Where next? Take a look at some of our personal favourites
We are fortunate to travel to some amazing destinations across the world. However, given a choice what would be our favourites? Where would we return to tomorrow? And where would we like to visit next and why? Over the next few weeks we will explore these in turn, starting with Steffan.
We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to visit some amazing fishing destinations across the world. This may be for personal aspirations, product knowledge or even to unearth the next gem. Regardless of what brought us there, many present several reasons to return and some really do become like an annual pilgrimage. It is difficult not to become attached to some places, be that because of the fishing alone or because of wider variables that make a journey or lodge memorable such as the guides, house staff, lodge or setting. Within the Aardvark McLeod team we all have our individual passions and areas of interest, which helps form the backbone of our experience that we assist venturing anglers with every day. To put this into perspective we thought you’d like to see what gets us all excited on an individual basis, where we have enjoyed visiting the most, where we would return to tomorrow and where we would like to visit next. In doing so we hope this will help guide you on your next journey on where to explore but also help you see where our individual strengths lie when you next make contact.
Two most loved destinations and why:
Estancia Laguna Verde (Jurassic Lake), Argentina. Jurassic Lake used to be just fishing one small section of the lake, which, whilst catching plenty of fish, was pretty dull. Nowadays the operation at Laguna Verde offers so much more that a four day trip literally scrapes the surface. Laguna Verde really opened my eyes to how good fishing for wild rainbow trout can be and gave me a new respect for them. This is a great operation run by a fantastic team that really make you feel like family, hence why, along with the fishing, I hold it in such high regard. The river fishing is just fantastic and leaves me with one of two long lasting memories of the operation; a 15 lbs + trout feeding happily on the surface on tiny midges. Incredible. The other is from the main lake where I recall fishing over some deep but crystal clear water and seeing (but not hooking) some truly huge fish swimming slowly passed – they looked more like giant trevally! A great place to visit whether you’re experienced or inexperienced as they have something for everyone, including a load more lakes at their disposal.
Rio Grande, Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina. This destination has become somewhat of an annual pilgrimage for me. I have deliberately left it open ended from a lodge perspective as each one really does offer something different. However, if I were to return to just one if would have to be Aurelia Lodge. I love it there, it really is a second home for me. You never feel like another number; it’s not like a hotel running in monotony. It’s small and feels like a family atmosphere. The lodges takes just 4-6 rods per week, with everyone getting a single room as standard on the 4 rod basis. Beyond that, the fishing dictates order – the lodge works around the fishing, not the other way around, which is crucial when conditions dictate a change of routine. On the fishing front they are one of the rare lodges to have private double bank fishing, and they have around 8 miles of the Rio Grande and over 15 miles of the Menendez! That’s a lot of fishing for just 4 rods…
Where I would return to tomorrow given the chance:
Tsimane Lodges (Pluma, Secure, Agua-Negra), Bolivia. This was a really special experience and certainly a lot to take in beyond the fishing. Really an experience of a lifetime and one that you could hardly forget. The fish are fantastic and it was great to catch the dorado in such beautiful and wild surroundings. Wet wading freestone rivers with the jungle reaching overhead made for a surreal experience with the marauding dorado providing the pinch needed to stop you from daydreaming. A huge adventure from start to finish and one that I would urge you to try, especially the more physically fit who would get a lot more from the experience.
Most like to visit next:
There are a few destinations in site, including a couple of exploratories that I cannot wait to undertake. One being a new location and destination that would be exclusive to Aardvark and another being a new area working around a well established core product. However, more on that later…
If I were to pack a bag and travel tomorrow, where would I most like to visit? It would have to be the brown trout in Iceland – they really left a mark on me last year. Those heads popping up to intercept a dry fly is really hard to beat. Indeed, any fish off the surface is pretty hard to beat. Whilst not always the most technical of fishing, the brown trout in Iceland are not a case of ‘chuck and chance’. You still have to get the presentation right, your approach needs to be stealthy etc. it is more like hunting than fishing, and that really excites me, especially when you are trying to target and fool and individual fish. I would probably split my time between the Minni in the south and Laxardal in the north. Two very different areas and rivers, both with unique challenges, but both really hard to beat and places that leave lasting memories that yearn for a return match…
If you are interested in travelling to these or any other destination within our portfolio why not contact Steffan Jones or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.