Rio Irigoyen - Worlds End Lodge
February 2019, three amigos had the opportunity to venture to the Rio Irigoyen in the South East of Tierra del Fuego in Southern Patagonia. This river is truly a special place with excellent sea trout fishing surrounded by a pristine tree-lined wilderness.
We were fortunate to have been invited to fish the river system by World’s End Lodge owners and co founders Pablo Lopez and Diego Castillo and as we soon found out, this unique fly fishing destination offered outstanding sea trout fishing on single-handed fly rods. Irigoyen is a small to mid-sized river and we tackled up with a combination of 9ft #6 Cross SX and 9ft #6 Evotec Cast Fast rods matched with the new Opti Flex floating lines and loaded on the Opti Rapid reels.
On Diego’s advice as head guide, we added a short section off sinking tip and a fairly weighted fly. The main features for holding fish in the river system was the accumulated log jams often found at the head and tail of the particular pool. Diego added that gaining depth quickly with our flies in these narrow runs was very important to success with the river’s sea trout.
This advice proved to be absolute gold during the course of our visit to the Irigoyen, as we soon began to hook fish in runs that were often only a few metres wide. Under such conditions we were instructed by our mentor to play fish hard to reduce the risk of the trout diving for cover in the submerged logs that littered the river.
This would often involve hooking the fish and then immediately running downstream to apply serious pressure with 20lb plus tippet to turn the sea trout’s head towards the relative safety of the main body of the pool. Under the expert guidance of Diego, each day we gained a greater insight into methods that worked well on the system and we were fortunate to catch a range of fish from 3lbs up to 20lbs.
The common denominator was how each fish fought. Both the hook-ups and the ensuing fights with these sea trout were intense and dominated by power and some serious acrobatics.
In making the film of the trip, our hope was to try and capture some of the essence of fly fishing on this truly unique sea trout system located at the end of the world!