All fishermen love the early season of trout fishing. Multiple hatches of caddis, mayflies and stoneflies march past, drawing fish to the surface to feast on the bounty. As spring turns into summer,
the fishing slows a bit as the big bugs are gradually replaced by smaller and fewer insects. Sure, there is the pleasure of fishing terrestrials to draw fly fishers to the water, but summer fishing is often an almost lazy pursuit, limited to cooler times of the day, or waiting for a summer breeze to deposit wayward ants, beetles, or grasshoppers on the water.
This all comes to an end as the days grow shorter, the water temps start to drop and the first biological urge begins to grow in the trout. In my mind, fall doesn’t officially begin until the first cold front rolls through the area, bringing a freshening rain and cooler temperatures. The trout feel it too, and many begin a two-part process that includes heavy feeding for the winter ahead, and a migration to spawning areas. Fall fishing, one of the most exciting times of the year.
That is why we focus on April at Rio Manso Lodge. The waters surrounding the lodge are composed of an interconnected ecosystem made up of lakes and rivers, all of which are accessible to
They feed aggressively, and the cooler water makes them lively. Many take on bright spawning colors and the combination of oranges, reds, greens and even blue make for magical photos. Browns, too, are on the prowl at this time of year, and the males are especially fearsome looking with big kypes, and bright sides.
In the lakes surrounding the lodge, rainbows, brows and brook trout all hostilely pursue our small native baitfish, the puyen. Schools of these small fish are found nearly everywhere, and the trout herd them against the bank and attack with noisy splashes. Apparent rises in the middle of the lakes are often rainbows chasing this fish. Stalking these fish is fun and trying to get a small streamer in front of them can be a challenge.
By mid-April, the fish start moving from the lakes into the river and tributaries. Gravelly runs frequently hold large trout looking for spawning areas, or passing through in search of water upstream. One small tributary is jammed with big browns at this time of year.
This fall progression is a happening elsewhere in Patagonia as well. A little further afield from Rio Manso, we find the Limay River filling with monster browns and rainbows from Nahual Huapi, the big lake bordering the city of Bariloche. When conditions are right, I always spend a few days searching its waters for 5 to 10-pound trout.
After all this talk of fall fishing, you can probably guess where I’ll be when April rolls around. In a few weeks, I’ll be headed back toPatagonia and Rio Manso Lodge to experience some of the best fishing of the season. I’ve always loved fall fishing, from my early Adirondack days to my home in Vermont. Now I just go a little further to get a bonus fall. Fall does come twice a year. You just have to know where to look.
(If you care to join me, just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are still a couple spots open.