By Denis Isbister, Fisherman and TV Personality on Wild Fish Wild Places
The southernmost reaches of the Patagonia region in Argentina boasts some of the most unexplored and rich fisheries in the world. Producing television shows for the last 12 years I have been to some of the most remote and wild places on earth but this area of the world is without a doubt, one of the best.
Our good friends at Estancia Laguna Verde aka Jurassic Lake, invited the crew back to fish, film and explore some new waters on the big lake that they had just opened up by building an outpost camp. This massive lake is famous for producing some of the biggest rainbow trout in the world with many rainbows in the 15/16 pound range and a good handful over 20 pounds.
The goal for this trip was to fly the Sea Eagle Packfish 7 boats with us as luggage! This would give us the advantage to explore some of the off shore reefs and shelfs that are out of casting distance from the shore. We wanted to figure out what the fishing was all about and for a few key reasons, the Packfish 7 boat was the perfect fit. Here’s why:
- Approximately 20 pounds and comes with a bag! When checking luggage you can take 50 pounds so the extra room in the Sea Eagle bag allowed us to pack waders, boots and other essentials so we didn’t waste any space!
- Safe and Stable! Jurassic Lake is a big windblown body of water so safety is the number one concern. Two air chambers and tough construction make this boat the right tool for the job.
- Fishes great! When you are planning on being on the water for hours on end comfort and maneuverability are huge. We fished with sinking lines moving very slow and precisely to get these fish to eat a streamer and spent 10 hours a day in them! The PackFish inflatable boats have a 4-keel system on the bottom that keeps this boat tracking perfectly at all times. You don’t get the annoying kick off from side to side you get with regular pontoons and the boat does not spin around in circle in a high wind.
- Rows great! A big difference between the PackFish and a traditional float tube is the fact that you can row it really long distances and cover a lot of fishing ground. That was particularly important in Patagonia where we were fishing a very large body of water and where the wind can come up bigtime in a heartbeat.
When we first arrived at the outpost camp side of Jurassic Lake we were looking at a giant bay with steep drop offs and some off shore weed beds that had to be holding fish. In a matter of minutes the boats were ready to go and we were in the process of figuring out what these fish were after. Brian Oakland from Gotfishing.com started one direction with a sinking line and black streamer while Jessica and I worked olive buggers on floating lines. It didn’t take long and Brian had a pattern figured out, black streamer on the ledge and real slow! We all started changing lines and streamers to match and making a very slow and subtle presentation that the big fish could not refuse. Brian landed over 20 fish with most of them double digits and one 18 pound giant. The boats gave us the advantage of presenting a fly in a unique way as well as in the place they were holding. Unfortunately the guys on shore had a very slow day (for them, that is).
Over the next couple days we explored a big area of this side of the lake that had never been fished from a boat….Ever! Due to the Packfish 7 size and design we were able to unlock the true potential that this fishery has to offer, as well as having a great time ripping fish!