Today, I’ll share the last few days of our heli fly fishing from Chochoy Mallin Lodge with SET Fly Fishing. I’ll introduce you to the remaining waters we fished; the Buraleo and Trocoman rivers and Trolope Lagoon.

Last Day on the Buraleo River in Argentina |

In case you missed my earlier posts, here are the links:

Buraleo River

Welcome to the Buraleo River! I really enjoyed fishing this river with its wide-open valley and boulders in the section we fished.

Landing at Buraleo River |

We began the morning fishing the water around the large boulders where we could easily spot some VERY large trout! Our guides tried hard to find a nymph on our hopper/dropper setup the trout would eat in the deep pools. We could see them in the crystal clear water, but I never touched one.

Casting Around Boulders on Buraleo River |

The boulders provided elevation to spot trout.

Buraleo River - Karen with Danny & Juan |

Here is a healthy Rainbow Trout I caught just before lunch in a run close to shore on a dry fly.

John with Buraleo Rainbow |

Notice the red circle in the image below? It marks the spot where the fish was laying.

Buraleo River with Red Circle |

The character of the river changed as we fished our way upstream. The boulders we’d seen at the beginning of the day slowly disappeared.

Buraleo River - Upstream from Boulders |

Here are a few Rainbow Trout we landed.

Did you notice the nymph in the image above? We fished a hopper/dropper setup and many of the fish took the dropper that day. Some rose to the dry, but the majority were subsurface.

And yes, there are a few Brown Trout in the Buraleo River too. Here is one of them.

Buraleo River Brown Trout |

These fish were beautiful…

Buraleo Rainbow Tail |

Fishing slowed down for us after lunch as the river continued to heat up.

Juan and Danny at Lunch |
Juan and Danny at Lunch

I was quite surprised to pull out my thermometer late in the afternoon and read 74 degrees!

But I shouldn’t be surprised. The high temperatures for the week were in the mid-90’s. That’s unusual for them from what I understand. In fact, I checked the high temps the week we returned home and noticed temperatures had dropped to the high 70’s to low 80’s.

In my wildest dreams, I didn’t think we would experience “hoot owl” hours in Argentina! If you don’t know about “hoot owl”, it’s common in the last few years during hot summer months for water temperatures to climb over 70 degrees in some of the water we fish in Montana and other states as well. Above 70 degrees, dissolved oxygen is lower and can severely impact the health of fish, especially after a fight while playing and landing a trout.

Dancingtrout and I looked at each other and said we were done fishing for the day.

I gave Juan my fly rod and he tried one last spot and ended up with this beauty.

Juan with Rainbow and Danny |

Trocoman River

Another hot day on the river for our second day fly fishing the Trocoman. We fished a section higher on the river two days before and had done well. Read about it in the Fishing Pajarito Springs and Trocoman River with SET Fly Fishing post.

As I recall, we caught our fair share of smaller trout.

This was the big one for the day.

Karen with Trocoman Rainbow |

Here’s an example of the daily riverside lunches we enjoyed.

Lunch on the Trocoman |

At times, we fished close together, which is our preferred method so we can watch and enjoy each other hook and land fish. Periodically, we’d split up as one walked upstream to the next run. The image below shows Dancingtrout and Juan crossing the river, something we did frequently. Thankfully, our felt soles on the Korker wading boots worked very well.

Trocoman River and Karen Wading |

Here I am with Juan on the far bank casting to a likely holding spot in the shade under a tree. No trout there for me, but the water sure looked good.

We found a lot of holding water. I fished one run and had a couple nice fish on, but they somehow unhooked themselves. These were strong fish!

Here’s another nice run with Dancingtrout making a few casts.

Karen Fishing a Run on the Trocoman |

It was a nice hot day, but I think the fish won. I’ll continue to wonder is the daily high temperatures had been a little more moderate, perhaps we would have found a few more willing trout to eat our dry flies.

Enjoying the Moment on the Trocoman River |

Trolope Lagoon

On this day, we dropped off Bill and his guide Martin before flying in the helicopter to this beautiful lake.

Trolope Lagoon |

Chochoy Mallin Lodge is located in the far northwest section of Argentina along the Andes. The other side of the large mountain in the distance is Chile.

Chochoy Mallin Fishing Waters |

Our pilot Pablo gave us a tour as we flew up Trolope Creek to Trolope Lagoon. Danny told us there weren’t any fish in this section of the river, but it was a beautiful sight from the helicopter. It reminded me of some rivers in Yellowstone National Park.

Trolope Creek |
Agrio Waterfall |

The large mountain in the distance is one of their volcano’s.

Livestock Around Trolope Lagoon |

We split up this day, with Dancingtrout and Danny in the driftboat fishing the lake. In fact, Danny built this boat!

Driftboat on Trolope Lagoon |

Chile is getting closer with each step. I wonder how long it would take to cross over the border from here?

Shallows of Trolope Lagoon |

I walked with Juan around the lake, trying to find a fish swimming in the shallows. It wasn’t long before he spotted one and I had a fish on…only to lose it when it jumped. I didn’t know it then, but that’s how my day was going to be.

This was interesting water. The slow current brought the water into the head of Trolope Lagoon.

Creek Flowing into Trolope Lagoon |

We slowly walked upstream looking for fish. It was challenging, but something I enjoyed. I was able to cast to several fish and broke off four, all on 4X. I wonder if the tippet was as strong as the brand I use? I don’t think I was setting the hook that hard…but, oh well. At least I had a few chances.

Brown water was slowly flowing through weed beds. I wondered if trout would be there…trust the guide!

Rainbow in Weed Bed at Trolope Lagoon |

Here is one big fish I played with. He would come out of the weeds to eat and return to safety in the weeds. It didn’t seem to be frightened of my leader hitting the water. I was kneeling in the grass above him trying not to spook it with my silhouette or rod motion when casting. Juan tried several combos including his Condor Nymph and scuds as a dropper.

Notice how serene this setting looks?

Juan Spotting Fish at Trolope Lagoon |

It was quite different when Dancingtrout and I switched! She ended up in the middle of a little rodeo when gauchos began herding the cattle, including 8 very large bulls.

Roundup on Trolope Lagoon |

The creek became muddier, and did I mention the bulls? They called it quits for the day and walked back to the helicopter. We were done as well. I only caught one small fish on the lake.

This was our slowest fishing day of the week. But what a beautiful place to be! It gave us an opportunity to take in our surroundings.

Back to the lodge and looking forward to fishing the next day.

Buraleo River

On our last day fly fishing in Argentina, we returned to the Buraleo River.

This time, Tomy dropped us off first and gave us a show as he departed for the trip upstream with the other client.

Helicopter Leaving After Dropping Us Off on Buraleo River|

You might have seen the video I shared in last week’s post, but here is the link if you missed it. It includes several clips of our helicopter experience, but check out the video at the 1:45 mark.

We fished the Buraleo two days earlier and stopped fishing about where we began our day on this, our last day fly fishing Argentina.

It is good looking water and we were hoping it was cooler water and active trout.

We’d blind cast in some areas and Danny would walk ahead to spot fish. He had very good eyes! Here, Dancingtrout is playing a fish. See him on the bank?

Karen Playing Trout on Buraleo |
Karen with Buraleo Brown |
Buraleo Brown Trout on Buraleo |

Upstream we went, looking for more fish.

And we found a few.

Buraleo River Rainbow |
Buraleo Rainbow |

We stopped for our last shore lunch…I think empanadas were my favorite.

Buraleo River Lunch |

And water…to put it into perspective…

We arrived during a heat wave in Argentina and at the Chochoy Mallin Lodge for our week of fly fishing, January 28 – February 4. Several days, the high temperatures were in the mid-90s. I drank so much water and was still thirsty. I kept close attention to my hydration for a couple of days, even drinking Gatorade which the Lodge had to my surprise.

Buraleo Brown Trout Closeup |

It turns out the fish began looking up and eating the Morrish Hopper Danny tied on my leader.

Morrish Hopper on Buraleo River |

This is a run I fished. I jumped ahead of Dancingtrout with hopes this would hold fish…and I was pleasantly surprised!

Buraleo River Run |

Several trout rose willingly to my fly.

Buraleo Rainbow Closeup |
Karen with Buraleo Brown Trout |

And we arrived back at the helicopter.

Helicoper Along the Buraleo River |

Muchas gracias Argentina! We had a wonderful time with SET Fly Fishing and Chochoy Mallin Lodge.

Karen & John at Sunset with Helicopter |

I’d be happy to share more of our Argentina experience with SET Fly Fishing. Feel free to contact me directly at

Estancia Chochoy Mallin Map |

Enjoy…go fish!

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  1. Beautiful pictures – looks like a real good time had by all – I think Karen out fished you – thanks for sharing

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