Early morning over Laguna Verde in Patagonia promises a challenging and exciting day of fishing, learning and planning for the future. Flyfishing is one of the only sports I know where all three are allowed at the same time. Even encouraged. Maybe that’s why there are more books on fishing than most other sports.
Every cloud has a silver lining. At least that’s what I choose to believe and the COVID-19 global pandemic (panic or crisis? Probably both) is no exception. Amongst all the chaos, confusion and unfortunately, deaths of loved ones, somehow we humans will emerge stronger, hopefully this time on a global level and not just a national level. We as a species need to learn a lot, quickly, about living with each other and building a future that works for everyone.
I’ll give that some thought while I head out for a full day of fishing on what is lovingly known as Jurassic Lake.
For those new to my fishing blogs, I’ve been to this remote part of Patagonia, Argentina five times before, to the same lodge, Estancia Laguna Verde, run by my friend, Luciano Alba, who by the way is a lawyer by trade, but a passionate fisherman. Strange but in my global fishing journeys I’ve met quite a few lawyers and bankers who seem to find their soul and renew their humanity through flyfishing.
Anyway, Jurassic Lake, whose name on a map is Lago Strobel, was formed when the massive glaciers that covered this entire region in the previous Ice Age began to melt. The lake is massive, 65 square kilometers (that’s around 10 km long and 6.5 km wide) and when the wind is howling at 70 km per hour its is more like an ocean with crashing waves. Here’s a short video at our lunch spot at the edge of the lake – windy.
The lake is named after a Jesuit missionary who worked in the Patagonia steppes converting the natives and ministering to those hearty ranchers who made Patagonia their home. Father Matias Strobel.
The trout, Rainbows, were introduced into the lake in the 1980s (will tell you more about this extraordinary story in a later blog posting)
And they are stunningly beautiful.
Today was a tough fishing day since the wind was howling about 50 km/hr most of the day, but we managed a few nice fish. Always satisfying to conquer the elements and gain the reward of a big fish landed, admired, then put back into the lake to grow even bigger!
On the way from the lodge to the lake we came across this group of Guanaco, the South American version of a Llama. Graceful and not too skittish since hunting them is highly regulated.
Only bad news concerning the state of the world right now. My wife says I am probably in one of the healthiest places on the plant at the moment. So I will enjoy my week of fishing while also trying to contact British Airways to find out how to return to London.
You might be seeing Argentina fishing blogs from me for the next few months!