Starting tomorrow, March 11, 2020 I board a British Airways flight from London to Buenos Aires, then connect with an internal Aerolineas Argentinas flight to El Calafate, where I will be transported to the Estancia Laguna Verde flyfishing lodge in the middle of the sparse, windblown Patagonian desert.
I have been to this particular fishery, better known by anglers as Jurassic Lake, 6 times over the past 10 years and always found the entire experience a delight. Great flights, great people, great food and wine, and world class trout fishing.
Yet this year promises to be different. Things change, we all know that. Yet for the travelling flyfisher, unfortunately not for the better. Forget the COVID-19 pandemic for a moment. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for those who want to fly on a commercial airplane to a fishing destination due to the tightening luggage restrictions. For example, with British Airways you can’t have flies with hooks (what other kinds are there) in your carry on luggage. And with Aerolineas Argintineas you can’t even carry rods, reels or any fishing equipment on board. All must go in checked luggage.
And there is not a dedicated flyfisher who does not have at least one gruesome tale of lost or damaged fishing equipment in checked luggage. The risk of lost or damaged equipment is a hundred times greater than the risk of a deranged passenger using a wollybugger to attack the flight crew!
And don’t get me started on the reduced knee space, smaller seats that barely recline, and the exorbitant price of economy tickets, let alone Premium Economy or Business Class.
And now we come to COVID-19. Honestly, I don’t know what to expect, other than in the 3 months between when I first booked my flight and now, the plane has gone from nearly full to nearly empty, according to the seating plan on the website for my flight. An ominous sign for the airline. And Argentina seems to be increasing in the number of Coronavirus infections, with 19 cases and 1 death. Who knows?
So, I will try to chronicle my travels, fishing and adventures daily. So watch this blog for updates and please reach out if you have any questions, comments, etc. Hopefully I will be doing more fishing than blogging!
John R Childress. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org