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Part 3: A 9,600 K Brown Trout at the Boca of the Chimehuín River
by Luis "Chiche" Aracena, Argentina

We had seen that trout many days before (that one). It was Easter and a group of fly fishermen formed by Mr. Anchorena, Pepe García, Rubén Pelletieri and myself, found ourselves looking for trout from the road overlooking the "log zone" – Boca of the Chimehuín. We were staring at a beautiful female brown placed comfortably behind the big rock on which the log rests in the middle of the river. We all agreed that its weight could reach 10 kg.

Mr. Anchorana studying the pool

Mr. Anchorena (also called "el Bebe") didn´t seem to be satisfied, and while he kept on "searching," he mentioned that he was sure that there was a much bigger one that he had seen a few days before and that it had to be there. I remember him saying "It must be hiding in the shade, that's why we don't see it, but maybe it will show up." The fact of looking at the huge trout placed just 1.5 m deep was such a pleasure, that it was no effort at all to stay there all the time it took.

That's what we were doing when we saw, with great satisfaction, a huge male brown came out from the place that Mr. Anchorena had pointed out, it turned around very slowly and placed itself side by side with the female. It was so big that we saw the enormous tail and head at the front and the female behind. Nobody hesitated about its weight, which might have ranged between 14 and 15 k.

After a few seconds this huge trout made its way downstream about 40 m to the "Marcoveski" pool (also known as Marcovequio), there it stayed for a while and started moving upstream very slowly, approaching a 5 k trout that was lying undisturbed, about 2 m deep.

It was coming nearer in such a slow motion that it seemed to be hardly moving at all. However, when it was about 1 m behind the smaller trout, this one moved forward, while the big one took its place as if it was its own. I think I remember that it stayed there for a just a while and then it moved forward and we thought that the intention was to bother the other. Strangely enough, it passed by the big female brown without even stopping and disappeared behind the rock looking for shelter in the shade, the exact place where it had come out from.

This beautiful and unforgettable scene took maybe less than a minute but this taught me at least a great lesson; I do regret having missed so many chances when I was younger of enjoying myself and learning instead of having only time for "fishing."

Let´s go on with the story. That Friday afternoon I didn´t fish because my mind was set on both trout. While I was driving back to Junin de los Andes, my head was going through the cöordinates of the river bank and I struggled to remember how the currents moved on the water surface. I wondered: what fly should I use, what line is the right one, where should I cast if I want the fly to pass slightly over the rock? Another question that worried me and that I didn´t solve until I was in the river was the diameter and the brand of the tippet that would be more suitable to use. Of this I was sure: these trout where there to be caught, and I could do it.

In Junin de los Andes, at the "Turca René's" Hotel, sitting by the old fireplace (it's a pity that it had been modified by the so called "progress," old Nallib used to cook his own meat without a care in the world for the tourists that crowded the restaurant!), I checked my gear, I prepared a WF-8-F/S- Wet Head, Fast II.

I tied a 1, 5 m leader, without the tippet, which I left for the last moment until I decided upon the right one to use. The rod was not a problem, because in that place the only thing that mattered to me was the wind, even though it was the typical strong west wind (the east wind, called "Puelche", doesn´t bother me at all), I could use the roll cast and to make ends meet what could be better than the "River Master"?

The choice of the fly was the least thing I was worried about, I wouldn't have chosen a different one, I just made a few changes. I went to bed early.

Boca Sunrise We left the hotel with Manolo Enríquez before sunrise. We are very close friends Manolo and I, our friendship is based on our mutual respect through many fishing trips. We arrived at the Boca and we started to get things ready. A few minutes later Roberto and Anibal Sacconi showed up.

The most natural reason to get there early is to fish the lake and as we got there first I imagined that the moment would come when Roberto woud say: "Chiche, come on, it´s daybreak". While I was preparing my rod I thought: how will I manage to make Roberto and Anibal go to the lake without feeling "pushed" to do so, so I could cast to try to catch the trout in the log pool? Manolo had decided to fish the Deep Pool (also called the "Fool´s Pool). I stretched the line between to bushes to clean the floating section with a line dressing. For a while I reflected on the fly I was about to use, the chosen one at the hotel after it had been "made up" and the hook sharpened.

Chimehuín River

I finally took the line and the moment had come to decide upon the tippet. In the lake I would have chosen Maxima 0.30 mm, but I discovered that this leader was out of the standard length because many spool´s lenght could measure up to 0.36 mm. I made up my mind for a Dai-Riki 0.28 mm (0x). I tied on the Chimehuín fly #2 (Boyadel), that Pepe Delgado had tied for me, because I like them with few materials (slightly dressed, Pepe would say).

At that moment, Roberto approaches me and says, "Chiche, come on, it´s daybreak, we will follow you, the season will soon be over."

"Yes" – I answered,- "you are right, but do you know what?; it's a little windy and I don´t want to go to the lake today, we are going to fish here with Manolo.

"Are you serious, Chiche?, I´ll take what you say for granted"

" Go," I answered and I added a sincerely "wish you luck!" I guess that Roberto believed that what I was saying wasn´t hiding any hidden intention, that it was a good action. But Roberto, no, there was a mean interest. Many times since that day I thought about that, do you believe me if I say I´m sorry?

Author  Luis 'Chiche' Aracena

I made my way to the river about three meters downstream from the stone called "El Tranvía", and I started to cast. I remember that I was about to cast for the third time when I realized that I was becoming nervous and that I was far from the position where the trout I was interested in were supposed to be located. I had moved in a hurry several meters downstream. Holding the line with my hand, I moved backwards and walked to the initial position. I started fishing again, but trying shorter casts that were directed to my right, I´d say that the fly landed about ten meters upstream of the place where the brown trout was supposed to be located.

I mended the line just a few seconds after the fly touched the water, when I suddenly saw a tremendous rise and I felt a strong bite. I had a lump in my throut. I immediately realized that it was one of the big ones. From that moment on, I just can say that trout like this one only are to be caught if we are very lucky, it passed by the log zone so many times, through the rocks of Marcoveski, went upstream and passed by the other side of 'el Tranvía', well, the only thing I did was stretch out myself as much as I could (not much indeed) holding the rod up as high as possible to keep the trout over the rocks.

I can still remember the impression and satisfaction that I experienced when moving upstream I saw its tail and the distance between the leader, What a trout!

That way, I don´t know how long it took but it let itself be taken to our Picnic place.

I never thought about releasing it and my few remorses vanished when Dr. Alejandro del Valle, a biologist, after observing it mentioned that it was about 13 years old and that it must have been two years since it spawned for the last time. He also said that if her ovaries had been complete it would have weighed more than 11 kg. Anyway, the trout was tired (maybe about to die) that she let herself be brought easily. I don´t think I would have been able to revive her.

Lanin Volcano

I left the trout and went for Manolo who was fishing the Deep pool. I recall that when I asked him if he had a scale he didn´t say anything, he just stayed there looking at me, put the rod on the ground, and with his arms around me he asked: "You caught it?"

When Manolo and I struggled to get a camera, our friends from Neuquén Juan Aubone and "Nono" Kubli arrived, they took one of the pictures we have. At that moment Roberto ad Anibal Sacconi arrived from the lake, and of course they joined our happiness. Fortunately, Roberto also had a camera. ~ Luis "Chiche" Aracena

A special thanks from Alejandro Martello, to Luis "Chiche" Aracena (the fisherman in the story and author) for the story and the permission to use it on FAOL and to friend Silvia Bergamasco, who translated the article.

For more on fishing South America visit Ale's website!

More South American Fly Fishing:

Peacock Bass in Brazil (Brasil)
Dorados in Argentina
Argentine Patagonia - Introduction
Argentine Patagonia - Part 2
Argentine Patagonia - Part 3
Argentine Patagonia - Part 4
Argentine Patagonia - Part 5
Argentine Patagonia - Part 6
A True Chilean Adventure
Futaleufu, Chile, Part 1
Futaleufu, Chile, Part 2

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