Teasing Vampires: Tierra del Fuego’s Monster Sea-run Browns by Jeff Bright

Like vampires, it’s been said. The giant sea trout of Tierra del Fuego are like vampires. During daylight hours they lie in a hibernative state. Then, as light wanes and the horizon blazes in austral sunset, they come alive. And once the beast has shed its torpor, beware.

For years, I had read and heard about the fishing for overgrown, sea-run brown trout in South America. Rio Gallegos, Rio Irigoyen and Rio Grande were the rivers most touted. Gallegos was deemed the prettiest, with an attractive landscape, long, glassy pools and technical fishery; Irigoyen, the intimate, trout fisher’s dream; but the undisputed granddaddy of all Patagonian sea-run rivers is the Rio Grande.

    Snaking eastward through a treeless plain nearly 95 miles from its source in the southern Chilean Andes to meet the Atlantic at Ciudad Rio Grande, the Rio Grande is the spawning and rearing home to a population of anadromous brown trout estimated to be at least 70,000 strong.

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