This year, my annual trip to Patagonia promised to blend the old and familiar with new and exciting. For two weeks I would travel and fish with my friends in Argentina, exploring new water from the Limay River Lodge, and enjoying the familiar comfort and excellent fishing provided by the Olsen Family at San Huberto Lodge.
Afterwards, most of the group would (sadly) leave for home while my good friend, Mark, and I journeyed overland to Chile, where we would stay and fish for another week from Martin Pescador.
PART THREE – OVERLAND TO CHILE AND MARTIN PESCADOR
At the end of our stay in Argentina, my friend Mark and I bid sad farewells to our fishing partners and climbed into the truck which would take us to the south and west, on a day-long journey to Futaleufú, the pass to Chile, and the next chapter in our adventure. The trip was long but interesting, with beautiful scenery. I’d traveled the route two decades before, and little has changed, except the volume of traffic.
Late afternoon found us leaving the pavement outside of the small, tidy village of Trevelin, and climbing toward the border. Our host and the owner of Martin Pescador, Frans Jansen, met us there. The customs and immigration process was reasonable enough, even if they did insist, on the Chilean side, that we disinfect our fly rods and waders.
The beautiful drive that remained to Martin Pescador traced river valleys and mountain lakes. I had fished and worked in this region many years ago, and anxiously awaited the familiar sight of Lago Yelcho and the lovely Isla Monita to come into view.
We crossed the Rio Yelcho where it leaves the lake, and a few moments later pulled into the park-like property of Puerto Cárdenas Lodge, our first stay while fishing with Martin Pescador. It was here that we met Anna Jansen, who expertly manages all aspects of the facilities, and some friends whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with in Alaska.
The lodge is perched on a picturesque rise over Rio Yelcho, one of the rivers we would fish over the next three days, as the rhythm of our lives slowed to a delightful pace.
Then, on the morning of the fourth day, we transferred to Martin Pescador’s lodge at La Juta, on the bank of the lovely Rio Rosselot. From La Juta we fished the Rosselot River and lake, as well as a very remote stretch of the Rio Palena, a river so beautiful that one is convinced that any cast might yield the fish of a lifetime.
The fishing in Chile, with Martin Pescador, was a superb mix of dry flies and streamers, with a lot of fish close to 24 inches, and is a perfect compliment to what we experienced in Argentina.
I look forward to hosting future groups at Martin Pescador, with Frans and Anna, and their excellent crew!