Most of the fly fishing world have read about the big sea run brown trout of Tierra del Fuego but few know about or have fished the RIVER of MONSTERS. No sea runs here but bows that make the reel sing and BIG, BIGGER and really BIGGG browns.
The mighty Limay River, once flowing freely for about 300 miles from its source, Lake Nahuel Huapi near San Carlos de Bariloche until it joins the Neuquen River to form the Rio Negro on its final decent to the Atlantic Ocean, has its flow now interrupted by five dams. It is the stretch between the Pichi Picún Leufú Dam and the Exequiel Ramos Mejia Reservoir that is called Middle Limay or Limay Medio but many have dubbed it the RIVER of MONSTERS. In addition to the big browns it is a world class rainbow fishery. As a result of the dams, the reservoir creates a great habitat for enormous minnow populations of different species as well as a great environment for trout to grow fast and reach unbelievable size. I have been fortunate to have fished these waters many, many times over the past ten years. People ask me why am I so obsessed with the LIMAY MEDIO?
There are many components to my answer and each time I fished there I add another to the list. The sheer remoteness and beauty, having the river to myself, fish that make your hands tremble and your heart race, the incredible minnow hatch, fireside evenings with amigos looking at the amazing Southern Cross ….well that just for starters. I have never experienced a river that has so many big browns both resident and migratory and the bows on steroids are a bonus. . The flies used mostly imitate the main species of baitfish and crabs; the Pejerrey, Puyen and Pancora. Imitations feature slim profiles and pulsating materials. To say these fish are aggressive is an understatement. . Two different approaches are used in fishing these waters. A floating line with small floating minnow patterns can be used when minnow activity is visible as bows and browns bust on the baitfish in a feeding frenzy. All hell is breaking out around you during the blitz and good luck in keeping your wits about you. This top action is as exciting as it gets and we call it the minnow hatch. Secondly, we use 28’ shooting heads with Slick Shooter running line and backing to prospect the likely lies, runs and pools. This river can easily accommodate single handed or double handed spey rods. Easy wading makes it more relaxing as every cast can produce a trip fish or the fish of a life time. The River of Monsters should be on everyone’s bucket list!!
Chip Drozenski ANDES DRIFTERS www.andesdrifters.com
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