Friday, January 16, 2009

South American Brown Trout

Here is an old photo taken sometime in the early or mid '90's on the Futaleufu river in Chile,check out the first generation pair of Simms breathables. I spent a season back in the day guiding on the beautiful Futaleufu River in the northern Patagonia region of Chile. It was a dream job as the Futa is paradise and I was working for legendary angler, writer and photographer Jim Repine. Jim has since sold his operation but at one time Jim and his wife Sonja operated one of the finest fishing lodges in all of Patagonia.

Jim is a huge fan of Hexagraph fly rods and had invited the owners of Hexagraph down to fish the Futa. Hexagraph fly rods are a unique concept in fly rod design, they look and feel like bamboo but are made of modern materials. Almost identical in action and construction to bamboo, Hexagraph rods are incredibly durable yet fairly lightweight.This is how I found myself drifting the Futuleufu one beautiful sunny spring day with Jim Repine and Hexagraph owner Harry Briscoe.

If my memory serves Harry was in the bow of the raft casting a rabbit strip sculpin pattern toward the bank. As I rowed the raft in to the lunch spot Harry hooked up with a heavy fish that immediatly ran for the far side of the river. Since we were close to shore I pulled the boat in to the lunch spot and let Harry get out and play the fish from shore. After securing the raft, I looked over to see that Hexagraph bent right down to the cork. As hard as Harry pulled he didn't seem to be able to gain any line on this mystery fish.The Futaleufu river has a small run of Chinook Salmon aka King Salmon which apparrantly originated from fish farming escapees.To see that flyline stretched across the river and that rod bent to the cork, Jim and I started to wonder if Harry had hooked into a Chinook.

The Futa is a wide clear river and in this section the river rocks were coated in a thick heavy moss. It started to become clear that the line had gotten stuck in the mossy rocks after that long initial run. Though we were doubtful that the fish was still on, Harry waded out managed to get the line off the rocks just as the big Brown Trout surfaced on the other side of the Futaleufu river. After that the fish came in pretty easy and we got this nice picture of Harry, myself and the mystery fish. Too bad I'm too busy checking out the beautiful Hexagraph rod to look at the camera. I had a good laugh last year when I noticed that the Drake magazine had a Hexagraph ad featuring Harry, myself and this very same Futaleufu Brown Trout.

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