A boy again, in Patagonia
Alex oars us through a relatively shallow but wide and burly riffle on the lower reaches of Argentina's famed Collón Curá river, working hard to bring the boat across to a back eddy on the far bank before the current sweeps us farther downstream. It’s a fine looking stretch of water, to say the absolute least. As it turns, from one side of the river to the next, a streambed of terraced shelves is plainly visible to the eye, each shelf creating a spillover beneath the riffle’s surface currents, most of which are sure to be rife with trout. On the near shore, the river’s heavy bend has created a nice cutbank which is also certain to be lined with the Collón Curá’s fat, aggressive browns and rainbows.
We wait for the other boat, which we’ve been traveling with since we put in that morning, to appear around the bend. Once they’ve arrived, we sit down to a luxurious streamside lunch to which we’ve become undeservedly accustomed. Homemade breads, charcuterie and fine cheeses prefix a hearty meal of roasted potatoes and milanesa (a traditional Argentine preparation of thin cuts of red deer, lightly breaded and fried). Despite the fine table and the readily available malbec, we all find it hard to focus much on our meal. A little more than a hundred yards away, the riffle is calling us.
In late summer and autumn, the minnows run in the Collón Curá, transforming its big, resident brown and rainbow trout into aggressive predators that are more reminiscent of saltwater fish than they are of your average trout. These aren’t your typical hole-patrolling, streamer-eating trout which opt to conserve energy until a tasty meal is swung by their noses. These are football-shaped, gorging fish aggressively chasing minnows through the river as if each one was a plump mouse that had tumbled into the water from an overhanging tree branch ...
Read the full story at Hatch Magazine.
Fish the minnow run
Patagonia River Guides: North
Anglers plying the waters of the Rocky Mountain West often fantasize about what it would have been like to fish the trout-choked rivers in Montana, Idaho, Montana and Colorado a century ago or more — long before throngs of solitude-seeking transplants descended on those places. While those days are long gone for the American West, the good news is they are alive and well on the other side of the globe.