Category: Trips by authors


Amazon

Amazon.

The word speaks for itself. Just reading the word gives me goosebumps. You don’t even need a picture here. Just close your eyes and say it. Amazon

Then I remember how pressed for time I am and I start feeling nervous. Why did I wait to do everything at the last minute?

I guess I was side tracked with other stuff, but in preparing for an upcoming trip in November to Manaus, I realized I couldn’t get the Brazilian visa.

Well… I can get it, but there was one other obstacle to resolve first. My passport has every page full of stamps. If that doesn’t sound like a lot of travel, consider that I’d already added pages previously. Now I need to add more pages before I can submit the passport to the Brazilian Consulate.

So I’ve got my fingers crossed, I’ve done everything I can and it’s just a matter of waiting… and repeating that word. Amazon

Mmm. There they are again. The goosebumps.

Tacunarè.

Do you know that one? It’s pronounced pretty much like you might expect. TAK-U-NA-RAY (roll the R a little and you’ll sound like a native)

I always preferred to say Peacock Bass, but now that I’m going deep into the… Amazon… I like saying Tacunarè. It sort of compliments the goosebumps. Makes me feel a little like Joseph Conrad and Marlow, and tales of a river into the ‘heart of darkeness’.

I know pictures are supposed to accompany blog posts. They say its better for the reader; keeps ’em coming back. But sometimes the imagination is the best window into a new adventure, especially during the anticipation. Isn’t that when the trip really starts anyway?

I’ll reward my readers with pictures when I get back. I hope that will create some anticipation on their part... on your part.

In the meantime, close your eyes and whisper the word…

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A couple of weeks ago I posted an article written by Martin Maffioli of MyM FlyCast in Tierra del Fuego. I promised to take a shot at translating the tale for my English speaking friends. What follows is what I hope to be a pretty fair representation of Martin’s account of a trip he took at the end of last years fishing season with his good friend Sebastian.

Since Trout Season is now opening again for the new year, I’m sure Martin and Sebastian are already back on the water looking to relive a little (or a lot) of last year’s experience. For the moment at least, I’m living vicariously though this experience and others. I think I’ll have to do something about that very soon…

JB

Toward the end of the fishing season, my friend Sebastian called me and we started talking about his desire to do some fishing, but his call had an ulterior motive as well. After some time, he finally confessed his desire to achieve a personal record; the largest trout of his life. I didn’t hesitate for a moment and we started to put the trip together. Soon we had reserved our location, one of the most spectacular fishing spots on the planet: the Río Grande.

Why the Río Grande? Because it has the best Sea Run Brown Trout (or “inmates” as they have been referred to a Spanish bibliography). Stocked in the 1930s, they are born in the river and at the appropriate age they migrate into the ocean to feed and grow. Meanwhile they take on a silver coloration in order to adapt to the environment and eventually return to the river, usually to mate and reproduce. Very often this does not depend on the maturity of the fish. Unlike Salmon, Trout don’t die in the process and may return several times over the years. Another advantage of the Río Grande is protected and free from pollution, excess food sources, nets or natural competitors.

The pool we fished during the morning of our trip is located in Sector 10 and is known as the “Ojo Negro” (Black Eye). There, Sebastian caught three trout of 4, 6 and 5 kilos on a #7 Sage, intermediate line and Green Machine fly.

After lunch we went back to our pool. Sebastian was shocked to see so many trout leaping about. We decided to use a similar set up to what we had used in the morning: #7 rod, extra fast line, 2.5 meter leader and the Green Machine.

Sebastian caught 4 more trout in this order; 5kg, 4kg, 6kg & 3kg until about 8pm; the magical hour of sunset, at which time we decided to change the line for a sinking 3, 1.8 meter leader and a “humpy” fly tied with a salmon hook number 4.

On one of his first casts, just as the tip of the pole started a few light taps and as the line began to tug slightly, the surface of the water exploded! A magnificent trout leapt into view. After the amazement and the spectacular runs and jumps, the 20 minutes of adrenaline were burned in Sebastian’s mind… and the camera. A spectacular 7 kilo brown trout (15.4 lbs).

By Martín Maffioli

 

River Run Brown: +15lbs

MyMFlyCast.com.ar

Tierra del Fuego – Argentina

 

Recently I have been in touch with Martin from MyM FlyCast in Tierra del Fuego. I wrote up a little piece a while back about locations in Argentina which have great fishing and are sometimes over looked by fly-fishermen journeying to Argentina. Martin got in touch with me through a fly fishing forum where we are both members. I asked him if he would be interested in sharing an experience and some pictures and he sent me the following. I’m publishing the original version in Spanish and later will publish a translated version. I hope you enjoy it.

The name for this region, Tierra del Fuego, is not the name given to it by the first indigenous people, the Yaghan, who settled here a little while ago (10,000 years ago).

The name for this fantastically striking “Land of Fire” comes from Fernão de Magalhães (the Portuguese explorer, not the GPS company)… AKA Magellan, but we’ll just call him Fergie.

Fergie came across this harsh land in 1520, then came FitzRoy and Darwin.

I wonder what the trout were like back then… but from what I’ve seen, I don’t think they’ve changed much.

JB

A fin de la temporada me llama mi amigo Sebastián con ganas de pescar, pero su llamado ocultaba otra cosa. Luego de largo rato dialogando, terminó confesando su deseo de pescar la trucha récord de su vida. No dudé un instante, y arreglamos el viaje. Al rato estaba reservando un lugar en el pesquero mas espectacular del planeta: el Río Grande.

¿Por que el Río Grande? Porque tiene las mejores Sea Run Brown Trout (o los reos, como se suele encontrar en alguna bibliografía española). Sembradas en la década del 30, nacen en el río y, a determinada edad, parten hacia el mar para alimentarse y crecer. Allí cambian su coloración a plateada con fines de adaptación, y en diversos estadios regresan al río, normalmente para reproducción. Mucha veces, esto no depende del estado de madurez del pez. A diferencia de los salmones, las truchas no mueren en el desove y desovan durante varios años seguidos. Otra ventaja del Río Grande es que la pesca es controlada sin polución, ni exceso de alimento, redes o competidores naturales.

El pool que pescamos por la mañana se encuentra en el sector 10 y se llama el Ojo Negro. Allí Sebastián capturó tres truchas de 4, 6, y 5 Kg., con una caña 7 Sage, línea intermedia y con la conocida Green Machine.

Finalizado el almuerzo y la siesta nos dirigimos a nuestro pool de la tarde. Sebastián se desconcertaba al ver saltar tanta trucha juntas. Decidimos usar un equipo parecido al de la mañana: caña 7, línea extra fast, lider de 2.50 y la Green Machine

Sebastián pescó 4 truchas más (en este orden: 5kg, 4kg, 6kg y 3kg) hasta que se hicieron las 8 de la noche, hora mágica de la caída del sol, en que los fueguinos cambiamos de línea por una de hundimiento 3, líder de 1.80, con una humpi atada en anzuelo salmonero numero 4.

En uno de sus primeros lances, en el momento que le imprimía pequeños movimientos con la punta de la caña y tironcitos en la línea, la superficie del agua explotó. Saltó una magnífica trucha. Luego del asombro y de espectaculares corridas y saltos, los 20 minutos de adrenalina quedaron registrados en la mente de Sebastián y en la cámara fotográfica: una espectacular trucha marrón de 7kg.

Por  Martin Maffioli

 

MyM FlyCast

 

 

MyMFlyCast.com.ar

Tierra del Fuego – Argentina

Picture of the Week

Fishing at Blue Lagoon (Lagua Azul)

Fishing at Blue Lagoon (Lagua Azul)

It was probably my last visit to São Tomé and these pictures will be the images that stick in my head whenever I think about the time I spent here.

Fisherman at Praia dos Tamarinos

Fisherman at Praia dos Tamarinos

STP Series: A fisherman’s tools

Dug-out on Praia dos Tamarinos

Dug-out on Praia dos Tamarinos

In São Tomé the fisherman’s tools are often very basic, or at least that was my first impression.

Boats are more often than not, dug-out from a large tree trunk by a local craftsman, which must be dried for months.

Boat works

Boat works

The amount of skill that goes into making a dug-out is much more than it appears, particularly the larger boats that can be outfitted with a sail or outboard motor. I found boat being prepared on the beaches, and way up in the mountains, wherever the appropriate raw material that the craftsman sought was found. Most of these dug-outs were over 14 feet long, and many were at least 20. That’s no small challenge to bring down a mountain once the work is complete.

I was also very impressed by the fishing lines. There are no fishing poles used here. Individual lines are hand tossed and bringing in the line is done by wrapping the line around a flat trip of wood. Many fishermen use multiple lines from the boat. This appeared to me to be a tangled mess of line, a nightmare for a bait-casting westerner. As I examined more closely, I could see that there was also a honed fisherman’s skill in this aspect of the activity also. Continue reading

STP Series: Introduction

STP is a commonly used acronym for São Tomé and Príncipe, a Democratic Republic and Portuguese speaking island nation in the Sea of Guinea off the cost of Africa. The coordinates are nearly the intersection between the equator and Prime Meridian at 0°20′N and 6°44′E.

São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé and Príncipe

At sea level, the climate is tropical—hot and humid with average yearly temperatures of about 27°C (80°F) and little daily variation. At the interior’s higher altitudes, the average yearly temperature is 20°C (68°F), and nights are generally cool. The rainy season runs from October to May. I’m here during the dry season.

The islands were formed from volcanoes and were uninhabited until 1470 when it was discovered by the Portuguese and only gained independence in 1975, for better or for worse. The country of just over 140 thousand people is poor and underdeveloped.

Downtown São Tomé

Downtown São Tomé

Since the late 1980’s various international programs, along with local government projects, have dedicated huge resources and funding to improve the agriculture, economy and standard of living. Nonetheless, it is hard to see much evidence of the effectiveness of these programs, considering the enormous amounts of money spent, and witnessing the current poverty, lack of real development and likely high degree of corruption. With 10’s of millions of dollars spent by international organizations such as the IMF, United Nations, World Bank, African Development Bank, the United States, Portugal and Taiwan… add to that 100’s of millions coming from petroleum deals made in 2004, one has to wonder why 140 thousand people would still be so poor. Draw your own conclusions. Continue reading

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