2 thoughts on “Fly fishing perception and reality in Patagonia

  1. As a visitor from Europe, I found that I had to change my IP to one in the USA (I was offered Boston Mass., so took it) to be able read that Idaho State Journal article .

    Having fish a number of Patagonian early seasons, I can offer an experience from my very first one in October 1992.

    I was (to borrow from from Rudyard Kipling’s poem, If) a case of

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and Wooly Bugger-ing and Rabbit Strip Leech / Zonkering like mad

    …. and I really didn’t want to go there.

    So I began fishing a then a virtually known dry fly that I had been sent a few examples of back in the Eighties by Alan Bramley, the then owner of Partridge of Redditch hooks, not long after its invention by the Dutch flyfisher, Hans Van Klinken, examples that had been tied by HVK himself (I believe I still have them) –

    The Klinkhamer. Here is a much later video about how to tie the pattern:


    Back in the Eighties I had had to figure a way of tying the odd-looking parachute emerger-dry, then tie up (“Why not? The fish won’t have seen these….”) a box of them for my first trip to Argentina and Chile.

    In sizes fine wire, hand-bent long-shank 6 to size 16 fine wire shrimp/scud hook.

    I didn’t lose my head (or perhaps I did) that Wooly Bugger (we Brits spell Wooly with two “l”s, but then we feel we still can) Day, I just tied on my largest tan-bodied, Golden Cree-hackled Klinkhamer and launched it on the roily river with a 5-weight rod and floating line.

    I had to stifle a laugh, for the thing look like an old wooden ship under full sail.

    Then I nearly had a coronary when something very quietly rose to my surely ship of the damned Marie Celeste (maybe even Herman Melville’s Pequod) several casts later and gently inhaled it.

    A thumping great near-six pound rainbow. A deep, clean, bright, silver hen fish and a big one, I was to learn from others and my own efforts in later months, for the famous, medium-sized river concerned.

    A certain to be four pounds brown followed in the featureless middle of a deep pool above.

    These plus a couple of other nice fish whilst all around me one or two others were losing their their heads and catching thin, early season , 12- to 15-inch fish on 6- and 7-weight rods and weighted Woolly Buggers and other Unspeakably Hairy Things.

    Amazing what fish will rise to in the most unpromising of conditions. Not just the cold, high river, but the air was straight off the looming Andes and a nearby snow-capped volcano cold as well.

    I tried other dry flies. Totally ignored. Only the Klinkhamer would trigger a whale-like lifting from the murky depths.

    The small Klinkhamers were deadly late that same 1993 – to late Aprii 1994 season, and were the even smaller ones I had in my Dries Boxes in the seasons to come.

    No time for editing. Got to be somewhere. Boote out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *