I woke up this morning to one of the most breathtaking views. From my bedroom window I look down on the lake at Tres Valles, which at the moment is reflecting the Patagonia Andes with snow covered peaks and rugged foothills that border the far side of the lake. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee beckons me to breakfast and I find the rest of our group of fishermen already seated and waiting for the fresh fruit, homeade bread and eggs that will follow.
Barry and one of our guides have decided to skip breakfast and are already down at the lake. This does not surprise me. With this beautiful light Barry will be busy working with his cameras. The cold water lake harbors some awesome rainbows, but catching one can be another story. There are six anglers traveling with us, but they will bypass the lake each day choosing instead to fish one of the many prolific spring creeks or rivers in the area, but for Barry and I, the lake offers a challenge that we find hard to resist.
With breakfast over it’s time to gear up. Guides and anglers are getting organized and leaving in four wheel drive trucks and I beg a ride to the lake in the Land Rover Defender. The tank-like truck bounces down the dusty dirt road and in the distance I can see Barry and Nico waist deep fishing along one of the weed beds that parallel the shoreline. Actually it’s Nico fishing and Barry following along with his cameras. I shout a good morning to them as I jump out of the Land Rover and walk the winding path to the lake.
Fishing the lake can be frustrating and then it can turn around and give you the trout of a lifetime. It can be a thousand unanswered casts or it can and has been my very first cast that brings success. It’s the lake and you often find yourself having a love hate relationship with the cold clear water and resident trout.
Today turns out to be no exception. Barry puts his cameras away and decides to join me and we fish our way down the shore line. I go first and Barry follows. We are both fishing nine and a half foot, seven weight rods with RIO outbound intermediate tip lines. Our tapered leaders are short six footers and we are both fishing Super Buggers, my choice is black, Barry’s olive. It’s one cast after another always searching, always waiting for that tug on the line, sometimes it comes and then again more often it does not.
At the end of the day that tug came six times for Barry and he landed six beautiful rainbows while I had a day of casting practice.
But this is our first day here and we have five more to go so I know I will have another chance and who knows what will happen. As they say, that’s why we call it fishing and not catching. Of all the years we’ve hosted trips to Argentina and of the time we’ve traveled alone exploring Patagonia, Tres Valles has become like a second home to us. Located three hours below Esquel it offers a truly unique fly fishing experience with an unbelievable amount of water to fish. And of course there’s the lake and tomorrow morning I will be back waiting for that tug. I’ll let you know when it happens.