Neither of us thought we’d end up fishing but when Charlie at Yacutinga gave us the name of a friend of his, Andres Makek, a fishing guide in Bariloche, we thought we’d give it a go. We had no ideas about what to expect were pleased it was just the two of us and Andres.
The fishing was along the Limay river, a popular place for fishing, rafting and canoeing. The first hurdle of the day was to get into the gear. Waterproof waders and boots that do nothing to hide the lumps and bumps of your figure. We started about 15 metres from the river bank with lessons on how to cast. We then separated to try and catch some fish. Stef caught one quite quickly. After about 30 minutes we got back into the raft and headed on downstream.
All day we spent casting from the raft or from the middle of the river. The strength of the current was amazing and it was stony and slippery underfoot. Fortunately neither of us fell.
Drifting down the river was really peaceful. You could just let the world go by and enjoy the scenery. It was hours before we saw anyone else. In one place we stopped the fish were biting well and I pulled in a fair-sized fish. This confirmed my belief that it’s quite a cruel sport. The hooks used are incredibly sharp and the more a fish fights you, the deeper the hook goes. Andres said part of the fun of trout fishing is that they fight!
When you have hooked a fish you gradually reel it in but when it starts to fight you slacken off the line. After a while the trout stops fighting and you can reel in the catch. This shocks the fish so much that you have to hold it in the water before you let it go, otherwise it will turn belly up and drown. Once the fish starts wriggling again it’s ok to let it go. The biggest fish I caught (big enough for dinner) fought so much Andres needed pliers to get the hook out.
At 2pm Andres left us fishing and went to set up lunch. This came complete with tables, chairs and vino and it was wonderful to eat al fresco along the side of the river. In the shade and sheltered from the wind, we realised that we’d both got badly burnt. E45 by the spoonful has been used since.
One of the major challenges of the day for me was the need to relieve my bladder. For men it’s easy but peeing in the clundy for girlies is different. It’s even worse when you’ve got to cater for full-length rubber waders over your trousers.
The afternoon saw more fishing and a change of scenery. We passed through a mini gorge and a hollowed out round known locally as the amphitheatre. After a while you get to know to cast in deep or fast running water. You also instinctively know that your fly is no longer acting naturally and it’s time to recast. By 6pm I was ready to call it a day. I was tired – you use a different set of muscles – and the quiet relaxing day on the river after yesterday’s walk had turned out to be more strenuous than planned. My face and arms were also on fire even though I had covered up with my coat. But our pick up wasn’t due till 7.30 so we had to carry on.
At the end of the day Stef had caught four trout and I’d snagged eight! I also got the biggest! We headed back into Bariloche to the Baruzzi shop where we planned our adventure for tomorrow – paragliding. By this time I was so tired I felt sick. I was burning, had a headache, was thirsty and generally felt knackered.
We went for dinner at a place Andres had said was a typical bar/eatery. It was called the Celtic and had Guinness, Kilkenny, Belgian beers and we ate German smoked pork chops with sauerkraut. It may have been traditional but of what I don’t know. We headed back to the hotel to settle our bill, pack and book our wake up call, 6am, the earliest start yet and we’re meant to be on holiday!