Hello Everyone,

As usual it’s been a long time since our last (apparently not even annual) newsletter.  Very nice that  travel is more or less back to normal.  As such we’ve been out fishing and traveling for fishing a bit too much I suppose; but then again, is that even possible?  Lots of good stuff to report so I’ll jump right in!

Trout Bum Rio Pico 2021/22 Season Report

This last season of the Trout Bum Rio Pico program was one of our best yet across the board, and I’m expecting this next season to be even better.  That’s because we’ve had more snow over the winter than in any of the last fifteen years (it’s snowing in Rio Pico as I write this), and that means water levels are going to be better than they have in a decade and a half.

Several new accesses have been added to waters around Rio Pico that resulted in great fishing throughout the summer, including one spot with what amounts to sight casting on flats with dry flies for rainbows that were measured all year between 25” and 33”.  We’ve added a camping option on this lake as well for the coming season, which eliminates drive time for that fishery and allows for dawn and dusk fishing to hatches that were never accessible before!

All the usual spring creeks and freestones fished well with perhaps better dry fly and mousing results than the season before the closure, and all of the usual lakes fished well too in all the usual ways, with the exception of Lago Engaño which has definitely seen some changes. Those changes can be looked at in two ways though: while the average size of the Brook Trout in that water has decreased by what I would estimate to be 50% (going from 7 pounds to 3.5), the average number of fish landed there in a day has increased by a factor of 10 or more, with many days seeing 30+ fish per angler being brought to net.  The calendar for this coming season in Rio Pico is already quite full, but get in touch right away if you’d like to look into a trip; I’ll do my best and we should be able to work you into the slots still left.

Trout Bum Rio Pico Double Occupancy Pair-ups for Singles

We’ve still got a couple of singles looking for a partner for this season in Rio Pico too; anyone interested in the following dates just give me a call and I’ll make you a deal!

  • December 3rd – 10th 2022
  • December 28th – January 7th (can be shortened to one week if necessary)
  • January 21st – January 28th
Trout Bum Jurassic May 2022 Report
This was the first year of operations for our new Trout Bum Jurassic program, and we did three consecutive weeks in May at the boca of the Barrancoso with bright chrome fish competing for entry to that river.  Over the course of that time we battled with freezing water lines in the lodge, ate spectacular food, watched the river itself freeze completely over, got to see four puma, and caught literally innumerable ridiculously large rainbow trout.  Check out the video below for a look at what it was all like, then get in touch right away if you are interested in coming down this next year; as of today I’ve only got eight spaces left for the week of May 13th 2023!
Dorado Programs on the Paraná
Reports were not as good from the Dorado programs up on the Parana where water levels were at record lows, but those levels are now returning to normal and we have quite a few folks signed up to fish that system in October.  There were not a ton of fish and the big guys were hard won, but as you can see in the photo of Victor Hu with his below, they were still there!

Look for trip reports to be posted by November from both the Dorado Cruiser and Pinti’s with what I think will be good news.

Tierra del Fuego Exploratory
December 14th – 21st 2023  (4 rods open)
I’ll be in Tierra del Fuego on another Bum Program exploratory from December 14th – 21st fishing for Sea-Run Browns and a variety of resident fish on the Rio Grande, a few other rivers, and a bunch of spring creeks and freestones.  This one runs $4,480 for the week all-inclusive other than tips, and from what I can tell it will be going into the catalog at the end of that week.  Everyone who is interested shoot me an email and I’ll get back to you with all the details right away.
Upper Rio Gallegos Exploratory
April 15th – 22nd 2023 (6 rods open)
In April this coming season we are doing a two-week exploratory of a program on the upper Rio Gallegos for Sea-Run Browns.  This is a very promising fishery with a good track record spanning back many years, and of the 12 available slots 6 are already filled.  That leaves the week of April 15thfor 6 rods, and the program runs only $3,330 all-inclusive apart from tips.  Email me right away if you are interested and I’ll send over a planner pdf with all the details.
Jungle Bum Colombia
Successful Exploratory and Catalog Addition
This last March we did a successful exploration spearheaded by our new program scout Dr. Chad Agy who went in January of last year and gave us an excellent trip report.  So I organized a hosted group for March of this year and we went in with Trey Scharp, Mike Terepka, Kurt Brickner, Ty Haberling, and myself to see if we could replicate Chad’s experience.  We surpassed it!  What an incredible week of catching Peacock Bass and Payara.  I must say, Swook flies won the tournament and in fact even accounted for the landing of a new lodge record Peacock, a fish over 22 pounds!  The Jungle Bum Colombia program was immediately added to the catalog, and we are now taking bookings for the slots of next year, many of which are already filled.  Check out the video below and shoot me an email or give me a call if you are interested.
Fish Bum Alaska Reports
Our Fish Bum Alaska program has been a big hit since we launched it in 2017, and seems to keep growing in popularity every year.  That program offers both guided and unguided trips on a wide variety of rivers in the Alaskan back country, and is a great way to get off the grid and into the fish with everything you need to stay safe and comfortable in the most beautiful wilderness left in North America.

I actually just had an article published in Strung Magazine that includes the story of a float I did on this program; if anyone is interested in giving that a read just click here.

Or click here to look at some stories written by guests who have done these trips and then shoot me an email if you’d like to talk about options for your own.

Papa Bum Pyrenees Exploration, a New Program in Honor of Hemingway
Khadizhat and Aya and I just got finished with an exploratory in the Spanish Pyrenees putting together a new addition to the Bum catalog in honor of Papa Hemingway, and man did we have a good time.  I had always wondered about those mountains and their Zebra Trout, a native variation of browns with really distinct markings that surprised me quite a bit by appearing in weights above five pounds!  I’ll have to admit though, I myself got pretty distracted by the Barbels, a native fish I’d liken to some sort of cross between a bonefish and a Mahseer.  Beautiful, unbelievably strong, and selective – but they eat dries!  I’ll encourage every angler I send to devote at least one day of the trip to these fish and add a unique and really cool species to their life list.

It will take me a while to get this new program added into the website and catalog but we are ready to start booking right away so give me a call or shoot me an email if you are interested.  It deserves a week of steady focus, but for those of you who will be traveling in Europe with non-fishing spouses and might be looking for just a few days or someone who can set up interesting attractions to keep those spouses happy while you fish, give me a call and I’ll lay it all out for you right away.

Angler’s Journal Paulino Arias Story
Most of you who have visited us in Rio Pico at one time or another have had the opportunity to visit with Paulino, a living legend in the fisheries of Patagonia.  Whether eating one of his asados, fishing with him at the Boca Camp, or fighting with the others in your group to buy some of his flies, time spent with Paulino is always memorable.  Click here to check out a piece I had published in the Spring Edition of Angler’s Journal on Paulino and his own account of the history of fly fishing itself in Argentina.
So that’s all for now folks (and probably for a while – We’re about to start the Trout Bum season and then headed to Colombia setting up our new sailfish program there), but shoot me the news from your part of the world whether you are looking to go fishing or not; I’ve not heard from lots of you in far too long!

~Justin, Khadizhat, and Aya