Patagonia 

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by Ivan Tarin  

Ivan Tarin, european guide based in Spain. Fly angler since 1988, professional guide since 1999. Since 2001 he established the Salvelinus guiding service and lodge in the spanish Pyrenees. Explorer of new fronteers and untamed water, we asked him to comment on his last trip to Patagonia


EFA: Ivan, since a few years, additional to your lodge in Spain you have been organizing guided tours through the most untouched and secluded waters of the latin America. How many guides currently work for you ?
IVAN: In Patagonia I work with several guides from different regions but they do not work exclusively for me. I have two trust persons working for me in Patagonia, one in Chile and another one in Argentina.


EFA: tell us about your last adventure in Patagonia, what type of waters you have been fishing and is there a particular episode that you like to recall.   IVAN: The last adventure was a exploratory trip of 12 days in Santa Cruz province, fly fishing in lakes, lagoons and some small stream. The most interesting was that the day the fish were not biting I decided to add a small nymph after the big streamer and this technique provided the 3 biggest fish of that trip!!! just the day when the fish were very lazy!!


EFA: can you describe the areas, the places and the fishing techniques ?
IVAN: The Valdivian temperate rain forest and the Patagonian steppe, in the heart of virtually unexplored waters. The heavily forested valley offers nature, pure nature. An extensive area of local forest featuring stands of cypresses and Magellan’s beech which will be the heart of a private park. Rivers, streams and stillwaters where large flies imitating terrestrials and dragon flies will tempt hefty brown trout and rainbows. Hundreds of rivers, ponds and spring creeks full of trout just waiting to be caught!


IVAN: It is possible to combine two locations in the same area with completely different climates and vegetation crossed by two valleys where access is strictly limited. The location is in the Valdivian temperate rain forest, an area of lush vegetation and countless waterfalls as a result of the constant and characteristic rains.


IVAN: The other valley where access is strictly limited is inside an enormous sheep ranch of about 560 square miles (145 000 ha. – 360 000 acres). It is surrounded by steppe and hills. Although the climate is dry there are countless extensions of water.


IVAN: Then the impressive Patagonian steppe. This is an enormous playground full of streams, spring creeks, medium sized rivers and stillwaters with thriving populations of brown trout. Dry fly fishing! Towards the end of the fishing season king salmon swim upstream in one of the most beautiful fly fishing rivers of Chile.


IVAN: the rivers, lakes and streams of the province of Chubut in Argentina, are renowned for their excellent brown and rainbow trout. Like the Rio Verde: this medium sized river – close to the Parque Nacional de Alerces is an excellent dry fly river in summer.


IVAN: Rivers and lakes in the Parque Nacional de los Alerces. This park boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in Patagonia. The lake occupies a narrow valley where the banks are covered in lenga beeches and larches. Fishing in the lake and the inflowing river is highly technical and a must for those adept at dry fly-fishing. There is a nearby lake which – depending on circumstances – is superb for sight fishing. If the conditions are right trout can be stalked from the banks. If conditions are not perfect anglers can chose the alternative of fishing in one of the many local spring creeks.


IVAN: Lago Strobel aka Jurassic Lake: the lake that covers about 27,000 acres. Every cast is the opportunity to hook the trout of a lifetime weighing up to 25 pounds.


IVAN: Outlet of the lake and River Barrancoso, Jurassic River: Without a doubt the hottest spot in November. There are so many shoals of trophy fish that fishing in this river at the beginning and the end of the fishing season just becomes insane.


IVAN: Can you believe it! Surrounded by shoals of seven pound trout in a river that is no more than fifty feet wide! Fishing techniques vary according to the time of the year and the weather: foam based attractors, big terrestrials and streamers. Sight fishing for trophy fish is especially interesting in November-December and March-April The late season - March early April - is colder but it is not so windy.


EFA: What is the fish you have not caught yet and still dreaming of ?
IVAN: I am not a trophy fish angler so although I have not caught any trout bigger than 6,5 kilos I do not dream of catching a huge trout. I am focused in top water action so Peacock Bass is in my list to be caught some day.
EFA: How can people contact you to joining your organized trips to Patagonia ?
IVAN: Due to I am guiding around 240-260 days per year the best method to contact me is by email. I do usually answer emails each night except when I am guiding expeditions in remote areas in Pyrenees or Patagonia. The salvelinus telephone is +34696164810
EFA: Thank you Ivan and all the best for your next trip !


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