Overall, January is a slow month because of the intense sun and heat of mid-summer. Also, summer vacations bring lots of fishing pressure everywhere, including spin fishermen and lots of recreational activity with rafters and swimmers. Many people told me to return to fish in November or March.
The Rio Chimehuin fished noticeably slower than three years ago. Last time, I fished in December. Also, it was open only to fly fishing, not spin casting. Although the rules on the Chimehuin have been tightened (daily harvest reduced from two to zero), the enforcement has declined. I was never checked for my license. I saw spin casters at the Boca. The Guardafauna were absent. The Captura y Liberacion signs had been torn down everywhere. I saw fish harvested and was encouraged to do so by my hostess. It is hard for me to judge the quality of the fishery, but my personal experience over ten days indicates it has declined.
I also fished the Aluminé and its tributaries, the Quillen and Ñorquinco. “Viene en marzo.”
See below for detailed fishing diary.
1.14 fished riffle below Santito. 2 smaller fish. Floating, Prince Nymph, Hare’s Ear. Mid day.
1.15 fished pool 2 km below Santito. 8 fish, each 15-20″ on sinking line with megaPrince and wooly bugger. Late afternoon. Water was high after rains.
1.16 fished pool below Devil’s Throat. Zero. Tried sinking line with streamers. Mid day.
1.17 day off.
1.18 pool above old bridge; 2 plus one perch, streamers on sinking line, zug bug. walked along Quilquihue to confluence and beyond. Late morn, early afternoon.
1.19 fish Aracauria Pool.Two small ones. Zug bug. Spent too much time walking upstream. There isn’t any wadable water. There is a big riffle below the pool; that’s the spot. Late afternoon.
1.20 fished Boca. Zero. Tried five weight with zug bugs, wooly boogers and later elkhair caddis. Morning. Hole in waders, leaking badly from tear on barbed wire.
1.21 fish Santito. Fished late, start at 6 pm. Big pool at 35-40 minutes was slow, 1 16″ rainbow on wooly bugger. At dusk, riffle came alive, at dark, bugs were flying and fish were jumping. Caught a big perch plus four more including a 17″ fat brown. Used stimulator and yellow mayfly.
1.22 tried evening hatch. Went back to Santito. Fished little island, hooked one. Nothing until about 8:30 p.m. Caught four trout on elkhair caddis. Nothing on nymphs. Seems wind put fish down. Not like night before.
1.23 took day off.
1.24 one last time for the evening hatch. Caught five plus two small ones at dusk on #14 Elkhair Caddis.
Rios Aluminae y Quillen y Norquinco
1.25 Aluminae –fished first fishing access point below bridge. Not much until dark. Caught a few small ones on Adams. Lost some larger ones.
1.26 Quillen–Fished mid-morning to early afternoon. Caught several on dry fly Adams. Downsized to 6X and #18 Adams and caught 19 inch rainbow in shadow under a tree branch.Nice hole, second access point, above confluence, below bridge. Fished in evening, more fishermen than fish. Caught two small ones on small parachute Adams. In a riffle buried in brushed, fought and lost three fish on a big madam X caddis: hard yank, a flying rainbow, and finally a big, sulking fish hunkered down in middle of current–fought for ten minutes until it gave my 5x a few good head shakes and broke off. Above first access point above confluence, above marsh.
1.27 Quillen–fished late in morning, 11 to 1, caught two small ones on brassies, using nymphing rig on floating line.
1.28 Day off. Drove along Rio Ruca Chorai to source at Lago Ruca Chorai, but didn’t see anything worth stopping for.
1.29 Quillen–Fished morning to mid-afternoon. Weather turned cold and windy. Few insects, rises, and fish. Caught one 14 inch rainbow on a brown, beadhead nymph.
1.30 Tried several stops on the Ñorquinco. Nada.
1.31 Tried Quillen early Sunday morning. Lots of fishermen. Two bites, no fish.