Dorado Trip to Panara

Dorado Trip to Parana

Dorado Trip to Panara

Chuck Hawkins is hosting a Dorado trip to Parana on the Fly  Lodge in Corrientes, Argentina, April 1-7, 2017

Dorado are considered by many knowledgeable anglers to be the fiercest fresh water fish in the world. The Upper Parana River has the biggest Dorados in the world! We are fishing the Upper Parana River In Correntes Province. Were we fish is a section of the river known as Alto Parana, which is the tail water of Yacyreta Dam.

Floating line streamer fishing is the most effective method for catching dorado. They are an ambush predator, so much like trout fishing here in Michigan you are casting to structure created by rocks and wood. Fantastic fights follow when you hook up. These fish run and jump with the best of them. Average fish run 5-10 pounds, most anglers will land a fish around 20 pounds and most weeks behemoth 40 pounders are caught.

In addition to dorado the Parana River system holds good numbers of Pacu (8 to 12 pounds) and Pira Pita (to 10 pounds). These fish are caught on dry flies mimicking fruits and flowers. Both species are highly sought after gamefish. The large size of these fish coupled with a dry fly rise situation makes them a very fun quarry.

An average week (if there is such a thing) will see an angler land 15-30 Dorado per angler plus 10-20 Pira-Pitas, and 2-3 Pacu. Big mean fish on streamers and dry flies, warm weather and a great lodge, what a trip!

The cost is $4450 per week all-inclusive except gratuities and flights.  This price is based on two anglers to a room and a boat. You will fly into Buenos Aries Saturday morning arriving by noon. You will catch a connecting flight to Corrientes at 4:00 Pm arriving there at 5:30. You will fish all day for 6 days and then depart Corrientes Saturday morning April 8th for your flight home.

Come join me on this world class adventure!

Chuck Hawkins

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Words are hard to describe these great fish. You can get a good feeling for the water, the lodge and the fishing by watching this video


 

Upper Parana, River of Gold & Mystery. from Andes Drifters on Vimeo.

Jeff Topp

Fishing Guide Jeff Topp

 

Jeff Topp

Cherie and I are happy to announce that Jeff Topp has joined our guide team.

Jeff has been a full time fishing guide since 1996 when he started at Katmai Lodge in Alaska. He is now in charge of guide operations there. He’s also spent 4 years guiding in Chile. In 2000 he started guiding in Michigan, moving north in 2002 to tackle the Pine, Pere Marquette and Manistee. He is now an expert on those watersheds. Jeff has been written up in most major fishing Jeff Toppmagazines in both Alaska, Chile, and Michigan. He’s a great teacher, accomplished guide and a fun guy to spend a day with. Jeff’s newest passion during the winter months is fishing the backcountry in Florida for Tarpon, Snook and Redfish!

Jeff lives in the Wellston area and has a girlfriend, Keri. Keri is almost as fishy as he is. She loves to fish more than most. I’ve been trying to get Jeff on our team for years. Very pleased to have him and so will you if you get lucky enough to get in his boat. He has a few days left for fall steelhead, call Cherie to get one.

Hawk

Sonar Cold Lines

Cold Sinking Lines from Scientific Anglers

Cold Sinking Lines from Scientific Anglers

Manistee River Trout Fishing

Scientific Anglers has created a couple of lines that couldn’t be more perfect for the conditions we encounter here in Michigan and for rivers that we fish in Patagonia and elsewhere. The  Cold Sinking Lines are available with either 25 or 30 foot heads. They have a distinct advantage over conventional sink tips. In cool to cold temps they don’t tangle after being stripped in. This allows you to quickly and effectively recast. Perfect for robo casting hunting big fish.

The Sink Cold 25  has a twenty five foot had followed by a floating running line. I have fished it in the 250 grain weight and it performs flawlessly. The running line doesn’t tangle at your feet, you can throw it a mile, and it sinks quickly. Strip the color change into the tip and roll cast it to the surface. Make a back cast, haul on the forward stroke and watch it go! It makes for easy run and gun streamer fishing.

The Sink Cold 30  has all the same advantages as the 25 Cold but is a very different line in a couple of ways. The thirty-foot head is followed by an intermediate line, which slowly sinks. I fished the line in Patagonia using a 300 grain weight, it got down very quickly! This made it an ideal, and simple line to swing flies with on the Limay Medio. That is the guides preferred method to catch the migratory hog browns. The longer head did require a little more work to get it on the surface to cast especially the 300 grain. The effort was well worth the result. It sank quickly and swung beautifully. I have also stripped it on some of our larger waters like the Lower Manistee and have been very satisfied with it’s performance.

These lines cast easily, sink quickly and don’t tangle at your feet. It can’t get any better, at least until the folks at Scientific Anglers surprise us with something even better. Give the Cold Sinking Lines a try; you’ll be pleased you did.

Hawk

orvis underwader pant review

Orvis Underwader Pant Review

Orvis Underwader Pant Review

orvis underwader pant

Orvis has recently produced an upgraded version of their Underwader Pants and I must say it is a significant upgrade! Boasting a dark charcoal color and chartreuse stitching these pants offer a comfortable contoured fit. The pants are very warm and will keep your pant legs from crawling up your legs as they easily slip into your waders. I also find the Underwader Pant great for lounging after a long day on the water or afield yet stylish enough to run my errands or grab a bite to eat on the way home.  Other features include two deep front pockets, zippered rear pocket, elastic waistband, and a drawstring to fine-tune your fit. Hands down my favorite under wader pant on the rack, TWO THUMBS UP!

manistee river fishing report

Manistee River Report & New Newsletter

  • Couple New Manistee River Fishing reports have been posted the past couple days.  Jon Ray and Ed McCoy have been out chasing winter steelhead.  The Manistee River is fishing well, with a good mixture of chrome hens and winter double stripped bucks.
  • New February Newsletter – new fly pattern for matching the salmon parr hatch this is about to occur.  This little guy matches the hatch, you don’t need to always throw big to catch nice trout.

manistee river fishing below tippy

dragon fly

Dragonfly Hatch

dragon fly hatch

Dragonfly Hatch

Tips and Techniques for fly fishing in Patagonia!

 

On my recent tip to Rio Manso Lodge in Patagonia near San Carlos de Bariloche, I had some eye opening experiences. I learned a lot about the dragonfly hatch. I learned some tips and techniques from the guides there that showed me ways to catch trout unlike anything I’ve seen in Michigan. Fishing the dragonfly hatch in Patagonia will blow your mind!

 

Those of you that know me realize that I’m an unapologetic streamer junky. If I go fishing I throw streamers unless I see good fish rising to dry flies. Fly fishing in Patagonia I’ve always brought my streamer staples, Nutcrackers, Hat Tricks, Triple Doubles and Lapdancers. These streamers, along with some simpler, bugger kind of stuff, has yielded me many large fish all over Patagonia.

 

On this, my most recent trip to Fly fish in Patagonia, dry flies were king. We left Michigan a couple days after Christmas on the advice of John Bleh. He’s the marketing director for Rio Manso Lodge near Bariloche. John advised that we would hit the dragonfly hatch. This hatch is like having an all day hex hatch. We caught brookies to 22 inches, rainbows to 24 and brown trout to 25 inches.

 

Fishing dragonflies is different then most other dry fly fishing I’ve done. The dragonflies are hatching mostly near the reed beds so that’s were the majority of the action happened. We were fishing mostly 2X, 9 foot leaders. You would cast as close to or even into the reed areas and twitch the fly. If you were in the reeds a very light touch would allow you to work the fly through the reeds and clear it before casting again. If you pulled you hooked the reeds, which were very unforgiving, you had to row in to retreive your fly. That alerted the fish to your presence and “blew” that area for awhile.

 

The other different thing to learn was the set. Most of the time the fish blew up on the dragonfly imitation, many times going straight up in the air with it in their mouths. So you set on fish flying through the air. A different method, but very cool.

 

It’s hard to describe the excitement of the dragonfly hatch and its importance in fly fishing Patagonia. One of the best patterns was a staple in our boxes here in Michigan, it’s our Damsel Pattern (see video below) , invented by Jon Ray. In this video I will show you how to tie this dragon fly, damsel fly pattern. We tie it in three colors, black, blue and green. The black variation was dynamite for the dragonfly hatch recently.

 

If you love dry fly fishing, big trout and explosive takes, fly fishing in Patagonia for the dragonfly hatch is for you. Join us next year!

 

Hawk

fly fishing lakes in argentina

Fly Fishing lakes in Patagonia


Fly fishing lakes in Patagonia

Fly Fishing lakes in Patagonia

Tips and Techniques

I’ve been lucky enough to fly fish many lakes for trout in Patagonia. Lago Tromen, Fonck, Hess, and Rocca to name a few. All three species, Brook, Rainbow and Brown Trout are available is these lakes in Patagonia. The trout, in spring and fall, are in the shallows hunting edibles to help them put on weight. Fly fishing lakes in Patagonia often will produce some of the largest fish of your trip.

The equipment you bring to a lake trip should be a six weight, fast action rod with a floating line and a seven weight rod loaded with a 250 grain sink tip. Depending on the time of year and where the fish are concentrated you will use one or the other. In late spring, early summer the fish will be in the shallow water, often near reeds looking to eat the hatching dragonflies. Explosive takes from large trout are common! As the water warms look for trout to concentrate closer to inlets and outlets looking for food near these coldwater sources.

As in river fishing, fly placement in crucial. Close to structure is key. Longer casts at times will be necessary Fly fishing lakes in Patagoniaespecially if winds are light and the water is calm and glassy. In Patagonia if the lake is calm throw smaller flies with longer leaders. If the wind is up, common in Argentina, bigger flies like Chernobyl Ants, Fat Albert’s and other foam creations will get attention.

The most important ingredient in your arsenal to fly fish lakes in Patagonia is animation. Twitch your fly! Many times I’ve seen fish cruising, looking for a meal. A little movement will attract fish and often result in hook ups. A little used tactic, often overlooked by north american fly anglers fly fishing for trout in Patagonia is to fish a big foam imitation like a bass popper. Many times I’ve had large fish attack a fly being popped back to the boat.

Streamers may also play a roll when fishing lakes in Patagonia. I have lit them up on a wide variety of offerings. Conehead woolly buggers, Nutcrackers, Hat Tricks and different pancora patterns have resulted in fish landed that have weighed in excess of 7 pounds.

Fly fishing lakes in Patagonia can be very productive at times. If you guide suggests it, happily go along. You may catch the biggest trout of your life.

Salaud!

Hawk

pink salmon

2015 Garden River Fly Fishing Recap

Garden River Recap 2015
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Garden River fly fishing for King and Pink salmon in Sault St Marie, Canada is some of the best in the Midwest Region. Garden River fly Fishing for Salmon on the  First Nation is the best in the Midwest. Why? Privacy is the reason. We fish very close to the mouth of the Garden River on First Nation lands giving us first shot at King, Pink and Coho salmon and steelhead all on private property. Due to the proximity to the St Mary’s River the fish are fresh and much more likely to take a fly. The lack of any fishing pressure adds to that success!

 

 

In 2015 the season looked to be dismal at best. When I arrived in Sault St Marie my native friends told me there were no fish at my two favorite beats. This was unheard of in the 16 years past. So needing fish by Saturday, Thursday I went to the public part of the river, right below the falls, Eleven Mile. There I found enough pinks to catch fish on Saturday with the family trip I was running. Friday we spent the day checking the river on the native lands. We found enough fish up at high in the reserve on private land to keep going. Saturday we started our Garden River guided fly fishing trips.

 

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As the days went on Pinks and kings constantly dribbled in almost every day. Fly fishing for salmon was pretty good, not stellar but definitely good enough as clients continued to rebook their spots for next year. It was interesting to see fish moving upstream very late and in very low water.

 

Rain was hard to come by on the Garden River this year. We had only one decent rain mostly just beautiful warm blue bird days. The one rain event we had was the night before the kids trip on Sept 19th. That moved fish! We had a push of pinks and kings and hooked 11 steelhead in two days.

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The last three groups saw change every day. The fish moving up river were constant, small in numbers but we saw them every day. They would immediately start to spawn ,creating new gravel fishing opportunities. The best situation you could find was a hen working gravel that attracted the traveling males. You could get a few shots at them and if successful the fights ere epic.

 

The late run and the low water made the streamer fly fishing for king and pink salmon slow this year. They just weren’t spending much time in the pools. We did get a couple of really good king salmon but not the numbers we normally get.

 

Though a little more difficult than usual the Garden River produced good fly fishing for king and pink salmon and at times for steelhead.

 

We have limited availability for 2016, right now I have two spots on Sept 14-16, two spots on Sept 21-23, and two spots on Sept 28-30. Thes dates are subject to change.  If interested contact me at chuck@hawkinsflyfishing.com.

 

Tight lines,

 

Hawk