Fishing Amid the Coronavirus Crisis

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!

About johnrchildress

John Childress is a pioneer in the field of strategy execution, culture change, executive leadership and organization effectiveness, author of several books and numerous articles on leadership, an effective public speaker and workshop facilitator for Boards and senior executive teams. In 1978 John co-founded The Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group, the first international consulting firm to focus exclusively on culture change, leadership development and senior team alignment. Between 1978 and 2000 he served as its President and CEO and guided the international expansion of the company. His work with senior leadership teams has included companies in crisis (GPU Nuclear – owner of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plants following the accident), deregulated industries (natural gas pipelines, telecommunications and the breakup of The Bell Telephone Companies), mergers and acquisitions and classic business turnaround scenarios with global organizations from the Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 ranks. He has designed and conducted consulting engagements in the US, UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China and Asia. Currently John is an independent advisor to CEO’s, Boards, management teams and organisations on strategy execution, corporate culture, leadership team effectiveness, business performance and executive development. John was born in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and eventually moved to Carmel Highlands, California during most of his business career. John is a Phi Beta Kappa scholar with a BA degree (Magna cum Laude) from the University of California, a Masters Degree from Harvard University and was a PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii before deciding on a career as a business entrepreneur in the mid-70s. In 1968-69 he attended the American University of Beirut and it was there that his interest in cultures, leadership and group dynamics began to take shape. John Childress resides in London and the south of France with his family and is an avid flyfisherman, with recent trips to Alaska, the Amazon River, Tierra del Fuego, and Kamchatka in the far east of Russia. He is a trustee for Young Virtuosi, a foundation to support talented young musicians. You can reach John at or
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4 Responses to Fishing Amid the Coronavirus Crisis

  1. singelspey says:

    Thanks John. I LOVE your blogs. What tackle do you use? How big do the rainbows go? What is the average? What other fish are ther in the lake?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am using a single hand 7 wt and a 12 ft switch rod for the fierce winds. In the lake there are only Rainbows but some of the smaller lakes have browns and Brook Trout. You may be reading a lot of blogs from me since I am currently stuck with no flights home. Please share my blog with your network. At least something positive can come from this COVID-19 mess


  2. Mark says:

    What an awesome trip. Enjoy.


  3. singelspey says:

    John. I will share with all my people Supposed t be going to London on Wednesday and Thursday this week. All cancelled. Have emailed you today instead of this. hope that you get it. LOLNGING to eee a picture of J Childress with HUGE rainbow. How big do they go?


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