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Ron Foster and I just returned from an incredible trip to Unalakleet River Lodge in Unalakleet, Alaska.  Unalakleet is a small Eskimo Village located on Hudson Sound 400 miles Northwest of Anchorage.  We were invited by lodge owners Jeff and Sally Appel to visit the lodge to have a better understanding of their operation.  After a week of wonderful food, hospitality and of course great fishing, I can excitedly say we will be honored to be associated with the Unalakleet River Lodge.  The lodge sits on the bank of the Unalakleet River approximately 10 miles upstream from Unalakleet.  The river is home to one of the most prolific Silver Salmon runs in all of Alaska.  In addition to the tremendous Silver Salmon, anglers will also catch pink, chum and king salmon as well as dolly varden and world class grayling.  Stay tuned for an exclusive page on our website www.tailwatersflyfishing.com with more info on Unalakleet River Lodge.

Unalakleet River Lodge photo by. Brent Boone
Unalakleet River Lodge. Photo by: Brent Boone

Enough with the promotion!!!  Ron and I departed Dallas early Saturday morning July 18, short stop in Denver and on to Anchorage.  We rented a car in Anchorage and spent that evening and the next morning exploring.  I’ve heard tale of “Combat Fishing” during salmon season but have never had the opportunity to experience it.  See the picture below……no explanation necessary.

Combat Fishing. Photo by: Brent Boone
Combat Fishing. Photo by: Brent Boone

After our morning exploration, we were off to the airport to catch our flight to Unalakleet.  Although close to the arctic circle, the trip to Unalakleet River Lodge is actually quite easy.  There is a daily 1 and a half hour flight on Pen Air into Unalakleet.  Our flight was a little delayed due to weather but we made it safe and sound.

Once in Unalakleet, we were whisked off to the river for the 15 minute boat ride to the lodge.  As you get closer to the lodge, the surrounding area becomes increasingly more beautiful and as you round a bend, the lodge sits high on a hillside surrounded by trees.  Very majestic.  As I travel more and more, I’m continually amazed at how remote lodges are able to offer the quality of amenities they do.  The main lodge is built with huge timbers that were brought in by boat.  The kitchen is fully stocked, huge commercial stove, refrigerator, freezer etc…..every thing has been brought in by boat.  The logistics of running a remote lodge are mind blowing. 

After hors-d’oeuvres and dinner, its time to rest up for tomorrow’s fishing.  Being this far north, it never really gets dark so your internal clock is a little confused.  The long day has caught up with us and going to sleep is no problem and as the week progresses, the long fishing days with 100 fish days….very easy to sleep.

Ron  and I both are early risers in Texas so when we awake at our normal time it’s about 3 a.m. Alaska.  We manage to stay in bed until 5:30 but it’s time to get up.  Coffee, breakfast and off to the river by 7:30.  Our guide for the week is our good friend and Tailwaters employee Matt Jones.  This is Matt’s 3rd season and Ron and I could not be more exited to spend the next 6 days fishing with our buddy.  See Matt’s Alaska Journal on this blog (See tab at top of page).

I won’t bore you with a daily recap of the fishing….each day is very typical….60 pinks, 10 chum,  5 dollies, 5 grayling and 3-5 silvers.  We are a week early for the silvers this season but typically a day during silver season would look like this 100 silvers,  60 pinks, 10 chum,  5 dollies and 5 grayling.  The pinks are very fun to catch but after 30 or so, you are happy to land a hard fighting chum or a beautiful grayling.  The grayling in this part of of Alaska are world class….many in the 17 inch range and a few up to 20 inches.  (Check out some images from our trip below)

I forgot to mention, in addition to Tailwaters employee and Alaska fishing guide, Matt is a professional photographer.  Check out all the underwater shots below!!!!  www.mcjphotography.com

Here’s what we were ‘packing’ for all these different species: Sage Z-Axis 7136-4 Spey Rod w/ Hatch 9 Plus reel, Rio 550 grain Skagit. Sage Z-Axis 6126-4 Spey Rod w/Able Super 9 reel, Rio 450 grain Skagit Sage Z-Axis 6110-4 Switch Rod, Rio 400 grain ABS Outbound.  Sage TCX 10 Wt. w/Able Super 10, Teeny T-450 sinking line. Sage Z-Axis 691-4 w/Tibor Freestone reel, Scientific Anglers Sharkskin.   Simms Waders, Simms Guide Boot, Simms G4 Boots, Simms G4 Jacket, Simms Guide Jacket,  various layers made by Simms and Patagonia.  (Now that I write this down, we must have looked like walking billboards!!!)

After 6 days of fishing, it’s time to go home…..we are very disappointed about our return to Texas but I can honestly say I’ve never had some much fun at a lodge.  The host’s, guides and staff at Unalakleet River Lodge are second to none.  Everyone is so happy, friendly and accommodating.  I’m truly excited about the budding relationship between Tailwaters Fly Fishing Company and Unalakleet River Lodge.

Main Lodge. Photo by: Brent Boone
Main Lodge. Photo by: Brent Boone
Happy Moose. Photo by: Brent Boone
Happy Moose. Photo by: Brent Boone
stokes in the Kitchen. Photo by. Brent Boone
Stokes in the Kitchen. Photo by. Brent Boone
First Morning Run. Photo by. Brent Boone
First Morning Run. Photo by. Brent Boone

 

Underwater Photos. Photo by. Brent Boone

Underwater Photos. Photo by. Brent Boone

Beautiful Dolly with Pink Streamer. Photo by: Matt Jones

Beautiful Dolly with Pink Streamer. Photo by: Matt Jones

Grayling Underwater. Photo by: Matt Jones

Grayling Underwater. Photo by: Matt Jones

Hatch Advertisement. Photo by: Matt Jones

Hatch Advertisement. Photo by: Matt Jones

Big Grayling! Photo by: Matt Jones

Big Grayling! Photo by: Matt Jones

Guide Matt Jones. Photo by: Brent Boone

Guide Matt Jones. Photo by: Brent Boone

Pretty Pink. Photo by: Matt Jones

Pretty Pink. Photo by: Matt Jones

One Spey, One Overhand! Photo by: Matt Jones

One Spey, One Overhand! Photo by: Matt Jones

Ron with nice Chum. Photo by: Matt Jones

Ron with nice Chum. Photo by: Matt Jones

It makes me dizzy! Photo by: Matt Jones

It makes me dizzy! Photo by: Matt Jones

Ron with nice Humpy. Photo by: Matt Jones

Ron with nice Humpy. Photo by: Matt Jones

Underwater Silver. Photo by: Matt Jones

Underwater Silver. Photo by: Matt Jones

Big Silver. Photo by Matt Jones

Big Silver. Photo by Matt Jones

Nice Chum. Photo by: Matt Jones

Nice Chum. Photo by: Matt Jones

Chum up close. Photo by: Matt Jones

Chum up close. Photo by: Matt Jones

See the bear tracks in the foreground?  Photo by: Brent Boone

See the bear tracks in the foreground? Photo by: Brent Boone

View from the Lodge. Photo by: Brent Boone

View from the Lodge. Photo by: Brent Boone

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Thank you to everyone who was able to make it to our Kamchatka event held this past Wednesday at Tailwaters – it was a great success! About 50 people filled the store to watch not only a slide show by the Fly Shop’s Ryan Peterson, but the HD trailer for “Eastern Rises,” the new film by Felt Soul Media.

A Cherry Salmon (indeginous only to Kamchatka) on the Screen

Ryan shows a Cherry Salmon (indeginous only to Kamchatka) on the Screen. Photo by: Matt Jones

Just over 50 souls braved the weather to come to Tailwaters Wednesday. Photo by: Matt Jones

Just over 50 souls braved the weather to come to Tailwaters Wednesday. Photo by: Matt Jones

With plenty of beer and cheer, everyone had a fantastic time! Spaces are still available for the 2009 season in Kamchatka – call the shop (214-219-2500) for booking info!

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Chile 2009!

Day 0:

I’m at the airport preparing myself for the 10 hour plane ride to Santiago…I intentionally stayed up late last night so I could hopefully sleep on the plane. I get to my seat and find out I’m in a bulkhead row and my seat doesn’t recline (Bummer)…..However, I quickly realize that the only 2 vacant seats on the entire plane are next to me!!!! Once dinner was over, I confiscated the vacant seats and slept like a baby until we arrived in Santiago.

Day 1:

It is summer in Chile and the airport is extremely crowed with Chilean vacationers. After a short 2 hour layover I’m off to Balmaceda. 3 hour flight….roughest landing ever and I’m on the ground in Balmaceda…..I’ve always heard about the wind in Patagonia and it didn’t disappoint. My guess is the wind was blowing 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph!

I make my way to Coyhaique and the El Reloj hotel which will be my base of operations for the next 2 days until I depart for Nic Fin Outfitters. The El Reloj is a quaint little hotel with 18 rooms located within walking distance of the town center. It is very comfortable and clean…has wireless internet and a great restaurant…all for $80/night.

Brent Boone

El Reloj. Photo by: Brent Boone

I unpack, change my clothes and embark on a walk around town. The setting is very beautiful….Coyhaique sits in the mountains with views all around. The thing I notice first are all the stray dogs…..I was out for about 2 hours and saw at least 15 strays.

Brent Boone

Yet more strays as curious about me as I am about them. Photo by: Brent Boone

After getting slightly lost, I make my way back to El Reloj for an early dinner and some much needed sleep.

Day 2:

The time difference in Coyhaique is 3 hours ahead of Dallas so my normal wakeup time of 5:30 Texas time lets me sleep until 8:30. After a good breakfast, I catch up on some emails and get ready to explore the city more. Skip Mullen (Nic Fin Outfitters) comes by and I go with him for a few hours to running errands and pick up supplies for the lodge. The hardware store in Coyhaique is called Sodimac and looks just like a Home Depot in the States.

Skip drops me off about 1:30 so I go for another walk around town. Coyhaique is built in a circle and it is very confusing and easy to get lost. After a couple of hours, I begin to understand the lay of the land.

I return to El Reloj, watch some American movies with subtitles, some soccer, rugby etc….dinner and more movies. I’m starting to get bored…two days with relatively nothing to do…no bueno!

Day 3:

Today is the true beginning of my trip….I’m headed to Skip’s lodge south of town and I can’t wait. Skip picks me up about 11 and we run some more errands and then were off. The lodge is about a 2 hours drive from Coyhaique, and the countryside changes dramatically between town and the lodge. Coyhaique is very mountainous with lots of trees and looks very much like the US West. As you drive south, it becomes more arid with areas of pampas, ranch land etc. Once you get close to the lodge, the mountains are extremely majestic and beautiful – tall jagged peaks with glaciers in every valley.

The lodge is located on a small lake with the most beautiful view imaginable.

A view of Skip Mullen's lodge from across the lake. Photo by: Brent Boone

A view of Skip Mullen's lodge from across the lake. Photo by: Brent Boone

At the lodge I meet Skip’s beautiful Chilean wife Viviana, her nephew Stephen, who will be working with them this summer and the chef, Christian. We enjoyed a great dinner and off to bed.

Day 4:

After breakfast, my Patagonia fishing experience begins. Skip and I leave the lodge about 8:30 headed for one of his “secret” lakes. The wind is blowing and its about 50 degrees but high sunny skies. After we unload the boat, we head up the lake about 4 miles to its mouth. Skip and his head guide Adam Henderson custom build their boats, and after years of trial and error, they believe (as I do now as well) that they have built the best fishing boat for both lake and river fishing. See picture below….it has more room than any boat I’ve ever fished out off and its extremely sturdy – the 30 horsepower jet Yamaha gives it a ton of power.

Skip's Boat on the Beach. Photo by: Brent Boone

Skip's Boat on the Beach. Photo by: Brent Boone

Once we arrive at the head of the lake, the wind actually lets up a little. I tie on a size 4 foam beetle and begin casting at the shoreline. I wasn’t past the fourth cast before a 17-inch brown crushes my fly- after 3 jumps and a couple of good runs, I release him unharmed. We fish all day and probably catch (guessing here) 20 fish between 17 and 22 inches…all browns.

My first Chilean brown! Photo by: Brent Boone

My first Chilean brown! Photo by: Brent Boone

Back to the lodge for dinner and a little sleep.

Day 5:

Another day on a “secret” lake. On the way to the lake we stop off at a house to visit with a recently widowed Chilean woman who Skip and Vivi have become good friends with. It is truly amazing how she lives….she raises everything she eats – from vegetables, sheep, cattle, chickens and turkeys. She even makes her own clothes from the sheep’s wool and alpaca hair!

On to the lake…once again it is winding and we have to go up the lake 10 miles, and at about mile 5 we decide to just fish the lower end of the lake. The fishing was incredible. Today we were throwing streamers on a sinking line. We must have moved and caught 25 fish. At one point, we were wading along a long sandy beach just catching 22 inch after 22 inch after 25 inch and the all of a sudden I feel something a little bigger than the normal…..he jumps twice and I can see he is much bigger than the others (which were big in their own right) The fish fights for a couple of minutes and I think were about to land him and for no reason he just spits the fly back at me. I am completely mortified, I just lost the biggest fish of my life. Well what can I do? We continue fishing and catch a couple more 20 inchers and then Skip hooks a good fish…after a few minutes we land him, measure him and he goes 27 inches. After we release him, Skip and I look at each other and were both thinking the same thing but I didn’t want to say it. Finally Skip says, “Holy Shit, your fish looked much bigger than this fish…I think it might have been 30 inches!” The more I thought about it the sicker I got…

Skip's 27-incher. Photo by: Brent Boone

Skip's 27-incher. Photo by: Brent Boone

Off to the lodge for a traditional Chilean Asado (Bar-B-Que) of cordero (Lamb)….dinner is incredible…the lamb is placed on a metal rack and turned over and open flame for about 4 hours. They continually marinade it with this special sauce called Chimychura (I hope that’s how it’s spelled) and the flavor is unbelievable. After a wonderful fiesta it’s off to bed.

Amazing Dinner!

Amazing Dinner!

Day 6:

Skip and I decide to look for a spring creek that he has been meaning to check out….he’s never been there but he knows someone in Villa Cerra Castillo that might know about it. We go into town and talk to Bruno, a local gaucho. We ask him about this spring creek over near the Rio Murta…Bruno immediately says, “That’s on my aunt’s land,” and after a quick “dirt map” and a letter from Bruno we’re off.

Our High-Tech mapping process. Photo by: Brent Boone

Our High-Tech mapping process. Photo by: Brent Boone

It takes us about 2.5 hours to get over there on the bumpy dirt road. I can’t believe it but the dirt map actually paid off and we drove straight to her house. She said, “…of course you can fish!” Which we did  for about 4 hours and caught several nice rainbows…one 23 inches.

rigging-up low res

Skip hooked up. Photo by: Brent Boone

Skip hooked up. Photo by: Brent Boone

It’s time to head back to Coyhaique and we’re 200 KM away and most of it is dirt road……after a 4 hour drive we arrive. Quick dinner and off to bed at 1:00 am….muy cansado!

Day 7:

Skip, I and Stephen fish the Rio Blanco….beautiful river…BIG fish but not huge numbers. Fishing was tough but we managed to catch several over 20 inches.

Day 8:

Skip, Adam and I fish the Rio Paloma and into Lago Caro. Fishing was great we played baseball all day, switching from the front to back, to oarsman. Basically, three strikes (blown chances) and you are at the oars! The Rio Paloma and surrounding valley is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.

Adam and Skip with some smaller fish. Photo by: Brent Boone

Adam and Skip with some smaller fish. Photo by: Brent Boone

One of mine! Photo by: Brent Boone

One of mine! Photo by: Brent Boone

This is the last day with Skip but I know I’ll see he and Vivi again soon. We’ve become friends in less than a week and I can’t wait to see them again.

Day 9:

After several hours of trying to locate a rent car, I found the last truck in town. It looks like a Baja 1000 race truck with sponsor stickers all over….big tires and loud pipes. I’m off for a 200 Km drive to the Cines Valley and La Posada de los Farios.

Best. Rental. Ever. Photo by: Brent Boone

Best. Rental. Ever. Photo by: Brent Boone

I decided it needed just ONE more sticker.... Photo by: Brent Boone

I decided it needed just ONE more sticker.... Photo by: Brent Boone

After a beautiful 4 hour drive, I arrive at Rex Brygleson’s lodge on the banks of the Rio Cines. The lodge is an old farm house that has been completely remodeled and updated…..very beautiful and comfortable. That evening we have a traditional Chilean Asada and it’s off to bed.

La Posada de los Farios. Photo by: Brent Boone

La Posada de los Farios. Photo by: Brent Boone

Day 10:

The plan is for a two day float on the Rio Cisnes with guides Pelayo and Dale (Gringo). We gather all the camping gear and head off to the river. The Rio Cisnes is a beautiful river with tons of fish. Fishing is good….several fish 16-18 inches. This is the first hot day I’ve experienced yet, and I wish I was wearing shorts.

Cisnes Brown. Photo by: Brent Boone

Cisnes Brown. Photo by: Brent Boone

After a full day of fishing, we set up camp on the bank and cook dinner and relax.

Campfire Fare. Photo by: Brent Boone

Campfire Fare. Photo by: Brent Boone

Day 11:

After breakfast, we pack up camp and continue our float. Fishing is much the same as yesterday….lots of fish on big dry flies..16-18 inches. Back to the lodge around 8:00 dinner and sleep.

Nice Brown in the net. Photo by: Brent Boone

Nice Brown in the net. Photo by: Brent Boone

Pelayo with a nice brown. Photo by: Brent Boone

Pelayo with a nice brown. Photo by: Brent Boone

Day 12:

Today Rex is taking me to one of his Secret Spots. He has a canoe stashed in the woods and after a short 10 minute hike, we arrive. We put the canoe in the water and start upstream. Third cast of the day…a big rainbow crushes the dry…very nice fish, about 18 inches. We are in a huge canyon with rock walls all around. We fish for about 5 hours catching probably 40 fish between 15 and 19 inches with a good mix of both browns and rainbows.

Nice Brown on the "secret" river. Photo by: Brent Boone

Nice Brown on the "secret" river. Photo by: Brent Boone

Stashed Canoe. Photo by: Brent Boone

Stashed Canoe. Photo by: Brent Boone

Back to the lodge for dinner and sleep.

Day 13:

I’m headed back to Coyhaique for 3 days of rest before our guest arrive for the hosted trip at Cinco Rios Lodge. When I get back into town, I go to the El Reloj and they discover that they are full, so I head to Mincho’s….luckily, Victoria has a room.

Mincho's Lodge in Coyhaique. Photo by: Brent Boone

Mincho's Lodge in Coyhaique. Photo by: Brent Boone

Day 14-15-16:

I tour Coyhaique and the surrounding areas….catch up on sleep, emails and watch plenty of TV.

Day 17:

I return my Baja Camioneta and head to Cinco Rios Lodge….I arrive and am greeted by Lodge owner Sebastian Galileo. After lunch we head to the airport to pick up our guests.

Cincos Rios Lodge. Photo by: Brent Boone

Cincos Rios Lodge. Photo by: Brent Boone

Among the guest is my father, Don. This is his first trip out of the US and I can’t wait. He taught me to fish and has been my number one fishing partner my entire life.

My Dad arriving in Chile! Photo by: Brent Boone

My Dad arriving in Chile! Photo by: Brent Boone

The flight is on time, and with no lost baggage we’re off to the lodge. Everyone cleans up after a long 15 hour trip…dinner and early to bed.

Day 18:

At breakfast, head guide Claudio explains the procedures, who’s fishing with who and lays out the entire week.

My Dad and I will be fishing with Gringo guide Jeff…this is Jeff’s fourth season in Chile and he knows the area well. We fish the Rio Aysen and have great luck…..15 fish apiece on dries and streamers….rainbows and browns…all fish are 17-19 inches.

My Dad taking in the scenery on his first day of fishing. Photo by: Brent Boone

My Dad taking in the scenery on his first day of fishing. Photo by: Brent Boone

Nice Brown. Photo by: Don Boone.

Nice Brown. Photo by: Don Boone.

Rio Aysen pale Rainbow. Photo by: Brent Boone

Rio Aysen pale Rainbow. Photo by: Brent Boone

Day 19:

Today we are fishing Lago Elizalde and the outlet. Cinco Rios has a jet boat on Rio Paloma that is used to access Lago Elizalde…after a 10 minute run down river you take a small tributary about another 10 minutes into Lago Elizalde. This is another one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. We head into the lake first….the wind is blowing so we find a spot out of it and start fishing. My dad is using a size 4 Fat Albert and I’m throwing a black streamer on a sinking line. We immediately start catching fish….18 inch brown, 19 inch brown, 20 inch brown…22 inch brown……after 8 or so fish we come to a point and Jeff says “Get ready for a big rainbow…this is the only place on this lake that we catch rainbows” sure enough…..two 19 inch rainbows on back to back casts on dries.

Lago Elizalde Rainbow. Photo by: Brent Boone

Lago Elizalde Rainbow. Photo by: Brent Boone

We have lunch near a beautiful sand bar next to a waterfall, and afterward we fish the lake for a couple more hours….19 inch brown after 19 inch brown….all day long. We arrive at the outlet around 2:30….the water is CRYSTAL clear…tons of dead logs litter the bottom…it is incredible. I’m throwing the sinking line and move fish on the first 4 casts but fail to hook-up…on the 5th cast, out of nowhere it looks like a huge log coming at my fly….CRASH….I hook up. I immediately realize I have a huge brown on and I have to maneuver him out of the logs…after 3 jumps and a couple long runs we land him. 25 inches and HEAVY!

Our amazing lunch spot. Photo by: Brent Boone

Our amazing lunch spot. Photo by: Brent Boone

My biggest fish (landed) on the trip. Photo by: Brent Boone

My biggest fish (landed) on the trip. Photo by: Brent Boone

We fish the remaining part of the outlet and catch another 10 fish on our way back to the pickup….all in all, the best day of fishing yet!!

Day 20:

Today were going to fish a small lagoon in the morning and then try and hook up with a King Salmon in the afternoon.

We arrive at the lagoon, gear up, unload the boat and start fishing. My dad’s on the front of the boat fishing the size 4 Fat Albert and has perhaps the best 2 hours of fishing ever….he proceeds to catch 9 brown trout over 20 inches and loses one I’m guessing was 24 inches. I don’t catch a single fish…

Dad with a great brown. Photo by: Brent Boone

Dad with a great brown. Photo by: Brent Boone

Dad proves again he is "the man." Photo by: Brent Boone

Dad proves again he is "the man." Photo by: Brent Boone

After lunch we drive south to a spot on the Rio Simpson that typically holds King Salmon and we fish for awhile. My dad hooks one but it gets off quickly. Finally I hook a big female – she jumps 3-4 times, takes some runs and then I’m in for some work. After 25 minutes and a few more jumps and runs I get her close to shore. I tell Jeff to get ready and I slide her up into the shallows, and as Jeff grabs her tail she flops one more time and CRACK! There goes my tippet and the fish…. Oh well – no photos but a good time, and definitely memorable!

Back to the Lodge for dinner and sleep.

Day 21:

This day is a sightseeing day we drive to the Valley of the Moon, fish the Nirehuao and the Emperado Guillermo…catch 15 fish, but nothing exceptionally large. One beautiful drive however!

Valley of the Moon. Photo by: Brent Boone

Valley of the Moon. Photo by: Brent Boone

Day 22:

Today we drive up to Cinco Rios’ sister lodge: Estancia del Zorro. It’s about a 45 minute drive east of Coyhaique near the Argentina border…the area is mostly pampas and there is a spectacular spring creek running through the property. Fishing conditions are tough:70 km winds and the spring creek is only 5 ft wide at its widest. After we learn how to fish these waters we have good success – we catch 12 -15 fish from 16 to 22 inches. I see several fish over 25 inches but spook everyone before I have a chance to cast to them….just typical spring creek fishing.

Estancia del Zorro Spring Creek. Photo by: Brent Boone

Estancia del Zorro Spring Creek. Photo by: Brent Boone

One of the prettier fish for the day. Photo by: Brent Boone

One of the prettier fish for the day. Photo by: Brent Boone

Dad's nice Spring Creek Brown. Photo by: Brent Boone

Dad's nice Spring Creek Brown. Photo by: Brent Boone

Day 23:

On our last day of fishing at Cincos Rios we’re off to Lago Azul and Lago Desierto. These lakes are accessed by taking a jet boat up the Rio Mogote.

A Cascade into the unique-colored Lago Azul. Photo by: Brent Boone

A Cascade into the unique-colored Lago Azul. Photo by: Brent Boone

It’s raining when we start fishing and it never stops…..pouring rain all day but let me tell you….the best fishing of all. We move and/or catch at least 40 fish all over 18 inches. When we leave, the Rio Mogote has risen about 3 feet and is completely muddy, making for an interesting jet boat ride back out, an incredible day, and a great way to finish the hosted trip!

Not a dry day. Photo by: Brent Boone

Not a dry day. Photo by: Brent Boone

Please ignore the raindrop on the camera lens! Photo by: Brent Boone

Please ignore the raindrop on the camera lens! Photo by: Brent Boone

Day 24:

Today is departure day for most of the guests so we have a leisurely breakfast, go to town for some shopping and then take them to the airport. My dad, Adam Maris, Phil Napolitan and myself are staying for a few more days so I arrange to use a boat from Skip Mullen.

Skip's Raft on my Rental. Photo by: Brent Boone

Skip's Raft on my Rental. Photo by: Brent Boone

Phil Napolitan and Adam Maris get geared up. Photo by: Brent Boone

Phil Napolitan and Adam Maris get geared up. Photo by: Brent Boone

That evening we go to this lake that Adam and Phil had fished with their guide a few days earlier – there is a beautiful river coming into the lake that was very successful for them. Adam says it’s about a 10 minute row across the lake to the river. Knowing Adam, I plan for 30 minutes. When we get there I quickly realize what Adam thought was 10 minutes was actually 50 or more. We set up the puma raft and dive in! The wind is blowing and it is all we can do to get to the river. It’s very beautiful but fishing isn’t that great, and I think the cold weather has them shut off. We leave the river about 9:00 and it gets dark at 10:00 so I’m a little worried we won’t make it back before dark. When we get out into the lake, the wind has changed and once again I have to fight it the entire way. To make matters worse, as we’re rowing back, somehow one of the rods gets dropped into the water and as I go after it I fall in! 100 ft deep, waders and all! Sounds much worse than it was but could have been very dangerous. I get back into the boat soaking wet and cold, but luckily the 1 hour row keeps me warm. It’s dark when we reach the truck and we still have 30 minutes of work to do. Luckily for us the restaurants in Coyhaique stay open late….we eat at 11:30 then off to bed.

Day 25:

Dad, Adam, Phil and I drive up the Rio Manihuales valley in search of some good wade fishing we find what I think is the Rio Picacho….first two cast I catch a fish and I think it is on! It definitely was not on- we didn’t have another bite.

After a late lunch we drive to a spring creek someone told me about. He said it has huge fish but is almost unfishable because of all the brush and debris, and he was correct – it’s very marshy but holds big fish. Adam caught an 18 a 19 and had a huge 24 incher refuse his fly – tough fishing but we had a great time.

This beautiful water produced great fish! Photo by: Brent Boone

This beautiful water produced great fish! Photo by: Brent Boone

By the time we leave it already getting late and we still have 2.5 hours to drive so we stop at a minimarket in Villa Manihuales and grab empanadas, chips, cookies and a Coke….not healthy but much needed calories!

Day 26:

Adam and Phil are going home today…more shopping in town then off to the airport.

Aeropuerto. Photo by: Brent Boone

Aeropuerto. Photo by: Brent Boone

My dad and I sightsee the rest of the day.

Day 27:

Today is the last day of my trip. While I’m disappointed to be leaving, I’m anxious to get back to the States to my family. This has been the trip of a lifetime – an entire month in Chile with 20 plus days of fishing.

Incredible fishing, incredible beauty, and most importantly, incredible people. These folks are the kindest, friendliest people I’ve ever met, and I cannot wait to see them again!

Until my next adventure,

Ciao!

Brent

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Hola Amigos!

Cuarta poste de Chile

Our guests arrived safely in Balmaceda on Saturday..only one delayed bag, which made it by that evening. After a wonderful dinner and a good night sleep everyone was ready for a big day of fishing.

My fishing partner this week will be my best friend: my Father, Don Boone. We’ve fished together on many rivers in the west and I’m anxious to begin our international fishing trip together.

Cinco Rios Lodge is very beautiful and well appointed. Finished just two years ago, the log lodge overlooks the Rio Simpson and is only 5 km from Coyhaique.

The first day we drifted the lower Simpson and Aysen rivers and had a great day catching 18 inch Rainbows on size 14 PMD’s. At the end of the day, our estimate was 25 fish from 16 to 20 inches.

The second day may have been the best day of fishing I’ve had since I arrived 3 weeks ago. We caught 20 big browns over 19 inches with the biggest measuring 23 inches and 6 pounds. I caught the big fish on a streamer in crystal clear water..he moved 20 feet off the bank to come and grab the fly!!!!

This morning was incredible for my dad..we went to a small lagoon and he caught 7 fish in 2 hours over 20 inches..after lunch we went looking for King Salmon. We hooked 2 –  my fish was a big female estimated at 25 pounds. I fought her for 25 minutes and finally got her into the shallow water..when the guide grabbed her tail she ran one more time and broke me off! Bummer, but well worth the fight!

It’s time for dinner so I will sign off..Ciao!

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