Feb 16, 2014

Argentina: From one end to the other!

Golden Dorado

Argentina, January 2014: 

In January, I was fortunate to fish the extreme north and south of Argentina at lodges that are over 2000 miles apart. The weather ranged from lows in the 30’s with winds of 20-50 mph in Tierra Del Fuego to temps in the 90’s at the Ibera Marsh. Packing was crazy. Below is a brief description of each location. If you would like to know more about either trip feel free to email or call.

Tierra del Fuego - Kau Tapen Lodge

Sea Run Brown Trout
The best Sea Run Brown Trout fishing in the world is on the Rio Grande in Tierra Del Fuego. I had the pleasure of fishing there with Kau Tapen Lodge in early January. It was their opening week and the 30th year in operation. They have miles of water and each two anglers are assigned multiple runs each morning and evening session. We never covered all of that water, there was such a bounty—no low-holers, poachers or racing up or down stream to get at the water first. A diversity of types of water keeps you engaged in the fishing and solving the puzzle. This is truly world-class fishing with a lodge and staff to match. The food, wine and hospitality are as good as it gets, without any formality or pretentiousness. The fishing ranged that week from one to six fish a day and in size from 3-4 lb (one salt) to 19 pounds. The record on the river is 33 pounds!

All of the anglers fished with Spey rods during the week, with various tips ranging from intermediate to MOW tips of T-11 and T-14. My favorite rods were the Sage Method 6126 (it’s no 6 wt!) and the ONE 7126. These fish really move to the fly this time of year. Flies range from skaters to swung nymphs to traditional steelhead and salmon flies to leeches at dusk. 

We fished until 11:30 PM each night, ate dinner at 12:30 AM and went to sleep about 2:30 AM.

Ibera Marsh – Pira Lodge
Fly Fish Argentina from one end to the other.

Golden Dorado are bad-ass predators! Their strike is meant to kill, and the softer “steelhead grab” is not too common. This fishing took place in the Ibera Marsh, which is over two times the size of the Everglades, host to over 300 species of birds and various mammals etc. This is a magical tropical place to swing streamers. Pira Lodge is an oasis in the midst of all this. The spacious rooms, generous and warm hospitality, comfortable lodge, delicious food and a pool (yes! a swimming pool) make for the perfect place to experience the Ibera Marsh.

Bad-Ass Golden Dorado!


Sage One's!
Single handed 8 to 10 wt. The Sage 990 ONE was best all around rod, throwing the four- to six inch flies with relative ease. Lines range from floating, intermediate head to sinking 24’ head such as the Rio Leviathan. The leaders have wire tippet as Dorado have teeth. Most all of the fishing is done from the Hells Bay flats skiffs because there is little dry ground, and wading with freshwater stingrays and piranha is not a good idea. Streamside friends are capybara and black cayman. Both have teeth and are faster than us anglers. The larger fish we caught ranged up to 17 pounds. They grow to over 30 lbs!

Jerry Swanson
Fish Head Expeditions, LLC

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