El Salamontes Lodge in Chilean Patagonia (photo: Earl Harper).
Taken on a small creek near El Salamontes Lodge in Chilean Patagonia (photo: Earl Harper).

Patagonia Photography and Fly Fishing Workshops: Mar 19-29

Up your photography game while visiting and fishing northern Patagonia

Ever come back from a weeklong fishing trip excited to show everybody all of the wonderful photos you took, only to find that none of them look quite the way you expected them to? Don't worry, you're not alone. The ability to capture the moment on the water with your camera isn't about how fancy (and expensive) your camera is, it is about having the right skill set. Photographers make pictures, not cameras.

Wisconsin Driftless Region - Viroqua
Photo: Dave Karczynski

How to do a Trout Town: Viroqua, Wisconsin

How to plan your first (or next) trip to the Driftless

Sometimes you go fishing to get away from everything and everyone—Patagonia if you've got the coin, your local backcountry if you’ve got the tent. Other times you want to kick it in a trout town full of good food, local drink, and s. fontinalis graffiti in the alleys. If it’s the latter you seek, and you live somewhere between Paradise Valley and the Poconos, you’re probably within driving shot of one of my very favorite trout towns, Viroqua, Wisconsin.

Patagonia - Traful River Fly Fishing
Crossing the Traful River (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Steeped in Patagonia's north

Touring northern Patagonia's famed rivers and estancias in search of more than just trout

It was quite the juxtaposition, honestly. Not exactly what I had in mind for my first fishing trip to Argentina, but then, the whole experience had been somewhat surprising.

There I was, casually sitting in the back seat of a Toyota Hilux next to a waifish equestrian from Pennsylvania, a tumbler of iced Irish whiskey in hand, when the first shot from the 30-06 erupted in the night. The horsewoman quickly levitated into my lap and, from outside the truck’s cabin I heard a spirited Scotsman exclaim, “Great shot, Orek! I’m sure there’s another one up there.”

Limay River Brown Trout - Patagonia, Argentina
A fish, and moment, almost lost to miserly and sloppy planning (photo: Earl Harper).

Fly fishing travel: don't be stupid

You've been waiting for this trip for a long time, don't screw it up

When you've been dreaming of visiting and fly fishing Patagonia for as long as you can remember, and have finally made the commitment to do so, excitement can reach a fever pitch during the last few days leading up to the trip. We'd planned to arrive in Buenos Aires on the 30th, spend a day exploring the city, and hop a flight to San Martin de los Andes the following day on the 31st, where our Patagonian fishing adventure would begin.

The Yellowstone River as seen from the Hellroaring Creek trail
The Yellowstone River as seen from the Hellroaring Creek trail (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Leaving the road behind in Yellowstone

A series of incredibly good decisions

Although we expected the hike in from the Hellroaring Creek trailhead to eat up around five to six hours, it wasn’t more than a half hour into the hike when, imagining that a vista worth taking in lay at its edge, we broke from the trail to wander up through a stand of scrub pine to the lip of a small ridge. Upon doing so, we caught our first glimpse of the Yellowstone River, coursing through the canyon below.


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