My passion for fly-fishing started well before I ever touched a fly rod, or tied my first fly. I could say it started when I saw images of people using flies to catch trout with the most beautiful scenery behind them. I had aspirations to do that one day, but most importantly, I aspired to be there.
The images were taken in Patagonia, Argentina. Fishing in Patagonia has been a dream of mine ever since. This area inspired me to fish with a fly and pursue trout. And now I’m here.
A few months ago the folks at Nervous Waters invited me to host a Tenkara Patagonia Week trip in their lodge on the Chimehuin River. While I had held tenkara clinics throughout the USA and other countries, I had never done a trip quite like this before. I am not a guide after all, and after so many years mostly traveling and fishing on my own, I feared the prospect of signing up to be with people I don’t know well for a whole week. But, I remembered I had always wanted to fish here, and I also do love to teach people about tenkara; so I agreed to do one. I was honored to have a couple of customers sign up as soon as the trip was announced. And, now my fears were put to rest, as the couple who joined me is absolutely delightful and I know I have a fun week ahead of me.
Yesterday afternoon we arrived at the Chime lodge. Perhaps it was the little sleep I got on my travel here, but it has felt surreal to arrive in such an idyllic place. The lodge is luxurious, but a the same time very inviting and with a super friendly and welcoming staff. The river’s waters are crystalline and just steps from the front door. And, today I confirmed there are some beautiful trout here, just as those images I saw close to 20 years ago had promised (yikes…what too me so long? And, yes, I felt old when I finished typing that sentence).
Aspirations. I think I have taken for granted the power of aspirations in the past. In the past I may have even complained about too many magazine articles being about places so far from home. Yet, here I am, fly-fishing, only because one day I saw pictures from a far-away place.
Today I thought I’d quickly share a couple of images and that thought about aspirations. Hopefully in the next day or two I’ll talk a bit more about the fishing here, such as the fact that yes, the one/any fly approach works perfectly in Patagonia too. The fish in this post was caught using the Amano kebari.
Fly-fishing doesn’t have to take place far and away, in fact I absolutely love fishing very close to home and am missing home a bit right now. However, know that if you take up fly-fishing, it will take you to the most beautiful places imaginable.
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Getting to know someone special thru tenkara in Patagonia
Six consecutive days of tenkara fishing on pristine Patagonia trout waters, crystal blue days and star-filled nights, hardy browns and bows, hilarious Argentinian guides to show you around and, not least, sublime Chime Lodge— all of this in the company Sue Thurman, my beautiful friend, wife and business partner of 36 years.
On this fantasy voyage Sue and I made a brand new and special friendship with a guy who teaches, writes, proselytizes, photographs, tells stories, bakes bread and is a Nipponophile of the first degree. He speaks more languages than I can count and eats like a horse. His ego is definitely not fingerling-sized. This is to be expected of a dude whose successfully faces (and often converts) legions of naysayers about his successful start-up business and life’s passion.
No surprise to readers of this blog that Daniel Galhardo is that new friend. How insanely lucky for Sue and me that we were not just the first to sign-up but also the only ones to show up for Tenkara USA’s fandango in Argentina!
I had met Daniel briefly at last year’s Tenkara Summit. Frankly, Sue and I were a bit concerned if all would be OK with only one other person in the mix for an entire week. Those worries lasted less than an hour when we all walked down from the lodge to dip our lines in the sparkling Chimehuin River at sundown. The first of scores of trout to be caught and released during the coming week (85% of them Daniel’s, of course) munched our kebaris. The fandango was truly off and running when the Southern Cross and a full moon lighted our walk back to Chime Lodge for luscious Argentine barbecue and killer Malbec wine.
A final word or two about Daniel and I am done. I’ve known a lot of professors, coaches, guides, trip leaders and educators in my life. Daniel is exceptional as a tenkara practitioner, teacher, and inspiration. Thank you tenkara and to Daniel we say, until the next time our amigo.