For those of you interested in how the Chaiten Volcano eruption (in May,
2008) has affected fishing on the Futaleufu, read on for the
perspective of our guide Alex Obregon who was in Futa in February…….
Ahhh Futa, so much fun. The river is running low, great fishing flow!
I didn’t have all that much time but managed to fish a good deal, my
heart is content. You were right, the fishing is great! Fish in
front of camp (good), on the Island (good, small), Puerto Ramirez (fun),
magic carpet rapid (abundant, hit them like a sniper!), Inferno Canyon
(the challenge), El Limite (the border – clear water, lots of fish), El
Rio Azul (not rated) and the Seno Muerto Lake (beautiful). Some spots better than others but man…so fun.
There is an abundant and healthy bug population, caddis, mayflies,
stoneflies, dragon flies, damsel flies…the list goes on…basically
all good signs of the good health of the water’s ecosystem.
The visibility of the water is not quite the same as before, but the
color is just as dramatic – it picks up hues of turquoise more like the
Azul. The fish are not as easy to spot, but with good polarized aid
and a bit of “know where to” look, you will find them.
The section of El Limite (the border) is still crystal clear water,
there are lots of fish up there. Some say that the fish from the
Espolon got out and headed upstream, concentrating on that short
section. Dry fly fun everywhere. The take out not so easy, right at
the eddy above that “mini zeta” rapid under the Puente Robert…long
haul with the gear to the road.
In front of camp you can go out and catch an early morning Trucha
(rainbow trout) just before breakfast, while the Yogis stretch their
muscles…or… At the end of the day a happy hour hunt down by the
Island and come back just in time for dinner. Heading downstream to Magic Carpet rapid for a little kayak surf…and fish…
This is more laid back fishing (that is after negotiating the
whitewater that guards the pool). After a couple of magic carpet rides
(hopefully without getting whirlpooled) I sat on a warm rock
overlooking the eddy, while in it, the food spins around and
around…and with it comes the target…rainbows that feed carelessly
unaware, like riding on a carousel. Much like a sniper, pick your
target and put your fly out there…all is left are a few seconds of
suspense and zaz! Set your hook! Play your fish, loading the synergy of
the rod until your fish jumps out of the water to throw some aerial
moves…we could make a fish rodeo…what you think about that..!
Puerto Ramirez is a really beautiful section of water. I especially
like that turn behind the Island in front of the beach we once camped
at. The water here is almost still and also holds the clear color. So
calm you can spot any action breaking the surface from one corner of the
Island to the other…peaceful!
I think that my favorite venture was into the Seno Muerto Lake, that
little one next to Lake Lonconao. Dude, it is amazing the color of the
water. It has a shallow section about 3-4 feet deep that extends from
the shoreline like a white rim some 20-30 feet, and then drops
dramatically into the deep blue, disappearing underneath you in between
logs and old trees that have fallen down through time and now serve as
shelter for rainbows and browns…the latter more conservative,
shy…perhaps smarter…bigger…I only caught the not so smart ones…
When you look down into the water it feels as if one is diving under,
trying to find the bottom of the lake with the fish…like an aquarium.
I wanted to share my fishing with you, I know its long and boring, more
boring than fishing itself you might think…but when and if someone
asks you about the fishing on the Fu, post volcano eruption, you will
have more to tell them… I
am very happy I went and I am even happier we are going back, the place
is great! I wouldn’t say that there is no ash, but after you are in
the town of Futa, you come back to the Bio Bio camp in the sector Azul
and it feels like the oasis it has always been, now more so. I uploaded some pictures of the fishing adventure under “Fish Report”, check them out. …Alex…