There is a time to rise. As you progress in your fly fishing and your internal fly fishing algorithm begins to classify itself according to specific likes, wants, desires and fetishes; Other scenarios just won’t return the hook as much. It’s not that you don’t like them, it’s that you relate to specific scenarios and locations more than others and thrive on them.
And so it was in Chile. We experienced a tidal wave of fly fishing scenarios in some of Earth’s most fantastic mountain trout fly fishing environments. If you follow us on social media, you’ve joined us in sharing these incredible experiences. But like the grizzly bears at Alaska’s McNeil Falls, 2 months after being fully immersed in all the wonderful things of Chile, we wanted to dig in, get gritty, dirty, muddy… we needed something to take … our way. We wanted unpredictable fishing, small water fishing … we wanted uncertainty.
And then we saw it.
We were on our way to another incredible experience – we would have to take a 16km boat ride across two large lakes through spectacular waterfall-clad mountains before fishing a short stretch of river that connects a third lake. It was full of brown trout and we had an incredible experience. But as we walked there, we saw a small spring brook on the side of the road and were immediately struck by Cupid’s arrow. “We have to fish it out!” Amelia and I began to insist. A few days later, after constant insistence, our guide Guillermo picked us up. Neither he nor the guides at the lodge had hiked the entire stream we were going to fish. He had enjoyed a short stretch by the bridge and caught some spectacular colored and spotted browns, that’s how our day started. But as we continued upstream, dropping into deep wells in weed mats and subdued banks, we found exactly what Amelia and I live for. Exploring and taking the time to deal with it while stressing about the weeds and mud always holds the magic. We added another point to the dataset.
I was flying a drone overhead and saw a large brown button hook in the weed beds below. Being too far away to shout, Amelia and Guillermo would have to find him themselves. Amelia’s second cast landed a perfect 18 inches behind the weed bed, the brown turned down and rose to absorb her beetle. Excited chaos ensued. I got my hands on a 20″ thick brown.
Upstream, Amelia waded through mud and weeds, crossing the creek to fish a pocket at the upper end of the now widening spring creek. A cloudy sky and strong glare prevented her from seeing well, but a flash of her beetle on her second cast hinted that it would lead the fish to the shallow corner pocket. BOOM. Another colorful coffee in hand.
In an exciting atmosphere that reverberates throughout the valley, we saw what appeared to be the largest brown surface. The first time he slid the dark back and dorsal through the stained, glitter-filled water. 4 or 5 minutes later, a bowling ball crashed into the back corner of a pocket as it attacked a dragon fly from the air. Amelia was across the apartment from me and Guillermo, I was doing my best to hide the drone upstairs. She placed the perfect cast just 18” from the weed bed I had last seen the brown top. That beetle smell attracted that big brown. It was on.
You can be in perpetual Utopia on a fly fishing trip and still not feel completely connected to every water, every experience. The important thing is to collect and share what you connect with. If you see an experience you know you’ll love, express it to you, your friend, your host, and your guide. This doesn’t matter if it’s a tributary spring or a backwater on a cruise trip or just pulling in to hunt a rising trout instead of nymphing all day.
Maybe you want a chance at a big trout on a big strip instead of the smaller fish that rises in the dry. Whatever it is, say so, do so, try it. Take that. Even if it means changing everything to connect and get what you want.
Above is the full video of this experience.
Article and photos by Dave Jensen, follow along with Dave and his wife Amelia on Instagram @jensenflyfishing.
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