Fly Fishing Chile:Mountain Lagoons II

Max's Lagoon Brown Trout
The second morning in the mountains we hiked into the lagoon where we left the boat and float tubs from the previous night. The lake was quiet and shrouded in fog, as the sun rose over the mountains. The heavy cloud cover in the sky put a chill in the air. We rigged up and pushed through the path we created in the reeds. Pipo and I headed to the far side of the lake, where numerous fallen trees lined the shore. The water was so clear it was easy to see down eight to ten feet. Tree limbs and thick weed beds looked like perfect cover for big trout. I started fishing with a small olive Zonker. I stripped the fly through the reeds along the shoreline for twenty minutes, and it was obvious the trout were not in the shallows. In deeper water I cast parallel to the shore and let the fly sink at least ten seconds over submerged weed beds. On the third cast I felt the sudden resistance in my retrieve and hooked a nice brown. I landed the fifteen inch brown, which was one of many “cookie cutters” caught in this lake. The lake wasn’t known for big trout, but I felt like throwing a big fly anyway. I switched to a five inch long sculpin pattern with long rubber legs, rabbit and arctic fox fur. The fly had a lot of movement in the water, and dove deep with large weighted eyes. I switched colors a few times, and altered my retrieve speed. For the better part of two hours I worked the fly off reed points, logjams and weed beds. I felt a few takes, but got caught between strips. I had encounters with two nice browns that appeared from the dark depths and followed the fly to the rod tip, but spooked when they saw the boat. Max and Alex worked the shoreline nearby, and hooked up regularly. Max was using purple leeches, and I filmed him fighting and landing some trout. Alex caught trout on damsel nymphs and buggers, and mentioned catching only browns in one corner of the lake. I switched back to rubber legged nymphs, opting for quantity over quality, and picked up a few rainbows. We weighed our options for the afternoon at lunch time, and despite the desire to stay and keep fishing this productive spot, we thought we should try our luck elsewhere. The latest video post features more fly fishing on a mountain lagoon in Chile.