On the bus to Rio Gallegos, I met two Israelis. After Israelis finish their mandatory three-year military service, many of them travel and South America is a popular destination. The couple was splitting up, as they said–she by bus to Buenos Aires and he by bus to Ushuaia. He was surprised we were staying in Rio Gallegos and said he thought there wasn’t anything to do there.
He is correct. If the guide books list it at all, they say it is a place to stay while waiting to take the bus or airplane somewhere. We decided to come here because a fifteen year old book said it had good fishing. The taxi driver said there wasn’t any fishing here. The guidebook says to go twenty miles west of town, take a dirt road and look for a water tower. Fish upstream from there.
After our experience driving 20 miles per hour in our Suzuki Fun in Junin, I am now equipped with a large four-wheel drive Toyota king-cab pick up complete with a roll-bar and large fire extinguisher. I can now easily go 80 km per hour. We were stopped at the police checkpoint (everyone was). I was mindful not to sound like a smart-aleck when the policemen wanted to know where I was coming from and going to. Rio Gallegos is the answer to both questions. The town is at the mouth of the river of the same name.
Standing at the water tower, I surveyed the river and wondered if this indeed could be the place. An Argentinian fisherman was returning from his fishing. I greeted him. After awhile, he invited me to ¿Toma mate? which of course I did. After exchanging pleasantries, he told me all about the river and the fish. Our timing is good. These special brown trout, plateados (silvers), return from the ocean once each year to spawn. They are now in the river. He had hooked, but lost, a six kilogram fish that very morning. Like a local Trout Unlimited member, he directed us to one of his favorite fishing spots, where indeed we spotted several extra-large jumbo trout jumping in the air. …so, we are here for several days.
There are some interesting animals I hope to photograph. See photo of rhea; they look like ostrich.