and eliminate all water reflections. For more info, check: http://www.lenzoptics.com/product/spotter/

New Clothing: #CHASEIT SHIRTS BY APRIL VOKEY Fin Chasers Magazine-writer and fly fishing guide, April Vokey, has launched a series of cool t-shirts with a simple but powerful statement. Her new Chase It t-shirts convey the essence of what fly fishing is all about – chasing that next adventure, that rush of excitement when the line comes taught or that moment, when you find yourself immersed in a setting surreal in its beauty and wonder. The new t-shirs are available in black and brown in the Fly Gal webshop: http://www.flygal.ca/shop/chase-it-t-shirt-black/


Winter Clothing: SCIERRA BREEZE ZIP FLEECE JACKET If you’re in the market for a comfortable and warm layer jacket that will double as an outer layer jacket for fishing during the summer, you might want to check out the new Scierra Breeze Fleece Jacket. It is made from soft 94% polyester and 6% spandex Tech Fleece fabric, and it has an anti-piling surface treatment with soft brushed backing. Other than that the jacket features:

Scierra: X-TECH 20000 CHEST WADERS Scierra has a long history of making great waders, and for 2017 they will be launching an upgraded version of their innovative X-Tech waders. They have been named X-Tech 20000 for their extreme water proofness with up to 20.000mm of water pressure resistance. The waders feature a tough 5-layer polyester micro fabric construction with great breathability of over 400MVP. In addition the waders feature:

For more info, please visit: www.scierra.com

For more info, please visit: www.scierra.com


New on the market

Fin Chaser Magazine-writer and photographer, David Lambroughton, has just released his 2017 fly fishing calendar. To get your hands on one, please contact Peter Elberse at info@elbi.nl


The Gen Ho

Fish Mongolia: www.FishMongolia.com


e Guides for nghis Khan’s ome Waters MONGOLIA RIVER OUTFITTERS

Mongolia River Outfitters: www.MongoliaRivers.com


FLY TYING:

PHEASANT TAIL NYMPH

By BARRY ORD CLARKE (WWW.THEFEATHERBENDER.COM)

The original pheasant tail nymph came from the vice of legendary English fly tyer and fishermen Frank Sawyer around 1930. He designed the pheasant tail nymph to imitate may fly nymphs (Baetis) on the southern English river Avon, where he was river keeper.

Sawyer’s original pattern used only pheasant tail fibers and fine copper wire instead of normal tying thread, to give the pattern extra weight. Although this is an excellent imitation of the swift swimming Baetis nymphs in little larger sizes it also works as an

all round nymph for blind fishing. With only only three materials, and tying thread needed for this pattern it still helps to choose the right materials. At first glance, one pheasant tail feather, looks like any other pheasant


tail feather, or does it? Take a look at the pheasant tail feathers I chose at random from my materials, and you will see they are very different! Not only does the background colour and shading on each tail differ immensely but the black chevrons vary from light to dark and thin to thick. But probably the most important factor is fiber length. Normally the best marked feathers with the longest fiber length are found center top of the tail. So remember when buying pheasant tails dont just take the first one you see in the shop, look through them all and find the best for the flies you intend to tie. Examine the feather, is the tip all dirty and worn ? if so its

Step 111 Step

probably come from a domestically bred bird. The best tail feathers are generally from wild birds. Check if the feather is clean and has a nice glossy sheen to it and all the fibers are in place. You should also avoid tail feathers with insect damage. This can easily be seen as a thin line transparent line that runs 90 degrees from the feather shaft through the fibers, where the insect has eaten the feathers barbules. MATERIALS: Hook: Mustad S82NP # 18-10 Thread: Olive Tail: Pheasant tail fibers Abdomen: Pheasant tail fibers Rib: Fine copper wire Thorax: Peacock herl Wing case: Pheasant tail fibers Legs: Pheasant tail fibers

Step 2

Step 3


Step Step 411

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Step 8

Step 9

Step 11

Step 12

Step 10


Step Step 1311

Step 14

Step 15

Step 16

Step 17

Step 18

Step 19

Step 20

Step 21


X-Tech CC6 Hard core, revolutionary and outstanding superior breathable wader at all levels – technology, innovation & design !

Detachable 100% WP mobile or camera cover included.

www.scierra.com www.facebook.com/scierraflyfishing


• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Extremely tough & durable 5 layer polyester twill fabric with peach & DWR finish for entire leg part mixed with same 3 layer fabric for upper body part Supreme WP of more than 20.000mm and high breathability over 6.000 mvp 100% taped seams inside with extra wide tape for higher quality Taped with structured Japanese premium tape outside Fixed inner double layer with adjustable neoprene waist working as waist wader for perfect fit Innovative zipper side gussets at upper chest for best fit options and comfort New technical laminated 3D front pocket w/WR zipper 2 fleece-lined handwarmer side pockets w/WR zippers Adjustable wading belt with fixed laminated belt straps and strong buckle Padded shoulder design with elasticated adjustable suspenders for ultimate comfort D-ring upper back Zipper inner pocket with detachable 100% WP mobile or camera pocket Superior built-in flexible gravel guard with corrosion-free hook Top quality 3.5mm neoprene sock with strong tape and dotted footbed


THE

EDITOR’S

CHOSEN

VIDEOS

TRAILER “C&R - CRIME & REALITY?” By BROTHERSONTHEFLY (German language. Enable English subtitles if needed!) As you might or might not know, pure Catch and Release fishing is illegal in Germany. How are people dealing with it, especially those who are interested in conservation and protecting wild fish populations? This film follows 3 different groups trying to deal with the issue while pursueing different goals. Official selection RISE fly fishing film festival 2017 (Germany, Austria, Switzerland)


“PIRA” By CAPT JACK PRODUCTIONS For many years one of Latin America’s most exciting game fish was kept a secret in its heartland. For over a decade now, the Golden Dorado or ‘River Tiger’ as it is affectionately known, has been discovered and has quickly become a one-of-a-kind fly-fishing experience.

“BETWEEN THE LINES” TRAILER By LONELY OSPREY PRODUCTIONS


THE ETICAL FLY TYER

Where do our fly tying materials come from?

Rasmus Ovese n

By RASMUS OVESEN MY FLY TYING ARCHIVES are teeming with colourful and exotic fly tying materials. They have been accumulated throughout the years and have been systematized with great care. A lot of the materials are synthetic, but quite a few of them are natural. This, for instance, is the case with the many hackle capes and the marabou and CDC feathers. It is also the case with a lot of the dubbing materials that I use so frequently, as well as all the pieces of skin that I cherish – skins that stem from animals like polar fox, elk, moose,

goat, mink, opossum, racoon, kangaroo, and hares. In an old archive, where a large collection of classic salmon fly tying materials are stowed away, golden pheasant-, kingfisher-, and guinea fowl skins are stored. This archive also contains feathers from parrots, Amherst pheasants, macaw, wood duck, ostrich, Eurasian Jay, turkey, and jungle cock – just to name those that come to my mind first. AS A KID it was fascinating to go explore the fly tying shops and squander


away all my pocket money. With their textures, glows, colours and unlimited applications, the fly tying materials constituted a creative treasure trove - with a small attached hope that the resulting flies would later induce some heady strikes. The materials were picked frantically from the display walls and brought back home – and I never differentiated between synthetic and natural materials. It was just fly tying, and all my efforts at the fly tying desk never gave rise to any speculations other than those evolving around compositions, proportions, and choice of colours.

IN MY CASE, the first ethical landslide in terms of tying flies happened when a Greenpeace campaign made me aware that some Greenland hunters apparently hunted and killed extremely stressed and frightened seals with clubs – and in some instances skinned them alive. Suddenly, I couldn’t tie salmon flies involving a body section of seal dubbing, without thinking about how that dubbing had ended up in my local fly tying shop. Had it involved doubtful slaughtering and skinning methods, and were the seals really threatened like Greenpeace seemed to be suggesting?

“An example of how you can find synthetic substitutes for most materials. Can you tell which fly is made out of natural materials and which one is made out of synthetic materials?”


If there’s one thing life has taught me, it is to be sceptical of all radicalized representations of the truth - if it even makes sense talking about such a thing in finite terms. But even though I couldn’t know for sure, where my own fly tying materials were stemming from - and whether or not Greenpeace’s claims were trustworthy - I was no longer capable of buying natural fly tying materials without speculating on how they had been made, and whether or not the production of them could be legitimized in light of their intended use. Were my flies really so important, that unnecessary blood had to be spilt? AS THE YEARS PASSED, more and more of my fly tying materials drew attention to themselves – either because the animals they stemmed from were threatened or because rumours suggested they were being hunted and killed inhumanely. This, for instance, was the case with my polar bear skin, my (certified) jungle cock, and not least my pieces of dried up eel skin flanks: all of them stemming from endangered species. It was also the case with the polar fox tails that I was using so frequently. They came from animals that quite often are caught using horrific scissor traps – traps that cause the animals unnecessary stress and suffering before being killed. Also, I couldn’t ignore all the many classical fly tying materials I had accumulated. They mainly consisted of exotic bird skins from the very heart of the rainforest, and I could hardly bare the thought of how they had ended up in my archives. Generally, it became painfully obvious that there was a lot, I didn’t know about my fly tying materials. It worried my – and it continues to do so. For instance, I still don’t know whether or not some animals are being hunted solely for the purpose of producing fly tying materials, and if the hunting methods are questionable.


I have no idea whether the production of genetically engineered hackles is ethically sound. And I have no real clue as to whether or not the use of certain classic fly tying materials creates an artificial demand for threatened species of birds in the tropics… FLY FISHERMEN AND FLY TYERS are typically deeply engaged individuals with an acute appreciation of the subtle beauty that exist in Nature and in its overwhelming diversity. Moreover, most of us are environmentally conscious to the point where we get involved in conservational causes, stock enhancement efforts - and not least animal welfare. However, when it comes to fly tying materials, it is difficult to know when to react and act. I have started to use more and more synthetic materials, and when I do buy natural materials, I make sure that I am 100% certain that they come from non-threatened animals that have been killed and handled soundly. (In this regard it helps having friends that are avid hunters). Moreover, I have started to ask the retailers and the producers of the fly tying materials some critical answers – not just to become a bit wiser myself, but also to let the market players know that they have responsibilities in terms of animal welfare and conservation. Whether or not you should do the same isn’t for me to assess. But under all circumstances, it is healthy to be a little critical and sceptical in terms of things that aren’t characterized by complete transparency. So keep this in mind the next time you sit down at your fly tying desk or pop your head in at your local fly tying shop. Awareness starts with curiosity!


USE SYNTHETIC ALTERNATIVES. There are lots of fly tying materials that make sense avoiding. For instance, there are so many different synthetic dubbing materials on the market nowadays, that it hardly makes any sense buying natural ones. As an example, SLF Dubbing is the perfect seal substitute, and it also doubles nicely as hare’s ear dubbing. The same thing goes for a lot of wing materials. Polar Aire and Poly Bear are just two examples that perfectly imitate the long, glossy fibres of a real polar bear. In much the same way, polar fox wings can easily be substituted with synthetic Polar Fibres without diminishing the effectiveness of the resulting flies. Generally, there are lots of synthetic alternatives to existing natural materials, and they are easy to get a hold of and fairly inexpensive. Even synthetic jungle cock feathers of great quality can be had nowadays – for instance the ProSportfisher Pro Jungle Cock HD. It is a photo-realistic feather printed on small plastic sheets, and besides being more durable than the natural feathers, they are also cheaper.

BE CAREFUL WITH… Especially as a salmon fly tyer, you’re dealing with a lot of exotic materials that stem from endangered or threatened animals – especially birds. Cites, which is an organisation based on an international treaty from 1973 for the protection of critically endangered species, works to stop illegal trade with animals, furs, skins, and the likes. They certify quite a few salmon fly tying materials, meaning that – when you buy, for instance, a Cites approved cape - you can be absolutely sure that the materials are sustainable. This is the case with birds such as; jungle cock, Indian crow, Guinea Vulturine, Satyr Tragopan, Argus, and Palawan – just to mention a few. On the official Cites Organisation website, you can find the full list over threatened or endangered animals. www.cites.org/eng/app/appendices.php


CHIMALFE PATAGONIA LODGE:

Fly Fishing in Glacial Realm of the Andes

Just imagine: Luxury accommodation, fine cuisine, spectacular landscapes and the most fantastic fishing experience in Southern Chile. That’s what the Chimalfe Patagonia Lodge offers, and in the following, local guide – Jaime Castillo – explains all about it.

By JAIME CASTILLO Photos by JAIME CASTILLO and MARCELO POO


I’ve been fortunate enough to fly fish and guide all across Chile and abroad. And I keep coming back to a certain place – the Chimalfe Patagonia Lodge. It is a privileged site that has views of the glaciers and the Andes Mountains, which in this region blends into the Pacific Ocean forming the magical fiords of southern Chile. The lodge is nestled on a hill with a unique view of where the Yelcho River is born, and while some will remark on the high level of quality the lodge’s amenities, food and service, I’m mostly fascinated with its rich variety of fishing opportunities. Here, you will be able to target brown trout – as well as rainbow trout and brook trout – in myriads of small tributaries, creeks, rivers and lakes, and I continue to be fascinated by the richness of the individual biotopes: Their diversity, beauty and uniqueness. The whole area is teeming with trout – oftentimes in brutal sizes, and whether you’re into dry fly fishing, nymphing or streamer fishing, there is always a venue to suit your needs. I particularly love to float some of

the larger watersheds – including the Yelcho River, which is a gin-clear river with lots of feisty brown trout that seem to be more keen on hitting big terrestrial surface flies than most trout elsewhere. It is a tranquil experience to float this mellow and meandering river, which sweeps through some of the most beautiful terrain that Patagonia has to offer. Breathlessly watching a chunky brown trout rise from the depths of the river – as if in slow motion - to erupt on a big Tjernobyl Ant or Cricket is the epitome of what Patagonian trout fishing is all about. And you’re hard put to find a more picturesque place to experience this than on the Yelcho River. The Chimalfe Patagonia Lodge is located at Yelcho Lake, which is a large fiord-shaped lake located in Chilean Patagonia, in the southern Palena province of the Los Lagos Region, Chile. The lake receives its cool, clear waters from the Futaleufu River at its southern tip, near the tiny settlement of Puerto Ramirez.


The river then flows northward through mountainous and glaciated terrain, until it outflows via the Yelcho River and empties into the Gulf of Corcovado, near ChaitÊn. The whole stretch of the river – and the surrounding area, offers trout fishing that is completely irresistible to me. Getting here Typically, guests came from Santiago, and on through Puerto Montt (Tepual Airport) then to La Paloma Airfield (from Tepual Airport to La Paloma Airfield takes approximately 20 minutes depending on traffic) and then to Chaiten Airport. If you arrive at Puerto Montt in the afternoon, it is highly recommend that you spend the night in Puerto Varas. Puerto Varas has several high-quality hotel accommodations. The city center is small and cozy and local attractions are within walking distance. Local dining is great and for the gambler, there is a casino.


From Puerto Varas to the La Paloma Airfield in Puerto Montt there is a drive of approximately 30 minutes. Flights from La Paloma Airfield to Chaitén leave at 9:30 hours every morning and you must show up 45 minutes before departure. There are two reliable airlines that fly this route. www.aerocord. cl and www.pewenchile.com . These airlines fly Cessna Grand Caravan 208B and Twin Otter DHC-6 aircrafts. Members of the lodge’s guide staff will be waiting for you at Chaiten Airport to take you to the Lodge, which is a 60-minute drive passing through the town of Chaiten, which is being rebuilt due to the 2008 eruption of the volcano with the same name. The Back to Reality Day starts with an early breakfast at 8:00 hours and a trip back to the Chaiten Airfield, driven by the lodge’s staff. Flights back to Puerto Montt are available from Monday to Saturday at 10:30 hours. It is adviced to book your flight from Puerto Montt to Santiago with a flexible modality, and after 16:00 hours, considering that delays may happen because of the weather conditions in Chaitén and/or Puerto Montt.

Daily Itinerary The day commences with a top flight breakfast at 8:30 hours. When the fishermen are ready, they are taken to the dock, which is 200 meters from the lodge. You will then be chasing trout until 1:30 hours or until your stomach begins to rumble for a hefty Chilean lunch (lunch in Chile is the main meal of the day) on the riverbank. A charcoal grilled barbecue or an open fire dish is the norm – accompanied, of course, by local salads and some carbs. Lunch takes up somewhere between 60 to 90 minutes of the time during a full day of fishing. However, since fishing is not obligatory – certain clients prefer to take a nap next to the river, or simply fish full throttle. For the meal to go down smoothly, Chilean wines and beers are served. And if the weather conditions are adverse we serve a wholesome broth to warm the “tummy”. After this typical and invigorating lunch, you’ll continue to test your flies until you’ve had your fair share of feisty trout, and you’re ready for a Pisco Sour back at the Lodge.


The programme for each day will be discussed at the dinnertime with the head guide and his team, thus offering fishing schedules tailor made for each guest. Accomodation - Luxury accomodation near Yelcho Lake The bedrooms at the Chimalfe Patagonia Lodge are clean and comfortable and uniquely set up to accommodate couples, singles, or double occupancy “fishing buddies”. With 4 bedrooms, the lodge can physically accommodate 8 guests. Each bedroom has private bathrooms. Fine linen sheets, top quality duvets and hand crafted furniture all add to the ambiance of the spectacular wilderness setting. All rooms are equipped with luggage storage, heated towel rails, and bath robes. The Fishing Yelcho Lake is located in the Lake District of southern Chile in the Palena Province. The lake is fed by the Futaleufú River and is one of the deepest lakes in Chile. It is a popular location for fly fishing enthusiasts who are rewarded with catches of brook, brown and rainbow trout. The season opens in October and ends the first Sunday of May.


To fish the different rivers (Palena, Yelcho, Futaleufu and a few secret ones), you probably need to carry a few different rods rigged with certain flies, and be ready to switch at a moments notice. If you get the opportunity to smack your foam dragonfly into the wake left by a feeding monster you will stand the chance of experiencing a take that will send shivers down your spine. The fish on the local rivers are extremely fat with unparalleled strength – and they grow to stupendous sizes. The quality of the fishing, in my opinion, is some of the most spectacular and rewarding in the world. Rates and Reservation The 2017 season rates for the fishing lodge in Yelcho Lake are $4800 per person per week. The package includes accommodations and meals at the lodge, guided fishing, flies, transfers between Chaitén airport and the lodge, beer, wine and soft drinks, Wi-Fi. The package does not include Airfare Santiago-Puerto Montt- Chaitén, accommodations, meals, and transfers in Santiago and Puerto Montt, personal equipment, hard liquor, fishing licenses, gratuities, laundry.


Packing List Rods: a) Five weight preferably medium action b) Seven weight preferably medium to faster action c) Ten Weight single or double hand rod, if you want to fish for King Salmon. Lines: Floating and sinking lines for all the rods. Non-fluorescent colored lines work much better Leaders and Tippet a) Three 9 ft 20 pounds b) Two 9 ft 3x c) Four 10 ft 4x d) Leader Material 0x- 2x- 3x - 4x one spool each. Flies: We will provide the flies needed for the week. Feel free to bring any fly you love. We will be happy to learn about new flies.


Clothing: Neutral colors like tan and green provide the best camouflage. Bright colors can spook fish. We also recommend bringing layered clothing, so you can adjust your clothing as the weather dictates. It can also be windy. The next list it is what we believe is good to have with you. If you follow our suggestions you should be ready to have a confortable time no matter the weather conditions we have: 1x Waterproof, breathable jacket (suggest dependable Gore-tex or similar wading jacket with hood) 2x Fleece jacket and/or wool sweater (suggest one heavy and one mid-weight) 1x Light synthetic or down fill jacket (recommended) 1x Fleece or wool vest 1x Waterproof, breathable pants (optional) 2x Casual long-pants (suggest quick-dry or similar suitable for wet wading) 1x Casual short pants (suggest quick-dry since some folks like to swim during the trip) 3x Long-sleeve fishing shirt

6x Underwear 5x Socks (wool, smart wool, or similar) 2x Poly-pro wicking sock liners 2x Long underwear pant (suggest two mid-weight poly-pro, smart wool, capilene, or similar) 3x Long-sleeve, long underwear shirt (suggest one heavy and two mid-weight poly-pro, smart wool, capilene, or similar) 1x Warm hat (fleece or wool) 1x Sun hat 1x Bandanna, light scarf, or buff 1x Warm gloves and/or mittens (suggest waterproof neoprene) 1x Shoes (waterproof or water resistant) 1x Sandals 1x Gore-Tex Waders 1x Wading shoes no felt soles or cleats please 1x Insect Repellent Note: • Electrical voltage in Chile is 220v. The lodge does have converters if needed but you might want to take one along if you are doing any additional traveling in Chile.


Which of these fl catches m

FISHING FLIES & FLY

JSONSWE


flies do you think most fish?

Y TYING PRODUCTS

EDEN.COM


WE’RE ON I


N S TAG R A M #intheloopmagazine


Pre vio us issu es


click to watch

ISSUE #13

ISSUE #14

ISSUE #15


We’ll keep yo u #intheloop

Profile for In the Loop Fly Fishing Magazine

In the Loop Fly Fishing Magazine - Issue 16