Monday, May 3, 2010

In the upper reaches of the Rio Chico (right tributary to the lower Rio Galliegas)

Rio Galliegas is one of the most famous streams Patagonia - it hosts a good size anadromous brown trout.  The average fish in this stream is 2,8 kg, and the biggest can be up to 15 kg.  Most of the drainage belongs to the territory of Argentina, but its sources are situated in Chile.   
Rio Chico is right tributary to the lower Rio Galliegas.  We have come to its upper reaches after a 100 km drive on dirt road.  Now we are on Chilean territory: Argentina is several kilometers behind me.    

There were lots of nandu ostriches along this road

The river has very low gradient; in many areas it looks like a chain of pools with weeds

We have come to the area where Rio Chico was flowing through a long, shallow lake

In the pool we have started to catch fish - these were good size brook trout.  The fish were biting black Wooly Buggers and other dark streamers.  I was using a tube-fly.  There are no other fish species in the whole drainage of Rio Chico - only brook trout. 

One of the fish was incredibly bright, fat and high-bodied.

The next lake downstream from the first one had no fish.  Here we have seen flamingoes. 

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