Every time I think of fly fishing in the lake, I feel something strange inside of me, maybe because fly fishing is usually practised in rivers, what is not so attractive for me.
The priviledge of wading the waters, and generating a new fishing situation every meter, a completely fascinating situation for me, leads me to choose almost exclusively rivers, inspite of the fact that I live in Villa la Angostura
, a village surrounded by lakes excellent for fishing.
But to tell you the truth, all that bunch of feelings I expressed cease to be valid when dragonflies make their massive appearance over lake Espejo.
This beautiful 18 km. long lake has the shape of a big letter "X" and very special characteristics. It presents rocky sectors and islands surrounded by a soft ground with abundant food. On the bottom of the lake, an infinity of black spots are frequently observed, they are a kind of mussel that live in colonies at medium depth. These characteristics are very interesting when deciding which sector we choose to start casting. Anyway, we have less possibilities in those sectors with clumps of rushes, which have a very important odonate activity between December and mid February.
The feeding activity of trout is really extraordinary, since the insects mentioned constitute their main diet. To see how these astonishing predators chase their victims is a wonderful spectacle that will surprise the most experimented angler. We can observe in detail how trout follow dragonflies and wait for the exact moment to capture their prey with an accurate jump, which sometimes reaches a meter high outside the water, and will make our adrenaline rise to the sky.
Of course at such a situation, the option is undoubtedly a dry fly.
Any fly-fishing addict will be fascinated just to think of this practise in such a beautiful environment, to what we must add the fact there are trout of a kilo and a half.
Moreover, we must add to this three more elements that I consider basic to be taken into account. The first one is the aggressiveness of the attacks when we present our fly, since it is frequent to be attacked when flying, and in that case we have the feeling that we stop breathing and a strange taste in our mouths while we contemplate how the surface of the water returns to normal.
Another aspect points at the special characteristics of rushy coasts, since we can observe that they are very compact in some sectors and more scattered in others, and we can easily move in both alternatives while fishing from a belly boat or from a boat while casting near a clump of rushes. When casting from the coast trout are sometimes found while searching for their prey in very low areas that we call flats, that is no more than a meter deep, and it is here where the angler must use his best approaching technique, since the fish is very visible and any movement could make it swim to the shoal. Anyway, a cast near the beginning of the deep part of the lake will suffice for the trout to attack our fly immediately.
The reason for these persistent attacks is very simple: this period does not go beyond two months and a half, and produces a kind of violent instinct in the fish that makes them become scary. We may even get very close to them and see how they catch our fly, but our presentation will only be on the surface of the water.
The third important point is the environment. This soberb southern landscape clearly tranlates why we are so fond of fly fishing. When finishing this article, I could certaily write about the technical aspect, give advise about tackle, flies, lines and other items, but I really think that writing about what I feel makes it much more attractive.
This lake is something more than just a lake, it is a clear example of the perfection offered by the Supreme Being when he created it. Its forests, its mountains and the snow always present, even during the longest summers, make it an environment that can not be missed by any angler. Its completely clear waters rich in Rainbow Trout and Brook Trout make it an ideal lake environment.
And like every exceptional environment, it always keeps a surprise, like that salmon that once jumped before my friend Euardo Riquelme, to leave a perfect wave of goodbye. What a moving moment!
I think that Lake Espejo offers many things that make it unique, specially when we feel that we are so connected to ourselves and to this flame that keeps alive in the deepest part of our hearts, the passion for fly fishing.