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Patagonia Giants

Tales From Tierra del Fuego

A must read for anyone interested in chasing monster trout at the end of the earth!

Written By: Chandler Williams, Cheeky Endorsed Guide
You’re at your grandparent’s house for a family cookout. You just got done eating a double chili cheeseburger, sit down on the sofa and suddenly find yourself catching a snooze. It’s around this time that dreams of record setting fish start to fill your mind. Mystical thoughts of landing a twenty-pound brown trout on a fly rod start to dance around in your head. We’ve all been there. Of course, we always wake up dazed and confused, wishing these dreams could somehow be a reality. You utilize every fishing magazine and film you own to get your fix, vicariously living through other anglers' search for these rare, majestic creatures. You know that they exist somewhere, amongst nutrient-rich waters full of fairy trout dust – a place enriched with profound, luscious cut banks and crystal clear, deep pools that have the same appearance as the local community swimming pool. You feel as though your own personal attempts to pursue said beasts would inevitably end up with you in the fetal position, crying to the fishing gods, begging for this once-in-a-lifetime chance.

I’m writing this story to tell you your dreams can become reality.

I chose to wipe my previously mentioned tears away from my eyes and chase my dreams. For the past three months, I have been tucked away in the Patagonia region of the Tierra del Fuego province in Argentina, guiding at the world famous Kau Tapen lodge. Located on the outskirts of the Andes Mountain range, the region is composed of sprawling hills and open grass plains that are divided by the Rio Grande River. Its sunsets are truly breathtaking and the air is as clean as you’ll be able to find on this planet. The terrestrial wildlife is unique in it’s own right, basically consisting of cow-sized beavers, foxes and guanacos (which I would describe as a non-domesticated llama). The cumulative experience of the location is unmatched. The diversity of migratory birds you run into is incredible. Having a massive condor swoop down beside you unexpectedly is quite intimidating!
The region’s climate is as bold as its landscapes. Fifteen to thirty mile per hour winds are the standard norm, with a very real possibility of experiencing all four seasons in one day! I quickly learned that a bad day could consist of two-foot upstream wind waves popping you in the knees for the duration of the day. Combine these aspects with quarter size hail dumping out the sky and a slight push of a North East wind and you’ve got all the ingredients necessary to test the commitment of even the most avid anglers. When the weather cooperates, the story is completely different. I like to think this region can provide a novice angler with the fish of a lifetime while also giving the most experienced anglers a great challenge.
These experiences have led me to value having a diverse arsenal of gear at my disposal. When breaking down a fishery that is variable in weather and structure, having a variety of rod types and flies will significantly increase your chance of catching. I typically utilized a 10ft 8-weight single hand rod to lay the law down on these monster fish. It allowed me to throw full-sink lines and other lighter-grained shooting lines at ease, even with the previously described tough conditions. This rod pairs perfectly a Cheeky Boost 400 to give me a daily advantage of the water.
For you Spey addicts, that ole trusty 8-9wt 12ft rod will do just dandy! I try to have one for my Scandi heads and one for my Skagit heads. A good selection of sink tips and poly leaders are a must have in this context. You may need to change tips at any time based on water conditions and what fly you're fishing. In a given day it could be necessary to strip streamers, swing flies, or even hang a nymph in a pocket to get the bite you're hunting.
The fish in this region are incredible, and when you're hunting big time fish, you’re going to want to have a powerful break system in your reel to keep them in check. The smooth drag system of the Cheeky Boost 400 has proved to be battle-ready for me countless times. Additionally, a quality dry bag will help ensure you stay prepared and comfortable for all your outdoors adventures.
With the right preparation, determination and gear, you can make those once-distant fishing day dreams into a daily reality.
The Boost Series
Yet another tale of big time fish being tamed at the hands of the Cheeky Boost series, the perfect reel for even the most extreme fishing environments! Get yours today!