Tag Archive: Rio Grande

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…


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


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.


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




Tierra del Fuego – Argentina

For some time now I’ve been planning an off-road trip with some friends to the Valle Hermoso region in the province of Mendoza, about 500 kilometers to the south of the province’ s capital city of the same name. Within the group of 4×4 enthusiasts, who call themselves “Inedito 4×4”, I am to be the only fly fisherman on the trip. [I’ll be posting my first of multiple entries on the trip soon, so keep an eye out for that.]

CMF Bamboo Fly Rod 7553

CMF Bamboo Fly Rod 7553

As part of the preparations, (and preparation is where the trip actually starts of course) I called up my good friend Claudio Fanchi and asked if he’d been able to repair a bamboo fly rod that I had given him. The tip of the rod was broken because I had over-weighted the #4 rod with a #7 line. (Yes, a rookie mistake perhaps, but I didn’t have a lighter line at the time and thought I could pull it off… lesson learned.)

When I called up Claudio he suggested we meet at our usual café in front of the Rosedal Park in Palermo, Café Martinez. We often meet there to talk about fly fishing, look at his new rod creations, and sometimes walk over to the park and try them out with a few casts.

Claudio had arrived early and already downed a cappuccino, but still ordered another along with mine. In no time at all we were both wide-eyed and jabbering about our shared addiction (fly fishing, not coffee — one addiction at a time). I explained my trip plans to him and he gave me a few local contacts in Mendoza to follow up with to check on fishing conditions and get other tips on the area in which I’d be traveling. [Claudio had heard of the Rio del Cobre and Rio Grande, but some of the other spots he wasn’t sure of. Later I got some great tips from Eduardo at Mendoza Fly Fishing aka Old Smuggler Fly Fishing.]

So finally, when I couldn’t wait any longer, and the caffeine had me bouncing in my chair, I asked about my fly rod. Claudio explained that he hadn’t had time to fix my rod but he offered me a trade. That’s when he produced a eye-catching #5 rod, 7.5 feet in length, and with a stripping that housed a beautiful rose colored agate. Also, unlike his previously crafted rods, this rod didn’t have a wood handle base [reel seat], but rather the toasted bamboo extended past the winding check  to become the reel seat, ending at the spacer/butt cap. The reel would be held in place with reel seat rings evoking silver bijouteri; and this time he remembered I like the water design!

All I could say was “wow… uh.. wow, Gracias!”

Fanchi bamboo rod 2009I have two CMF bamboo fly rods. The procurement of the first was how I came to know Claudio in the first place. I’d been doing some work, back then, with the US Embassy in Buenos Aires and since fishermen seem to find each other one way or another, a TSA agent friend named Joe showed me his recently acquired CMF rod. Like a Pavlovian dog I ogled over the sublime brilliance of the artistically crafted gem.

[Argentinians are very creative people, in many respects, and it shows in their capacity for artistic expression.]

I’m very much indebted to Claudio for his friendship and for his generosity. It’s not often that you meet people who are so naturally talented and at the same time are barely aware of it. Claudio is the kind of guy who lives life like it should be lived… or at least gives the impression that he’s just taking life as it comes. Maybe in his own mind he’s dealing with stress and suffers life just like all of us. But unlike many of us, he gives at least twice as much as he takes from life.

Jumping a week into the future, I found myself placing a Prince fly just above a visible drop-off 15 feet offshore with my new CMF7553 in the Laguna de Las Cargas. After catching three fish in 20 minutes, the adrenaline of the first-casts-of-the-tip and the unexpected luck with the Prince gave way to an EGO Time epiphany.  My surroundings;  the arid valley unknown to all but cattle, sheep and eco-trekkers, the clear blue skies juxtaposed with cathedral-like mountain peaks; all of this started to sink in and create a “moment”. A moment, that when I think back on, is more about a country, a passion for fly fishing and a friendship – all represented by a rod.

Thanks for the rod Claudio. It’s priceless.

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