Fly Fishing Chile:Mountain Lagoons III

Max and Alex in Float Tubes
The third day in Chile we decided to try one more lagoon nearby, before we left the region the next day. We really enjoyed the fishing for browns and bows on one particular lagoon, but Pipo knew of a really small lagoon loaded with rainbows. The bows were small and plentiful, but eager to eat dry flies. Once we got the boat in the water, and Max and Alex rigged up in their tubes, I started seeing fish everywhere. The water was so clear, it was possible to spot trout cruising in the shallows 75-100 feet away. The weed beds thinned to a packed sand bottom, and trout milled around the shadows of the trees. In the shallows the trout actually turned to inspect anything that hit the water, and a few strips brought consistent takes. I felt like I was on a bone fish flat, as singles and doubles passed off the bow. Splashy rises along the shaded shore line put me in the mood to toss a foam beetle. The rainbows were inhaling the size 12 fly, so I switched to a size 6 black foam cricket on 2x. The bows would explode on the large cricket when it splatted on the water. Occasionally the bows would nose the fly, until a few quick strips drew aggressive takes. We all fished big dries, trying to see how big a fly they would take. I know all varieties of Chernobyl and stonefly foam patterns were used, as well as a Hickey’s Condor. I started stripping my fly like a popper, and found the trout seemed to prefer the fast, splashy retrieve.
Chilean Rainbow Trout
Max and Alex were in another cove putting steady bends in the rod. They too remarked how funny it was that the fish wanted flies stripped quickly on the surface. We twitched the rod, watching the trout refuse, only to go into a head shaking take seconds later. I tried explaining to Pipo how back in the US, the fishing most comparable to this type of fishing was bluegills in a pond. These trout were incredibly aggressive, and clearly rarely fished over. They were a lot of fun on a four weight, and if you missed a strike or lost a fish, another trout was only a cast or two away. The desire to catch more fish, to see the take and feel a tug on the line, was fading. I filmed a few minutes of casting, strikes, and hook ups. We were content after two hours to head back to the truck. The latest video post features fishing dry flies on a small lagoon in Chile.