Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Big Storm... Salmon memories

After a big storm here in Buenos Aires, my server was down for the last 5 days. This gave me the time to refresh some memories and the following was the first that cames to mind.

Location: Patagonia, San Martin de los Andes, Currhue Lake.
At that time the Currhue was a great lake with a big population of Salmo Salar Sebago (Landlocked Salmon).
I was there with Sebastian and Florencia my big children. At that time 6 and 4 years. We arrived to that lake early in the morning after a long and difficult trip.
We took some coffee and I decided to go to the other bank of the lake because nobody goes there. We start with a long walk across the forest and I took on my back a big pack full of toys and babysitter stuff.
In the middle of the trip we have to cross a bridge over a small creek called Arroyo Verde (Green Creek). I decided to follow the creek and get his source into the lake. After walking about 20 minutes we had to cross a big tree fallen into the river. So I help Sebas to cross and carry Florencia at my back and start the job. In the middle of the cross I saw something that bring my attention, two shadows under the tree. The light wasn't good so my imagination work and work. I told the children to stop making noise for a minute or two and let me confirm my suspects. A little ray of sunlight helps me at that time and I saw two beautiful Salmon under the big tree. A couple about 5 lb. for the male and over 8 lb for the female.
I told the children that I like to make some cast there so we made the camp about 20 meters from that tree. 8 o’clock.
My wife wasn't there so I know that it would be a difficult job. That was the middle of the forest so the child’s were haunted.
I arranged my rod, an Orvis Battenkill 4 ¾ (Joe Brooks Favorite) and my Orvis CFO IV reel. Greased my line and start to think about the best way to approach that fish.
At that time I had a big amount of flies into more than eight boxes into my vest. The fish were just under the tree; they were still there like statues. No moves, no feed, nothing…
I studied the situation… a down river approach was impossible
because of the tree, so I went up river and start a cast with a little Hare ear’s but the line doesn’t get the right depth and the fish don’t move. I don’t like to keep you here reading all the day long so I will make a synthesis.
The day goes, and at midday we take a lunch and some problems starts because all the toys were used, all the sings were singed, and my patience as babysitter was lost.
In the first part of the day I changed my fly about twenty times so I was in the need of a new strategy. I decide that a good nap was a good point to start the change. We sleep up to 16 pm and after that everything becomes new for the children and they start
playing again.
I decided to go down stream and make some cast upstream.
Y tied and cast some dries without results. I cast a big nymph and this one disturbed the fish and makes them go.
Imagine I spend about 10 hours with this fish and in a minute magically they disappear.
I stay there immobile looking at the empty spot, I was a beginner at that moment, but my pride was hurt.
I called the child’s and begun to put the place in order to go. Collecting a big amount of paper and bottles and working in that place like a gardener because I need time to give a chance to the fish to return there.
This creek was very narrow so I supposed that they could not find a better place and with a little of time and quiet they’ll return.
30 minutes later I ask my child’s for the last opportunity and we went there to take another look. Yes… they were there!!!
Now with a big amount of pressure because of the two little spectators saying “Now Daddy”, “you can take them now?” “Come on Daddy”, I start my approach again.
The fish were a little in front of the tree now but it was a difficult cast again because the tree don’t let me pass the fly, but I decided to try my last chance.
I tied a big Honey Blonde, look for the best place to make the cast and put my mind into the target. I made the cast and stop the fly right in front of the tree. A second pass, and the big male take it. What a beautiful take!!! The child’s shout and run and I feel like a proud fisherman and like an hero.
I took the fish out, imagine the children faces. What an adventure… I released the fish and he goes deep into the water.
I took a look to the tree and the female was still there. Why not? I thought and decided to repeat the cast. And yes… she took it. After a great fight Sebastian took this picture. What a day!!!

Nearly 14 hours fishing for the fish and nothing. Them in 6 minutes I got them with only two casts.
That day was great, fishing with children is great, salmon are great, memories are great, fly fishing is great and life is great.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Marcelo,

Its a beautiful story about family, fish and patience... Makes me want to take my kids fishing more often. I believe they bring me luck!