Jack and Stephanie DiNardo

Trout Bum Rio Pico

December 30th-January 6th 2017/18


Our trip to Patagonia began with a 5 hour flight to Panama City from Chicago, then an overnight flight from Panama City to Buenos Aires. We tooled around Buenos Aires for a day and a half before flying to Esquel. While my husband and I enjoyed our time in BA: eating, drinking and site seeing, it was hard to be in the hustle and bustle of another big city with the anticipation of nearly two weeks in remote Patagonia.


Esquel was a fun Mountain town with plenty to do and see before we headed into Parque Nacional Los Alerces for two days of hiking and a night camping. The trails, lakes, waterfalls, and mountain peaks made for breathtaking views and despite some evening rain showers, one of our favorite nights camping anywhere. Our one admitted mistake was relying on the bus to and from Esquel/ our feet to get around the park. A rental car would have been nice to cover more ground in such a vast place.


Back in Esquel we were picked up by our guide, Gustavo "Negro" Segovia, and driven three hours to our home for the next week in Rio Pico. Negro was an unbelievable guide, who I now consider a fast friend. Not only does Negro possess a wealth of knowledge on the region's trout, but he is a true steward of all things Argentina from a history and culture perspective.


While admittedly, my Spanish is conversational at best, Negro would patiently help me expand my limited vocabulary, until I would eventually give up and we'd go back to communicating in English. 


During our time in Rio Pico the winds blew strongly everyday and limited our fishing opportunities to the rivers and small streams. While the areas lakes are regarded as the big trout water, wading the rivers provided constant action and shots everyday at some large fish.


The small streams were similar in size and approach to the spring creeks we fish near home in Wisconin's driftless area. The major difference being instead of a big trout being 12 inches, it was 20 plus. The first pool of the trip we fished held several large rainbows, which after picking out our targets from atop the high bank, we sight cast Chubby Chernobyls to willing gulpers.


The larger rivers gave up plenty of fish as well, with most coming on large attractor dry flies, and some on streamers. With the snow capped mountains seemingly descending all the way to the rivers edge, the biggest challenge was keeping focus on the fish and not the impossibly beautiful scenery.  


The accommodations in Rio Pico were simple, clean and comfortable.  A hot shower, serve yourself bar area, and Direct TV (although we only turned it on once), made the cabin a great resting place after a day's fishing.


The cooking duties were performed by Negro and Juancho "Master Chef" Cammisa, who was guiding another guest. Each night we would enjoy their delicious food and company, and talk about the days happenings. Both Juancho and Negro were unbelievable company both on and off the water. They truly made the experience worth the long days of traveling, and I hope to get back soon.


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