The first dramatic moment of my trip to El Rincon Lodge started and ended in a pile of sheep droppings. A rainstorm in the Andean headwaters of the Rio Gallegos rendered the river nearly unfishable. The ochre of the surrounding countryside stained even the normally pristine upper tributaries. I spent our first day coming up empty while exhausting almost all the options in my fly box.
The water needed to come down. Until then, I decided that bigger was better as I knotted a Kreh loop through the eye of my favorite olive articulated streamer. My stealthy approach to the pool was probably unnecessary; the opaque water likely hid my presence from the fish anyway. My superfluous covert efforts were a comical sight for Fede, my guide that day. Sheep excrement smeared across my waders as I crawled down the bank and toward the river. As I was casting into the riffle at the head of the pool, the water erupted as an impressive sea trout struck the fly. I’m not sure if the reel or my voice squealed louder as the fish took my line and headed for the depths of the pool below.