WHERE ARE WE TAKING
TAKING YOU THIS TIME ?
EDITORIALDylan Smith Editor in Chief
Good news concerning Bluefin tuna in the Atlantic
Until 2006, Bluefin tuna stocks on the Euro pean side of the Atlantic were in serious dan ger. The lack of regulations and overfishing decimated the Bluefin tuna population, un til the countries member of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas accepted new measures and regulations in 2010. Only fish over 30kg were allowed to be kept, and more laws were voted the following years.
Since 2012, Bluefin tuna stocks have been ri sing, and the species is now well out of danger. In the early 2000s, on 10 to 12 flights between August and September, 60 schools of tuna were seen by scientists of the coast of France. Most recently, they could see over 300 schools of tuna in one flight! Let’s hope this success ful comeback is here to last, because the good numbers also mean fishing quotas might be rising soon as well...
Contributor Stephan Dombaj with a beautiful Argentinian brook trout. Article p.56
Editor in chief
Rudy Van Duijnhoven
Stephan Dombaj Laurel White Marina Gibson Julius Kogel
Sportfishing Adventures magazine, published quarterly, is independently owned and operated by DMS Editions. Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. No part of this magazine can be reproduced without prior permission.
For inquiries, contact the editor: email@example.com
IGFA NEW RECORDS
On July 5, 2022, Eduardo Monteiro landed this impressive 97-centimeter trahira which ties the existing IGFA All-Tackle Length World Record for the species. Monteiro was fishing the Rio Curua in Brazil when this fish exploded on his topwater “maddog” lure. After a short battle he landed the record fish, recorded the length on his official IGFA Measuring Device, and released the fish safely back into the river. Congratula tions, Eduardo on an incredible fish!
Beckwith’s Pacific Snook
On July 3, 2022, Captain George Hughes Beckwith, Jr. was fishing off Quepos, Costa Rica, when he landed this massive Pacific snook. George was fi shing with Captain Roy Zapata Calderon when this 19.73-kilogram (43-pound, 8-ounce) Pacific snook ate his live sardine. After a 20-minute fight he landed the record snook, setting the new IGFA Men’s 3-kg (6lb) Line Class World Record for the species. Congratulations, George on an impressive fish and an incredible record!
Kathryn Vallilee, who currently holds both the IGFA Women’s 2-kg (4-lb) and 3-kg (6-lb) Tippet Class World Records for permit, recently set the IGFA Women’s 4-kg (8-lb) Tippet Class World Record as well with this impressive 12.02-kilogram (26-pound, 8-ounce) permit landed on August 31, 2022. Kathryn was fishing the flats off Key West, Florida, USA, with IGFA Captain Brandon Cyr when this permit fell for a shrimp-pattern fly. After a 20-minute fight, Kathryn landed the fish and quickly documented the catch before releasing the fish. Congratulations, Kathryn on yet ano ther incredible permit record on fly!
IGFA Representative from Italy, Paolo Pacchia rini, was fishing the Traun River in Austria on July 14, 2022, when he landed this beautiful 1.59-kilogram (3-pound, 8-ounce) grayling. With this fish, Paolo set the IGFA Men’s 1-kg (2-lb) Tippet Class World Record for the spe cies. After recording the weight and snapping a few photos, Paolo released the fish safely. Congratulations, Paolo on another impressive IGFA World Record!
IGFA LATEST NEWS
IGFA, Costa Sunglasses, and Partners to Send
IGFA Great Marlin Race Winner Announced
The winner of the 2021-2022 IGFA Great Marlin Race is a satellite tag sponsored by Tony Huerta of the Lo Que Sea and deployed on an estimated 300-pound blue marlin tagged during the 2021 Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.
tains & Guides in Southwest Florida Following Hurricane Ian
IGFA is collaborating with several industry leaders to send relief funding from the IGFA’s Worldwide Anglers Relief Fund (WARF) to the recreational fi shing community in Southwest Florida in wake of Hurricane Ian. Hurricane Ian made landfall on Sept. 28, 2022, near Fort Myers, Fla., bringing with it a devastating storm surge, flooding, and strong winds. Fort Myers, Naples, and surrounding areas experienced catastrophic damage that will take months to years to fully recover. Recreational angling is interwo ven into these communities, and many professional captains and guides have been drastically im pacted by this disaster.
Forage Fish Research Project Update
Last month the Florida Forage Fish Coalition consisting of the IGFA, The Pew Cha ritable Trusts, Wild Oceans, The American Sportfishing Association, Florida Wild life Federation, Fish Florida and Angler Action Network, hosted the 6th Forage Fish Data Workshop with the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) in St. Petersburg, Florida. Presentations were given by Forage Fish Research Program (FFRP) fellows and FWRI priorities for the 2022-2023 fellowships were discussed.
The 2022 IGFA Permit Invitational
A total of 18 teams, comprised of world-class anglers and guides, com peted in the 2022 IGFA Permit Invi tational from September 20 – September 23, 2022, out of the beautiful Ocean’s Edge Resort & Marina in Key West, Florida, US.
NORWAY THE LODGE
Text by Rudy van Duijnhoven, pictures Rudy van Duijnhoven, Cora Nicolasen and others.
Some successful ‘singles’ on this river.
After two years of corona troubles, the season for salmon fishing in Norway finally started in the usual way in 2022 on June 1st, with the necessary ceremonies and gatherings of salmon (fly) fishermen along the waterfront.
Cora and I were invited to at
tend the opening of the salmon season at the Tingvoll Lodge on the Verdalselva, just over an hour and a half’s drive from Trondheim in Norway. More well-known fly fisher men had been invited for the opening (including Robert Stroh from the EWF with son Valentin and daughter Lara, the well known fly cas ting instructor Glenda Powell and Noel Fitzmaurice from
Driving in Norway re quires time, as spee ding fines can be a real drain on your holiday funds...
Ireland, Dave Grove from Go Fishing, Mark Cockburn from the Atlantic Salmon Trust and Colin Mcfadyen, who is a fishing guide on the River Tay in Scotland) and we would then stay for a few more days of fishing.
Taking the time
As we had to take the neces sary photographic equipment and fly-fishing gear with us, we had decided to make the trip by car at our leisure. Of course, you can also fly to
Trondheim and be picked up there or take a rental car, but then you are limited in what you can take with you in terms of clothing and equipment. Not to mention the risks of delays and luggage not arri ving at the destination. Robert Stroh’s group knows what I am talking about...
After spending the night near Kiel, we boarded the Color Fantasy of the Color Line on Sunday morning for the mini-cruise from Kiel to Oslo. This meant that we did not
have to deal with the stress of getting up extra early and the possibility of long traffic jams at the Elbe tun nel. The crossing is truly a mini-cruise on a beautiful, huge ship, with all kinds of restaurants, shops, luxurious rooms with good beds and plenty of leisure facilities on board. After a good night’s sleep, you arrive in Norway at ten o’clock the next morning, not on the south coast but quite a long way inland. Driving in Norway requires time, as speeding fines can
Most of the beats are easy to wade on this river.
be a real drain on your holiday funds... And why not simply enjoy driving through the special landscape with its impressive nature. After another night in Trondheim, we arrived at the Tingvoll Lodge on Tuesday 31 May around noon, where we were warmly welcomed by John Olav Oldren and Gunn He len Grønn. Later that day, at midnight, the salmon season would officially start.
The Tingvoll Salmon Fishing Lodge ‘Lakseloftet’ is a 148
square metre, two-storey building of a high standard. The lodge has two double rooms and five single rooms, so that at least seven people can stay at the same time. The house has two spacious showers with toilet, plus an extra toilet; of course, the Wifi is not lacking either. You can really enjoy the peace, nature and space here, especially as it hardly gets dark in the summer.
The Home Pool of Tingvoll Beat is just 80 metres from
Fishing from the Tingvoll Salmon Fi shing Lodge is done on several kilometres of pools on some of the best sections of the Verdal River.
the lodge and here you will also find a hut, with a ma gnificent view over the river, where you can regularly light a campfire, have a barbecue or eat and drink together.
Fishing from the Tingvoll Salmon Fishing Lodge is done on several kilometres of pools on some of the best sections of the Verdal River, from one or both banks. The beats available vary from month to month depending on water levels. Annual ly, guests of Tingvoll catch between 120 and 250 Atlan tic salmon with weights up to sixteen kilograms! Sea trout
are also caught, the heaviest fish in 2021 being 4.2 kilo grams (!).
During your stay at the Tingvoll Lodge, you can let John and Helen take care of the food (and both are ex cellent cooks, I can assure you), but it is also possible to take care of your own food; in the lodge there is a well-equipped kitchen. Around the dining table in the lodge you can eat with about eight people at a time, after which you can ‘stretch out’ on the comfortable benches next to the dining table. The walls are decorated with pho
tos of caught salmon, with replicas of salmon and with framed salmon flies. A book case is filled with (fly) fishing books, so that you can easily bridge a period of very bad weather.
John Olav is from Scotland, so he appeared shortly before midnight in a Scotti sh kilt; Gunn Helen is from the mountainous regions of Norway, so she appeared in a Bunad, a traditional Norwegian costume. John Olav welcomed everyone, made a short speech and then poured
The rapids section of the Verdalselva, near the village of Vuku.
A stunning late-night chromer!
some whisky into the river as an opening ceremony. Next it was Glenda Powell and Lara Stroh who each made a short speech, both making it clear that they were very honoured to be the at the official opening. Glenda and Lara then lengthened their fly lines and made their first casts in the twilight. With that, the salmon season had officially begun on the beats of the Tingvoll Lodge.
Expectations were high, in any case, as the salmon caught and released by a professional fisherman in the fjord turned out to be in excellent condi
tion and of a magnificent size. Apparently, the Atlan tic salmon from this region can again find sufficient food at sea, which was not always the case. Cora and I also fi shed for about an hour and a half, but then we decided to go to bed. During the first few hours, a salmon was hooked by one of the guests, but it was a matter of long line release after a short time.
The Verdalselva is a 21 kilometre long river that flows in the municipality of Verdal in Trøndelag County, Norway.
The Verdalselva River flows west into Trond heimsfjord after passing through the vil lage of Verdalsøra.
The river begins at Holmen in the village of Vuku after the confluence of the Inna and Helgåa rivers. The Ri ver Inna flows from Lake Innsvatnet near the Swedish border and the River Helgåa flows from Lake Veresvatnet near the village of Vera. The Verdalselva River flows west into Trondheimsfjord after passing through the vil lage of Verdalsøra. The Verdalselva is one of Norway’s top rivers for salmon fishing! The water level is influenced by the melting of snow in
the mountains, which causes the water level to rise during the day and to fall again du ring the night. At the begin ning of the season, the river was at least half a metre too high, which did not make fi shing any easier. However, the beats we fished were all easy to walk on, so that the promising sections could be fished well.
Due to the higher water le vel, the two-handed fly rods were fitted with a Scandi or Skagit fly line with a sinking
tip, a fast sinking polyleader was attached to the tip, a lea der tip with a tensile force of around ten kilograms and a large salmon fly or tube fly. Please note that not all polyleaders can handle a tensile force of around ten kilograms, you need extra strong versions such as those made by Airflo. The running line and the backing behind the Scandi or Skagit fly line should also have a higher tensile strength than that of the leader tip, otherwise in the event of a line breakage
The Tingvoll Lodge’s Home Pool, seen from the hut on the river. Always worth a few swings!
more than just the leader tip, the fly and the hooked sal mon will be lost...
The first morning Cora and I fished the Tingvoll Beat in front of the lodge. Cora went first, kept wading fairly shallow and fished the sec tion close to the shore well. I waded a little deeper and fished further out, but also let the fly swing until right below me downstream. A few strips, a few steps downstream and then the next cast could be made. The wind was upstream,
a good reason to use Single Spey casts with our fourteen foot/420 cm long fly rods to place the salmon fly back in the right place and distance.
During the swing you can either let the fly line hang in a loop between your rod hand and the fly reel (and then re lease the line upon a take, af ter which you lift the rod to set the hook) or you do not hold the line and let the sal mon pull some line off the fly reel first on a take. In the lat ter case, the drag is initially set to a light setting and after setting the hook, the drag
Halfway down the gravel bank, there is suddenly a big swirl near my salmon fly.
setting should be increased immediately; in the former case you can leave the drag setting set to a heavy setting. Which method you prefer is up to you, John Olav prefers to fish with a lightly set fly reel drag, the other method has cost him too many sal mon, he says...
Halfway down the gravel bank, there is suddenly a big swirl near my salmon fly, a large tubefly with soft, black and blue hair. I don’t know whether I let go of the fly line, which I had hung in a loop in front of the reel, but
in no time I am standing with a deeply bent fly rod. At first, the salmon does not seem to realise that it has been hooked and it moves calmly to deeper water. The fish does not take much line yet, but it makes two beautiful jumps, during which I can see that it is a fish that weighs something like eight to ten kilograms. After about five minutes the fish starts to panic and within a short space of time metres of backing disappear from the heavily set fly reel. After about ten minutes I finally feel that I have a little more control
and the fish. The transition from fly line to backing co mes into view again, the fish is straight downstream from me. Just as suddenly as the fight began, it is over again, suddenly the double hook of the tubefly pulls free from the salmon’s mouth, the rod jumps straight and I stand, illusion impaired, staring at the bottom of the river...
John Olav is an excellent fly-casting instructor and on two consecutive days he took Cora under his wing for a few
hours to teach her the finer points of the Single Spey. A few other casts were tried as well, but most attention went to the Single Spey because it can be used a lot here, under the given circumstances.
John Olav shows how the cast is done step by step, gives instructions to Cora when she tries it herself and sometimes they make some casts together. Cora was very happy with John’s instruction, it allowed her to fish further with confidence and she also managed to get some takes; probably from
small sea trout, but still.
During the three days on the river, we also fished Mic key’s Beat (the first pool downstream of the Tingvoll Beat, also on the left bank), the Volen Beat (very nice and easy to wade) and the pool under the rapids at Vuku. On the right bank, under the ra pids, there is a huge reversing current, which makes it look like you are fishing upstream, but the current goes back towards the rapids there. We had some takes, but not from salmon, I think. Other guests did manage to land salmon
Most attention went to the Single Spey be cause it can be used a lot here, under the gi ven circumstances.
The smile says it all! A happy guest with a male salmon.
at the same time, Valentin Stroh had a nice ten-pound fish and Glenda Powell, while we were on her way home, landed a beautiful sixteen to eighteen pound heavy sal mon on the Tingvoll Beat!
Other beats that can be fished from the Tingvoll Lodge in clude the:
- Hynne Beat, eleven kilometres from the mouth, one and a half kilometres long. Fishable on both sides and
the first beat from the mouth where guests of the lodge can hook a salmon.
- Church Pool, 20 kilometres from the mouth, 400 metres long. Very good from me dium high to medium low from mid June onwards. The heaviest fish from this pool weighed sixteen kilograms. This pool is sometimes rented when more fishing water is needed.
- Berre Pool, 21 kilometres from the mouth, 800 metres long. This pool is also very
good from medium high to medium low from mid-June onwards. The heaviest fish from this pool weighed fif teen kilograms.
- Suspension Bridge, 27 kilo metres from the mouth, 750 metres long. Contains many salmon from the end of June, the heaviest fish from this pool weighed twelve kilo grams.
- Dennis’s Pool, 30 kilometres from the mouth, 500 metres long. Two pools which are the furthest upstream and
have not been fished much yet. They look very promi sing.
In almost all cases, there are landing nets ready at the beats, so you do not have to take care of this yourself. The Tingvoll Lodge also of fers fly rod, reel and line hire and there are plenty of sal mon flies and tubeflies for sale, should you be short of these. Your wading suit and wading shoes need to be disinfected before fishing, this can be done at the lodge and
John Olav will give you a certificate for this. John Olav can also take care of the state fishing permits, for Cora and me it was cheaper to take a family permit. Such a ‘Fiskeravgift 2022’ for us to gether came to 456 Norwegian crowns, about 45 euros.
The Tingvoll Lodge
Tingvoll Salmon Fishing is a family business that started in 2004 after three years of preparation and rebuilding the lodge. John has been fi
shing and hunting since the age of ten, he is a wildlife, hunting and fly fishing ins tructor. Two handed fly fi shing is his passion and he loves to be along the river with his guests, guiding them and gathering a week full of special experiences. John is a teacher just like Gunn Helen and together they work at the lodge du ring the three-month fishing season. All meals are pre pared with local vegetables and all meat and fish that are served are fresh
PARADISE POPPING & JIGGING MALDIVES
A nice black trevally (caranx lugubris) caught by the author.
Just before COVID I went on a holi day with my wife –to relax. However when there is water, I need to bring a rod. My expecta tions weren’t too high but after the days on the island I was blown away. So many fish in good sizes – I had to come back here only for fi shing!
So, after the travel restrictions were eased here in Germany a friend and me made plans
to get back to island where I had such an amazing topwa ter fishery. Ahmed, the owner of the Mariana Inn on Gaa faru, offered us a tailor-made package and after some hustle with the flights we were ready to get to the island. Before getting there, you have to wait a few hours for the local spee dboat on the airport in Malé.
After getting some snacks in the airport we were strolling
However on the outside we saw big schools of baitfish and some big fish under them!
A big school of baitfish with hungry predators ready to ambush. What a great way to kill time around the airport and start the trip!
around the harbor. Inside there wasn’t much to see, besides some small bluefin trevallies. However on the outside we saw big schools of baitfish and some big fish under them! We went from lethargic to hec tic in a matter of seconds. We headed quickly back to the air port and rigged our rods as fast as we could. In the next hours we caught some nice bluefin trevallies and groupers. A perfect start to the trip – first fish I caught next to an airport.
After a rough ride for about two hours, we finally arrived
at Gaafaru. About 60 kilometers south of Malé, 1300 people live on the island at the moment. Tourists are only al lowed to visit the island for a short time, before that it was only possible to visit the island within organized tours. Gaafaru owns the largest tuna fleet of the Maldives and therefore everything is adjusted to fi shing. All the locals live from it and have a special relation to it. So do our hosts Ahmed and Mohamed, two young Maldivians in their early 30’s. Their guesthouse has now been in operation for four years and they have improved everything ever since. The room service was on its toes the whole va
Gaafaru owns the lar gest tuna fleet of the Maldives and therefore everything is adjusted to fishing.
This gorgeous rusty jobfish (top) was a nice surprise on the jig!
Gaafaru (Northern Reef) is a large elliptical reef with only a small inhabited island at its eastern end. It is home to merely 1400 residents.
Even smaller size bluefin trevally will put your tackle to the test, never underestimate them!
cation and fulfilled every wish. Of course, the food is also very important on vacation. What the chef conjures up from the fish is absolutely top class and certainly does not have to hide from any of the surrounding resorts.
Getting hot The Maldives are known for
their excellent topwater fishing and great quantity. First time I have been there the GTs were absolutely on fire and smashing the lures on topwater. This year was different as the water was really warm and the GTs weren’t so eager to come up. However good timing and a lot of effort got some nice fish in the boat. Especially the entrances into the inner reef pro
duced some quality fish which gave a good workout on the PE 8 outfit. This time diving po ppers like the Amegari Urpekari were the lures which got us the most strikes. The best fishing was just before high tide in the first few hours of the day. Unfortunately, two really big ones couldn’t be stopped and pulled hooks. Especially the first one could have been
a 40kg + fish as it pulled line like crazy on the heavy PE10 outift. The Maldives are cer tainly not only a place where you can get small ones, PE8 should be fished to ensure you have a chance to land the big ones over the shallow structures where you have to fish. Apart from GTs we also had some nice bluefin treval lies, coral trout and red snap per which hunted down our stickbaits and poppers.
Jig Jig Jig
As mentioned, the fish weren’t really eager to strike on topwa ter. So, after the good hours in
the morning we tried our luck with jigging. The great thing about jigging the Maldives is that the spots are right next to the topwater casting areas. Simply set the boat about 100 meters away from these and you can experience great fishing. We had no sonar on the boat so at first, we were very skeptical about the spots and if it would be effective to jig. However, after the first drops, where we had the first strikes, it was clear that the experience of our guides made up for it. We had constant action with many nice fish landed and some monsters lost to the reef or sharks. Next time we will
Apart from GTs we also had some nice bluefin trevallies, coral trout and red snapper which hunted down our stickbaits and poppers.
Plenty of good-sized GT were caught during the trip, confirming the high potential of the surrounding reefs for popping.
definitely bring some assist steel leaders as we also had at least two nice dogtooth tuna which bit through the assist cord after fighting them for about ten minutes. Apart from the quantity the variety was astounding we landed twenty different species on our jigs and the JLC Xipi. Relax?
Besides all the hectic fishing, of course, relaxing was also the order of the day. There are pro bably only a few places in the world where this is easier than in the Maldives. The beach for tourists allows you to swim at all tides, which is very helpful considering the average tem
perature is around 30 degrees. Besides swimming, snorke ling is a real highlight. Great places in the inner reef can be reached after only five minutes boat ride and let you dive into another world. If it gets to bo ring and you’re still eager to do some fishing, there are plenty of possibilities around the island. Inside the lagoon are big triggerfish and par rot, on the outside you can catch all kinds of trevallies.
The relaxed atmosphere, combined with a world class fishery is something you have to experience for yourself! Get in contact with Marina Inn Maldives – you won’t regret it
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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UGLY STIK 150-POUND SCALE
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Z-MAN BONE HELLRAISER
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ABU GARCIA ZENON MG LTX
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PATAGONIA’S WILD TROUTText by Laurel White, photos by Stephan Dombaj, Marina Gibson & Julius Kogel
Anyone who has been to Argentina remembers their first time and why they fell in love with it. For us, my husband Julius and I, we went for the world famous fly fishing this past February. We chose the upper Patagonia region near Cholila and stayed at the Carrileufu River Lodge for about two weeks,
meeting up with our friends Stephan and Marina. The lodge is near an abundance of lakes and river systems at the foot of the Andes Mountains. The lakes and rivers are full of the most beauti ful brown and rainbow trout you have ever seen, carefully sipping flies off the surface or hanging out just below or on the edge of willows waiting for the unsuspecting
The lakes and rivers are full of the most beautiful brown and rainbow trout you have ever seen.
bugs to drift by.
First things first
But first, let’s talk about arri ving in Argentina. We landed in Buenos Aires and upon disembarking the plane, we were besieged with the heat and humidity. Coming from a cold German winter, we had to adjust from down jackets and scarves to shorts and T-shirts. Once our outfits were tailored to the weather, we were off to exchange a small amount of money so we could partake in a famous Argentinean steak be fore flying to Esquel the next
day. Later, we took a small detour to Buenos Aires An glers, one of Argentina’s ol dest fly shops.
Finding the place was like going on a scavenger hunt. It is quietly tucked into what appears to be an apartment complex. We walked into the building and careful ly asked the doorman if this is where the shop resides. The man smirked and told us to take the elevator to the eighth floor. Take a left off the elevator and then a right. Toward the end of the hall on the left is the shop. We were greeted by Marcelo, the
Germán is called the “Joker” because he can work any role in the lodge including a fantastic fishing guide.
owner and his dog. The shop is well equipped with any thing a fly anglers heart de sires. A bonus was chatting with Marcelo about all kinds of things from the economy, the concept of his shop, and most importantly, fishing. If you have time while in Bue nos Aires, stop by and check it out, it is worth a look!
The next day, we were on a three hour flight to Esquel, a tiny regional airport where our driver, Germán picked us up. Germán is called the “Joker” because he can work any role in the lodge inclu
ding a fantastic fishing guide.
There are two airports you can fly into, Esquel or Bariloche. Esquel is about a one and a half hour drive to the lodge and Bariloche is about two and a half hours. Ba riloche has multiple daily flights in and out of Bue nos Aires where Esquel offers one in and one out per day. We ended up being the last ones to exit the baggage claim because of all things, my rod tube with ALL of my rods and some of Stephan’s hadn’t shown up. I was starting to get really nervous
when I saw the luggage cart drive away and no more lug gage coming through on the carrousel. Luckily Julius had bought Apple AirTags and was able to track my rod tube sitting between the airplane and the baggage claim. We approached an airport em ployee explaining our situa tion and that we could tell him exactly where the missing piece of luggage was. The man seemed quite puzzled that we were able to tell him the location of the rod tube. He got on the radio and wit hin five minutes, someone came walking in with my rod
Stunning details on this male brown trout of the Carrileufu River.
tube! Hallelujah! It turns out, it had fallen off the luggage cart.
We made quick friends with Germán and our drive to the lodge was over in a flash. It felt like we were all old friends catching up. Arriving at Carrileufu River Lodge, we were welcomed by all the staff and given a glass of de licious Argentinean Malbec. I will say, this lodge is ma gnificent! The Great Room (main, communal room with an open bar, huge stone fire place, lots of seating and also the dining room) has large
windows that open up to a gorgeous view of the Andes mountains and the Cerro Tres Picos or The Three Peaks, a gorgeous, jagged three “fin gered” peak. Next we were introduced to our spacious room. Each room has two queen sized beds, an ample amount of space for storing all of your luggage, and mas sive bathrooms. Then dinner was served and let me tell you, the food was incredible! After being stuffed with a three course dinner and co pious amounts of Malbec, we were off to bed anxious for the fishing the next day. Each morning you wake up to a beautiful view of the Andes
The amount of trout we saw in the river was unbelievable!
Drift boats are the perfect vessels to explore the Carrileufu river with a fly rod.
A box full of terrestrial trout snacks!
mountains and make your way out for a hearty breakfast of fresh fruit, cereals, eggs, bacon, and toast before heading out on the water!
Our first float with the drift boat was on the Rivadavia River in the Los Alerces Na tional Park. Julius and I were speechless when we arrived at the put in location. The views of the mountains and turquoise water were made from dreams. You wouldn’t
believe that we were there during the lowest waters and most difficult fishing in the last 20 years. The amount of trout we saw in the river was unbelievable!
On the boat, trout were rising all around us, trout were on the bottom inhaling nymphs, trout were everywhere so much so, my senses were in overdrive! Deciding where to cast became overwhelming and I was like a kid in a candy store, just glowing! Julius landed the first trout
of our trip, a beautiful, feisty rainbow with incredibly pink cheeks, taken on dry. Soon after, I caught my first Argentinean rainbow trout on dry, game on! I knew there were plenty more to come and I couldn’t get enough of it. I almost forgot to look at our surroundings because I was so fixated on fishing. The rainbows were coming in hot! Along this float, we stopped at a spring fed creek for lunch. Lunch? Who wants lunch when there are fish to be caught! I was outnumbe
A well-deserved drink with a mind-blowing view: the Carrileufu Lodge offers top notch accommodation in this remote, world class fishery.
red, lunch time it was, plus Stephan was excited to give us a small introduction to the spring creek. While the guides BBQ’d for us, we were off fishing in this little creek full of monsters! We couldn’t walk away from the creek to eat because our minds were blown from not just the mere amount of trout in there but the variety and their size! This creek not only has rainbows but brown and brook trout! I’ve never caught a brook trout so I was keen on
finding one. Alas, we had to go eat and fish on along the Rivadavia from the boat. Not to worry, we went back to that creek the next day. That first day, we caught some beautiful rainbows on terres trials as well as being introduced to the infamous Pata gonian winds or as Juancho, our guide, would call it, the Patagonia breeze!
The Infamous Spring Creek
The next morning finally ar
rived and we were restless to get going to that spring creek where all of those elusive beasts live. A 45 minute drive and we were there, ready to take on the notorious spring creek. There is a secret here, a secret nymph that these trout go crazy for. The bad news? There were only four of these little gems left. The four of us, Julius, Stephan, Marina, and I only got one each, no pressure. Stephan and Marina lost theirs almost immediately. I was being as
careful as possible with mine knowing the importance of this little morsel of gold. You need to be precise with your cast here.
Finally, a trophy sized brook trout was sitting right in front of me! With my nerves trying to get the best of me, I care fully cast right in front of its mouth. We saw the take and STRIKE! As quickly as there was tension on my line, it went limp, my tippet snap ped! I was in shock and was about to start mourning my loss, but all I can remember hearing is Stephan giggling
behind me. My hopes, my dreams, my nymph-my pre cious, gone and shattered and Stephan there to rub it in as well as lighten my mood! I couldn’t help but laugh with him but deep down, I may have been crying just a litt le. That was a huge learning moment there, you have to let the trout run, don’t put too much pressure on or hold your line. That was a painful lesson that I had to learn not once but twice before I was fi nally able to land one of these beasts. Julius was the only one who managed not lose his little piece of gold. The
I may have had night mares that night about my missed opportunity to land my first brook trout.
Although this was the most difficult fishing in decades, the crystal clear waters of the Carrileufu River were absolutely teeming with fish!
View of the lodge, nestled in the Patagonian nature.
slow flowing water makes it easy for these trout to discern food from faux so only a few were caught that day but it was a blast. I may have had nightmares that night about my missed opportunity to land my first brook trout.
The next few days were on different sections of the Car rileufu River with our guide Germán. Each section has so much to offer. The rainbows were taking dries, nymphs,
and streamers with ease. The brown trout were being a little more apprehensive and elusive, hiding in and below the plethora of willows. The perfect cast on the edge or just below the willows will be righteously rewarded. Early on during one of the floats, I sent one perfect cast along the willows and this beauty of a brown came shooting out of the water and slammed my fly! That was the largest brown I caught on the trip
and it was beautiful. The take was enough to get the blood pumping and the feign in me hyper focused and fixated on the next opportunity. Each afternoon, the Patago nian “breeze” would pick up and they are no joke. The gusts were sometimes strong enough that we almost fell off the boat and occasional ly the boat would be pushed upstream. The guides are true professionals and were great at turning the boat so each fi
Sometimes it’s all about putting the rod down for a few minutes and enjoying the ride’s scenic views.
sherman had a good angle to cast even in the crazy winds. Sometimes the good ‘ol chu ck and duck was our only choice.
After thoroughly fishing the Carrileufu River, we gave the Arrayanes River a go which is located in the Los Alerces National Park. It is most successfully fished with a streamer. A brown, black and purple, and bright red Wooly Bugger were very rewarding for us. Julius landed a gorgeous brown in Lago Verde just before entering the Arrayanes River. As with any
of the floats, the views were to die for. This one for me, was the most beautiful out of them all. We caught loads of gorgeous young browns and plenty of proper rainbow trout. There were a handful of big brown trout that fol lowed our streamers but ne ver committed. The whir lwind of emotions caused by a hungry brown trout stalk ing your streamer just to turn off last second is astounding.
Shock and Awe
After plenty of warm, dry, blue skied days of fishing,
we had a couple of days of long overdue rain and boy did that turn the brown trout fishing on! While fishing in the rain, streamers were a popular choice for the trout. Once the rains subsided, the browns were smashing dries off the surface! Those takes were just incredible and got the heart racing! We caught our largest brown trout out of the Carrileufu but we have heard of the massive browns that can be caught out of the Rivadavia and Arrayanes as well. On our last day of fi shing before heading home, on the upper section of the
A 5-weight rod and a 6-weight for windy conditions is all you need to fish comfortably here.
Carrileufu, we were fishing a spot that is known for big browns. Julius casted first and WHAM! Something hit his streamer at the surface with force but didn’t commit. Next cast, WHAM, fish on! This fight was something else, so mething different. Our minds were blown when we saw the fish jump out of the wa ter, a landlocked Atlantic sal mon! These bad boys slam the streamers like torpedoes! The thrill of the take and fight is almost euphoric. After releasing Julius’ salmon, we went back and I casted to the same spot
Julius had. I let my streamer sink for several seconds, strip, nothing, strip, strip, nothing, strip, WHAM! Holy crap that almost made my heart stop! Excitedly, I played the fish and my soul was crushed when I lost it right at the net! But what a way to end our trip!
If you are traveling with anyone who is not a fly fishing junkie like yourself, the lodge offers other activities such as horse back riding and hiking. The lodge also offers massage and has a sauna that can be used 24 hours a day.
Overall, I would recommend a 5 wt rod before the daily winds pick up in the afternoon and then once the winds pick up, a 6 wt would be your go to. Flies: Dries: Parachute Adams, ant patterns, beetles, Chubbies, Chubbies, and more Chubbies. Nymph: Scuds, Pheasant Tails, and Red Tags. Streamers: heavy, brown, black, black and purple, or bri ght red Wooly Buggers. Don’t forget to pack a fast sinking line for your streamer set up. The guides from the Carrileu fu River Lodge have the utmost expertise of the rivers
and lakes. They will tell you to cast to spots you would never dream of catching a fish, let alone a giant brown trout! The guides know how to show a customer a good time and have a lot of fun while doing it. They even set you up with three course lunches with beer or wine on the river. Most of the fishing is from a drift boat but there are some spring fed creeks that you can fish on foot. At these creeks, you must be stealthy and present the fly perfectly and then you may be lucky enough to land one of these lively trout. It doesn’t matter where you fish out of the Carrileufu River Lodge, the views are in toxicating and the fishing will awaken your inner child. The lodge itself completes the package. Every staff member there is genuine and you can
tell they are passionate about what they do. Gori, a mas sive black Mastiff who belie ves she is a lap dog will en thusiastically greet you upon your return from a therapeutic day of fishing. Pancho, the owner and his family are the most wholesome human beings who welcome you with open arms. Not to men tion Pancho’s son, Teo, a sixteen year old young blood who first held a fly rod at three years old. He brings more skill to the table than some of the most experienced fly fishermen I’ve met.
We can’t wait to return next season to see what a normal year is like if this was consi dered rough.
And that is how we fell in love with Argentina
NEW BOOK RELEASE
Legendary fly fi shing photojournalist Matt Harris has released his long-awaited first ever book, a massive anthology that packs decades of entertaining editorial features and award-win ning photography into one huge volume.
Launched in time for Christ mas, The Fish of A Lifetime - The Best Fly Fishing in the World showcases some of the 40 countries Matt has visited chasing 30 species with a fly rod.
In this exquisitely produced, case-bound tome that spans
42 chapters and 656 pages, Matt recounts his most memorable adventures and do cuments encounters with a bewildering array of co lourful characters as well as some epic battles with wild and often huge fish in remote and spectacular locations ranging from the Arctic tun
dra to the Amazon jungle.
“My aim is for this to be the finest quality fly fishing book ever published,” says Matt, adding: “It is a true celebration of what can be achieved in hot or cold, salt or fresh water with a fly. Buy this book as the ultimate gift for the fieldsports fan who has eve rything, or indulge yourself and add to your own bucket list of destinations for your next fishing adventure.”
Internationally renowned fly fisherman and fly casting ins tructor Simon Gawesworth has written a foreword to the book. In it he says: “Matt’s images are always powerful, evocative, and dripping with authenticity. Matt has fished all over the world and co vered almost every country and species that the wor ld of fly fishing embraces. With his masterful eye and his enormous enthusiasm for the subject, he has captured
a spectacular diversity of locations. In this wonderful book, you will see the very best of Matt’s work. You will see some of the greatest destinations fly fishing can take you to, and some of the more spectacular and extraordinary species you can catch with a fly rod in your hand. In short, without get ting on a plane and blowing your life savings, you will get to experience the very best fly fishing in the world”
FLY FISHING IN COUNTY
ounty Clare is a county in the Irish province of Munster. It lies on the west coast of Ireland, north-west of the River Shannon and it borders Lough Derg and Galway Bay. County Clare has an area of 3147 square kilometres, and a population of 117,196 (about a decade ago). Its capital is the town of Ennis. County Clare contains the Burren nature reserve, a unique landscape of limestone hills and fields, and it is considered the centre of traditional Irish music. One
Cexample is the Willie Clancy Festival in Milltown Malbay.
On the western edge of the county, on the border with the Atlantic Ocean are the Cliffs of Moher (Cliffs of Moher). Other attractions in clude Quin Abbey, a ruined Franciscan abbey from the 14th century, ten kilometres east of Ennis, plus Loop Head, a peninsula between the Shannon and the Atlan tic Ocean.
The Burren is a unique karst landscape in the north-west of County Clare. The limes
Many of the pike lakes in the area and the bass spots along the coast were half an hour’s drive from the house.
The famous Cliffs of Moher, one of the many tourist attractions in this area and a natural monument of Ireland.
tone area covers about 300 square kilometres. It is bor dered on the north side by Galway Bay, on the west by the Cliffs of Moher. Re markably, the rocky landscape is very fertile and is home to many plants from different biotopes, as well as many different animals. Beneath the area are thou sands of caves, of which the Aillwee Cave is the most famous. Part of the Burren is protected by The Bur ren National Park. The Bur ren is rich in archaeological monuments. In particular, the Poulnabrone Dolmen attracts many visitors every
year. This Neolithic burial monument was excavated in the 1980s. In the process, it was shown that the monu ment served as a tomb for at least 33 people.
Base of operations
We had chosen a cottage in Kilfenora as a base for our fishing trips in County Clare and this proved to be a smart move. Many of the pike lakes in the area and the bass spots along the coast were half an hour’s drive from the house. When we were not providing our own dinner, there was also an excellent eatery available a short distance
away in the village in the form of Vaughan’s Pub.
On the first day, Shane O’Reilly (from Inland Fi sheries Ireland), Mario Sanz and myself belly boat fi shed for pike on Ballycullinan Lough. In the process, I only managed to catch a small pike from a fairly great depth. The water had a tem perature of over nineteen degrees, clearly too warm for pike. We also checked out Lough Burke and Lough Caum, which are certain ly also interesting to fish by belly boat. In the evening, we tried for bass at Fanore Beach, but there was too
A former cook, Damien managed to serve us a fine and nutritious lunch.
much swell for good fly-fishing.
On the second day, Mario and I fished with fishing guide Damien Culliney on Lough Inchiquin near Coro fin. Damien has a magnifi cent Dutch-made Marcraft predatory fishing boat. After a career as a chef, he now works full-time as a guide; working in the kitchen took up too many fishing days for him.... Damien is very experienced with lure fishing, regularly featuring in the top ten at major predatory fishing competitions in
Ireland, but he enjoys fly fishing for trout and pike just as much. He also managed to serve us an excellent lunch along the waterfront.
Lough Inchiquin looks per fect for fly fishing, with a very uneven bottom, lots of aquatic plants and baitfish, only now the water was too warm here too, over eighteen degrees in temperature. At a spot where a small river en ters the lake, Mario and I both missed some takes, then on four casts I had a follower four times... Damien did his best to get us into the fish, he knows this water very well, knows how to drift his boat
the right way, but the pike were just not active enough with those high water tem peratures. August, partly due to the climate changes that also affect Ireland, is clearly the least month for pike fi shing on the green island.
There is ample parking space available at the slipway, from there you can also explore the water by belly boat. Apart from pike, perch, tench and whitefish, Lough Inchiquin also contains a good stock of brown trout. On several oc casi ons in the evening, we saw beautiful trout rising to insects in the water’s surface, however, we did not
Damien Culliney has also enthusiastically taken up fly fishing himself.
fly fish for them.
A day later, we fished the rocks near and the mouth of the Inagh River near Lahinch. From the rocks, Markus Müller (IFI), who had also joined us, had a take after only five minutes, but that bass performed a long line release. Shortly afterwards, he caught a school bass there. Then in the estuary, when the water had subsided sufficiently, Markus ma naged to land a nice sea bass about 55 centimetres in len gth, plus another small one. Shane caught two small sea
bass and a sea trout, Mario remained without a bite, I had two seabass of up to 45 centimetres in length.
The swell and waves that we came across in the mouth of the Inagh River certainly did not make fly fishing easy. Instead of traditional line baskets, it is better to use Ahrex’s Flexi Stripper or a similar model in those conditions. Due to the waves, Shane, Mario and yours truly’s line baskets kept get ting full of water, while the water just slid over Markus’ Flexi Stripper.
After dinner, we drove to the
Lurga Point near Quilty, but here only Shane caught two more pollack up to a pound or two in weight on the fly. We then went back at the mouth of the Inagh River after dark, but this yielded no more seabass.
The following day, we fi shed two stretches near Ballyvaughan. At the first was a large shallow area that was easily navigable and from where I could easily reach the deeper water with my casts. The size of the ‘flats’ and the clear water made me briefly imagine myself in a
Off the mouth of the Inagh River, sea bass gather at a rising tide, waiting to move further up the river.
tropical destination. Further on, the current was very strong, catches here were li mited to some small pollack for us. At the second site of the day, I managed to land a sea bass of 35 to 40 cm in length, a second one, I saw, was chased by a cormorant into the shallows. This spot was also difficult to fish with the fly rod due to the swell and waves, the shoreline area sometimes became comple tely muddy due to the waves pounding on the shore.
We started a day later on Lough Dromore, on the smaller of the two lakes we
fished for pike with the bel ly boat and streamers. Here, too, the water turned out to be still 19 degrees warm, but fortunately I managed to hook a nice pike of between 70 and 80 cm; the moment the fish decided to do some aerial acrobatics, this pike unfortunately already got off again. Markus and Mario probably had some perch strikes on their pike streamers here.
We then checked out a stretch on the south side of Lahinch Bay, but here the high swell made it too dangerous to fish. In the afternoon, we
went again to the mouth of the River Inagh, this time to fish it at high tide and eb bing water. Despite the wa ter looking perfect, we got no further than one seabass for Markus plus some mini sea trout.... From the south bank, with the wind force 5 coming from the south-west, this site was still reasonable to fish.
We started the last day’s fi shing of our trip at Fishing Tackle Ireland’s angling shop in Ennis, as well as a huge collection of lures,
After long hours spent in the water, a nice sea bass finally rewarded Markus Müller.
there is certainly plenty on offer here for the fly fisher man and fly tier too. At the start of rising tide we stood once more at the mouth of the River Inagh, here we managed to land two bass and some tentative bites were missed. We spent the last three hours of daylight by belly boat on Lough In chiquin. We managed to get some pike takes again, but could not land any, unfor tunately. The algae were already becoming a problem in the shallow parts of this water.
On Saturday, I visited the Cliffs of Moher before dri
ving on to Ballinamore, Country Leitrim, to report on two coarse fishing tour naments in that area.
Markus was back in County Clare with his Chrissie for a few days in early September, they managed to land seabass every day, mostly school bass, but Chrissie had a nice one from the rocks at the mouth of the Inagh River. They also watched some lure fisher men in the mouth of the Inagh River land three seabass weighing from seven to as much as fourteen pounds... Seabass of that size had not been seen by Markus before in Ireland, and he does have
Markus fights a sizeable seabass at high tide at the mouth of the Inagh River.
They also watched some lure fishermen in the mouth of the Inagh River land three seabass weighing from seven to as much as fourteen pounds...
a lot of experience in that area!
Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are among the highest cliff coasts in Europe. Made of limestone, the cliffs stretch for eight ki lometres on Ireland’s west coast, between the villages of Doolin and Liscannor. The cliffs rise 120 metres from the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head. The highest point is 214 metres. Halfway up is O’Brien’s Tower, a round stone watchtower built in
1835 by Cornelius O’Brien. He did so for the benefit of the many tourists that visited the cliffs even then. Today, the cliffs are among the most visited sites in Ireland. From O’Brien’s Tower, the Aran Islands in Galway Bay and the Twelve Bens in County Galway can be clearly seen in clear weather. The cliffs are a good example of erosion by the sea. You can count the sedimentary layers and thou sands of years of geology lie there like an open book.
Tip: park your car at Gue
rin’s Path (www.guerinspa th.com), it is less crowded here than at the official car park and you can get to the cliffs within a few minutes. Parking at Guerin’s Path costs you five euros, the car park is indicated on Google Earth.
Pike fishing around Corofin
Corofin is located in County Clare on the upper reaches of the Fergus, eleven kilometres from Ennis and about 27 km from Shannon Airport. The lakes below are also
Sun, sea and waves at the mouth of the Inagh River.
recommended for pike fi shing:
The 50 hectare Atedaun Lake lies on the outskirts of the village of Corofin. It is a re latively shallow lake with a depth of less than two metres. Nevertheless, it is a rich and productive water, especially for pike and rudd. It is al most impossible to fish the lake from the shore and bel ly boats are little used in Ireland
The 60 hectare Ballyalla Lake is located outside the town of Ennis. The River Fergus flows through the lake. It is mainly a pike fishing water, but there is also a reasonable
stock of tench, rudd, perch, trout and salmon in season. Ballyteigue Lake is a 40-hec tare limestone lake located a few kilometres from the village of Ruan and six ki lometres from the village of Corofin. It is mainly a pike fishing water and a (belly) boat is essential to fish this water.
The Dromore Lakes are about ten kilometres from Ennis and Corofin. The system in cludes Black Lake and Bal lyline Lake. The River Fer gus flows through Ballyline and passes Black Lake and Dromore. There are about 400 hectares of water in the system. This is a rich and
productive limestone water and produces good quality fish. It is an ideal lake for the pike fisher.
Inchcronin Lake: This large limestone lake is located in central Clare next to the vil lage of Crusheen, close to Ennis. It is a long and nar row lake and is best known as a pike fishing lake, but there is also a decent stock of rudd and perch. A (belly) boat is necessary to fish for pike.
Lough Cullaun, a 60-hectare lake, is located four kilometres from Corofin on Tub ber Road. Primarily a pike fishing water, it is a rich and
productive limestone water and produces fish of fine quality. The clarity of the water is excellent because it comes from the Burren area. Tullymacken Lake is a large lake with a limestone bot tom. It contains tench, rudd and perch, but is best known as a pike water.
East Clare Lakelands
The villages of Tulla, Broadford and Feakle are surrounded by some 30 to 40 lakes collectively called
the East Clare Lakelands. They are grouped between the rivers and lakes of the Fergus system to the west and Lough Derg to the east. Some examples of lakes that may be worth fishing here: Clondorney Lake is 40 hectares in size and lies two ki lometres north of the village of Tulla. The road runs right past the lake and you can li terally fish almost from your car
Clonlea Lake is a beautiful lake with reed beds. It has all the usual fish species
like bream, roach, hybrids, tench, rudd and pike.
Cullaunaheeda Lake, a 200-hectare lake, is one of the few lakes that has trout as well as all types of whitefish and pike. It is located seven kilometres south of Tulla and two kilometres north of Kilkishen. Fishing on this lake requires a (bel ly) boat. For the pike fisher, this limestone lake is well worth a visit. It can yield up to 20-pound pike. Doon Lake is a well-known pike water and it has proThe swell poses fewer problems for the lure fisherman than for the fly fisherman.
A lovely sea bass finally surrenders at the mouth of the Inagh River.
duced some nice pike in recent years. The lake is di vided into two parts and is joined in the middle by a smaller lake. For best results, a (belly) boat is necessary. The Fin & Rosroe Lakes comprise a large lake nort h of Newmarket on Fergus. It is best known for pike fishing and although access is usual ly difficult, it is possible to reach the northern end of Fin Lake.
The well-developed 28.3-hec tare Kilgory Lake is ten to twenty metres deep at a casting distance of twenty to thir ty metres. The fishing lake is located five kilometres from
Tulla and is considered one of the most important lakes in the area. The main fish species are roach, tench, hybrids and bream. Pike fi shing, among others, is possible from the fishing jetties. Lough Bridget is a 90-hectare fishing area for coarse fish and pike, located five kilometres from Tulla on the road to Scariff. It has a good stock of pike and is often fished by visiting and local anglers.
Lough Graney has a large water area of about 100 hectares, it is five kilometres long and half a kilometre wide. It lies in the northern
part of East Clare, five kilometres north of the village of Feakle. It is a beautiful, picturesque lake with seve ral islands and it is surroun ded by hills on both sides. The village of Cahir is on the southern shore and Flagmount is halfway down the eastern shore. This is an ideal lake for the pike angler, with a good stock of larger pike, for best results a (belly) boat is essential.
The 50-hectare Roslara Lake is located about seven kilo metres from the village of Tulla, near the road between Tulla and Feakle. The lake is well marked and it is a po
Due to tidal variations, large sections along the coast fall dry. pular pike water. Coastal The coastal area controlled by the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board extends from Hags Head on the coast of County Clare, encompassing the entire Shannon estuary to Limerick on the north side of the river, and Kerry Head on the south side of the river. The region’s scenic and rug ged coastline offers excep tional opportunities for shore fishing. There are at least 40 places to fish for various species of wrasse, mackerel, pol lack and so on. The current Irish record bass of 17 lbs 13
ozs (over sixteen pounds) was caught on the 21st of October 2000 from Doughmore beach near Doonbeg in County Clare. There are many piers along the coastline and miles of sandy beach to tempt you to try your luck. Good signage to popular fishing spots will certainly help you find them. Some spots in County Clare that may be worth trying for bass fishing that have not yet been mentioned: Cregg, Doolin, Kilkee (Pier), Lough Donnell, New Quay, Rynn Point, Trawee, Seafield, Spanish Point and White Strand. More information available on fishinginireland.info
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