Angling occupies a prevailing position in El Calafate
and it is usual to see authorized guides offering their services for an all-day outing. It does not matter if visitors do not have a fishing equipment. It is provided by the guides themselves.
According to the arrangements we had made the previous day, our guides picked us up at the cabin where we were staying as the day broke. We got on the 4WD and traveled 60 kilometers to reach the surroundings of the Perito Moreno Glacier
. As we moved around magnificent estancias
, we listened to wonderful stories and anecdotes about the immense territory of southern Argentina.
The steppe roads changed throughout the kilometers into areas of plentiful vegetation and wildlife. In spite of having had breakfast before setting out, we made a stop to have a snack, as the morning would be long and intense. As we tasted our coffee, the guides got the equipments ready.
As we arrived at the correct spot, they studied the zones where fish would definitely bite. Their experience was evident when they cast their lines. Even if the trout did not bite, we noticed intense activity.
We started casting immersed in almost absolute silence, which created a magical atmosphere. Once in a while, we would hear an unknown sound coming from afar. It was the glacier walls falling into the water causing a strong deafening noise first and an echo later, which could be heard once and a gain. The sun beams were reflected upon the everlasting ice and the water, multiplying the luminous effect.
At noon, as we continued with our fishing attempts, the organizers got lunch ready. They cooked some bifes de chorizo
on the plough disk which gave off some promising aroma. We accompanied our meal with salad and a very special red wine. Had one of us caught a trout, it would have been added to the menu.
We had a nice chat after lunch and some took that opportunity to have a short nap. We kept on fishing to catch the best trout of the day.
Mesmerized by the quietness of Patagonia, we went around the several bays formed on the shore. Before we could notice, it was 7pm. Contact with nature and the chance to catch a steelhead trout (one of the most feisty) made us feel enthusiastic. They are born in the river and migrate towards the sea, where they reach an interesting size due to the food they find there. Once they grow up, they return to the river to spawn. No wonder they are chosen by expert anglers and especially by foreigners who cannot find them in other fisheries.
Heavy fly equipment with 8 or 9 lines, sinking shooting IV and large flies are used. If a spinning-rod is chosen, a flying lure with weight must be used in order to access the bottom of the pools, where the steelhead dwell.
At the end of the day, we were exhausted but had caught a rainbow trout each knowing that our next tour would take us to Lake Argentino and the Bote and Santa Cruz Rivers in order to try our luck with the aid of the same guides.
Duration: The fishing outing may be arranged to last half a day or all day, according to the availability and demands of the angler.
Opening hours: To be arranged with the outfitters. In general, the outing starts from seven in the morning.
How to get here: El Calafate has an international airport, which is located only 22 kilometers from the city. The operating airlines are Aerolíneas Argentinas, Austral, Southern Winds and Lade.
Bear in mind: Fishing regulations change on an annual basis and they are to be obtained together with the corresponding license.