Once again the exploration group was becoming restless. After listening to Alex and Luca’s overland adventure to the remote rivers of southern Tierra del Fuego , we decided that it wasn’t sufficient and we wanted to know ALL about the rivers till the end of the island. For all intents and purposes, that probably meant that we were going to be the first ones to catch Sea Trout in the southernmost sea trout river ever fished. We knew that it wasn’t an easy proposition, and the main obstacle was going to be the logistics to get to the Policarpo river. Camping there for several days wouldn’t be easy either. The only way to get there was by helicopter, otherwise it would take two grueling days each way on ATVs over peat bogs, cliffs, rocks and ravines.
Tom, a guest at Far End Rivers Lodge and an adventurous fisherman obsessed with sea trout fishing, was the main one interested on this exploration. Ever since his trip to the Irigoyen last year, he had been scheming and planning this exploration and things were finally coming together. After the logistic issues were solved we set up a date for the trip, and decided to depart from Ushuaia on march 23 rd.
The day finally arrived and after some hours of bad weather we could finally depart. The flight didn’t take long, it was around an hour and a half.
The scenery was simply amazing, something we’d never seen before. Dark green high grass covering most of the ground and sinuous rivers running through it. There are hills covered with trees surrounding the area. The “Lenga” tree grows differently here than in most of the places that I’ve seen them – they grow in forms of shields covering the ground and themselves from the wind. There aren’t any sign of the humans, just us and the nature.
The weather was pretty nice and helped us to set up the camp with no rush. We couldn’t wait to start fishing.
The walking is really rough in this wetland. Lot of water, mud holes, wild cattle ( including huge feral bulls ) and very long distances to cover (around 60 miles) .
The first day we concentrated in one of the main tributaries of the Policarpo river. Most of the river had good running water and some holding pools. The water had a good temperature, around 9 C but the main characteristic of these rivers is the dark tea color water, sometimes almost black. Reading the water is a big problem not only for fishing also the wading can be tricky. After the first hour of fishing we realized that It was going to take some time to find the Sea trouts that we were looking for.
Eight weight rod, sinking line and a bulky fly was the set up for that evening. It was one of the first times for us fishing SEA TROUT in such a dark colored water.
After a while fishing I got to a nice and pretty deep run with some structure underwater, made one cast behind a fallen grass bank and that was It! I had a fish at the end of my line! That was the first SEA TROUT ever recorded from these waters. It wasn’t a big fish but enough to be done for the whole trip. Of course the fishing continued for the rest of the evening and we did catch more fish further downstream. The day ended and “the tired anglers” were finished as well.
The following five days we walked and explored different part of the tributaries and also the main river (Policarpo), covering almost 60 miles of water. Unfortunately we didn’t have much luck in the main river, most of the fish caught were in two small tributaries. The main characteristics of these two small rivers was the fine gravel bottom and both of them had a good water flow.
We definitely were hoping to catch some HUGE SEA TROUT but didn’t happened, the biggest fish weighted approximately ten pounds. No proper spawning ground, water depth or even the water color could be some reasons why we didn’t find bigger fish.
Our way back in the helicopter wasn’t easy. Wind, snow and rain didn’t allowed us to leave the camp on the scheduled day. The weather gave us a brake the next morning allowing the helicopter to land and pick us up.
It was really exciting to explore a river never fished before and of course It is even better to catch fish! We will do further trips to this river system and we will keep you posted!