Arroyo Claro, Patagonia, Argentina “What to Bring” List

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Note: Patagonia can be windy. An effective technique for casting into the wind is to “underline” your rod by one line weight (or more). You can generate more line speed by casting a lighter line and the smaller diameter of the line helps to penetrate the wind.


Rods:

Bring 2-3 rods.
A good combination is:
1) 8-9½’ 5/6 weight for dry flies and nymphs.
2) 9-9½’ 7/8 weight for streamer fishing.
3) Optional: 3/4 weight for spring creeks and small flies.
Note: Jorge’s favorite rod is a 9½’, 5 weight.  We recommend 3,4 or 5 piece travel rods, which can be carried on the airplane.

Reels:

Bring at least 2 reels with floating lines and at least one extra spool for each reel with sinking lines.  Lightweight trout reels with an exposed rim for palming.

Lines:

We suggest at least 3 types of lines:
1) Floating lines for each rod.
2) 5-8 weight Sink tip lines-like Cortland 444 SL, WF, F/S extra fast III sinking tip, Teeny Nymph Tip or Scientific Angler Ultra 2 west tip IV 10’.
3) 7-8 weight shooting head sink tip line like Teeny T300 WF, F/S with 20’ fast sinking tip or full sinking line like the S.A. uniform sink V.
4) Optional: Intermediate sinking line.

Backing:

75-100 yards is sufficient.

Leaders:

From 4 to 12 feet long.
Umpqua, Climax or Maxima leader material is recommended.
Note: Tippet material is extremely important in Argentina. The trout are very strong and powerful. They can break you off on tree falls, weeds, rocks or in fast current. Your tippet material should be abrasion resistant as well as have the maximum breaking strength in small diameters. For wet fly fishing, we recommend short leaders tapered to 2X and 3X. For large dry fly and nymph fishing, we recommend 3X and 4X For small dry fly fishing, we recommend 9-12 foot leaders tapered to 5X and 6X.

Wading:

We recommend “breathable” or Gortex waders or neoprene waders. Breathable waders are lighter in weight and more comfortable to wear and can provide the necessary warmth when layered properly underneath with capilene and fleece.  Neoprene gravel guards, wet socks, and wading belt. Sturdy wading shoes with felt soles. Studs and cleats are not recommended. The “comfort” of your wading shoes is very important for walking. In the summer months (January/ February particularly), it may be  comfortable to wet-wade many rivers. Wear long or short pants and wading shoes. Bring Aquaseal wader patch material or duct tape.  You may want to bring a collapsible wading staff or make one out of wood when you get there.  Most fishing is done wading no deeper than your thighs.Note: Layering under your breathable waders, as just described or neoprene waders (and possibly neoprene or wool fingerless gloves) is necessary for early (November/ December) or late (March/April) season.  Extra layers and/or neoprenes may not be necessary in late January/February, but it is safe to bring them.

PolarIZED Glasses:

Polarized glasses are so indispensable; you may want to bring an extra pair. Amber is the preferred lens color. Quality and comfort are important. A strap enables you to keep the glasses handy after they’ve been removed.

FISHING ACCESSORIES:

  • Fishing Vest
  • Ruler or scale
  • Rain jacket with hood like Patagonia SST jacket or Streamline Q Nimbus jacket
  • Windbreaker (or use rain jacket as windbreaker)
  • Wide-brimmed fishing hat
  • Bring your favorite insect repellent: however, it is unlikely you will need it. There are few mosquitoes or biting insects in Patagonia, Argentina
  • Suntan lotion and lip balm
  • Clippers and retractable reel and Forceps
  • Pliers to crimp down barbs and Hook sharpener/file
  • Dry fly and line flotants
  • Strike Indicators for nymph fishing (if you prefer them)
  • Flashlight Camera and film
  • All sizes or Split Shot and fuse wire for adding weight to the leader or the fly
  • A waterproof, zippered bag or duffel to carry clothing and tackle while in the rafts
  • Leaders tapered to 3-6 lb. Test or spools or 25 lb., 20 lb., 15 lb., 12 lb., 10 lb., 8 lb., 6 lb.,5 lb.,4 lb., 3 lb.
  • Toiletries and medicine/prescriptions including Excedrin PM
  • Passport – Airline Tickets  – Traveler’s Checks
  • English/Spanish booklet  – Cash for tips

CLOTHING:

Neutral colors like tan and green provide the best camouflage.  Bright colors can spook fish.  We also recommend bringing layered clothing, so you can put on and take off layers as the weather dictates.  The Patagonia Company manufactures state of the art outdoor clothing and uses the layering approach.  Many trout fishing areas in Argentina are at elevations of 2500-3000 feet, which can result in dramatic temperature swings.  Please remember that Patagonia can also be windy.

During January and February: Dress for 55-85 degree daytime temperatures, cooler nights:
Shorts – Short sleeved shirts –  Long pants – Long sleeved shirts – Windbreaker – Rain jacket with hood like Patagonia SST jacket – Warm sweater, Patagonia-type pullover or down vest – Warm socks – Swimsuit – Walking shoes – Long underwear like Patagonia Capilene – Sportcoat and tie optional (if dining in Buenos Aires)

During November, December, March and April dress for 35-70 degree temperatures.  Same as above with addition of: Flannel long sleeved shirts – Medium weight long pants – Heavy warm sweater, jacket or vest -Gloves – Extra layers of capilene and fleece to go under breathable waders or Neoprene waders.

Arroyo Claro Lodge
What Flies to Bring

DRY FLIES:

A general selection of colors, sizes and shapes would include such flies as: Royal Wulff, Adams and Elk Hair Caddis.  Caddis are probably the most prolific of the hatching insects in Argentina.  The following is a more specific list:November
Pancoras – #12, #10
Caddis – Tan, Cream, #16, #14

December- Add the following:

Adult dragon fly (brown, green)
PMD #16
Midge Adams – #20, #22
Midge Brown – #20, #22
Griffth Gnats – #20

January, February, March, April- Add the following:

Black gnat – #16, #18
Flying ant – black #14, #16
Green beetle – #12 (Jan. – Feb.)
Hoppers (Dave) – #8, #6 (Jan. – Feb.)
Hoppers (green-brown) – #10, #8 (Jan.-Feb.)
Slow water caddis – brown #14
Stimulator – #6, #8, #10

WET FLIES: (Mostly weighted) – All Season

A selection of wooly buggers mostly in sizes 4 and 6. Cover the color range, particularly black, olive and white, such as the following:
Wooly buggers / Sparkle buggers and
Flash-a-Buggers (bead head and weighted)
Olive Wooly Buggers
Black Wooly Buggers
White Wooly Buggers AKA Sally Rand

Nymphs (mostly weighted) – All Season

Bring a general selection of colors and sizes, such as Caddis Pupa, Hare’s Ear and Prince nymphs in sizes 12, 14 and 16, weighted and unweighted. Also include some larger weighted nymph patterns (black and tan) (sizes 4, 6 and 8).  Suggestions include:
Hare’s Ear (tan and olive) size 14 & 16
Bead Head Caddis Pupa (brown) size 16
Bead Head Prince – size 16
Caddis Larva (olive) – size 16

Note: Many of the above patterns effectively imitate the “Pancora”, a fresh water crab that is an important food source for trout in Argentina and Chile. Jorge Graziosi has created an effective Pancora pattern, which can be fished dry or wet. It is tied like a wooly worm but the hackle should be pointing toward the bend of the hook. The Graziosi Pancora is being tied  by Umpqua Feather Merchants and is available through most fly shops.  Safaris Acuaticos sells Pancoras, Sally Rands and Midge nymphs for under $2.00 each at Arroyo Claro Lodge should you prefer to purchase them when you get to Argentina.

Bring your favorite trout patterns. Favorite flies seem to catch more fish all over the world. For more information contact your flyshop or Angler Adventures.

Wet Pancora

Hook: Mustad 9672 or Tiemco 5263. Size 6, 8 and 10
Tail: Teal
Body: Dark Olive or Brown Chenille
Hackle: Brown Furnace Saddle Hackle (Metz Grade 2)

Dry Pancora

The floating version of this Pancora is tied exactly as described above but without the Chenille body. Size 10 and 12.

These are our recommendations on what tackle, flies, clothing and accessories to bring. Safaris Acuaticos has back up fly rods in case you break or lose a rod. Otherwise, clients are expected to bring their own rods, reels, tackle and flies as described.

We recommend that you bring 3, 4 or 5 piece “travel rods” that can be carried with you on all your flights, as well as a carry-on bag with your reels, lines, fishing accessories, a change of clothes and all necessary medications. If for any reason your checked luggage does not arrive on time, you will at least have these most necessary items.

Our fly list is “all inclusive” and is meant to help you assemble a reasonable collection of flies.  You certainly do not need to bring all the listed flies.  We also suggest you bring your own favorite patterns as this list does not begin to describe all the flies that “work”.

Argentine trout are not used to seeing the prolific mayfly hatches we have in the U.S. and therefore tend to be more “opportunistic” than “selective”,  meaning  they are more likely to eat anything properly presented.  The most selective trout you are apt to encounter will be on the Rivadavia and Rio Grande where you may need a variety of small nymphs and dry flies typical of spring creek fishing.

Some of the biggest fish caught by Safaris Acuaticos clients in recent years have been taken on relatively large “attractor” dry flies on a floating line.  Our customers have done very well with Jorge’s  dry pancora pattern, which is available for purchase at Arroyo Claro lodge.

Arroyo Claro Lodge has a small gift shop, which carries some souvenirs, some leather products, sun lotion, T-shirts and a few tackle items such as leader material, sinking fly lines and sunglasses.  The lodge usually has a good supply of Pancora’s, Sally Rand flies and midge nymphs for sale at less than $2.00 each.  Except for these patterns you must bring your own flies.

Felt soles are recommended on waders but not cleats.  Cleats do damage to the inflatable rafts used by Safaris Acuaticos.

DOCUMENTS

U.S. Citizens visiting Argentina are required to carry a valid passport.  As of September 1989 a Visa is no longer required.

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