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

 

Autumn opportunities in Northern Michigan

New Boardman River Report just posted.  Still some time before the season closes 0n the Upper Boardman, get in on some great brooke trout fishing and have the river all to yourself!

-New report just posted for below Tippy Dam on the Lower Manistee River.  Kings are in the Lower Manistee, PM, and Betsie Rivers.  Get in on some epic streamer fishing for Migratory beasts!

DEQ confirms two new invasive species

The DEQ has announced that it has found two new invasive species in Michigan rivers. The Pere Marquette River near Ludington has New Zealand mud snails and the St Mary’s river has didymo. Read the announcement here. Both of these species are very harmful  to our rivers and the fish we pursue.

To stop further spread of these invaders wash all of your equipment thoroughly, including your warders, boots and boats after getting out of the water is mandatory. We all fish multiple rivers, we need to be vigilant to keep the remaining waterways free of these pests. Here is an article expelling how to clean your waders.

If we want to continue to have some the best fishing in the United States we are going to have to stay on this. Please tell your friends and fellow fishermen about this problem and be part of the solution!

Hawk

 

 

DNR changes tackle regs to reduce snagging

Hawkins Outfitters applauds the DNR for taking action to reduce snagging. Read below for more information. – http://www.upnorthlive.com/news/story.aspx?id=1222098#.VYxoHOuFldV

Hawk

In an effort to crack down on illegal fish snagging, the Natural Resources Commission approved new fishing gear regulations this year for certain rivers in the state.

The Department of Natural Resources says snagging has become an increasingly big problem in Michigan.

According to the DNR, “From August 1 through November 15, inclusive, terminal fishing gear is restricted to single-pointed, un-weighted hooks, measuring a half –inch or less from point to shank or treble hooks measuring three-eighths of an inch or less from point to shank only when attached to an artificial lure.”

The DNR defines an artificial lure as a body bait, plug, spinner or spoon, on certain waters.

These restrictions will only apply on the Betsie River, Bear Creek, portions of the Manistee River, and portions of the Big Sable River.

“We’ve outlawed certain techniques that make snagging easier, in favor of techniques that we know the salmon will bite,” said Mark Tonello, a DNR Fisheries Biologist.

Tonello defines snagging as trying to catch a fish by hooking it somewhere other than its mouth, rather than using legal angling techniques that involve trying to get a fish to bite the lure or bait you’re offering.

“In certain places we do see a lot of snagging,” said Tonello.  “To the point where the snaggers out number and overwhelm legal anglers.”

Tonello says that ‘snaggers’ use things like a treble hook with a piece of yarn attached to it, or a chunk of lead with two treble hooks attached in order to snag fish out of the river such as salmon.

Under these new restrictions, the snagging techniques are now illegal.  If someone is caught trying to fish using these techniques, the DNR says they could be issued a ticket.

“Now it will be easy for our officers if they come down to the river and if they see people using those techniques they can react appropriately, where as in the past they would have had to stand there until someone snagged a salmon,” said Tonello.

Manistee River Trout, Dry Fly Fishing, June Hatches, Isonychia, Great Slate Winged Drake, Drake Fishing, Isonychia, White Gloved Howdy

Hexes, and other big bugs!

Hexes at night

Hexes at night

Hexes and other big bugs!

Manistee River trout fishing is some of the finest dry fly fishing that can be found in the Midwest. Trout can be taken on the surface regularly between April and October but Manistee River dry fly trout fishing really rocks when the big flies are hatching. Hexes, Drakes, and Isonychia mayflies provide Michigan fly-fishing anglers, some of the finest dry fly fishing to be found anywhere.

Drakes are important

For literary purposes I’m lumping together Gray and Brown Drakes, the awesome Isonychia, the mighty Hexes, and the lesser known Golden, Yellow and Green Drakes. These are the biggest bugs of the year from a size 12 to a size 6; these super-sized mayflies bring big, wary, brown trout to the surface to feed. That’s the good news. From there it gets a little more complicated. You need to know the habits and habitat of these bugs to be a successful “Manistee River Drake Angler”.

Habitat

The most numerous and famous of these mayflies are the Brown Drakes and the Hexes. Like the Green, Yellow and Golden Drakes, the Hex and the Brown Drake are all burrowing nymphs that live in the mucky areas of the river. So your first step is to locate those slower stretches of river where the muck is.

Preparation

Second step is to look for those areas with enough cover to hold big fish. Thirdly, figure out the drifts, ingress and egress from the river, and where to fight a large fish before it gets dark. When it’s dark out and big fish are smashing mayflies you need gray draketo know these things to be both safe and successful. All of these mayflies hatch and spin at, or after dark so you need to be in the river looking for them well before dark. Be prepared to fish duns and spinners, many times they will both be on the water during the evening. To see an example of this watch some Hexagenia Video.

How to fish Hexes and Brown Drakes

You are going to be fishing to large fish at or after dark. A couple of tips to help you be successful. First use a short leader to help you control the drift. I use a 6 foot, 2X leader for the hex hatch or spinner fall. Secondly, wade as close to the fish as you can. The most common reason for failure is drag on the fly because you can’t see to mend correctly. If you can get close enough to high stick you will be dead drift.

Identification

Identifying Brown Drakes and Hexes is easy, Brown Drakes have 3 tails and Hexes have 2. Both bugs have a yellowish cast to them with Brown Drakes a size 10 and hex a size 8 or 6. Because of the size of the hook patterns for both flies usually incorporate lots of buoyant material. Be careful of the heavily dressed “tourist hexes”.  The trout usually won’t touch an overly dressed fly after a couple of days into the hatch.

Grey Drakes

Gray Drakes live in opposite habitat. Look for Gray Drake Spinner clouds over riffles at dark. Gray Drakes are maybe the easiest bugs to identify; they are a size 12 mayfly with a white stripe around the head and eyes. Tie them with a very narrow, slight body. They are the skinniest of the bunch.

 Isonychia!

Manistee River trout fishermen have arguably the best bug available for imitation by a fly angler. It is the Isonychia, also known as the White Glove Howdy due to its cream colored forelegs. The Isonychia is a free swimming nymph that sometimes crawls out of the water to hatch and other times you will see them hatching in the water. When it hatches it’s gray like an Adams and when it spins it’s mahogany colored. The Isonychia is one of those bugs that trout just love to eat. It must taste good! Isonychias spin just before dark.  I’ve never seen a good Iso spinner fall that didn’t get the big fish up and eating. Look for Iso’s all of June and well into July in areas of heavy gravel. They like to deposit their eggs in the riffles. Isonychia nymphs can be fished very successfully by actively swimming the nymph into log jams and other heavy cover and stripping them out. Hang on, trout love these big bugs.

Conclusion

Hawkins Guides are experts, we know where to find Hexes and other big bugs. If your interested in seeing them and going after the trout that like to eat them, give us a call. You can reach us at 231-228-7135 or email Chuck directly at chuck@hawkinsflyfishing.com. You can also reach one of our guides by using our contact page.