Sea Run Browns

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Editors Note: The following is from Issue 11.
 
By Rodrigo Sandoval
 
The geographical and physical characteristics of rivers and lakes in Patagonia have proven their prime conditions for growing remarkable specimens of both trout and salmon. This also includes the world-famous sea run browns, managing to attract anglers from different latitudes to windy and harsh-weather locations, especially to the southern tip of South America. 
 
Sea run browns, also called sea trout, or anadromous trout, belong to a strain of brown trout that migrate to sea to feed and grow as an adult, to later return to the river of birth, and continue the life cycle. Just like their closest relative, the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), they might return more than once, unlike the Pacific salmon. This strain has been classified scientifically as Salmo trutta morpha trutta, to distinguish it from the resident specimens (Salmo trutta fario). 
 
Originally from northern countries in Europe and also found in some rivers in eastern North America, sea run browns have become the iconic species of rivers in southern Patagonia, both in Argentina and Chile. The most famous sea run brown river is Rio Grande, in the southern island of Tierra del Fuego, shared by both countries, where steady runs of huge fish make their way up the river, from the Atlantic coast in Argentina to the upper reaches of Chilean territory.  
 
 
In addition to the estancias especially suited to host fly fishermen, mostly in the Argentinian section of the Rio Grande, sea run brown seekers can also try spots like Rio Marazzi, in Chilean Tierra del Fuego, as well as Rio Gallegos, Rio Serrano, Rio Perez, Rio San Juan, all of them in mainland Argentina and Chile. 
 
Targeting sea run browns is based on the same gear, flies, and techniques used for steelhead and salmon. Rods and reels in the 7-10 weight category, usually casting sinking tip lines with colorful, streamers and big attractor-type nymphs are known to land successfully even the larger specimens in the 30-pound class. 
 
The famous Patagonian weather is something that every fly fisherman must also consider. Extreme wind and sometimes long, cold days in November, December, March, and April, are some of the challenges to overcome. Spey rods are becoming more common in these waters, allowing casters to cover entire pools in a few casts, while strong winds require the best casting skills. But for every angler, the opportunity to experience the solid tug, followed by some of the most frantic runs of a hooked sea run brown, is an experience to remember for a lifetime. 
 
 
 
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