Tribe Travel Journal: Ben Bechter Heads to Argentina

If you are a member of our Facebook Group, The Tribe, you probably saw this awesome video from Tribe member Ben Bechter highlighting the coolest graduation gift we have ever heard of, a fly fishing trip to Argentina. After watching the video, we hit up Ben to share his story with the Tribe and show how trips like this are worth the trip!

What inspired you to go on this trip to Argentina?

I have dreamed of going down to fish for trout in Patagonia for a long time. I just didn’t know I would get the opportunity so soon. My dad, also an avid angler, got us a trip to San Martin de Los Andes for my college graduation present. Through a crazy connection, we were set up with an incredible guide and off we were. I am extremely lucky to have gone on a bucket list trip this early in my life. Fishing for strong, healthy, and wild trout in Patagonia was an experience like none other.

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Does any single fish stand out to you from the trip?

We caught an absurd amount of fish over the eight-day trip, but two fish were more memorable than the rest. On our last day, we were able to fish a half-day before leaving the river at noon to drive to Chapelco Airport and begin the journey home. We fished that morning on the Masseo River and my dad was having some success. At around 11:50 he cast into a riffle and caught a nice rainbow—his last cast of the trip. We decided I should fish the rest of the riffle before we had to pack up and leave. On my second cast, I pulled out a 23-24 inch brown, the biggest of the trip, and my last cast of the trip. Catching two fish on our last two casts of the trip is something I’ll never forget.

Do you have any advice for Tribe Members looking to go on a similar adventure?

For any anglers looking to go on a similar trip, I recommend exploring as much of the area as possible. We ventured to three different lodges on three different rivers and we were able to experience the vast diversity of Patagonia. We fished on the Chimehuin, Collón Curá, and Masseo Rivers and each was unique and incredible in their own right. We booked the trip through Patagonia on the Fly and we had an excellent guide who set up every detail of the trip. He set up the plan, accompanied us to each lodge and guided us on every river. We were able to experience a perfect mix of drifting and wading.

What fly patterns were the most effective?

We had success using a variety of dry-dropper rigs as well as streamer fishing minnow patterns. Chubby Chernobyl was the most effective dry fly and a red copper john as a dropper.

What were 3 pieces of essential gear that you had on the water with you?

FishPond chest backpack, Dry shake fly floatant, my trusty 5 WT fly rod, and reel.

How long have you been fly fishing? How does fly fishing fit into your lifestyle?

My dad got me into fly fishing at a young age. Once I was experienced enough to fish on my own I was off and running. I have been fly fishing seriously since high school. Being from Colorado and attending school in Colorado, fishing is a big part of my lifestyle. I go to college with quick access to many great rivers in Colorado. I often will fish half days during the week or in between classes and that’s a huge benefit of going to school in Boulder, CO.

Why should Argentina be on someones fly fishing bucket list?

It was simply amazing. The trout in Argentina fight like no other trout I have ever experienced. They run multiple times, take tons of line, and have a seemingly limitless amount of fight. Even the small(er) fish put up a commendable struggle. The difficulty of the fishing adds an element of achievement and appreciation for the wild nature of these trout. When you add on the beautiful scenery it is almost impossible to beat.

Any advice for people heading out on a drift boat for the first time?

Always make sure to check your backcast as you are moving down the river. It is easier to forget about what’s in your backcast when drifting compared to wading. While it might take a little to get used to, fishing off a drift boat allows you to cover a ton of river and catch a bunch of amazing fish. If you are going down to Argentina I definitely recommend finding a mix between drifting and wading so you can experience both!

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