Ben Etridge Fly Fishing Patagonia

Kooi Noom 2015/2016 Season Report

Nicolas TrochineArgentina, Patagonia, rainbow trout

Friends of Faraway Fly Fishing,

We are proud to say that another successful season has ended at our Kooi Noom lodge in Patagonia, Argentina. We want to thank our guests who shared this unique and special corner of Patagonia with us this season. Thanks to the fertile waters that support this ecosystem, Kooi Noom has proven itself to be one of the best places on earth to catch trophy rainbow trout since we launched just three short seasons ago.  The fishing program is improving rapidly as we learn more about this unique fishery. In fact, we had a aquatic ecology PhD candidate come to Kooi Noom and study the fertility of the ecosystem as part of her thesis, with staggering results – to biology nerds, anyway.  But instead of diving into a jargon filled report of biostatistics that only an ecologist would appreciate,  check out our compact recap of the fishing season below:

November, December & mid January

The Quiroga lake and the Upper Rio Capitan fished extremely well this season, producing jurassic fish daily that averaged 10 pounds and in good amounts  – even more than the past season. The size of the run has increased from past years, and fish were primarily  concentrating along a 2 kilometer stretch below Quiroga lake outlet. The trout spend their entire lives feeding in the lakes depths to finally migrate to the rivers to spawn, creating huge schools of fish in the outlet. 

In early November, our guests enjoyed sight fishing for congregating monsters about to make their way upstream. As we headed into the first week of December, both the banks of the lake and the river produced chromers along with usually 1-8 beers (numbers may vary greatly) for each of our guests. There was action to be had in all sections of the fishery, just ask Ken Maimone. Per Ken ” Our group had a blast in December and couldn’t believe the fishing on the upper Capitan. It was just insane. Even our guide Pete, who had led one of our past expeditions to the famous Lake Iliamna system in Alaska,  was amazed by the size and power of these fish.  Our first two fish were easily over 20 lbs.”

Middle and Lower section of Capitan river was not very fishable due the slightly coloured water and high water until December.  Fishing picked up after December however the water was still too fast to sight fish. When the water cleared up in January, the only fishing done was by sight. This section of the river was our guests’ favorite this year. 

Lake Toro: Although stillwater fishing may not be every angler’s cup of tea,  Lago Toro (Bull lake) fished extremely well during these months and was thoroughly enjoyed by all of our guests – even those not terribly keen on lake fishing.  Sight fishing to cruising fish with nymphs were hammered early in the season while topwater action heated up with the weather towards January. Our groups landed fish anywhere from 3 to 7+ lbs rainbows on a typical day.

Tabia spring creek was unfishable until mid December due high water but every year is different. As soon as the water got lower and clearer we found some amazing stretches on the upper Tabia with pockets and pools holding many fish wirling to take the dry flies very gently – just an amazing place!

 Mid Jan, February and March

Quiroga lake and the Upper rio Capitan

Very big fish were holding in the upper Capitan this season, along with some smaller and mid-sized on the first 2 kilometers downstream from the outlet. Sneaking up on holding fish with well presented terrestrials proved to be the magic formula. On their return trip to Kooi Noom, Nini and his father Bob had one of their best days ever on the upper Capitan. 

A note to future anglers – the upper sections are gin clear water. PLEASE DO NOT WEAR BRIGHT HAWAIIAN SHIRTS, as learned the hard way by our Mai Tai loving guest, Mike. The only fish or human that didn’t see Mike that day was Jorge the blind guanaco (no, really.) For our guests that did blend in with the surroundings, they had the  chance to sneak up on some unsuspecting giants. Check out some of the below pictures….looks like Mike caught some fish after shedding his tropical gear! Disclaimer: Hawaiian shirts are welcomed and even encouraged at dinner and drinks after.

Middle and Lower section of Capitan river got on fire by the beginning of January until the very end of the season (April). Resident rainbows up to 5 pounds and good numbers of migratory fish were landed, with most weighing in over 12 pounds. Almost all of the fishing was by sight and anglers loved it. For those that prefer to walk, wade and fish the pocket water, the Capitan river is the best bet . Jon (70) and Mike (75) who came in late February proved themselves on every possible fishing and hiking challenge. Thank you for the energy and passion!

Lago del Toro has proven to be one of the top producers at Kooi Noom. Very consistent fishing with dries and nymphs, though we noticed a slight decrease in the fishing towards late March.

Tabia spring creek was on fire, great light tackle 4-weight fishing with small dry flies and nymphs as well. We were mostly sight fishing for 16 – 20 inch rainbows this time of year. Chris Moffat and company couldn’t believe how entertaining sight fishing could possibly be, they were just delighted with Tabia spring creek. See you again next season!

As always, thank you to everyone who made our third season season at Kooi Noom even better than the last! We look forward to seeing you next season and catching some monster trout together! 

Tight Lines!!

-Nico Trochine & the Kooi Noom Team.