If you are a regular here at RiverKeeper Flies, you know Dancingtrout and I fished in Argentina last year and returned to Chochoy Mallin with SET Fly Fishing last month. In addition, we spent another week in southern Chile to fly fish with Rumbo Patagon. This week, I’ll share some information about fishing Blanco Spring Creek with SET Fly Fishing in Argentina.

Chochoy Mallin and SET Fly Fishing Heli-Fly Fishing | www.johnkreft.com

We enjoyed our heli-fly fishing adventure so much in 2023, we decided to return again this year. Everything about Chochoy Mallin was familiar and relaxing thanks to the staff who looked after our every need. It was the main reason for our return; the people who took care of us at the lodge or guides assigned to us for the day.

Flying to the lodge felt like a homecoming and it was a treat to see Lorena, the lodge owner, greet us.

Lorena at Chochoy Lodge | www.johnkreft.com

And our head guide Danny was there as well to ensure a wonderful experience.

Dancingtrout and Danny on Ñireco Creek | www.johnkreft.com

Patagonia is a LONG way from home and worth the trip. We traded ice storms and snow for summer weather in the southern hemisphere.

US to Argentina Travel Times | www.johnkreft.com

This is last year’s map, but it’s very similar to the route taken this year.. We flew to Santiago, Chile this year and then continued to Buenos Aires. The last leg of our adventure ended in Chile, so it was an easy flight back to Santiago for departure to Atlanta.

Being able to fly by helicopter eliminates the typical windshield time of 1 to 2 hours each direction in other lodges. The remoteness of the area combined with the helicopter allowed us to reach even farther, eliminating a 3 to 4 hour drive one-way to the waters they fish in this remote section of the Argentine Patagonia.

For more details on the helicopter experience, please go back to last year’s Fly Fishing in Argentina with SET Fly Fishing post. In addition, I write about the lodge and staff who helped make our trip special. That was last year…and our experience didn’t change this year. There were a few new faces, but it was good to see some of the guides and staff we met last year.

Now for the fly fishing…

We fished here January 28 – February 4 last year and found warm air and water temperatures. This year, we fished January 6 – 13 and hoped our timing would be perfect timing for the willow worm hatch.

Argentina experienced a long, wet winter in 2023. As a result, we experienced higher and colder water than expected. I was looking forward to the willow worm hatch, but it didn’t really happen for us. I was able to find some larva in their cocoon on leaves, but we were too early this year.

Day one found us on the Blanco, a spring creek flowing into Trolope Lagoon.

Lago Trolope | www.johnkreft.com

The lagoon is close to the mountains and in fact, Chile can be seen in the distance.

The image below shows Trolope Creek below the lake and the shadow is Agrio Waterfall. I was able to capture the waterfall photo last year.

Notice the difference between 2023 and 2024. This year, we experienced higher water, no weeds, and cooler water temperatures.

And the Blanco was much different as well.

We sight fish for trout in this water which was much clearer than last year because the cattle weren’t in the pastures and the weed beds were much smaller, allowing more open water to fish.

Roundup on Trolope Lagoon | www.johnkreft.com

Yes, the roundup definitely affected water quality last year!

This year, the water clarity was much more appealing and we had more fish to the net this year. Snow melting could be viewed in the distance as waterfalls brought more water into the creek.

Blanco Spring Creek | www.johnkreft.com

Dancingtrout is playing a nice Rainbow below.

Landing Rainbow Trout in Blanco | www.johnkreft.com

Notice the dry fly in its mouth?

Dancingtrout with Rainbow from Blanco | www.johnkreft.com

Here is the first of three fish I caught out of one hole. These are thick, strong fighting trout!

Blanco Rainbow | www.johnkreft.com

The second trout was a Brookie…the largest I’ve ever landed!

Blanco Brook Trout | www.johnkreft.com

And the last trout with my guide, Santi. They all took a dropper.

Blanco Rainbow Trout with Santi | www.johnkreft.com

Another beautiful Rainbow with Dancingtrout’s guide Tete.

Dancingtrout with Tete on Blanco | www.johnkreft.com

And a close-up view.

Closeup of Blanco Rainbow | www.johnkreft.com

Dancingtrout caught all her fish on dry flies, sightcasting to them using mostly a PMX Royal. Mine were hooked with a mixture of dry and dropper. A PMX Royal and beetle pattern along with the classic Flashback Pheasant Tail or scud pattern worked for me.

After our day was done, we walked back to the truck for a short ride where the helicopter picked us up.

Walking to the Truck at Trolope www.johnkreft.com

That was the first day.

We arrived home just a week ago. You can see I needed to shovel a little snow so we could get through the driveway and into the house. And I shoveled more snow yesterday, about 4 1/2 inches.

Arrived Home with Snow | www.johnkreft.com

I’ll continue our adventure soon.

Enjoy…go fish!

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