This Southern paradise is much more than a lake. Forests, mountains and the everlasting snow turn this place into a spot no angler should miss.
Every time I think of fly fishing in the lake, I feel something strange inside of me, maybe because fly fishing is usually practised in rivers, which is not so attractive for me. The privilege of wading the waters, and generating a new fishing situation every meter, a completely fascinating situation for me, leads me to choose almost exclusive rivers, in spite of the fact that I live in Villa la Angostura, a village surrounded by excellent lakes for fishing.
But to tell you the truth, all that bunch of feelings I have expressed cease to be valid when dragonflies make their massive appearance over Lake Espejo.
This beautiful 18-kilometer-long lake has the shape of a big letter "X" and very special characteristics. It presents rocky sectors and islands surrounded by a soft ground with abundant food. At the bottom of the lake, an infinity of black spots are frequently observed. They are a kind of mussel that live in colonies at medium depth.
The passion for fly fishing
These characteristics are very interesting when deciding which sector we choose to start casting. Anyway, we have less probability in those sectors with clumps of rushes, which have a very important odonate activity between December and mid February.
The feeding activity of trout is really extraordinary, since the insects mentioned constitute their main diet. It is such a wonderful show to see how these astonishing predators chase their victims that the most experimented angler will be left astonished. The very fact that we can observe in detail how trout follow dragonflies and wait for the exact moment to capture their prey with an accurate jump (which sometimes reaches a meter high outside the water) will undoubtedly make our adrenaline level rise to the sky.
Any fly-fishing addict will be fascinated just to think of this practise in such a beautiful environment, to which we must add the fact that there are trout weighing one kilo and a half.
Moreover, to this we must add three more elements that I consider basic to be taken into account. The first one is the aggressiveness of the attacks when we present our fly, since it is frequent to be attacked when flying, and in that case we have the feeling that we stop breathing and a strange
taste in our mouths while we contemplate how the surface of the water returns to normal.
Another aspect points at the special characteristics of rushy coasts, since we can observe that they are very compact in some sectors and more scattered in others, and we can easily move in both alternatives while fishing from a belly boat or from a boat while casting near a clump of rushes. When casting from the coast trout are sometimes found while searching for their prey in very low areas that we call flats, that is no more than a meter deep, and it is here where the angler must use his best approaching technique, since the fish is very visible and any movement could make it swim to the shoal. Anyway, a cast near the beginning of the deep part of the lake will suffice for the trout to attack our fly immediately.
The reason for these persistent attacks is very simple: this period does not go beyond two months and a half, and produces a kind of violent instinct in the fish that makes them become scary. We may even get very close to them and see how they catch our fly, but our presentation will only be on the surface of the water.
The third important point is the environment. This magnificent Southern landscape clearly tranlates why we are so fond of fly fishing. When finishing this article, I could certainly write about the technical aspect, give advise about tackle, flies, lines and other items, but I really think that writing about what I feel makes it much more attractive.
This lake is something more than just a lake, it is a clear example of the perfection offered by the Supreme Being when he created it. Its forests, its mountains and the eternal snow, even during the longest summers, make it an environment that no angler should miss. Its completely clear waters rich in Rainbow Trout and Brook Trout make it an ideal lake environment.
And like every exceptional environment, it always hides a surprise, like that salmon that once jumped before my friend Euardo Riquelme, to leave a perfect wave of goodbye. What a touching moment!
I think that Lake Espejo offers many things that make it unique, specially when we feel that we are so connected to ourselves and to this flame that keeps burning in the deepest part of our hearts, the passion for fly fishing.
Pablo Etchevers Pablo Etchevers
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